A Chillicothe business was recently honored as the top independent lumber and buildings material dealers in the country.
Pat Thorne Lumber received the Independent Pro Dealer of the Year award during the ProDealer Industry Summit. The three-day event, held Oct. 25-25 in Nashville, Tenn., was sponsored jointly by Home Channel News and the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. According to a news release published by HCN last week, the title of “Independent Pro Dealer of the Year” is awarded to a small, independent pro dealer that reflects the values of the lumber industry — customer service, community involvement and business best practices.
Co-Owner Pat Thorne said he had no idea that his business was even nominated for the award, but is thankful for the honor.
“It’s something we never expected,” Pat said. “There’s approximately 7,500 independent lumber dealers in the U.S. To be picked out of that, I never dreamed of that. It’s the nicest honor that’s ever happened to me in business. We didn’t even know we were on the radar for that until they called and said ‘You’ve been chosen.’”
Co-Owner Susan Thorne said the award goes far beyond the ownership. She credited the success of Pat Thorne Lumber to its employees, customers and vendors.
“We have three lumber yards, and we’re all pretty much a family,” Susan explained. “A lot of our employees have worked for us for many, many years. It’s not just about Pat and I, it’s about all of us collectively doing this job together. This also has a lot to do with our customers and our suppliers also.”
The Thornes opened their first location in Chillicothe 25 years ago. The Cameron store opened in 1996, and the Plattsburg site was purchased in 2008. Pat echoed Susan’s sentiments stating the employees, suppliers, customers and communities that support Pat Thorne Lumber all own a piece of the prestigious award.
“We’re certainly very proud and very happy,” Pat said. “I think our employees are proud of the fact, too. We told them immediately that they have just as big a part of this as we do. We really want to thank our communities, as well. We know they’re a big part of this, too. You take the employees, customers, communities and vendors; Without them, we wouldn’t be.”
Next week, Pat and Susan will travel to Branson, Mo., for a four-day roundtable meeting of lumber and building materials dealers from Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas. The event is sponsored by the Mid-America Lumberman’s Association, of which Pat is a past president.