Jack Stevenson, president of of Mid-Cape Home Centers, is being recognized for his significant contributions to the lumber and building materials industry as well as to his local community.
The Lumber Person of the Year Award will be presented at the Massachusetts Retail Lumber Dealers Association Annual Meeting in Plymouth on Oct. 29.
An active member of his local community and both state and national trade associations, Stevenson began life in the lumber and building materials industry like so many others: in the family lumber yard. His father bought a small yard in Bayfield, Wisc. when Stevenson was just 12 years old. A few years later, he started working there, loading and unloading trucks by hand.
“No forklift,” he notes. “All my life it has been lumber, lumber, lumber.”
From there, Stevenson’s career follows a familiar trajectory, which he summarizes simply as, “Worked there, managed it, bought it, then sold it.” At that point, he hit the road.
First, he went south to Green Bay, where he worked for family-run regional powerhouse Stock Lumber (now Wisconsin Building Supply), eventually taking his career 1,500 miles south to Georgia, where he was director of Strategic Accounts while simultaneously overseeing a truss plant and turnkey framing division for Stock Building Supply (now BMC).
In 2014, Mid-Cape Home Centers beckoned to Stevenson.
“I got tired of working for big companies where you could not really move the dial,” he recalls. “The Mid-Cape opportunity came, which has been a great fit for me and my background and my family.”
Jack went from general manager to president, where he now oversees Mid-Cape’s growing portfolio covering the Cape, islands and South Shore. He attributes much of that growth to Jeff Plank, who purchased the company in 2012, the first time in 117 years someone other than a Nickerson ran it, along with the core group of dedicated people that were in place.
“He reenergized Mid-Cape as a customer-focused organization,” Jack says. “The business has grown from one small lumber yard in Chatham with only three team members to six locations and dozens of delivery trucks.”
The success is not just measured in size, however. The Mid-Cape team received five Gold PRISM Awards from the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston in 2019, as well as three Silvers in 2020— “including Community Spirit each time,” adds Stevenson. “We remain deeply embedded in the local community and make it a point to both support and lead fundraising initiatives for countless local causes.”
Stevenson has been involved in industry organizations for most of his career. He’s spent the last several years on the board of directors for the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod and was elected as a retail director of the Massachusetts Retail Lumber Dealers Association in the fall of 2020.
When asked what appeals to him about the industry and keeps him engaged in his work, Stevenson’s answer is a simple—and familiar—one. “I love the people,” he says. “The LBM industry is filled with people who value relationships, and that fits me to a T. I have met so many smart, hardworking, driven people. Large transactions are done on a handshake every day. Plus, we are contributing to the American Dream of home ownership.”
His advice for others, especially the younger generation of the industry, is equally simple yet sturdy. “Two key things: Find a mentor and outwork everyone around you,” he says. “My favorite saying is, ‘Do the right thing.’ It has been a guiding principle for me and a core value that Mid-Cape has firmly embraced and helped propel our growth.”