The NRLA tips its hat to regional leaders

A memorable roll call of northeastern lumber industry leaders was a highlight of one of the country’s premier lumber-industry events: the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association’s LBM EXPO.

The three-day Expo held last month at Foxwoods in Connecticut offered the usual interaction between vendors and northeastern dealers, and an extra dose of recognition for the people who make the NRLA one of the strongest regional associations in the country. NRLA chair Rita Ferris introduced the Lumber Person of the Year from each of the state and local associations that comprise the NRLA, during its Industry Recognition Dinner.

Ferris presented the New York and Suburban Retail Lumber Assn. Lifetime Achievement Award to Joseph Lauto of Great Jones Lumber.

“The ingenuity needed to run a profitable lumber business on three floors in New York City can only be learned over a lifetime,” Ferris said. “The ability to anticipate how new building materials will hold up under the fire code can only be learned over a lifetime; the impact that Joe has made to his community through his charitable works can only be achieved in a lifetime. And the long-term relationships Joe has cultivated can only be as deep as his are when cultivated over a lifetime.”

Other honorees included Tim Wiley of the Eastern New York group. “Tim is known for his passionate work on behalf of our industry, his dedication to completing every task perfectly — but most of all Tim is known for his modesty,” said Ferris, when inviting him to the stage.

Sheldon Kahan of Interstate + Lakeland Lumber was Lumber Person of the Year from the Connecticut association. “Whatever Shelly takes on, it must be done to the highest standard. For example, if he’s going to build a website or a showroom, it’s going to be the best website or showroom in the country,” Ferris said.

In the Mid-Hudson Lumber Dealers Association, Karen Page of H.G. Page & Sons was recognized. “Karen’s many years of dedication and leadership with the Mid-Hudson Association is as well known as her generosity, modesty and hard work. Karen has contributed countless hours of service, which has benefitted us all,” Ferris said.