Posted by & filed under Lumber Person of the Year.

Margaret Price is used to competing with men as equals. As the owner of Ridgefield Supply Company in Ridgefield, Connecticut, she sits in the boss’ chair every day in a male-dominated industry. Outside of work, she’s a competitive equestrian, a sport in which men and women compete directly on the same field of play. She’s found success in both the lumber yard and the stables: in addition to being chosen at LDAC Lumber Person of the Year, she was the subject of a feature story in Sidelines, an equestrian magazine, in September of this year.

The Lumber Person of the Year award is something of a family legacy for Margaret. Her father, Louis Price, was awarded the very same honor in 1999. Ridgefield Supply is also a family legacy. She purchased the company from her father in 2011, the third generation of her family to own it, and the sixth generation of ownership in the company’s history, which stretches back to 1883.

“I was always involved in the business with my mom and dad as a child and teenager,” she recalls. “Usually I was ‘child labor’ when we did our physical inventory or did data entry when needed.”

She eventually went on to Wheaton College, where she received a degree in political science and international relations, and considered law school while working as a paralegal in New York City. However, a lesson from her days of data entry at mom and dad’s store came back to her and set her on a different path. “I learned at a young age I wanted nothing to do with administrative work,” she says. “I returned after a very brief stay in New York to work full-time for my dad. I quickly realized the values my dad taught me in life and in business were not quite the same in a major New York law firm. I knew it was not a fit for me.”

As for the family business, “I truly fell in love with the industry and the people I met along the way,” Margaret says. That’s where she’s been ever since, and she quickly emerged as a young leader who doesn’t shy away from a challenge, whether it’s broadening her education or revamping the business for changing times.

Professional growth is something Margaret has pursued throughout her career, often looking beyond the family lumber yard for opportunities. “My dad allowed me to spend time working for Kleer Lumber, both as a road warrior and successfully achieving their SCS Certification for Recycled Content,” she remembers. “It was a wonderful introduction into manufacturing and distribution channels.” She also became an NRLA Certified Building Materials Specialist in 2003.

Despite her long family history in the lumber industry, Margaret remains focused on what lies ahead. During the downturn in the housing market, she saw an opportunity to modernize the lumber yard, so as to be ahead of the game when the market looked up again. She sees more change on the horizon. “We cannot be blind to the future of our industry,” she says. “I strongly believe that we are going to see more change that will be technology-driven rather than relationship-driven.”

A few years after Margaret took the reins at Ridgefield Supply, she also decided to get back in the saddle. She had ridden horses competitively throughout her youth, but stopped after college. In 2015, after more than 15 years out of the sport, she returned to training and competing with two horses, Ciao and RF Smoking Gun.

“My horses motivated me professionally in business to be successful so I could pay for it,” she told Sidelines magazine. “It was just something I needed to do in order to balance my life.”

Margaret exemplifies the next generation of leadership for this industry. She was involved with NYLE for many years and was chosen as NRHA Young Retailer of the Year in 2004 and one of ProSales’ Four Under 40 in 2015. She also works hard to support and help develop her colleagues

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

LDAC & LBMDF are proud to offer Nationally Accredited Crane Certification training, including written/online and practical exams, as well as license preparation training. One written/online exam covers Boom Truck and Knuckle Boom. Take the practical exam that is relevant to what you operate.  The training will be held at Huttig Building Products, 407 Alumni Rd., Newington, CT from 8 A.M. to 4 p.m.

 

Date:

September 24, 25 & 26 – Form must be received no later than September 3.

 

We are currently scheduling these classes in 12 states.   If we don’t achieve the minimum class size required by the trainer; classes will be reassigned to another state/location.

 

3 Day Training Includes Written and Practical Exam

Training: Days 1 & 2

  • Classroom training (including power points and videos)

Written Exam: Day 3

  • One Exam

Practical Exam: Day 3

  • Articulating Boom
  • Boom Truck
  • Practical to be taken on either a Boom Truck or Knuckle Boom

 

Please review the Crane Rule Update attached.  This new rule goes into effect this November. 

 

The maximum per class is 12 attendees! 

 

Please return the attached LDAC Crane Registration Form and Crane Registration Release Form Practical Application to Pamela McHale.

LDAC Crane Registration Form fillable

CraneRuleUpdate5818

Crane Registration Release Form & Practical Application

Posted by & filed under Legislative.

 

State News:

The Connecticut General Assembly continues to work towards its May 9th adjournment with little progress made. Partisan politics have run rampant with the impending elections and much time has been spent jockeying for position. This was very evident with the Democrats failed attempt to approve former State Senator, and now Supreme Court Justice, Andrew McDonald as Chief Justice to the Connecticut Supreme Court. Republicans and a handful of Democrats blocked the nomination citing McDonald’s activism and attempts to legislate from the bench. Democrats have vowed to make the failed appointment an election issue, and the opposition between the two parties leaves us wondering if they will be able to work cooperatively to close the deficit of $200 million dollars for this fiscal year? Time is short and a lot is on the line for businesses and citizens alike.

Issues Update:

Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth

Last session the legislature established a Commission of Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth tasked with recommending policies to achieve fiscal stability and promote economic growth and competitiveness. Private citizens and CEO’s or former CEO’s of major corporations participated and complied recommendations to address the state’s shrinking economy, lack of competitiveness in the tax and business climates, transportation, and the vitality cities. They noted that Conn. is in a “quiet crisis” facing ongoing budget deficits of $2-3 billion in FY 2020 and beyond, growing by $500 million per year!

Their recommendations have been hotly debated and will make their way to the election trail: – Enact a revenue neutral re-balancing of state taxes that reduces income taxes in every bracket, selectively raises taxes on business, raises the state sales tax by less than 1% and cuts exemptions and exclusions from all taxes by 14%.

  • Raise the gas tax to fund transportation projects and plan for implementation of tolls.
  • Create a joint budget committee with power to set limits on revenues and expenses.- Have the legislature assume responsibility to determine state employee fringe benefits by removing collective bargaining for new contracts.
  • Raise the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.
  • Develop and implement a plan to cut $1 billion out of annual operating expenses.
  • Reform teacher’s retirement system to lower costs and make it sustainable.
  • Undertake a series of growth initiatives to develop and retain the workforce Conn. needs, support the growth of the highest potential economic sectors and transform the business environment for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Each of the recommendations are controversial in their own right and have multiple factions for and against them. The legislature will need to enact a host of measures to turn the state around.

Events:

Register today for LDAC’s annual legislative reception on Wednesday, April 18 at 5 p.m. at the State House in Hartford, Conn. We are expecting more than 100 legislators in attendance and need your support!  The event is free, but registration is required. If you are interested in attending, please contact Ashley Ranslow.

Questions?

Please contact Ashley Ranslow, Manager of Government Affairs at 800-292-6752 or aranslow@nrla.org.

 

Posted by & filed under Legislative.

State News:
The short session is plagued by a $240 million dollar budget deficit that will consume most of the rhetoric until the General Assembly adjourns in May. Currently the Senate is tied 18-18, and Democrats hold the majority by only 5 seats in the House of Representatives. The Governor is a “lame duck” with the most dismal approval rating he has ever seen with residents and members of the General Assembly. Legislators are trying to figure out how to distance themselves from Malloy and win in November. There are currently 25 candidates vying for Governorship as well as many candidates for the other Constitutional offices that are also up for election. With the impending election on everyone’s mind, partisan politics and maneuvering is at its ultimate height. The Labor Committee has become a hot bed and the committee has even had trouble raising bills on subjects which are usually not debated. Because of this, we are seeing labor bills pop up in other committees.
The Governor presented a budget adjustment plan that sliced services and proposed new tax increases such as tolls, cigarette tax, and bottle deposit fees. Many are skeptical of his plan and doubt that it will be entertained.
Issues Update:
Paid Family and Medical Leave
The bill has resurfaced and dramatically expands existing laws to apply to even the smallest businesses. Employees would be able to deduct a certain portion of their pay, to be invested by the State, and paid out while on leave. In addition, it requires small businesses to continue to provide expensive non-wage benefits to an employee that is absent for up to 3 months each year.
Paid Sick Leave
This issue has come up again and expands the paid sick requirement to all businesses with 20 or more employees and unpaid sick leave to all businesses with less than 20 employees. The current law only applies to businesses with 50 employees or more.
Sexual Harassment
In light of all the sexual harassment issues across the nation, the House and Senate Democrats proposed requiring businesses with 3 or more employees to provide harassment training every 5 years. Estimates show this could cost employers in excess of $130 million dollars every five years. Currently training is only mandated for supervisors at businesses with 50 or more employees.
Several other familiar bill concepts have been raised, but language has not be released. They include Minimum Wage increase, Predictive Scheduling, and Low Wage Worker.
Events:
Register today for LDAC’s annual legislative reception on Wednesday, April 18 at 5 p.m. the State House in Hartford, Conn. We are expecting more than 100 legislators in attendance and need your support! The event is free, but registration is required. If you are interested in attending, please contact Ashley Ranslow.
Take Action!
Sign up to be an NRLA Advocate by texting the word “NRLA” to 52886
It’s quick and easy, and will let you reach your legislators through email, phone, or social media with just a few simple clicks.
Did You Know?
The lumber and building materials industry employs more than 36,000 people in Conn. Questions?
Please contact Ashley Ranslow, Manager of Government Affairs
at 800-292-6752 or aranslow@nrla.org.

Posted by & filed under Events.

Bus Trip to LBM EXPO ’18
Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018
Rhode Island Convention Center
Providence, R.I.

ITINERARY
Pick-up #1 – 7 a.m. departure from East Hartford Park & Ride
(Route 5 @ Main Street/Rt. 15 exit 30)
Pick-up #2 – 8:10 a.m. at Devine Street Park & Ride in North Haven

Attendees will arrive at the convention center in Providence at 10 a.m.
with plenty of time to explore the show floor and
attend education sessions with lunch included.

Attendees are invited to attend beer hour
before boarding the bus at 4:45 p.m.
Bus will return to North Haven at 6:50 p.m. and make final drop off at
East Hartford Park & Ride at 7:45 p.m.

Cost is $25 per person
The package is worth $105!

Lunch at education session is included in the price.
Other meals are on your own.

Download the registration:

LDAC Bus Trip 18

LIMITED TICKETS! REGISTRATION DEADLINE:
JANUARY 9, 2018

Your reservation is secured ONLY when payment is received

Questions? Please contact
Monica Musser-Racicot

Posted by & filed under Sponsorship.

The Lumber Dealers of Connecticut (LDAC) would like to thank its 2017 Sponsors. We would not be able to offer education, accomplish legislative efforts, or award scholarships without your financial contributions. Your contributions are appreciated to support the following:

  • Education in Connecticut in 2018: LDAC has partnered with NRLA in offering several in-person educational events. For a complete listing of education events, please visit nrla.org.
  • Three education scholarships awarded in 2018 for $2,000 each.
  • The LDAC Legislative Committee and members have been educating policymakers in Hartford. Each spring, members meet with legislators to discuss issues relevant to the industry.
  • We defeated the Product Warranty bill last season. The proposed legislation would have required all roofing, window and siding manufacturers to cover all labor and replacement costs in their product warranties. We will continue to watch for harmful language.
  • This past spring, LDAC sponsored four members to attend the NLBMDA Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. to discuss issues such as product liability reform.
  • LDAC hosts a Past Presidents Dinner each year to honor our past leaders for their support of this association.
  • A quarterly newsletter is published for the LDAC membership.
  • LDAC has and maintains a website: ctlumberdealers.org
  • LDAC is sponsoring a bus trip to LBM Expo on Feb. 14, 2018. Visit LDAC’s website for additional information.
  • We support the youth of our industry by actively partnering with NYLE and supporting their events with subsidies. This past year, we offered subsidies to the NYLE Spring Conference and Timber Tour.
  • LDAC contributes annually to the LBMDF LIFT Fund.

 

In 2018, LDAC is offering members one free Online Learning Management System (LMS) Subscription or $269 toward their total online course order.

 

This year we will be hosting two networking events: Golf Tournament at Oxford Greens in Oxford on June 6, 2018, and the Annual Meeting on November 7, 2018, at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville.

 

Download the 2018 LDAC Sponsorship Level Form. If you are currently a Bronze or Silver sponsor, please consider an upgrade. Your commitment to the industry association is vital to maintaining the highest level of service and recognition that you expect and deserve. On behalf of the entire LDAC, thank you for your generous support, past, present, and future. If you have questions please contact me at (203) 438-2626 or bmccrary@ridgefieldsupply.com. We look forward to working with you this year!

Posted by & filed under Lumber Person of the Year.

LDAC Lumber Person of the Year: Ray Bergeron, Eastford Building Supply

Though he’s Connecticut’s Lumber Person of the Year, Ray Bergeron is originally a Rhode Islander, and his career can be traced in fittingly Rhode Island terms: his long and winding path through the lumber industry began “where the Grossman’s used to be.” He started at the hardware chain in 1970 on the recommendation of his brother and eventually worked in four different branches.

In time, Grossman’s became Bargain Outlet and all the stores Bergeron worked for, save for the Warwick location, are gone, but Bergeron is still in the business – and thriving. “The core of the Grossman business was about 70% contractor and 30% retail,” he recalls. “As time went on and they changed hands, they started getting away from the contractor business and tried to compete with the warehouse stores. In 1985, I decided to take the leap into the wholesale side.”

That led to an outside sales position with Prudential Building Supply. He stayed on the road covering two different territories until 1998, when he became manager of the Dedham, Massachusetts branch.

Another change in the industry led to the next turn in Bergeron’s career when Prime Source bought out Prudential in 2000. “Knowing it was not a good fit for me, I decided I would not stay,” he explains. After a brief stint with another wholesaler that ended “due to a different customer sales philosophy,” Bergeron finally arrived in Connecticut, helping to open the state’s market for Sean Lorden and Rafferty Wholesale Building Materials. “Sean runs a great company and knows how to take care of customers,” Bergeron enthuses.

It was in 1993, however, that Bergeron first made the connection that would come to define his career. That’s when he started calling on Eastford Building Supply and its owner, Jack Hopkins. Hopkins had been running the business since he bought it in 1960. When his retail manager retired, he looked to Bergeron as a potential replacement – sweetening the pot by mentioning that he was also looking for someone to take EBS off his hands.

“I told him I did not have the finances to buy the business, but I would manage it for him because I enjoyed doing it,” Bergeron says. “The first thing I noticed about EBS was that people were different in this very rural town. People genuinely care about the work they do and also about each other – kind of a different world.”

Finally, in 2005, Hopkins found a broker out of Florida who put together a financing package that made it possible for Bergeron to purchase Eastford Building Supply. “I’ve been there ever since and I’m enjoying it,” he says.

Bergeron still gives credit to Hopkins, who was himself LDAC’s Lumber Person of the Year in 1990, for Eastford’s continued success. “His philosophy of carrying only quality products and not falling for lower price/lesser quality made the business grow, with many custom builders who continue to be loyal to us today,” he notes. Two of Bergeron’s sons even work there now. (The third is a police officer in Rhode Island.)

The roots of Bergeron’s work ethic and integrity can be found throughout his personal life. His parents, like so many residents of his hometown of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, emigrated from Canada to the US, where his father worked in textiles. Bergeron joined the Marines after high school and served in Vietnam on a mine and booby trap platoon. He first met his wife Linda through his local parish, where he was president of the church youth organization; they married on Valentine’s Day in 1971 and have been together ever since.

In his spare time, which is admittedly limited (“Twelve-hour days do not leave much time for outside activity,” he says), Bergeron has been heavily involved in his sons’ Little League, serving as treasurer, player agent, president, and umpire in chief over the course of 20 years. “I continued umpiring for 10 years after the boys stopped playing,” he notes. No wonder why he was voted into the East Woonsocket Little League Hall of Fame.

Bergeron is the LDAC Lumber Person of the Year because of his commitment to his customers and employees. “The people who work for us at EBS are what makes our company so successful,” he says. “They all care not only about each other, but about the customer, who knows they are number one with us.”

Posted by & filed under Scholarship.

Congratulations to our 2017 Scholarship Winners:

Ashley Baldino
Sponsored by Boston Cedar
Attending University of Tampa

James O’Connor
Sponsored by Andersen Windows & Doors
Attending Georgia Institute of Technology

Robin Rockwell
Sponsored by Ring’s End
Western Connecticut State University

Posted by & filed under Legislative.

Great news! On Friday, July 7, Governor Malloy vetoed S.B. 821, legislation affecting window, roofing, and siding warranties. This is a huge victory for the Lumber Dealers Association of Connecticut and the entire lumber and building materials industry.

LDAC strongly opposed S.B. 821 since its introduction. The legislation would have been overly burdensome for manufacturers of windows, roofing, and siding, and would have had serious repercussions for the independent building material dealers in Connecticut.

LDAC recruited other industry organizations to assist in the effort to defeat this bill during the legislative session, but it was passed by a mere 10 votes in the House on the final day of the session. LDAC and industry partners quickly regrouped to request that the Governor veto this legislation. With more than 40 letters submitted to the Governor, he released a veto message, which is provided below.

The Governor typically only vetoes a handful of bills each year, while signing hundreds of others into law. This illustrates just how great of an accomplishment this is for the lumber and building materials industry, LDAC, and its membership.

At this time, it is unclear whether or not the bill sponsor will seek a legislative override of the Governor’s veto. The bill would need to pass both the Senate and House by a two-thirds majority to override the veto. LDAC will continue to closely monitor the issue and will notify the membership about any final actions on this legislation.

On behalf of the LDAC legislative committee, I thank you for all of the letters signed, e-mails sent, and phone calls made to legislators and the Governor over the last couple of months. I truly appreciate all of the time you took out of your busy schedules to be a strong voice for this industry. This legislation would not have been vetoed if it weren’t for the advocacy efforts of LDAC’s membership – you all should be proud!

 

Please stay tuned for more details, and congratulations on this history-making victory! If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at aranslow@nrla.org or 518-880-6350.

Posted by & filed under Legislative.

The following report is from Lumber Dealers Association of Connecticut (LDAC) lobbyist, Carrie Rand-Anastasiades of Nome Associates, and NRLA Manager of Government Affairs, Ashley Ranslow.

The Conn. General Assembly finished their regular business June 7, but failed to find a way to close the $5-billion-dollar budget deficit the State will face for the next biennium. Lawmakers will now have to spend the summer in special session until they can come to agreement on a proposal to do so. Much infighting has occurred. Both the Governor and House of Representatives proposed alternative or mini budgets. The Governor’s was predicated on cuts while the House of Representatives’ proposal included tax increases. Governor Malloy has stated that he does not want a budget that leads with revenue. As none of the parties could agree before the June 30 deadline, a new fiscal year, the Governor is forced to operate under Executive Order to keep the State running. Executive order also allows the Governor to make cuts under certain parameters.

House Democrats state that they will pass their budget on July 18, the day after the votes on the labor concession deal are finalized. With the close numbers in the House and Senate, doubt remains if a budget can be passed by that date, leaving the State in limbo.

The LDAC had a very successful session in terms of labor legislation. The large Republican gains in the House and Senate helped to thwart all adverse measures such as increases in the minimum wage, paid sick leave, paid family medical leave and predictive scheduling. It is noteworthy, that this is the first time in fifteen years that a minimum wage increase is NOT on the books. We know that most of these proposals will return next year, as lawmakers head to an election cycle. We will keep working with the Republican and moderate Democrat base throughout the summer and fall to solidify support against these measure in the next legislative session.

The one outstanding issue LDAC is still working on is SB 821, an act concerning Roofing, Window and Siding Consumer Warranties and Post Sale Warranty Work Reimbursement for Power Equipment. This bill requires manufacturers of windows, roofing and siding to pay any claim within 30 days for both materials and labor. LDAC members mounted a huge grassroots campaign within a short time frame, sending emails and making calls to leadership and members of the House of Representatives against this bill. Unfortunately, SB 821 passed narrowly (by only 10 votes) on the last night of session, during the final hour.

Because this bill is so onerous, the LDAC and Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) have asked Governor Malloy to veto the measure. Members once again have written numerous letter to Governor Malloy making this request. They have also contacted members of the legislature to intervene and request a veto as well. Many of the legislators have done this on their behalf. Joe Cecarelli, Ashley Ranslow, and Carrie Rand-Anastasiades have met with the Governor’s staff to explain why he should veto the bill as well. The Governor has until July 7 to make a decision if the bill will become law. LDAC and members have truly left no stone unturned in this process. Although the Governor only vetoes 6-8 bills per year, we feel we have made as strong a case as possible and are hopeful that this will be one of them