Volume 48, Issue 2 - March/April 2009

From the Editor

Inspiring Information
Articles Sure to Motivate You 

I was inspired on the morning I wrote this after watching the press conference in which President Obama announced his nominee for Commerce Secretary, Gov. Gary Locke of Washington. Locke is the first Chinese-American governor in U.S. history, and his family’s story gave me pride to be a U.S. citizen. His grandfather had travelled on a steamboat to America more than 100 years ago and, in exchange for English lessons, had worked as a servant in a house roughly one mile from the governor’s mansion. As President Obama told Locke’s story, he said that only in the United States could a story like this happen. He said that, while the economy was hampering some success stories, our country would pull out of this economic turmoil and meanwhile the next entrepreneur and scientist are thinking up new discoveries.

It’s true. Even though many people are hurting financially, there is someone out there thinking up the latest building products invention, just waiting to launch it, find success and live out the American Dream. 

You can read some uplifting content in this issue. Find out what companies made Shelter’s first annual list of the Best Companies to Work With on page 16. These companies don’t just “talk the talk.” They “walk the walk” too.

Also, you can read about how software solutions have made companies more efficient (see page 14). While things are slower at your company, this might be the perfect time to implement that new software system that you have been putting off.

Read, too, about Jack Cortese, president of Bridgewater Wholesalers Inc. (BWI) on page 24, who was named a Pioneer in Millwork. I recently had a heart-to-heart talk with Jack about the market and asked him what articles he thought Shelter readers would find of value (you’ll have to wait for those in upcoming issues). Cortese is very humble and said there are many more deserving individuals to get the Pioneer in Millwork designation, but I can see why he was nominated. 

Here is what he said when asked what inspires him: “Challenges like the current economic conditions. I have been in the construction industry for many years and this downturn may well be the worst yet. Most, if not all, of our team has not seen a downturn like this in their careers. My job allows me to teach and guide while letting them make decisions that will make knowledge useful and beneficial for years to come. It is fun seeing managers learn, function and grow their knowledge of operating a business both in good times and bad.”

Cortese also said that being president of BWI is his dream job.

“This may sound a little funny, but the job I have is my dream job. Ownership, co-workers and customers are the best I have ever worked with. Ownership allows us to grow and manage the business with an eye for future value, not immediate gratification. Our gratification ... our customers, the independent retailers, are amazingly adaptive. Some have been in business for five generations. They have survived downturns and the onslaught of the big-box era. What more could I ask for?”

True words from a truly inspiring distributor. 


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