Under the theme, “Game On! What’s Your Next Move?”, LBM Advantage Executive Vice President, Paul Dean, brought members up-to-date on the co-op’s aggressive business and promotional activities. A key message at this year’s LBM Advantage Annual Meeting & Trade Show focused on the fact that membership in LBM Advantage gives its members “National Buying Power,” a key for independent companies battling much larger regional or national competitors.
“We have record attendance, approaching 1,000, at this year’s annual meeting and buying show. This is our third event since the merger of PAL and ENAP created LBM Advantage, and our first event since the merger with IBSA. There’s a lot of positive buzz among our members about what’s going on with their co-op,” said Tom Molloy, Executive Vice President for Products & Programs.
Dean also announced the co-op’s inaugural NextGen Spring Leadership Conference, to be held May 14-16 in Nashville, featuring intensive business-leadership seminars on management, finance and accounting, operations and technology, marketing and sales, and more.
Dean’s address kicked off an afternoon of seminars, including back-to-back sessions on succession planning—the first on family business succession, and the second on the active Mergers & Acquisitions market.
“Two out of every three family businesses will not make it from the founder to the second generation.” That’s one sobering fact shared by Lee and Terry Resnick of Resnick Associates in their presentation on generational transitions of family businesses. The family-business succession experts emphasized the importance of thorough and timely planning.
John Wagner, Managing Director of 1st West Mergers & Acquisitions, and LBM Journal columnist, shared insights into today’s active environment of buying and selling companies. Historically low interest rates combined with a strong building economy have resulted in a healthy market for both buyers and sellers. “We’re seeing an average multiples of 5.5, a very strong number, which explains why a growing number of companies are exploring this option.”
Kicking off Tuesday’s activities, NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz was the featured Breakfast speaker. Dietz provided an overview of the housing market, including detailed analyses of four key areas: the overall positive impact of tax reform on construction and small business; interest rates trends, forecast to continue rising steadily in 2018 and 2019; supply side issues, especially the growing labor shortage and rising material pricing; and concluded with NAHB’s official forecasts. Overall, Dietz said to look for “really sunny times over the next 10 years.”
Molloy presented Product Vendor of the Year awards to The Tapco Group, Masterbrand Cabinets, Johns Manville and Freud.