A record of innovation

 

IN THE MIDWEST, Kent , Ohio-based Carter Lumber is a major force in building. The 75-year-old company operates 200 plus locations and fosters an attitude of growth through new services and new acquisitions.

2007

 

In Northern California, Fairfax Lumber & Hardware is a single-location operator that is responding to its affluent market by giving customers what they want: an upscale green products program. The companies represent two ends of the pro dealer spectrum: the multi-unit pro dealer, and the small, independent operator. More importantly, they also represent many of the qualities Home Channel News editors look for in the annual selection of the Pro Dealers of the Year.

“Congratulations to Carter Lumber and Fairfax Lumber & Hardware, our 2007 Pro Dealer of the Year award recipients,” said Jeff Arlen, editor and publisher of Home Channel News. “These companies are both very deserving by demonstrating that growth and business innovation are alive and well in our industry.”

What does it take to be named Pro Dealer of the Year? The criteria include business success, corporate culture, innovative programs and various intangibles, such as willingness to adapt and experiment in pursuit of growth and service.

The profiles in this special Pro Dealer of the Year section provide the color and the details that help define the companies. Carter Lumber, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, has shown through its actions that it does not intend to rest on its laurels. The launch of an installed sales program and the search for new acquisitions are keeping things exciting in Kent, Ohio.

At Fairfax Lumber & Hardware, our editors were especially impressed with the Fairfax Green program, which brings green alternatives side-by-side with traditional building materials, reflecting a novel approach to educating the building professional as well as the consumer. Fairfax Lumber has also turned green products into green profits, growing its sales by more than 20 percent last year, a trajectory that continues through the current downturn.

The awards program culminates at the ProDealer Conference, to be held Sept. 18 to 21 in San Diego. The ProDealer of the Year Awards Dinner, slated for Sept. 20, is one of the highlights of the conference.