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Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

March  2005                                Volume 44,  Issue 2

     In the News
         

COMPANY NEWS

Holston Employees Complete ESOP

Tom Kern, chief executive officer of Kingston, Tenn.-based Holston Builders Supply Inc., announced that employees recently completed an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) of the company on December 8, 2004, joining the list of companies whose employees are the stockholders. 

With the completion of this transaction, employees received 30 percent ownership of the company and will operate through a trust to which the company sells part or all of its stock. The employees are the beneficiaries of the trust and also received a restructured long-term retirement benefit package.

“What better way for us to reward our employees?” the board of directors agreed.

According to Mike Roberts, vice chairperson, “As the future of the employees and the company was considered, it seemed that the right thing to do was to give this opportunity to the people who have made the company a success in the building industry. Without the hard work, dedication and fortitude of the employees, Holston Builders Supply could have never reached this milestone.” 

It is the board of directors’ intent that the company will eventually become 100-percent employee owned.

Russ Barnes, manager of sales and marketing for Holston, feels this new ownership will encourage the employees to work more effectively to help the company be more profitable and to remain strong in the current marketplace. He stated, “By taking this step, our tradition of ‘Service & Quality’ will be carried on by the future generations of employees.”
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Manufacturers Donate Products to TV Show
ABC’s popular home improvement television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition featured products manufactured and donated by Georgia Pacific and by Pella Corp. in a segment that aired on Sunday, January 23, 2005. During the 2004–2005 season, Pella donated products to three families featured on the national series, which provides free complete home renovations for families with special needs. 

Two of Georgia Pacific Gypsum’s products—DensArmor™ Plus interior wall panels and DensShield® tile backer—were also featured in the same episode. 
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Simonton Windows Completes Move of Vacaville Facility 
Simonton Windows of Parkersburg, W.Va., recently completed a move into a larger California facility. The new facility, located in the Royal Cathay Distribution Center in Vacaville, Calif., is just two miles from its former site. In this new facility, Simonton will occupy approximately 195,000 square feet of space, with 175,000 square feet dedicated to manufacturing, distribution and warehousing and the remaining 20,000 square feet allotted for office space. The previous plant afforded the company 111,000 square feet spread over two buildings. 

“We’re making this move for two reasons—to get all of our operations under one roof and to ensure that our operations are in a facility that will allow us to grow,” said Tom Riscili, general manager of the Vacaville facility. 
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SAFETY
OSHA Launches Safety Website
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a website containing information and tips specifically related to safety and health for workers in the residential construction industry. The website was created with guidance and assistance from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

OSHA’s Residential Construction Safety and Health website features information about OSHA standards that apply to residential construction as well as the hazards present in residential construction and solutions available to the industry.

The website also features detailed information and links to OSHA enforcement and training information, including interpretation and compliance letters; OSHA inspections; OSHA Training Institute (OTI) and NAHB training information; and OSHA compliance information and safety publications available online.

To visit the OSHA Residential Construction Safety and Health website, go to www.osha.gov/SLTC/residential/index.html.

MEDIA
Friedman Corp. Named in Software 500
Software Magazine has included Freidman Corp. of Deerfield, Ill., in its annual Software 500 list. The listing was featured in the magazine’s September 2004 issue and Friedman was ranked number 309. 

“We’re pleased to be recognized by Software Magazine,” said Craig Yamauchi, president and chief executive officer of Friedman. “Friedman’s Frontier powers operational innovation initiatives of leading small to medium enterprises and our inclusion in this year’s Software 500 is further confirmation of Friedman’s forward-thinking technologies and solutions. We remain passionately committed to delivering the best customer experience in the enterprise solutions for dimensional manufacturers.”

A complete list of this year’s Software 500 ranking can be found at www.softwaremag.com.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Style Solutions™ Inc. Purchases Fypon®
On November 12, 2004, owners of Style Solutions Inc. purchased Fypon Ltd.
Effective February 22, 2005, the two companies were combined to form the new Fypon. New logo identification and marketing materials were introduced for the company at the 2005 International Builders’ Show in January.

Interior and exterior molded millwork product categories offered by the new Fypon include polyurethane entrance and window trim, mouldings and decorative millwork, balustrade systems, columns and posts, louvers and eave vents. Fiberglass columns and PVC foamboard are also available.
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ODL Acquires British Doorlite Company
ODL Inc., a Zeeland, Mich.-based manufacturer of doorglass units and other products, has acquired Viewlite International Ltd., of Bootle, England. The purchase was completed on January 7, 2005, for an undisclosed amount. 

Viewlite, which was founded in 1994, began as a doorframe importer into the United Kingdom from Rymarc Co. in Tennessee. Viewlite now offers a wide range of engineered resin cassettes in the UK, according to Alan Cook, managing director, Viewlite. 

Cook, who has agreed to lead the new ODL/Viewlite Ltd. Co., added that the acquisition should not affect Viewlite’s employees. “In fact, we expect the company to benefit greatly from ODL’s product innovation and enormous resources, while we continue to maintain a strong commitment to our current customers,” said Cook. 

According to Paul Meeuwsen, ODL senior vice president, its current distribution center in Skelmersdale, England will be merged into the Bootle location late this year.
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EXPANSIONS
Republic Opens New Philadelphia Facility
In response to increasing demand for its integrated window manufacturing and installation services, Chicago-based Republic Windows and Doors has announced the opening of its new warehouse facility in Philadelphia. According to a company news release, the new facility was designed to serve the growing number of window dealers and remodelers in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Western New Jersey and Northern Maryland who buy from distributors but are looking for added services and product options. The Philadelphia facility will offer a full line-up of Republic direct products, including the Classic II, Allure, Ramguard and Builder series lines. 

In addition to its extensive product and options offerings, Republic is also providing window installation services through its Installation Express division.
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Ultrafab and Collins Toker Announce Stocking Agreement
Ultrafab Inc., based in Farmington, N.Y., and Collins Toker Agencies Ltd. of Winnipeg, Manitoba, have jointly announced a stocking distribution agreement between the two companies, expanding on a business relationship of more than ten years. 

Under the agreement, Collins Toker Agencies will stock, sell and distribute Ultrafab’s pile weatherseal products to window and door manufacturers in the Western Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Collins Toker Agencies will continue to act as manufacturers’ representatives of a variety of non-pile weatherseal products for window and door manufactures.

Under this new agreement Collins Toker Agencies will stock Ultrafab’s pile weatherseals locally, reducing lead-times and freight costs for customers in Western Canada and offer quality service. 
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Carter Lumber Adds Panel Plant
Akron, Ohio-based Carter Lumber recently opened a wall-panel plant in Salem, Ohio. This is the third Woodcraft Center for Carter Lumber and it will specialize in constructing prefabricated wall-panel units. 

“Builders are looking for ways to reduce man-hours and capital investment. By adding this new panel plant, Carter Lumber has increased our capability to better serve contractors while helping them to increase the profitability of their businesses,” said David McCafferty, vice president of marketing.
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