Volume 16, Number 18, September 5, 2017
MLA Lumber Industry News Express
Here's the new issue of the Mid-America Lumbermens Association online newsletter. We'll send a new issue every two weeks to let you know what's happening in the industry, at your MLA, and in the world that affects your business. We welcome your opinions and ideas. If you have information you'd like to share with other members, we'd be happy to include it in our next issue. We welcome both personal and industry-related news - members would love to hear your news and views - so don't hesitate to email us with information.
Register Now for the Fall Fling!
This year marks the 15th anniversary for the MLA Fall Fling, and plans are underway to change the format and make this the best one ever. You won’t want to miss this event, filled with opportunities for meaningful conversations with other dealers and an unprecedented line-up of outstanding speakers!


Join us in Kansas City October 4-6 for the first ever joint conference with dealers from the Mid-America Lumbermens Association and the Mountain States Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. We will be bringing our dealers together for networking, fellowship, and most important, to learn about leadership skills that will help propel our respective organizations to the next level and beyond. 

Register now and save the dates - October 4-6, 2017. Sharpen your leadership skills as you learn from the best and brightest educators in the LBM industry!
Send Us Your Photos!

We know that many MLA members have a four-legged greeter at their lumberyard – sometimes two! If you have this type of loyal employee, we want to feature them in our newsletter. Send photos to: oholcombe@themla.com . (Be sure the files are smaller than 5 MB, or they’ll be rejected by our system.) Tell us the pet's name and how long they’ve been “employed” at your yard. We’re looking forward to sharing this fun information!
Should You Take Back the Customer That Burned You?

What do you do with deadbeat ex-customers who keep coming back? Do you give them another chance? How many chances do you give them? One of my sales reps brought a request for credit from a customer that burned us three years ago. Do you make them pay what you wrote off?   Read more .

Source: Thea Dudley, ProSales Magazine, August 17, 2017
Time to Consider the MLA MEP
MLA has offered a “group” MLA 401(k) plan for members for more than two years. It is saving participating dealers on their fees and offering a great benefit to reward their loyal employees. If you haven’t taken a serious look at this program, now would be a good time. Find out why smart dealers are making the move to the MLA program. Call the MLA Hotline at 800-747-6529, or click here to learn more .
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Member News

E.C. Barton Names New CEO… Jonesboro, Arkansas-based E.C. Barton & Company, a building materials retailer with more than 100 locations in 17 states, named former Kmart and Dollar General executive Steven Brimner as president and CEO. Brimner will officially join the company on Sept. 5, and will work with current President and CEO Niel Crowson until Jan. 1, 2018. Thereafter, Brimner will assume all duties and responsibilities as president and CEO.

Source: HBS Dealer, August 24, 2017
Lumber News
Millard Lumber Named Independent ProDealer of the Year… HBSDealer, the building products and home improvement retailing magazine of Lebhar-Friedman Inc., has named Omaha, Nebraska-based Millard Lumber as the 2017 Independent Pro Dealer of the Year. The annual award, selected by editors of HBSDealer in concert with the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association, is designed to recognize a high-performance independent lumberyard with a commitment to best practices and the best values of the lumber and building material industry. Read more .
Source: HBS Dealer, August 28, 2017

BlueLinx’s Majority Owner Seeks to Reduce Its Stake… The investment fund that owns 51.8 percent of BlueLinx has started the process to reduce its stake in the once-troubled distributor, BlueLinx announced today. BlueLinx has undergone significant changes in the past 18 months as it struggled to reduce its debt.   Read more .
Source: ProSales Magazine, August 28, 2017

Here’s a First Report on Dealer Damage from Hurricane Harvey… The first comprehensive damage and status reports from LBM dealers affected by Hurricane Harvey have begun coming in. Here's a roundup .
Source: ProSales Magazine, September 2, 2017 (Updated 9/3 and 9/4/2017)

Do You "Drive S.A.F.E."?

How often do you consider that there are far more serious consequences to unsafe driving than just getting ticketed? In most states, if you killed or injured someone because of distracted driving or playing a role in a road rage incident, you could be criminally charged. If that’s not bad enough, these risky driving behaviors also put your loved ones in harm’s way, whether or not they are even in the vehicle with you. Read more

This service provided courtesy of Federated Mutual Insurance Company, your association's recommended insurer.
The Last Word

If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend.”

- Doug Larson   
Mid-America Lumbermens Association | 800-747-6529 | 816-561-1249 (fax)| ruhler@themla.com | Website