Hundreds Gather in Philadelphia for Annual Expo

Wayne, PA – LMC hosted its annual Forest Products & Building Materials Expo from October 24 through the 26th at the Marriott in Center City Philadelphia.  LMC Board of Directors Chairwoman Kyra Bishop enjoys getting to interact with people in person rather than just over the phone or email—and the Expo gives LMC members the opportunity to do that. “The most important part of this event is the face-to-face meetings and the relationships built by hearing the stories of the LMC staff, our vendors, and the individual dealers,” Bishop explained. It affords LMC dealers the chance to get some time with various vendors as well as get in some networking with others in the industry. “I would [come] just for the networking,” said Joe Biewer of Kruse Lumber in Rochester, IN. “You can talk to the vendors one-on-one.”

The event kicked off on Tuesday, October 24, with several executive meetings, including the meeting of the Board of Directors. Wednesday opened up with a forum on the 2018 outlook for the forest products industry. Three speakers—Jim Abbott of LP Building Products, Christian Gilbert of JD Irving Limited, and Wendy Minichiello of Weyerhaeuser—all discussed the upcoming year and gave their insights on what can be expected. “Be bold,” advised Minichiello as she gave her predictions for 2018. She explained that the lumber market will be influenced by a number of factors next year, namely a high demand coupled with supply volatility due to the amount of Canadian lumber that will be available in the US market. One hot topic at the forum was the issue of Millennials and when, or if, they will enter the housing market.  “Look at Millennials and history,” Dr. William Dunkelberg said. “They are still five or more years away from their peak home owner time.” The general consensus throughout the event was that we cannot rely on the actions of generations past when it comes to predicting how and when Millennials will enter the market.

Following the industry forum, LMC Dealers entered the expo floor where they had the opportunity to meet with LMC traders and 100 different vendors.  “We’ve got a great gathering of some of the largest manufacturers and distributors of forest products and building materials in North America,” said Andy Toombs, Senior Vice President of Purchasing at LMC. “We get a lot of things accomplished here and it’s been a great atmosphere.” More than 200 attendees and 100 suppliers energized the room. Events like the Forest Products & Building Materials Expo are proof of the power of the LMC Dealer network when provided a direct line for the best possible deals from the top brands in the industry.

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