New CEO to lead Ward Lumber

Bryan Mellick (Provided photo)

JAY — Ward Lumber, a local lumber dealer for the North Country since 1890 and a Worker-Owned Cooperative since 2021, started 2024 with Bryan Mellick as its new CEO.

Jay Ward’s service as CEO allowed the board to do a comprehensive national search for his replacement.

“Bryan really stood out from our first conversation,” Cooperative Board President Tim Clark said. “It was clear right away that he had all the elements in a leader we were looking for.”

Mellick brings a wealth of leadership experience, including a decade in the lumber business and two other 1800s companies. He has spent time in other industries including, technology and management consulting, and time as an entrepreneur.

“Ward Lumber’s board and worker-owners stand out — in my 34 years working with midsized and entrepreneurial companies — as top 1% in this class,” said Mellick. “When you have people of this quality running and owning a business, it does not matter the industry, you have a foundation for continued success and that is what drew me to Ward Lumber.”

An avid outdoorsman, there certainly were other incentives for Bryan to move with his family from Connecticut to the North Country.

“His attitude and energy fit perfectly,” Clark said.

Kevin Kennedy, board treasurer, ran the search process for a new CEO.

“I am excited to see the impact that Bryan can bring to our company,” Kennedy said. “He embraces out of the box thinking while strengthening our core values. His empowering and development of each individual worker will help us in continuing our transition from single owner to the cooperative model.”

“I have taken very seriously the responsibility for our team and am happy to be able to hand off that responsibility to Bryan as our next CEO,” Ward shared in his outgoing remarks as CEO.

Ward will be staying on as purchasing manager.


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