Play: Hard, Smart, Together

President's Message

Play: Hard, Smart, Together

We’re all in this industry together.
SBCA helps us all pull in the same direction.

I recently returned from homecoming at the University of Montana. I missed the annual event the past few years, falling back on common excuses like “I’m too busy,” “The timing is bad,” or “The weather is poor.” Well, this year the weather was great, even though the timing was poor and we are still very busy here at work. A special event sparked my interest, and I just had to go.

UM has a notable coaching tree for its men’s basketball program. It started in the 1960s with Jud Heathcoat, who went on to Michigan State to win a national championship with Magic Johnson. It includes two current Pac-12 head coaches, along with several other successful and accomplished coaches. The current coach decided to hold a fundraising event by bringing back a majority of the past coaches and holding a “roast” full of good jokes and great stories. While a student at UM, I was a basketball manager and had worked with three of the coaches who were scheduled to appear. Attending was a no-brainer. It was great decision, because I really enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with coaches, players, and other managers and trainers.

As I listened to each of the coaches tell their stories, I couldn’t help but reflect on many of the lessons I learned during my time with the basketball team. Obviously, I know how to fill water bottles all too well, and I can wet-mop a basketball court like no other. But there were other lessons to be learned—some I knew I was learning at the time and others that took a while to sink in.

Basketball, like business, is all about people. Sure, the people need to have some degree of talent, but talent alone doesn’t always win. It’s how those people perform that determines the outcome of most games and the net profit at the end of the year. To drive this point home, the head coach while I was at UM wrote the same four words on the grease board for every game:

Play: Hard, Smart, Together

The coach wouldn’t always address the words, but they were always there as a reminder of how to approach the game. If the team did those three things, it was more likely than not we would win the game. It’s a rather simple concept, until you apply it to your own team.

Let’s substitute the word “Work” for “Play” for a second and look at our own operations. How many of our team members are working as hard, working as smart, and working together as much as they are capable of doing?

Hopefully, you and a few of your team members were able to attend BCMC in Milwaukee. The educational sessions were awesome, and hopefully you found some nuggets of knowledge to take home to your operation that will allow your team to work harder, smarter and more together. In case you missed them, the December issue of SBC Magazine will be full of articles summarizing the main points of many of those sessions.

BCMC also marked the changing of the guard for SBCA leadership. I am both greatly honored and humbled to lead our association for the next year as president. Rick Parrino was an amazing president and a tremendous leader. I am grateful for all his hard work and continued commitment to SBCA. A great deal of work has been accomplished under Rick’s watch, and I aim to continue his work with floor assembly fire testing and Framing the American Dream. It truly is an exciting time to be involved with SBCA.

As we head into another year, I challenge everyone involved with SBCA to work hard, smart and together for the association. It’s the commitment of so many component manufacturers and suppliers across the country that makes being involved with SBCA such an amazing and rewarding experience. If you’re not yet taking an active role, please get engaged today—we want your help! Attend a local chapter meeting, come to an Open Quarterly Meeting, or join one of the new online committees discussing issues important to our industry, such as safety and information technology. Speaking for those of us who are active on the SBCA Board, we need your input to better understand the challenges you are facing in your local markets, and we want your help as we drive our industry forward over the next year!

On a personal note, I would like to thank my wife, Elizabeth; staff at Rocky Mountain Truss/Bear Paw Lumber; my father and business partner, David; and my right-hand man, ‘Scubba’ Steve Newbury, for supporting me in my endeavors with SBCA. Work with the association can take my attention away from our business and occasionally away from home, and each is tremendously supportive and very understanding. 

SBC Magazine encourages the participation of its readers in developing content for future issues. Do you have an article idea for an upcoming issue or a topic that you would like to see covered? Email your ideas to