Posted by & filed under Events, Legislative.

Don’t Just Sit on the Sidelines -Be an Advocate!

 

Join LDAC and your state legislators at our first legislative reception. This is your opportunity to support LDAC’s legislative efforts, including fighting against labor mandates, such as paid family leave and predictable scheduling, and advocating for a more business-friendly Connecticut. Your ability to help educate legislators on the industry is key to LDAC’s success. The legislative reception will be attended by nearly 100 legislators and is an amazing opportunity to build LDAC’s name recognition. Don’t miss out on this important and fun event!

Register Today!

If you would like to attend LDAC’s lobby day, please complete the registration form below. To learn more, contact Ashley (Ennis) Ranslow at 518-880-6350 or aranslow@nrla.org.

State House, Old Appropriations Room

310 Capitol Ave.

Hartford, Conn. 06106

4:30 p.m. Registration

5:00 p.m. Legislative Reception

This event is free to attend, but registration is required.

Parking Information

Limited free parking is available in the Legislative Office Building parking

garage, accessible from both Capitol Ave. and Broad St

2017ldaclobbydayregform_fillable

Posted by & filed under Lumber Person of the Year.

Lumber Person of the Year: Evan MacDermott, Coastal Forest Productsmacdermott

Wood is not just the building material on which Lumber Person of the Year Evan MacDermott makes his living; it seems to be the recurring theme of his life. He began his career working with wood in a much more natural state. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in 1984 with a degree in forestry science, he accepted a job as a forester for the Massachusetts Metropolitan District Commission (now a part of the Department of Conservation and Recreation) in Boston. His job was to reduce the fire load from gypsy moth deforestation, which had spiked the previous year. Evan migrated to the lumber industry shortly thereafter (“It beats working for the state.”) and has remained a lumberman ever since. It’s no wonder that as a participant in the YMCA’s Indian Guides program, he earned the name “Great Wood Spirit.”

 

Evan has been with Coastal Forest Products for 17 years, but there have been many stops along his journey through the lumber industry. He was brought in by Gil Adams of Warren Trask, and accepted a job driving a forklift and unloading trucks and freight cars at the terminal in Waterbury, Connecticut. It was in Warren Trask’s warehouses where he got a re-education of sorts, learning about redwood, cedar, pine, fir and spruce not as trees in a forest but as building materials to be sorted into orders and inventory units.

 

He relocated to Massachusetts to work in the head office, where he learned the ropes of buying lumber and taking inside sales calls. Warren Trask eventually sent him out west to Oregon, where he learned the wholesale side of the business courtesy of the North American Wholesale Lumber Association. When he came back east, he returned to Connecticut, working outside sales and covering the western part of the state and eastern New York.

 

After taking a job with Connecticut Reserve Supply, Evan learned millwork and a variety of other building materials. Since then, he’s done stints with Atlantic Building Products, Manufacturers Reserve Supply and Philadelphia Forest Products. Evan’s services always seem to be in high demand in the lumber industry: his current tenure at Coastal is actually the second time he’s worked for the company, and he also worked twice for Atlantic. He has also taken a leadership role in the industry, serving on the board of the Lumber Dealers Association of Connecticut for the last eight years.

 

Evan credits his boss at Coastal, Ted Severance, with providing him the wealth of knowledge he has needed to succeed. In particular, he cites the many trips they have taken to learn about the products they sell. “We’ve been on mill trips to Northern California to see the Great Redwoods, Quebec to see the manufacturing of white cedar shingles, Alabama to see fiberglass columns being spun,” Evan recalls.

 

In addition to being a true lumberman, Evan is also a first-class family man. He was born and raised in New Jersey, where he did not have an easy childhood. His parents divorced when he was 11 and he mostly grew up without a father. His family struggled financially and turned to public assistance to make ends meet. Evan drifted into the wrong kind of company in high school, but the special attention of his football coaches provided the guidance he needed; he managed to straighten himself out and earn a full scholarship to play football scholarship at UNH.

 

The difficulties Evan experienced in his youth shaped him, and they’re the reason why he remains such a devoted father to his children Ashley, 27, and Chace, 25. He made it a point to be engaged in sports and other activities, including the aforementioned Indian Guides.

 

The mother of those children is Evan’s wife, Donna, to whom he’s been married for 30 years. (They’ve been together for 32.) He met her in his senior year at UNH; they were both attending a “50 days to graduation” party. Later that night he told his roommates that he had met his future wife. They thought he was nuts, but she’s been “the love of my life” ever since. “I get out of bed every day thinking today is going to be yet another great day,” he exclaims. “Life can be hard and unfair but it’s well worth taking the journey. Trying to have a good attitude and happy disposition has been a great way to live my life.”

 

When he’s not spending time with his family or working as the “Great Wood Spirit,” Evan enjoys unwinding on the golf course, where he claims he’s famous for – what else? – hitting the ball deep into the woods.

Posted by & filed under Legislative.

It’s no surprise that Connecticut’s budget crisis dominated the legislative session. With the Legislature focused on negotiating a plan to reduce the projected $933 million deficit for fiscal year 2017, most of the issues impacting businesses were ignored and died before the end of session. One of those issues was a bill establishing a state-run retirement program. The Lumber Dealers Association of Connecticut along with the business community opposed this legislation. LDAC met with legislators on lobby day about this legislation, issued a formal memorandum in opposition, and sent an action alert to all members asking them to contact the Governor. Unfortunately, our efforts were unsuccessful, as the state-run retirement bill passed in the final days of the legislative session, after a narrow vote in the House and a tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

The bill creates the Connecticut Retirement Security Authority (CRSA), a quasi-state-agency that will establish a retirement program for private-sector employees. The CRSA will be run by a nine-member board, which is appointed by the house, senate, and Governor. The appointments to the board are required to be made by July 31. Once the board has been established, they will create the Connecticut Retirement Security Program, which will contract with financial institutions to oversee the individual Roth IRA’s. The bill authorizes the CRSA to assess administrative fees on the program participants to help defray the costs of the program. Most likely, those fees will not be in addition to the participant’s contribution but just taken out of it.

Not later than January 1, 2018, qualified employers that do not currently offer a retirement program to their employees, must provide notice about the retirement program. The legislation defines a qualified employer as a private sector employer that employs five people or more whom are paid at least $5,000 in wages in the preceding calendar year. The notice to employees about the program must be provided each year.

After 60 days of providing the notice, the employer must enroll each of its employees into the program at either the contribution the employee selects or at least three percent of the employee’s wages. The legislation requires that employees are automatically enrolled in the program by the employer. Employees are eligible for the retirement program after they have worked for a minimum of 120 days and are at least 19 years old. If the employee does not want to be enrolled, they are required to affirmatively opt-out by electing a contribution level of zero. Because the retirement program consists of individual Roth IRA’s, the contributions are after tax, meaning employees should expect at least a three percent reduction in their wages if they do not opt out of the program.

Once the legislation is signed by the Governor and the State establishes the CRSA, NRLA will know exactly what employers need to do to comply and will issue a memorandum to LDAC members. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at aennis@nrla.org or 518.880.6350.

Posted by & filed under Legislative.

The Connecticut legislature passed H. 5237, which would “Ban the Box” on initial employment applications. The Governor has not yet signed the bill, but is expected too. Once the bill is signed, the law will become effective Jan. 1, 2017. Below is a summary of what is included in the law and when employers can ask an applicant about previous criminal convictions.

 

Intent of “Ban the Box”

Legislation concerning “Ban the Box” is a national movement that has gained a lot of momentum. The concept is that there are many qualified applicants that are not being considered for employment due to a past history of criminal convictions. There is a belief that this has become a major barrier to those rehabilitated and released from finding gainful employment and reasserting themselves back into society.

 

On many job applications there is a box that states “please check if you have been convicted of a crime”. H. 5237 and other “Ban the Box” bills seek to remove that question from the initial application only. “Ban the Box” is not meant to stop employers from learning of past criminal convictions or allowing those with past convictions to hide them from employers. The intent is solely to allow a broader picture of the candidate to be formed before the stigma of a past criminal conviction is added to the evaluation process.

 

When Can an Employer Ask About Criminal Convictions?

The bill prohibits employers from asking about the applicant’s prior arrests, criminal charges, or convictions on an initial application unless the employer is required to under state or federal law or the applicant is applying for a position where they must obtain a security bond.

 

If the application contains any question concerning criminal history, there needs to be a notice in clear and conspicuous language that the applicant is not required to disclose their criminal history, including arrests, criminal charges, convictions, or pardons.

 

Furthermore, the portion of the application that contains information regarding the criminal history record can only be made available to members of the personnel department, the person in charge of employment, and the individuals interviewing the applicant.

 

Can an Employer Deny Employment Because of Criminal Convictions?

No employer can deny employment to an applicant solely on the basis that the applicant had a prior arrest, criminal charge or conviction, pardon from conviction, or a certificate of rehabilitation. No employer can discriminate against an employee solely on their criminal history.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact NRLA’s government affairs department at 800.292.6752 or e-mail govtaffairs@nrla.org.

Posted by & filed under Webinar.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

with Matt Gambino

Matt Gambino Training

 

It is no longer enough to give the stock definition of your company, product, or service. Given that

today’s buyer does the lion’s share of research well in advance of meeting with you, you should assume

his or her mind is at least partway made up already.  In this session, you’ll learn surprisingly easy ways to

make meaningful connections and communicate value when the homework’s been done and your

prospect is buying on price.

 

TARGET AUDIENCE & LEVEL: Intermediate/Advanced Content and Sales/Sales Managers

Webinar Information

Posted by & filed under Webinar.

Wednesday, March 22, 2016

with Jason Thacker

Howe Lumber Company, Inc.

 

This session will consider the growing market of home automation technology, how to embrace it, how to control it with devices (smartphones) and most importantly how to sell and support it.

The vendors that are leading the way with this technology are anxious to partner up with independent lumber yards and installation professionals to meet the end user expectations.

  • Where to find products and vendors to partner with that will suit your needs.
  • Starting small and growing business and margins.
  • What connectivity is available within exiting products lines.
  • Training sales people and finding installation options.

 

TARGET AUDIENCE & LEVEL:

Webinar Information

Posted by & filed under Webinar.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

with Matt Gambino

Matt Gambino Training

 

Many salespeople present solutions like it’s an M. Night Shyamalan movie: They save the ‘a-ha!’ moment until the very end, as if we’re sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for the big payoff. This pedestrian approach just doesn’t cut it anymore. Using Matt Gambino’s proven Finish It First™ method as the foundation, this session teaches you how make sales presentations that help your buyers visualize themselves meeting their needs from the very first moment. You’ll see how to capture and hold attention, handle challenging objections, inspire positive participation, and much more. By the end of the session, you will have created your own roadmap for giving a rock-solid, substantive presentation of your company’s product or service.

 

TARGET AUDIENCE & LEVEL: Intermediate/Advanced Content and Sales/Sales Managers

Webinar Information

Posted by & filed under Legislative.

The LDAC Annual lobby day on Thursday, March 31, 2016, at the State House in Hartford, Conn. LDAC’s lobby day is held in conjunction with the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut’s day at the Capitol. This is a great opportunity to advocate for the industry and support your customers – the home builders and remodelers!

 

On behalf of the LDAC legislative committee, I urge you or another representative from your company to attend. Registration and breakfast with the home builders will begin at 7:45 a.m. with issue briefings and appointments to follow. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at aennis@nrla.org or 518.880.6350. We hope to see you in Hartford!

Posted by & filed under Webinar.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016:

with Rick Grandenetti

Succeed Inside The Box

 

Participants will learn crucial steps to altering their organizational culture which will lead to increased customers, increased profits, lower attrition rates and higher profitability.  Participants will also learn how to lead through the culture change in their organization.

 

TARGET AUDIENCE & LEVEL: Managers/Supervisors & Owners

Webinar Information