NEW SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SIZE TRENDS LOWER After increasing and leveling off in recent years, new single-family home size continued along a general trend of decreasing size during the second quarter of 2017, NAHB reports. This change of the last two years marks a reversal of the trend that had been in place as builders focused on the higher end of the market during the recovery. As the entry-level market expands, NAHB expects typical new home size to fall as well. According to second quarter 2017 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area was slightly lower at 2,388 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes declined to 2,616 square feet. Since cycle lows (and on a one-year moving average basis), the average size of new single-family homes is 10% higher at 2,622 square feet, while the median size is 13% higher at 2,403 square feet. The post-recession increase in single-family home size is consistent with the historical pattern coming out of recessions. Typical new home size falls prior to and during a recession as homebuyers tighten budgets, and then sizes rise as high-end homebuyers, who face fewer credit constraints, return to the housing market in relatively greater proportions. This pattern was exacerbated during the current business cycle due to market weakness among first-time homebuyers. But the recent declines in size indicate that this part of the cycle has ended, and size will trend lower as builders add more entry-level homes into inventory. In contrast to single-family patterns, new multifamily apartment size is down compared to the pre-recession period. This is due to the weak for-sale multifamily market and strength for rental demand. BUILDER CONFIDENCE SPRINGS BACK IN AUGUST Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose four points in August to a level of 68 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). “Our members are encouraged by rising demand in the new-home market,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “This is due to ongoing job and economic growth, attractive mortgage rates, and growing consumer confidence.” “The fact that builder confidence has returned to the healthy levels we saw this spring is consistent with our forecast for a gradual strengthening in the housing market,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “GDP growth improved in the second quarter, which helped sustain housing demand. However, builders continue to face supply-side challenges, such as lot and labor shortages and rising building material costs.” Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor. All three HMI components posted gains in August. The component gauging current sales conditions rose four points to 74 while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months jumped five points to 78. Meanwhile, the component measuring buyer traffic increased a single point to 49. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast rose one point to 48. The West, South and Midwest all remained unchanged at 75, 67 and 66, respectively. SINGLE-FAMILY STARTS HOLD STEADY IN JULY Nationwide housing starts fell 4.8% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Single-family production slipped 0.5% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 856,000 after a strong, upwardly revised June reading. Year-to-date, single-family starts are 8.6% above their level over the same period last year. Multifamily starts dropped 15.3% to 299,000 units. “The overall strengthening of the single-family sector is consistent with solid builder confidence in the market,” said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “The sector should continue to firm as the job market and economy grow and more consumers enter the housing market.” “New-home production numbers this month are in line with our forecast for a slow and steady recovery of the housing market,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “We saw multifamily production peak in 2015, and this sector should continue to level off as demand remains solid.” Regionally in July, combined single-and multifamily housing production rose 0.6% in the South, and fell 1.6% in the West, 15.2% in the Midwest and 15.7% in the Northeast. Overall permit issuance in July was down 4.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.22 million units. Single-family permits held steady at 811,000 units while multifamily permits fell 11.2% to 412,000. Regionally, overall permits rose 19.2% in the Northeast. Permits fell 1.4% in the South, 7.9% in the West, and 17.4% in the Midwest. SLOWDOWN FOR SINGLE-FAMILY BUILT-FOR-RENT CONSTRUCTION The number of single-family homes built-for-rent appears to be slowing, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Over the last four quarters, total production of this type of housing was 28,000 homes, compared to 35,000 during the four quarters prior. The slowing of this market, along with its relative small size, stands in contrast to public discussion concerning the overall size of the single-family rental market. According to data from the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, the market share of single-family homes built-for-rent, as measured on a one-year moving average, stood at 3.5% of total starts as of the second quarter of 2017. Given the small size of the market segment, the quarter-to-quarter movements are not typically statistically significant. The current market share remains higher than the historical average of 2.8% but is down from the 5.8% reading registered at the start of 2013. This class of single-family construction excludes homes that are sold to another party for rental purposes. It only includes homes built and held for rental purposes. With the onset of the Great Recession and declines in the homeownership rate, the share of built-for-rent homes rose. Despite the current elevated market concentration, the total number of single-family starts built-for-rent remains low in terms of the total building market. Of course, the built-for-rent share of single-family homes is considerably smaller than the single-family home portion of the rental housing stock, which is 35% according to the 2015 American Community Survey. As homes age, they are more likely to be rented. Thus, the primary source of single-family rental homes is not construction but the existing housing stock. In fact, from 2005 to 2015, 56% of the gains in the rental housing stock were due to single-family homes. HOUSING MARKET CONTINUES TO MAKE GAINS, THOUGH PERMITS FAIL TO KEEP PACE In a further sign that the housing sector is continuing to gain momentum, nearly 300 markets nationwide posted an increase in economic and housing activity from the first quarter to the second quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI). The LMI measures current home price, permit and employment data to plot the economic health of an individual market. Based on the 337 markets tracked by the index, nationwide markets are now running at an average of 102% of normal housing and economic activity. However, individual components of the LMI are at different stages of recovery. While employment has reached 98% of normal activity and home price levels are well above normal at 152%, single-family permits are running at just 54% of normal activity. “This report shows that the housing and economic recovery is widespread across the nation and that housing has made significant gains since the Great Recession,” said NAHB Chairman Granger. “However, the lagging single-family permit indicator shows that housing still has a ways to go to get back to full strength.” “The overall index is running above 100% of normal largely due to healthy home price appreciation,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “At the same time, the reason why single-family permits are barely halfway above normal is because builders continue to face persistent supply-side headwinds, including rising material prices and a shortage of buildable lots and skilled labor.” Despite these challenges, the housing market continues to gradually move forward. The LMI shows that markets in 196 of the 337 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity in the second quarter of 2017. This represents a year-over-year net gain of 68 markets. “With 89% of all metro areas posting a quarterly increase in their LMI score, this is a strong signal that the overall housing market continues to make broad-based gains,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company, which co-sponsors the LMI report. Baton Rouge, La., continues to top the list of major metros on the LMI, with a score of 1.76—or 76% better than its historical normal market level. Other major metros leading the group include Austin, Texas; Honolulu; Provo, Utah; and Spokane, Wash. Rounding out the top 10 are Ventura, Calif.; San Jose, Calif.; Nashville, Tenn.; Los Angeles; and Charleston, S.C. Among smaller metros, Odessa, Texas, has an LMI score of 2.14, meaning that it is now at more than double its market strength prior to the recession. Also at the top of that list are Midland, Texas; Walla, Walla, Wash.; Florence, Ala.; and Ithaca, N.Y. The LMI examines metro areas to identify those that are now approaching and exceeding their previous normal levels of economic and housing activity. Approximately 340 metro areas are scored by taking their average permit, price and employment levels for the past 12 months and dividing each by their annual average over the last period of normal growth. For permits and employment, both the 12-month average and the annual average during the last period of normal growth are also adjusted for the underlying population count. For single-family permits and home prices, 2000-2003 is used as the last normal period, and for employment, 2007 is the base comparison. The three components are then averaged to provide an overall score for each market; a national score is calculated based on national measures of the three metrics. An index value above one indicates that a market has advanced beyond its previous normal level of economic activity. SHARE OF BUILDERS REPORTING LABOR SHORTAGES RISES AGAIN Labor and subcontractor shortages have become even more widespread in July of 2017 than they were in June of 2016, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) survey. The July 2017 HMI survey asked builders about shortages in 15 specific occupations that were either recommended by Home Builders Institute (NAHB’s workforce development arm) or that NAHB found to be particularly significant when tabulating Bureau of Labor Statistics data for a recent article on Young Adults & the Construction Trades. Shortages were at least fairly widespread for each of the 15 occupations, ranging from a low of 43% for building maintenance managers to a high of around 75% for the three categories of carpenters (rough, finished and framing). In addition to labor that single-family builders employ directly, the HMI survey asked about shortages of subcontractors, which have become even more widespread lately. In the July 2017 survey, the incidence of shortages was higher for subcontractors than for labor directly employed by builders in each of the 15 occupations. For example, 85% of builders reported a shortage of framing subcontractors, compared to “only” 77% who reported a shortage of framers directly employed. Historically, this has not always been true. An average shortage calculated across the nine trades that NAHB has covered in a consistent way since 1996 shows that labor and subcontractor shortages used to track each other fairly closely. Since 2013, however, a persistent gap has opened, with the nine-trade shortage for subcontractors running 5 to 7% points higher. The nine-trade average shortage for labor has increased from a low of 21% in 2012 to 56% in 2016, and now 63% in 2017. And this trend has been very consistent. For each of the construction occupations covered in both years, the shortage percentage, whether for labor directly employed or subcontractors, increased between 2016 and 2017—with the sole exception of excavator subcontractors, for which the percentage remained roughly the same. The nine-trade average labor shortage is now at its highest since 2000 (which marked the end of an extended period of strong GDP growth that tightened many labor markets and drove the overall unemployment rate down to 4.0%). The current labor shortage seems especially severe relative to housing starts. Again, the historical pattern has been quite consistent across construction occupations. Shortages for most of the occupations are more widespread now than at any time since 2000. The exceptions are shortages that are at their all-time worst since NAHB first started asking the questions in 1996. For subcontractors, shortages of painters, framing crews and electricians are at their all-time worst. Additional details, including changes in labor and subcontracting costs reported by builders and the complete history of responses to each question in the NAHB survey, are available in the full report. The NAHB survey results are consistent with the latest numbers in the Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After a decline in May that now appears anomalous, the latest JOLTS shows the number of unfilled jobs in the construction industry rising significantly in June. JULY CONSTRUCTION STARTS INCREASE 6% The value of new construction starts in July advanced 6% from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $728.1 billion, it was reported by Dodge Data & Analytics. Leading the way was a 26% jump by the non-building construction sector, which reflected an improved level for public works and the start of two massive power plants, located respectively in California and New York. Residential building in July increased 8%, as multifamily housing rebounded after three consecutive monthly declines. Running counter was a 7% slide for nonresidential building following its 14% hike in June, as both office buildings and hotels retreated from June’s elevated activity, outweighing a sharp rise for healthcare facilities in July. During the first seven months of 2017, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $411.9 billion, down 1% from the same period a year ago. BUILDER CONFIDENCE IN THE 55+ HOUSING MARKET STRENGTHENS IN SECOND QUARTER Builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market strengthened in the second quarter of 2017 with a reading of 66, up 11 points from the previous quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. This is the 13th consecutive quarter with a reading above 50, which means that more builders view conditions as good than poor. “Demand for 55+ housing continues to grow, and this quarter’s index is a reflection of that,” said Dennis Cunningham, chairman of NAHB’s 55+ Housing Industry Council and president of ActiveWest Builders in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. “Consumers in this market want a home that addresses their specific needs, and 55+ builders and developers are able to create homes and communities that cater to these needs.” There are separate 55+ HMIs for two segments of the 55+ housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each 55+ HMI measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for that market are good, fair or poor (high, average or low for traffic). All three components of the 55+ single-family HMI posted increases from the previous quarter: Expected sales for the next six months increased 12 points to 80, an index high, while present sales rose eight points to 70 and traffic of prospective buyers jumped 19 points to 53, also an index high. The 55+ multifamily condo HMI rose seven points to 53, with all three components posting gains in the second quarter: Present sales increased six points to 56, an index high, while expected sales for the next six months and traffic of prospective buyers both rose eight points to 55 and 45, respectively. All four indices tracking production and demand of 55+ multifamily rentals posted gains in the second quarter: Present production rose three points to 53, expected future production climbed eight points to 52, current demand for existing units increased two points to 66 and expected future demand rose five points to 67. “We are seeing strong demand in the 55+ housing sector due to favorable market conditions, such as record highs in the stock market and rising home prices,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “This quarter’s reading is in line with our forecast, as we expect to see continued gradual gains in 2017.” NEW HOME SALES EDGE UP IN JUNE Sales of newly built, single-family homes in June inched up 0.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units from a downwardly revised May reading, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. “Although we saw modest gains this month, new home sales have risen nearly 11% since the start of 2017,” said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the NAHB. “Our members remain optimistic as the single-family housing market continues to recover.” “The month’s sales report is consistent with our forecast, and we should see further gains throughout the year as the labor market continues to strengthen,” said NAHB Senior Economist Michael Neal. “While new home inventory rose slightly in June, it remains tight as builders face lot and labor shortages and increases in building material costs.” The inventory of new homes for sale was 272,000 in June, which is a 5.4-month supply at the current sales pace. Regionally, new home sales increased 12.5% in the West and 10% in the Midwest. Sales were unchanged in the Northeast and fell 6.1% in the South. PENDING HOME SALES RECOVER IN JUNE After declining for three straight months, pending home sales reversed course in June as all major regions, except for the Midwest, saw an increase in contract activity, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.5% to 110.2 in June from an upwardly revised 108.6 in May. At 0.5%, the index last month increased annually for the first time since March. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the bounce back in pending sales in most of the country in June is a welcoming sign. “The first half of 2017 ended with a nearly identical number of contract signings as one year ago, even as the economy added 2.2 million net new jobs,” he said. “Market conditions in many areas continue to be fast paced, with few properties to choose from, which is forcing buyers to act almost immediately on an available home that fits their criteria.” Yun does note that there could potentially be a sliver of increased hope in the months ahead for prospective first-time buyers, who continue to struggle reaching the market. Heading into the second half of the year, Yun expects existing-home sales to finish around 5.56 million, which is an increase of 2.6% from 2016 (5.45 million). The national median existing-home price this year is expected to increase around 5%. In 2016, existing sales increased 3.8% and prices rose 5.1%. The PHSI in the Northeast inched forward 0.7% to 98.0 in June, and is now 2.9% above a year ago. In the Midwest the index decreased 0.5% to 104.0 in June, and is now 3.4% lower than June 2016. Pending home sales in the South rose 2.1% to an index of 126.0 in June and are now 2.6% above last June. The index in the West grew 2.9% in June to 101.5, but is still 1.1% below a year ago. UPDATES PEOPLE BlueLinx Corporation named Bob Anderson as the new General Manager for its Grand Rapids facility. Cedar Creek has announced that Alex Averitt will succeed D. Wayne Trousdale as the President and CEO of the company, effective Sept. 15. Jim Shalvoy has announced his retirement from Cedar Creek. Shalvoy came to Cedar Creek in 2010 as Vice President of Marketing. Karen Hess and Gary Pittman have both retired from Roseburg Forest Products. Hess was Marketing and Event Manager, and Pittman led the Lumber Sales Department. Roseburg Forest Products has announced that attorney Stuart Gray will join the company’s executive team as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Builders FirstSource has announced that Floyd Sherman will step down as CEO effective Jan. 1. Chad Crow, currently President and COO, will be named President and CEO. Adam Weatherly has been appointed Store Manager of McCoy’s Building Supply’s Cleburne, Texas location. DISTRIBUTION Manning Building Products has announced that Guardian Building Products will distribute its Perma-Boot product throughout the United States. Tucker Door & Trim has announced a distribution plan with GlassCraft Door Company. This partnership expands Tucker Door & Trim’s entry door offering to include products from GlassCraft. INDUSTRY Funds advised by Apax Partners (Apax Funds) has reached a definitive agreement to acquire ECi Software Solutions. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has recognized TAMKO Building Products, Inc. with nine safety awards for the company’s achievements in 2016. Simpson Strong-Tie has announced its support of Clemson University’s Wood Utilization + Design Institute with a $50,000 donation. The Institute brings together foresters, architects, engineers and other building industry professionals to design advances in wood-based products through education and training, product research and development, and development of technical and design solutions. Wood-products manufacturer RoyOMartin has announced that its forestry team has completed ten years without an OSHA-recordable injury. This represents 624,000 direct hours of work. Trex Company has acquired substantially all of the assets of SC Company, a manufacturer and supplier of custom architectural railings and staging solutions based in Brooklyn Park, Minn. The purchase serves as the foundation for the launch of Trex Commercial Products, a subsidiary of Trex Company. Louisiana-Pacific Corporation has announced it has entered into an arrangement agreement to acquire Watkins, Minn.-based International Barrier Technology Inc. for $22 million. BlueTarp Financial recently partnered with the Oklahoma Lumbermen’s Association (OLA) in a referral agreement for its members. ASSOCIATIONS The Construction Suppliers Association Board of Directors voted Aug. 15 to merge with the Oklahoma Lumbermen’s Association. The merger is effective Jan. 1, 2018. The CSA name will remain the same, and the headquarters will remain in Tyrone, Ga. The CSA will gain a field office in Oklahoma City, and OLA’s Executive Director will join the CSA staff as Oklahoma Regional Director. EVENTS SEPT 20-22 Construction Suppliers Association (CSA) Annual Conference & Expo, Savannah, Ga. • www.gocsa.com SEPT 25-27 True Value Fall Reunion, Chicago • www.truevalue.com OCT 4-6 Florida Building Material Association (FBMA) Convention and Gulf Atlantic Building Products Expo Orlando, Fla. • www.fbma.org OCT 13-16 Do it Best Fall Market, Indianapolis, Ind. • www.doitbestcorp.com OCT 22-24 LBM Advantage Forest Products Conference, Baltimore, Md. www.lbmadvantage.com OCT 24-26 Forest Products & Building Materials Expo, Philadelphia, Penn. www.lmc.net NOV 7-9 Western Building Material Association 115th Annual Convention Marysville, Wash. • www.wbma.org NOV 8-9 West Coast Lumber & Building Material Association (WCLBMA) Annual Convention and 100th Anniversary Celebration, Rancho Mirage, Calif. www.lumberassociation.org NOV 8-10 NAWLA Trader’s Market Chicago • www.NAWLA.org 2018 JAN 10-12 International Builders Show Orlando, Fla. JAN 16-17 North Dakota Retail Lumberman’s Association Annual Convention, Fargo, N.D. • www.NDRLA.com JAN 18-19 Do it Best Winter Conference San Diego • www.doitbestcorp.com JAN 22-23 Northwestern Building Products Expo, St. Cloud, Minn. • www.nlassn.org FEB 19-21 LBM Advantage 3rd Annual Meeting & Trade Show, Kissimmee, Fla. www.lbmadvantage.com FEB 20 Iowa Lumber Convention Altoona, Iowa • www.nlassn.org FEB 28 Nebraska Lumber Dealers Convention, La Vista, Neb. • www.nlassn.org MAR 21-23 LMC Annual Meeting New Orleans • www.LMC.net Send information about your company’s events to Rick@LBMJournal.com. TOUGH CALL ANSWERS ANSWERS TO OUR JULY TOUGH CALL: BRIDGING THE SALES/CULTURE GAP What to do when your relationship-based sales reps collide with price-only buyers? Your Votes Online at LBMJournal.com 58.33% SALES TRAINING. You clearly need to find a sales trainer who focuses on selling to millennials, so George and Harold can learn to adapt. 4.17% CUT PRICES. If the millennial buyers only want to talk price, then arm George and Harold with the prices they need to earn back the business. 20.83% GIVE IT TIME. Once their crews have problems with the other suppliers, the buyers will see the light, and their purchases will rebound. 16.67% CHANGE REPS. If George and Harold aren’t connecting with the millennial buyers, then perhaps some of the younger salespeople on your team should be enlisted. Thanks to everyone who voted on the July Tough Call. See page 80 for this month’s Tough Call. BY THE YARD NEWS FROM LUMBERYARDS AROUND THE COUNTRY White’s Lumber Patriarch Honored by N.Y. Senate Rodger White Sr., of White’s Lumber & Building Supplies was awarded the New York State Senate Proclamation for the occasion of his 94th birthday. Presented by Sen. Patty Richie, it acknowledges White’s service to his community “in the best traditions of the Empire State with thanks and appreciation.” The presentation also included a State of New York Legislative Resolution honoring White’s Lumber and Building Supply for 125 years in business. McCoy’s Building Supply Opens Lumber Distribution and Reload Operation McCoy’s Building Supply recently purchased the former C-R Reload Center, Inc. located in Burnet, Texas. C-R Reload had provided reload and lumber storage services for McCoy’s and other Central Texas customers since 2002. Under McCoy’s ownership the facility will operate as MC Reload with a focus on reducing costs and adding distribution efficiencies to McCoy’s Building Supply stores and their customers. Jackson Lumber & Millwork Acquires E.G. Barker Lumber Jackson Lumber & Millwork has acquired E.G. Barker Lumber of Woburn, Mass. Headquartered in Lawrence, Mass., with additional locations in Amesbury and North Andover in Massachusetts, and Raymond, N.H., Jackson Lumber & Millwork has been owned and operated by the Torrisi family since 1946. Ganahl’s Opens New Torrance lumberyard Ganahl Lumber’s 10th lumberyard opened in early August with a 86,000 square foot building supply store, a 40,500 square foot lumber storage shed, a 775 foot long rail spur and a state of the art overall facility. The return to the Los Angeles South Bay area is a return to the roots of Ganahl Lumber where it opened its first lumberyard in 1884. TAL Holdings Acquires Browne Lumber TAL Holdings, parent of Tum-A-Lum Lumber, has reached an agreement to acquire Browne Lumber Inc. in Friday Harbor, Wash. Celebrating 111 years in business, TAL Holdings LLC dba Tum-A-Lum Lumber was founded in 1906 by J.M. Crawford and is a fourth generation family-owned building material supply company. TAL operates seven locations: Hood River, The Dalles and Pendleton, Oregon and Leavenworth, Wenatchee, Chelan and Cle Elum, Washington. Parr Lumber Acquires Property for Second Truss Plant Parr Lumber, based in Hillsboro, Ore. has acquired a 7.5 acre property in Cornelius, Ore. which includes a 15,000 square foot building. The site is within the Tualatin Valley Basin and approximately 17 miles west of Portland. After renovating, the Company plans to open its second Quality Truss location. Carter Lumber to Invest $10M in Kentucky Facility Carter Lumber Co., which operates more than 150 U.S. locations, will invest $10 million and create 50 full-time jobs to locate a Kight Home Center manufacturing facility in Warren County, Kentucky. The new Carter Lumber location in the Kentucky Transpark will operate under the Kight Home Center division. It will produce roof and floor trusses, wall panels and other engineered wood products. Construction of the 70,000-square-foot facility could begin in later this year, and company leaders plan to open the location in late 2018 or early 2019. DEALERS, GOT NEWS? Send info on your company’s new location, anniversary, expansion, local recognition, honors and awards, new hires, promotions, or other news to James@LBMJournal.com.
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