Jason Wehrung, owner of Wehrung’s Lumber and Home Center in Ottsville, was recently named 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year by LBM Journal. The leading national trade magazine for the lumber and building materials industry honored three business owners with its award, but Wehrung rose to the top in the category of businesses that grossed between $10 and $50 million in sales.
Wehrung actually operates a connected family of businesses in addition to the lumber and home center. Wehrung’s Specialties carries a line of special order building trade products while M&W Precast & Construction Supplies is a division of Wehrungs that produces quality concrete products such as precast concrete septic and drainage goods.
The original lumber yard served primarily building contractors, but by diversifying product and service offerings Wehrung has expanded the customer base to include retail customers and local do-it-yourselfers. Providing outstanding customer service, expert advice and a full scope of materials has been key to the organization’s success.
While Wehrung is the third generation owner of this family business, it wasn’t simply handed to him. His father would not allow him to work in the family lumber yard until he has first put in one year working for someone else. That place was McDonald’s and it served as an entrepreneurial training ground for the young man.
Taking the skills and business essentials he learned at that first position, Wehrung began his own marketing business selling printed T-shirts and embroidered clothing as well as other promotional materials to area businesses and especially many of the lumberyard customers. He eventually incorporated Solid Products into the Wehrung family of businesses. The promotional marketing company continues to grow as Jason says because the focus is on “Helping our Customers Grow.”
Wehrung is hoping to expand on the company’s success and use his expertise to help develop another generation of skilled and knowledgeable professionals within the building trades industry. According to LBM Journal, he hopes to develop a program with area vo-tech schools and community colleges to train individuals and prepare them for employment in the industry.