Gertner named Long Island Lumber Person of the Year

Paul Gertner, president of Starborn Industries, a manufacturer and distributor of fastening products, was named 2013 Lumber Person of the Year during the inaugural Annual Meeting of the New York Long Island Lumber Association. 

Gertner was cited for this honor in recognition of his “long-standing dedication, support and service to the lumber and building materials industry.” 

"Paul is an example of how hard work and dedication are among the many reasons why Starborn is a major force in our industry,” said Michael Horne of Liberty Panel and the president of the New York & Suburban Lumber Association, which recently merged with the Long Island Lumber Association.

In his remarks to the gathering, Gertner recalled the mid-1990s as a critical period for the industry. Starborn’s customer base of independent lumberyards was being decimated by the spread of large box retail outlets. These “category killers” already dominated other retail segments, such as books and sporting goods. However, as Gertner noted “our industry proved different” due in large part to the significant base of professional customers. 

“Most of these professionals circled back to your stores after trying the large box outlets, and your companies pivoted to concentrate on them, becoming the thriving pro yards you are today,” he said. “Starborn also pivoted by establishing the highest standards for its construction fasteners and developing unique specialized decking products aimed at contractor-installed high end decks.” 

Founded in 1961, Starborn products include Headcote, the first stainless deck screw with color-coated heads; the patented Smart-Bit and Pro Plug System; and Cap-Tor, the first fastener designed for Capstock decking.