Issue 1 | October 2023

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Welcome to our new newsletter – Material Matters.

This monthly newsletter will focus on valuable industry news and important member updates. Watch for Material Matters in your inbox the first Monday of each month.


Starting next week, our new weekly bulletin, The Level Set, will be emailed every Wednesday to bring you up to speed on the latest events, education, and time-sensitive information.

BLD Connection News

Log In to Your Account on our New Website!


We're excited to introduce our brand-new website,, which was launched on Monday, October 2nd. As a member of BLD Connection, you'll find this website to be a valuable resource for all your needs. Here's what you can do with your account:

  • Access educational materials and stay up-to-date with industry trends.
  • Register for upcoming events with just a few clicks.
  • Connect with peers and potential partners within our network.
  • Subscribe to our printed magazine, BLD Connection Magazine, and manage your email preferences.


To get started, you'll need to create your own username and password. Simply click on MEMBER LOGIN in the upper right-hand corner to access your account in our Info Hub. Click HERE to view complete instructions on accessing the Info Hub.

Annual Dues Renewal


October 1st marks the beginning of a new year for BLD Connection. Watch your mailbox in the coming days for your 2023-34 Membership Dues Renewal Form.


How do I pay my dues?

Option 1 – Pay online. The billing contact of current members will have a membership invoice ready in their member account. Click HERE to access your account in our Info Hub. You will need to create a username and password. For detailed instructions, click HERE.


Option 2 – Mail payment. Fill out the credit card section on your renewal form or pay by check. Return to BLD Connection.


Thank you for your continued membership!

2024 BizCon Booth & Sponsorship Registration is Open!

Our reimagined "BizCons" promise to be both effective and efficient. We're here to provide valuable resources and support to our members, ensuring everyone leaves with a deeper knowledge of the industry and meaningful connections.


·      BizCon North: February 6 & 7, 2024, Minneapolis, MN

·      BizCon South: February 21 & 22, 2024, Altoona, IA

At the BizCons, you can expect:


·      Helpful Exhibits: Featuring the latest building products.

·      Knowledgeable Seminars: Led by industry experts.

·      Fun Networking Opportunities: Forge new partnerships in a relaxed setting.


These regional Midwest gatherings are a vital network for dealers and suppliers alike. It's where you can engage in face-to-face discussions, gain access to essential industry updates, and become a part of a supportive and understanding community.


Badge registration for lumber yard dealers & guests will open on Monday, November 6th.


Fight Fire with Fire… Prevention

October is Fire Prevention Month. Use this handy guide from Federated Insurance to help you review what actions you could take to prevent a dangerous or deadly fire at your business.

Articles and Publications

Architects’ Latest Home Design Survey Shows Increased Aging in Place Trend

Jamie Gold, Forbes Magazine


Among the wellness trends identified in the American Institute of Architects’ most recent Home Design Survey is an increased focus on aging in place. Overall designs for the purpose of letting people remain in their homes as their physical needs change with age grew from 59% to 64% from 2022 to 2023, the survey reported. A quick call-out to architects around the country for their experience supported these findings. Their responses, shared by email, highlight how extensively this is showing up in their projects.


Canada To Seek Judicial Review of Latest U.S. Decision on Softwood Lumber Duties

U.S. argues Canada's 'stumpage fee' system amounts to unfair subsidies on Canadian lumber.

James McCarten, The Canadian Press


The federal government is pushing back against the latest U.S. decision to keep imposing duties on Canadian softwood lumber.


Canada has filed for a judicial review of last month's U.S. Commerce Department assessment of the levies, which International Trade Minister Mary Ng described in a statement as "unfair, unjust and illegal."


Fed Keeps Rates Unchanged and Signals Optimism About a Potential ‘Soft Landing’

Christopher Rugaber, Associated Press


The Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged Wednesday, September 20th, for the second time in its past three meetings, a sign that it’s moderating its fight against inflation as price pressures have eased.


The Fed’s policymakers also signaled that they expect to raise rates once more this year and envision their key rate staying higher in 2024 than most analysts had expected.


Business Groups Press DOL for More Comment Time on Overtime Plan

Rebecca Rainey, Bloomberg Law


In a letter sent Monday to Wage and Hour Division head Jessica Looman, business organizations including the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the National Restaurant Association, and the National Retail Federation, among others, requested an additional 60 days to comment on the proposal.


“Additional time is needed in the comment period to allow the regulated community to analyze the rulemaking, fully assess the potential impact the changes will have on the economy, business operations, and workers, and develop comprehensive comments,” the letter said.


Goldman Sachs Drops US Recession Chances to 15% on Improved Inflation

Goldman Sachs now sees a 15% chance the US will slide into recession, down from 20% previously as cooling inflation and a still-resilient labor market suggest the Federal Reserve may not need to raise interest rates any further.


Important Upcoming Deadlines

Gross Margin Mastery Series

With Ken Wilbanks

Last week to register!


2023 Nebraska Connection Conference & Top Golf Event

Omaha, Nebraska

Event date: November 8th, 2023

Register by October 27

Hotel deadline - October 17

Click here for full details and registration

HR Question of the Month

Off Duty Conduct

From Federated Insurance



We have two employees who are friends and hang out together outside of work. However, they have been getting into disputes outside of work hours, and they’re bringing their personal issues into the workplace. They recently had an argument and were shouting at each other in the office during work hours. What can I do? Am I allowed to discipline them for issues stemming from their off-duty conduct?

Read the answer at
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Classified Ads

Sales Consultant

Woodford Lumber and Home is looking for a knowledgeable and enthusiastic Sales Consultant who enjoys creating long-term term relationships with customers.

Located in the resort community of Clear Lake, Iowa, this full-service home store and lumberyard was recently relocated to an expanded and remodeled facility with a design center and comprehensive paint, tools, and hardware center. Woodford Lumber and Home was named the Northwestern Lumber Association Lumber Dealer of the Year in 2022.

Applicants should have sales experience and product knowledge in the building industry or related fields and drafting and design skills. Cabinet design and materials take-off skills are preferred.

See for a job description and application or send your resume to  

Lumber Dealers - If interested in submitting a classified ad that is published in Material Matters, our website, and BLD Connection Magazine, please contact Melanie Hultman at or (763) 595-4050.

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