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Gordon Lumber Company

150th Anniversary

Gordon Receives 2018 Family Business Achievement Award

Gordon was honored on September 6 at the 2018 Smart Business Family Business Conference.  The 2018 Family Business Achievement Awards recognizes organizations that best demonstrate a strong commitment to both business and family and are engaged in innovative business practices and strategies designed to enhance the family business dynamic.

Pictured below, Pamela Goetsch, Chairman of the Board Gordon Lumber Holdings Company, accepts the award on behalf of the Gordon Lumber Holdings Company.
Smart Business Award Pam

Pictured below, Pamela Goetsch and Dustin S. Klein, Publisher & COO of Smart Business.
Smart Business Award

 

A number of Gordon associates attended the conference. Pictured below from left to right. Mike Kuntz, Dan Tripp, Rhonda Taylor, Erin Leonard, Pamela Goetsch, Andy Fantozz, Jan Cunningham, Larry Schafer, John Coleff.
Smart Business Award Group

 

Enjoying the Roof Top View

Celebrating Gordon's 150 Anniversary pictured below from left to right Andy Fantozz, Brian Magyar, Mike Kuntz, Tom Everett, Tate Maurer, Brandon McKenzie.
Group Picture on Roof Top

Was this a coincidence or was it planned? Red-shirt night? Pictured below enjoying Gordon's 150th Celebration Jerry Sartain, Andrew Schroeder, Brandon McKenzie, Travis Lombardi.
Jerry Andrew Brandon Travis

A View to the Roof Top 

Three levels up you can see "Muddy" the mascot joining in the celebration of Gordon's 150th.  Gordon had the Roof Top all to themselves. 
Roof Top View Like no other


Waiting for the Fireworks Show

Pictured below Gordon Family Fun Night continues - waiting for the fireworks show which was totally awesome! 

Dan Jett and Scott McNutt

 

Celebrating 150 Years

To celebrate Gordon’s 150th, a family fun night was planned for August, 18th
at Fifth Third Field. The event included a Grand Slam Grill buffet, a Toledo Mud Hens game with a rooftop view of the game, followed by fireworks, and a post-game concert featuring “A Hard Day’s Night”, a Beatles cover band.

Game Highlights

"Muddy" the Mud Hens mascot visits the rooftop view.
Pictured below, Reggie Holmes and his family enjoy having their picture taken with "Muddy".

picture with Muddy the mascot

Pictured below from left to right, Bonnie Lotycz, Muddy, and Sharon Bish

picture with Muddy

Enjoying the game with family and friends.
enjoying the game1

watching the game1

Rooftop view of the evening fireworks
fireworks

The evening was topped off with a concert from “A Hard Day’s Night”, a Beatles cover band
Concert

 Surprise Careers in the Building Products Industry

FREMONT, OHIO – During the 150th anniversary year of Gordon Lumber Holdings Company, long-term employees are sharing their insights about growing their careers in the building products industry. The “home grown pride” exhibited by these individuals is just one indicator of why Gordon has been so successful for the past 15 decades.
Started as a small Ohio sawmill outfit in 1868, Gordon now has seven locations --- including home center/lumberyards, a contract/installed sales business and a components manufacturing operation --- servicing 3,500 customers and employing 120 people. 102 of those workers have been with the company for at least 10 years. Another 18 people have dedicated 20 or more years of their lives to helping Gordon grow and succeed.
Summer Jobs Turn into Lifelong Careers
Marc Lovins and Brandon McKenzie were in each other’s weddings. Their families sometimes vacation together. And, both men started at Gordon in 1996 as teenagers.
“We worked together on Brandon’s grandfather’s horse farm as summer jobs in high school,” says Marc Lovins, director of purchasing Brandon Marcat Gordon Lumber Holdings Company. “I started as seasonal help stocking shelves, cleaning and loading customer orders in the Gordon warehouse in Bellevue, Ohio.
“Over the years I’ve advanced to positions with inside sales and then as assistant store manager in Bellevue. We had no idea when we started, but for the past 22 years we’ve both been on career advancement tracks with the company.”
Now in charge of supplier programs, inventory overview and the commodity lumber/panels and building materials ordering for the entire company, Lovins is very clear on what has kept him at Gordon for more than two decades.
“It’s the customers,” says Lovins. “Helping a builder solve a problem or a homeowner create their dream home feels great. I thoroughly enjoy this industry and the people I’ve met along the way.
“I joke that we get our customers what they need, not what they want. With products and trends changing so fast, our customers count on us to keep them ahead in their businesses.”
An Unexpected Career
Brandon Marc1As for Brandon McKenzie, who started by loading/unloading trucks, making deliveries and working on inventory control, accelerated job growth came his way easily at Gordon.
“I’ve been a driver, yard foreman, assistant store manager and now, for the past three years, a general store manager,” says McKenzie, who works at the Huron location. “Originally I was going to school for turf management so I could work on a golf course. I got tired of the seasonal layoffs and applied at Gordon.
“It’s like the blink of the eye and more than 20 years have passed. I’ve enjoyed the advancements and made a career for myself with a company respected in the community. At this point I’d really like to work for Gordon for another 21 years or longer so I can continue advancing my knowledge of the industry and contributing back to the company.”
According to McKenzie, the history of Gordon impresses the dedicated employee. “This business has weathered the Great Depression, two world wars and the 2008 housing crisis,” says McKenzie. “The company has seen location changes, acquisitions, selling off of properties and the addition of a components manufacturing facility. We’ve recently added installed and contract sales. This is a company that never sits still.”

 

Forget Sexy … This Job Has Saw Dust

The overriding theme of caring for customers permeates many of the longest-tenured employees at Gordon. Randy Schiets, whorandy started with the company in 1997 as a yard worker at the Oak Harbor location, has a clear view of the company and its dedicated employees.
“Gordon employees live, work and participate in our local communities,” says Schiets, the general manager for the past eight years at the Port Clinton, Ohio location. “Many of us have grown up in the communities we serve. We genuinely care about our customers and the service we provide.”
After advancing his career by working as a truck driver, inside and outside sales representative, Schiets is now fully committed to the building products industry.
“Anyone who is motivated and dedicated to learn and apply themselves to their craft is likely to advance and make a job into a career,” says Schiets. “The building material industry is constantly changing and evolving. From new products to changing building codes --- every single day should be treated as a learning experience.”
For Schiets, who supervises 10 employees at the Port Clinton store, he sees the company’s growth and attitude toward employees as a primary reason to make his career at Gordon.
“There’s nothing sexy about the building industry,” says Schiets. “But, if you work hard and dedicate yourself this industry can be very rewarding.
“I’ve stayed at Gordon for 21 years because it’s a family-style work environment where you build lifelong relationships. There’s been steady income and bonuses, upward mobility, and the feeling of pride at being part of the overall success of the company.
“I’m now part of the history of Gordon and I’ve created a lasting legacy with my work here. Who could ask for more than this from a career? Especially a career that I stumbled into as a summer job during college!”

Growing with Gordon
For Dale Copley, who has been with Gordon for 28 years, the starting point was different than his co-workers. He had worked at Lin-daleMor Lumber in Lindsey, Ohio for 13 years when Gordon purchased the business in 1990.
“The employees from Lin-Mor were welcomed into the Gordon family like new found relatives,” says Copley. “It was at that time I decided to make Gordon my career choice.”
Copley started as an assistant manager in 1990 of the Lindsey yard and was promoted to branch manager in 1992. After working at the Genoa location twice, he was made general manager of the Fremont location in 2008.
“During my time with Gordon the biggest and hardest change was during the recession,” says Copley. “Hard choices were made to close yards and let people go. That consolidation was needed to keep the company going and prepare us for post-recession growth.
“I’m part of the 150-year history of this company. Every day I see how dedicated our employees are to their careers, customers and the continued growth of our operation. I always try to treat each employee fairly and as a valued asset to the company.
“For me the ‘keeping factor’ has been the love for the company and the many fellow employees with the same feeling toward Gordon. It’s also the reason I believe our company has its strong customer base and will continue to grow. Good people doing good things. We live that motto daily. This is the company I hope to retire from.”
Gordon Lumber Holdings Company currently operates six home center/lumberyards, a contract/installed sales business and a components manufacturing facility in Ohio. Locations include Bellevue, Bowling Green, Findlay, Fremont, Genoa, Huron and Port Clinton. The corporate offices are in Fremont.

 

150 Years of Success: The Secret to Employee Retention at Gordon Lumber Holdings Company
FREMONT, OHIO – During the past 150 years, hundreds of people have worked at Gordon Lumber Holdings Company. From the early sawmill men in the 1800s to the skilled people employed by the company today, many have made lifelong careers with the company.
According to Erin Leonard, President of Gordon Lumber Holdings Company, turnover is low at the company’s lumber yards. Thanks toerin genoa1 training and advancement programs, most employees stay at the company for decades.
“The back bone of our company is key people in key positions who got there by starting at the bottom and learning on the way up,” says Leonard. “We try to ensure that every employee has the same opportunity available to advance his or her career.”

Dedication to Training
To assure that staffing retention stays a key focus at the company’s six home center/lumberyards, component manufacturing facility and contract/installed sales business, Gordon offers a comprehensive Assistant Manager Training Program and has plans to roll out a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) training program. The company also offers tuition reimbursement to employees using outside sources to help them earn their CDL B or CDL A driver’s license. Additionally, the company has historically offered training opportunities to designers in its components business.
tate dan genoa“There are many situations in our company where people started with part time work in the yard, learned from good managers and eventually earn a management position,” says Leonard. “That’s a good history, but we want the future to be better.
“We plan to expand our training into every job class within the next few years. The goal is to have a full line of training, from the simplest job in a yard to a full-fledged store manager.
“We are trying to ensure that all employees have the same opportunity available to them to advance their careers. We make employee retention a daily priority at Gordon.”
Advice to Today’s Workforce

The largest concern Leonard harbors regarding the workforce is the loss of a generation during the recession in 2007 to 2012.
“In our industry there is a bubble of baby boomers who are starting to retire without much in the way of trained employees behind them to take over when they leave,” says Leonard. “Wrongly, our industry will never be seen as the sexiest industry to build a career. That stigma has kept younger people out of our workforce.
“The reality is this industry has arguably the most upward career mobility available of any industry. There are not many industries lefterin genoa2 where you can start in the yard or on the counter and make your way to the top.”
According to Leonard, the need for outside sales staff and managers is going to accelerate in the next few years, along with counter sales people, yard staff, drivers and clerks.
“My advice to young people looking to join Gordon or any of our competitors is that they’re only limited by their personal effort,” says Leonard. “The sky is the limit if people have curiosity and motivation. The jobs are here. The training is here. The compensation is here. Younger people should get in this industry, stay motivated and watch their career take off!”
Gordon Lumber Holdings Company currently operates six home center/lumberyards, a contract/installed sales business and a components manufacturing facility in Ohio. Locations include Bellevue, Bowling Green, Findlay, Fremont, Genoa, Huron and Port Clinton. The corporate offices are in Fremont. For information, visit www.gordonlumber.com.

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