Leadership & Team
Director of Education & Events
Laura Martin is a Texas native currently residing in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her family. With over 25 years in the event industry, Laura is driven by a servant’s heart. While her expertise is in creating memorable events, her mission is serving others by training, supporting, and helping others grow.
While attending high school, Laura began her career at the age of 15 when she lied about her age to get a job at a local burger joint to help support her family. At the age of 16, she thought she should focus on her dream career and became a ballroom and country dance instructor. At 17, she went to her first concert and knew that her place was backstage and not in the stands. With nothing but passion and ambition, she started going to every local concert at the 7 am call time. She unloaded trucks, followed orders, and just tried to blend in with the other roadies (which was hard to do, often being the only female there). Once they realized she was not officially on the payroll, they respected her grit and hired her to be a part of the crew.
Laura did what needed to be done, including moving to Houston to complete her education and gained the experience to become the stage manager at the same venue she attended her first concert. She worked on large productions in Las Vegas and managed the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival under Edward James Olmos for three years.
For the past seven years, her role in the non-profit industry with OneCause as a Fundraising Event Consultant has appealed to Laura’s bigger purpose to leave things better than she found it. She has supported over 500 organizations and events and is looking forward to sharing her expertise with Mountain States Lumber & Building Materials Association.
Born on December 7th to Mike and Kate Martin, I grew up in Riverton, Wyoming, graduating high school in the class of 2003. I grew up in the lumber business as my father, Mike Martin, owned A.D. Martin Lumber company and had two yards, one in Riverton and one in DuBois, Wyoming.
My first job at A.D. Martin Lumber was shooting pigeons earning 50 cents per carcass at the ripe age of 8 years old. A good day was four bucks!!! This was all because my old man didn’t like the “pigeon shit on the damn drywall and pine!” After that, I started working at the truss plant at 13. That was a lesson I won’t soon forget. I think my dad told the guys, “don’t hold back with John around.” It was quite the lesson on hard work, FOUL jokes, female anatomy, and other unmentionables. I worked there for a few summers until I was about 16.
From there, I took a hiatus from the lumber business working in other industries, mainly welding and metal fabrication. I moved to Bozeman, Montana, in May 2004 and started my first semester of college in the fall of 2004 at Montana State University. While attending school, I was still involved in the metal fabrication industry. I even turned into a gypsy pipeline welder for a few summers. Very interesting times, you might say.
The summer of 2008 was a turning point, after working in the welding/metal fabrication industry for several years, I thought I should try the lumber business again. I haven’t looked back since! After five fun and exciting years in college, I reluctantly graduated. I received a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology in the spring of 2009. I thoroughly enjoyed college, and my time spent at Montana State helped with my career in the lumber industry.
Once I became a shiny new graduate, I started working in the yard at A.D. Martin. Pulling loads, driving trucks, and helping streamline our yard operations. A short time later, I moved into sales and purchasing. Four short years later, I’d had enough. I stepped into Mike Martin’s office and said, “It’s time for you to go golfing more. You are sitting in my chair!” My dad happily approached his attorney, banker, accountant, and two short weeks later, we had a buy/sell agreement! Fast forward a few months, and I met my future wife. One dog, one marriage, two children, and another lumber yard opened in Laramie last year, and here we are! It’s been a good ride thus far!
My dad was a part president of Mountain States Lumber, and years later, I followed in his footsteps. After serving as a Director for Wyoming for many years on the board of Mountain States, I was elected as president. Mountain States was founded in 1891 when a few lumber dealers from Colorado and Wyoming got together and figured out that by leveraging best practices and sharing resources, it made them all better. I am honored to serve as the president and continue the legacy that began over 129 years ago – together, we can accomplish much to move our industry forward. I hope that you will join me in the connected community that is the Mountain States Lumber Dealer’s Association. Together, we are stronger!
As a 29+ year veteran of the LBM industry, Dena has held various positions in her career, from trading commodities, purchasing and sales management for Georgia Pacific and Boise Cascade, to Regional Sales Director for Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber Company. Prior to her tenure at Mountain States, she also worked with Blue Tarp Financial as the National Corporate Sales Manager, which served to expand her knowledge of financial challenges experienced within LBM.
By building her career in all facets of the LBM industry, Dena has a unique perspective and advantage to understanding the many challenges that our members face as our industry continues to evolve. She is a passionate advocate of education, legislative advocacy, service to community and is working tirelessly to promote the best interests of the LBM industry.
Dena was the first woman president of Mountain States Lumber Dealers Association in 2009 and had the honor of being the first female director for Foxworth Galbraith Lumber Company. She has also held board positions at NLBMDA, where she served as the Vice Chair and Chair for the MSC/National Lumber Dealer’s Association in Washington, D.C. She currently serves as the Vice Chairman for the Federated Association Executives for NLBMDA. Dena resides with her wonderful family in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and serves as the Executive Vice President for the Mountain States Lumber Dealers Association.
Board Member, Secretary/Treasurer
In her three decades of work as a credit and collections officer, Thea Dudley has trekked across deserts to recover goods, taken FBI interrogation classes to learn negotiators’ “tells” and suffered through more lame reasons for extending credit then she can count. She knows how to decide whose worthy of credit and how to go after those who abuse the privilege.
Thea started her career working for her sub-contractor Dad in high school. Her first credit management role was with Nevamar, Inc. a division of International Paper Inc. She then moved into more challenging roles with Louis & Co. as a Regional Credit Manager, Inside Sales Manager and briefly as the Branch Manager-concurrently!
From there Thea went on to work with several leading industry distribution companies, including her husband’s family lumber business, and eventually, her own accounts receivable consulting company working with subcontractors and contractors before accepting a role at Guardian Building Products where she worked her way up the organization. She recently joined SRS Distribution Inc. as the Vice President of Financial Services.
Thea has worked tirelessly in the building industry to champion education, presenting seminars and webinars for Insulation Contractors Association of America, Western States Roofing Contractors of America, International Building Show, International Roofing Expo, Remodelers Expo, and JLC LIVE to name a few. Thea writes a credit advice column, Thea’s Mailbag, that appears in ProSales Magazine and has authored additional articles for the magazine including “Life in a male dominated industry”. She is active in National Women in Roofing and a member the National Association of Credit Managers and National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Assoc.
Director for Colorado
Eric Marr is a transplant from southern Michigan, where his grandfather and father were both builders. As a youth, his father and mother moved the family to eastern Colorado in 1981, where Eric grew up and graduated from Bennett High School in 1991. After graduation, Eric joined the Marine Corps Reserves and served for ten years. During that time, he followed his father into the construction business, where he completed a 4-year carpentry apprenticeship program at Red Rocks Community College sponsored by CG Construction in Arvada. He then was privileged to partner with his father to own and operate Marr & Sons General Builders for eight years.
Eric has worked for Alpine Lumber for 14 years, with a 10-year stint in the mountains operating both the Granby and Durango locations. He is currently the general manager of Alpine Lumber in Frederick. He has served on numerous Home Builders Associations boards and industry committees throughout his career.
Eric has been married to his lovely wife Marsha since 1994, and they have three wonderful grown children whom they consider to be their finest accomplishments. Eric enjoys hunting, fishing, and camping. His favorite past time is traveling with his wife. Eric is enthusiastic about being a new Director on the Mountain States board.
Board Member, National Director
John is a Colorado native, including his undergraduate and graduate school work at the University of Denver. After thirteen years in the department store business; he joined the family lumber business in 1987. Front Range Lumber, a one location operation in Lakewood, CO is celebrating its 53rd anniversary in 2018. John is currently the President of the company with specific responsibilities including marketing, purchasing and operations.
John serves MSLBMDA as our Legislative Director, travelling to Washington D.C. annually and helping to lead the charge on Capitol Hill fighting for fair legislation for the LBM industry.
He has been active in HOA governance since 1983 and served on a variety of dealer advisory committees. After other travels, his Italy adventure really infected him with the travel bug and he’s also thinking ahead to that next trip! John is married with two children – his son also is involved with the lumberyard.
Mike DeSimone’s career has focused primarily on working with business owners and financial team members in order to positively impact their cash flow, reduce their business risk, and grow their sales and business opportunities as a senior team member or partner. The organization that Mike is currently the Regional Sales Manager for the Western United States for BlueTarp Financial, a Capital One company. Previously I was the National Director of Operations for Coaches Aid and ASBN, a media partnership and leadership development firm. As the Director of Operations for Coaches Aid, we grew the media organization from dozens of events and media pieces to thousands, annually creating the world’s largest creator of media content in amateur athletics and leadership content.
Mike’s experience includes both private entity and public entity involvement. From my experience with the Economic Development department for the City of Lakewood to Merrill Lynch Account Administration to the management consultation, implementation, and executive management in private industry, Mike has consistently operated in the environments of business development, change management, and process innovation. This experience of growth management, business development, and operational optimization has been both rewarding and challenging.
Mike values and understands the importance of process, team, culture, integrity, and leadership in every business environment as a contributor, developer, producer, and leader. Mike has demonstrated expertise in the unique balance of achievement and optimization in short time frames and budget-constrained environments. Mike is passionately involved in coaching high school softball and enjoys spending time with his wife Beth and his children Nicole, Rachel, and Ryan.
Michael is a native of Colorado and is currently a Purchasing Manager for Boise Cascade in Denver, Colorado. Mike has spent the last 28 years since graduating from college in the lumber industry.
He attended Arizona State University where he graduated with a Business Degree in Productions/Operations Management. After college, Mike took a job with family owned American Lumber, located in Arvada Colorado, as their Inventory Control/Purchasing Manager. When American Lumber was sold to Hope Lumber, Mike accepted a position Builders FirstSource as their Multi-Family/Commercial Specialist, with a focus on procuring materials for large commercial projects. This eventually progressed into a full time purchasing position where Mike was responsible for purchasing the commodity materials for all the Builders FirstSource Colorado locations. When Builders FirstSource ceased operations in Colorado, Mike moved to the wholesale side of the business and accepted a position with All-Coast Forest Products as a Product Manager. After All-Coast Forest Products, Mike moved back into the retail side of the business and took a position as Millwork Manager with Chase Lumber Company in Aurora Colorado. He later became Operations Manager for Chase Lumber. When Chase Lumber went out of business, Mike accepted a position with Builders Enterprise. After working with Builders Enterprise for 2 years, he was offered a position with Boise Cascade as a commodities manager. Mike he serves his many clients by ensuring they are able to purchase commodity lumber pricing at competitive market levels.
Mike currently lives in Arvada, Colorado with his wife Jaimie and their two children, Avery (age 9) and Tegan (age 5). Mike currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Mountain States Lumber Dealers Association and enjoys spending time with his family. In addition, Mike enjoys running, golf, tennis, biking, and is an avid sports fan.
Walter Foxworth was born on July 29, 1935 in Dallas, TX. Walter graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Mathematics and a BS in Physics in 1957, and went on to earn his MA in Physics in 1959. Walter has worked for Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber Company since 1959 and has served as its President since 1993.
Walter has served on the Mountain States Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association Board since 1991, both as a Director and as our National Director leading the organization legislatively from one that had little or no political presence to one that is now recognized and respected in both local and federal arenas. He continues to serve on our Board as a Director and as our Alternate National Director. A recipient of many awards, including the National Lumber Dealers’ President’s Pathfinder Award in 1993, and the Lumbermen’s Association of Texas’s (LAT) Lumberman of the Year in 1993, Mr. Foxworth was the very first person to be honored with the MSLBMDA’s Industry All-Star Award in 2000. In addition to his tireless and devoted service to the MSLBMDA and the entire lumber and building materials industry, Walter has also served as a Board member for the LAT and as their president in 1990.
Board Member, Mountain States Leaderhip Council Chair
Derek is originally from Blackfoot, Idaho, and he has built his career in the LBM industry over the span of the past 20 years. Derek began his career working in a lumberyard in Pocatello, and then came to Foxworth Galbraith in Colorado Springs where he oversaw the insulation installation crews for the Colorado Region. He then was promoted to the position of Outside Sales, and again was promoted to a National Accounts Manager in Colorado during his tenure with Foxworth Galbraith.
In 2012, Derek went to work for Bloedorn Lumber Company, as a general manager for the Rock Springs, Wyoming yard. Colorado called him back in 2015, and Derek became the general manager for the Foxworth Galbraith yard in the Denver Metro area. In 2018, he was offered a position with Builders Enterprise, and he accepted the challenge.
Derek has been affiliated with the Leadership Council for the past nearly two years, giving generously of his time and energy to contribute to the success of their events. He was Vice-Chair of the Leadership Council, serving with Chair Sam Yates. Derek is now the chair of the Council, and serves on the MSLBMDA board.
Derek lives in north Denver with his beautiful wife, Andi, and two wonderful boys, Landry and Garrett. They are truly the light of his life! A lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan, Derek enjoys spending time with family and friends, loves the outdoors when he can find time to get out into it, and believes that a positive attitude and great work ethic can move mountains.
Jon was born and raised in western Kansas. After graduating high school, Jon attended Kansas State University where he received his BS/BM. After college, Jon worked for several years for a large construction company in Birmingham, Alabama before moving to Colorado in 1991. After moving to Colorado, Jon worked for a small specialty lumber company, then spent over three years working for BMC in 1993. He is now the Vice President of Sales at Direct Lumber and Door in Denver, Colorado. Jon has been married to his wife Cristina for 25 years, and they have a 21-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter. During his free time, Jon enjoys spending time outdoors hunting and fishing, and spending time with his friends and family. Jon has long wanted to be involved in MSLBMDA, and is excited to serve this year as a director, and lend his energy, industry expertise and experience to making MSLBMDA a success!