I was introduced to NAWLA some 50+ years ago at the age of 12 (please don't do the math!) on a trip to the Banff Springs Hotel in Canada with my father, Bob Boyd. While I wasn't yet involved in the family business, Manufacturers Reserve Supply, it was important to my mother and father that I met some legends in the industry like Jack McMillan from Canfor and Ken Bradley from McDonald Cedar. My father joined NAWLA in 1965 and we have been members ever since.
We're lucky in that our business spans four generations, but I'd be naïve to suggest we could have made it without NAWLA at our side. You see, when you're in a small business, you don't have a lot of resources to pull from when making decisions. Having a network of friends in the industry, however, makes it easy to call on their wisdom for help.
I was fortunate enough to get on the Executive Committee (EC) in 1985 and stayed on until 2001. I had the honor of serving my first years under the great leaders of our industry like Glenn Banks, Banks Lumber; John Weston, Weston Forest; Bill Sheathelm, Shultz, Schneider and Steele; and Henry Poler, Lawrence McCoy. These gentleman, and the entire EC, became mentors to me as I grew in the industry and developed my professionalism. Add to that list, Buddy Klumb, Klumb Forest, who became a close friend and taught me how to maximize our returns.
I am a third generation NAWLA member and fourth generation in our family's business, Manufacturers Reserve Supply. NAWLA was an acronym that I remember from numerous conversations at our dinner table when I was a child. Many of my parents' friends from the industry were friends that they met through NAWLA. If they were going on a trip, there was a good chance it was NAWLA-related.
After earning a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, I decided to join the building material industry working for a wholesaler. After four years of experience with them, I decided to join the family business and the MRS team. Now eight years later, I find great value in the resources that NAWLA has to offer: Leadership Summit, Traders Market, 10 Groups, and I served on the NAWLA Education Foundation Committee. Like many who have come before me have said, "The more you put in to NAWLA the more you will get out of it." I can personally attest to the truth of that statement. NAWLA has helped me build deeper relationships with suppliers and other wholesalers. This group of people over the years has helped shape our company into what it is today, a company founded on ethics and integrity.
I can't urge you enough to get involved, listen, participate, and ask questions to build your network and grow your business. You will get out of it what you put into it.
If you'd like to tell your My NAWLA Story, during our 125th anniversary year, please contact Audrey Sova at firstname.lastname@example.org.