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FROM THE EDITOR Acceptance Speech 101: Five easy steps to post- dinner podium prowess Ken Clark Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Kennedy and Eric Ziedrich, respective representatives of the 2016 Pro Dealer of the Year and Independent Pro Dealer of the Year awards, took to the podium during the ProDealer Indus- try Summit in Charleston, S.C., and hit all the right notes. Here are the five easy steps to their podium prowess, and a guide for any- one in a similar position: 1. Thank everyone This means the sponsor, Weyerhae- user, organizers at the NLBMDA and HBSDealer; co-workers who make it happen back home; and families for their support. Check, check, check, check and check. 2. Exercise humility Ziedrich, president of three-unit Healdsburg Lumber Company, referred to the first contact with the award orga- nizers. Was somebody putting him on, he thought? “I thought, ‘We’re good, but we’re not great,’” Ziedrich said from the podium. “But upon reflection, I think the one thing in our heart is that we’re never satisfied with what we are or what we do, we’re always striving to better our performance for the industry.” 8 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY HBS DEALER 3. Share an amusing story Kennedy is a 19-year company vet- eran, president and general manager of 34-unit T.H. Rogers Lumber Co., based in Oklahoma. He’s the great grandson of T.H. Rogers himself. But he wasn’t always enamored of the LBM industry. “I grew up not knowing what I wanted to do, but I knew I didn’t want to work for the lumberyard,” he shared. “They put me to work in the warehouse when I was 15. And I was playing baseball, and the deal was if I made the all star team, I would have to travel and I could quit six weeks early. I was running down foul balls, I was diving head first into first base, and I made the team. And I was very happy about that.” 4. Offer heartfelt advice Ziedrich explained the difference between ego-centric growth — striving to the biggest — and customer-centric growth: “So everything we do today is customer-centric growth. Before we make any decisions, we strive to weigh in if its better for our customer or not. And if it’s not better for our customer than we hunker down and steady the ship, and we don’t move ahead unless our existing customers are rewarded by the decisions that we make. “So, that’s worked for 145 years, we’re probably going to keep doing it.” 5. Celebrate the industry Kennedy switched from banking to building materials. How’s this for a com- parison: “I’ve been with our company in this industry for 19 years, and I’m still called the new guy. Like a lot of you, we have employees who have been around for 20, 30 and 40 years. It’s just a unique group of people. They are hard working and they’re honest and they have great attitudes. And I can tell you, coming out of banking, it’s not like that everywhere.” All that’s left is to say is, “good night.” Textbook. Hardware + Building Supply Dealer A LEBHAR-FRIEDMAN ® PUBLICATION 150 W. 30th St., New York, N.Y. 10001 EDITORIAL OFFICES Headquarters 150 W. 30th St., New York, N.Y. 10001 Ken Clark, (212-756-5139) — Steph Koyfman, (212-756-5244) — Zachary Wiley, (212-756-5140) Editorial Inquiries: ADVERTISING SALES/PRODUCTION Midwest & Southeastern States Amy Platter, (773-294-8598) Northeast and Great Lakes States Greg Cole, (317-775-2206) Jim Lynch, (212-756-5059) Linda Moi, (212-756-5262) Home Improvement Research Institute Pam Heidel Elizabeth Nicholas Christina Sacher-Brown Spain LEBHAR-FRIEDMAN, INC. Arnold D. Friedman J. Roger Friedman Randall Friedman Mike Sogan John Kenlon Hardware + Building Supply Dealer, Drug Store News, Chain Store Age. Circulation List Manager: Permissions: connect with us NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 HARDWARE + BUILDING SUPPLY DEALER Hardware + Building Supply Dealer