LBM Journal, the leading magazine for lumberyards and building material dealers in the nation, has announced the winners in the annual LBM Journal Dealers of the Year Awards program for 2019.
Howe Lumber, headquartered in East Brookfield, Mass. and an LMC dealer since 2000, is the winner in the category of “Sales of $10 Million to $50 Million.”
“As we reported in our January 2019 issue of LBM Journal, these businesses all exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit,” says Rick Schumacher, editor and publisher of LBM Journal. “The common thread in these companies is their fierce commitment to finding ever better ways to serve their customers and their communities. These three businesses showcase what dedication, innovation and enthusiasm can do for moving a company forward toward success. These companies embrace growth opportunities that truly enhance their businesses.”
The third-generation family-owned business of Howe Lumber has experienced both expansion and recession in its history. Started in 1965, the company employs 44 associates and today is on a path of steady growth of about eight percent annually.
Passionate about strategically advancing the company, husband and wife team Kate and Scott Norrie have implemented quality lumber programs, enhanced kitchen design and millwork specialization, plus a dedication to Lean practices.
The Norries also see the value in developing their own electric power for the company. With 300 solar panels on top of one of the buildings, Howe Lumber is now 100 percent powered by self-generated electricity.
A USDA grant helped offset the installation costs, and Scott Norrie relates that the lumberyard is now making all of the power it needs. A metered system allows for Howe Lumber to generate more electricity on sunny days that it builds up as credits in the grid to help carry it through the winter.
“We’re pretty much electricity neutral,” says Norrie. “We’ve made enough to cover what we’ve used and put into it.” The decision was an easy one, the Norries added. With the desire to become a sustainable company, and the costs of doing so becoming more affordable, it made sense for them to make the step to solar.