This July is a special time for Banks Hardwoods as we celebrate yet another 25th anniversary. Two summers ago it was our company’s 25th. This summer marks the 25th year Dick Peters has been with our company. Just the third person hired (July 13, 1987) after the company was founded, Dick is now easily our most senior team member. But the story didn’t start there.
Dick and Steve began their friendship at age 11 on the 5th grade football field where they quickly became fast friends. Some 42 years and an endless treasure-trove of stories and memories have followed. The two friends spent 17 straight years together in school before parting ways for a few years to get married and start their respective careers. Once our small wholesaling firm was on its feet, Dick agreed to join the company.
After an intense 30 minute training session, Dick became warehouse manager at the Tri-State facility in South Milford, IN. To earn his stripes he made the early morning 50 mile drive to look after a growing order file. It was a colorful place to start his career in the hardwood business with a rich cast of characters on both sides of State Road 3 including Bob Lewis, Wayne Wible, the Growcock brothers, Scott Ransburg, Vern Neff and a host of others. It was a busy time and within a couple of years, despite construction of new production facilities, we had out grown the location and began pushing dirt for a brand new yard in Mottville (May 1989).
The growth curve from 1987 to 2006 was tremendous. Dick was there for every minute of it playing a key role in sales. After helping build the yard in Mottville and helping with the transition, Dick began taking over existing accounts from Steve and soon brought in many more. He was there when the van conversion boom peaked in the early 90’s, wholesaling literally hundreds of truckloads of walnut and red oak. In the mid 90’s, he helped open up western accounts and was responsible for bringing in many wonderful, long term, value added customers. Dick shared the entrepreneurial spirit helping to lead our company into mouldings, flooring, imports, Quantum and many new business partnerships all over North America.
Dick has always had an easy way with people that helps him get his foot in the door with customers and quickly build both trust and mutually beneficial long term programs. He has played important roles in helping see us through every stage of our colorful history. There have been tough and challenging situations along with days filled with fun, reward and excitement. Dick has been here to share it all.
There are a lot of ways to measure life, but being able to look back fondly on 42 years of friendship and 25 years in business together is tough to top. Dick, thank you for all of these years of service, loyalty and amazing friendship. It’s been a gift.