Laying the Groundwork to Survive & Thrive

President's Message

Laying the Groundwork to Survive & Thrive

Best wishes for a prosperous future to all.

It seems like it just started, but my role as President of this great association is winding down. In my first Editor’s Message, I said one of my goals for SBCA was to not only help members survive current economic conditions but also to thrive in the future. Without a doubt, this has been a tough year for many of our members as the building industry hesitates to recover. We’ve all had our fair share of hurdles, but SBCA’s work continues to strengthen the structural building component industry, as we face today’s challenges and lay the groundwork for growth in the years to come.

Of course, the big question is, “When and how fast will the industry recover?” Many of us are still trying to determine the right size for our companies in this economy, while others wonder how to grow when market share increases. Matching capacity to market demand is the key to success. It’s a very delicate balance between price, cost, service level and cash flow. Some get it right and flourish, while others struggle. This market is the most difficult I have ever experienced in my 38 years in the business.

It’s interesting that my last article runs in the issue of SBC focusing on industry history. Since starting out in the industry in 1973, I have had many roles in component operations and seen major changes in the industry. My first job was on the sheathing side of a Triad wall panel line where we manufactured panels from manually drafted shop drawings. After that, I was the saw catcher on a speed cut saw where all the truss members were cut; this plant didn’t have a component saw yet.

I have watched the industry evolve from truss profiles manually drawn by sales staff to computer-aided design for basic engineering to today’s sophisticated design, manufacturing, and business systems. One can only wonder what will come next as technology drives (and accelerates) change in the industry.

The main focus I laid out for this year was to establish better connections with our supply chain. Working through the lumber design value issue, I believe we have made significant progress with our lumber vendors. The entire supply chain—component manufacturers, connector plate suppliers and lumber producers—came together to address this challenge. Our ability to leverage system testing conducted at the Structural Building Components Research Institute (SBCRI) helped us work through this issue and ensures predictability in our products and the raw materials we use. This adds significant value to the entire industry.

I also wanted to reach out to our customers and collaborate in a more effective way as an industry. We have made progress in that area by establishing connections with the Leading Builders of America. There will be more to come on this collaboration shortly. Forging these relationships at all levels of the building supply chain supports our goal to “survive and thrive.”

We have a great industry with great people. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve on the Executive Committee and be your President. I would like to thank the Board of Directors, committee members and staff for all the hard work they do in support of SBCA. I’d also like to welcome incoming President Steve Stroder of ProBuild. Don’t blink, Steve, the next year will fly by, trust me. 

I urge each and every member to get involved in SBCA. For me, the return on investment of my time and effort has been invaluable, both in business opportunities and the personal reward from the relationships I have formed. Stop by SBCA’s booth at BCMC and see all that the association has to offer. I hope to see you in Indianapolis (see page 20).

Best wishes for a prosperous future to all. 

SBC Magazine encourages the participation of its readers in developing content for future issues. Do you have an article idea for a future issue or a topic that you would like to see covered? Email your thoughts and ideas to