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Bernstein Family Uses Forward Thinking To Keep Customers Satisfied
By Terry Miller 

The key management at Mid-State Lumber Corp., headquartered in Branchburg, N.J., are David Bernstein, vice president of finance; Inez Caon, general manager; Bernie Bernstein, founder and chief executive officer; Gary Bernstein, vice president of operations; and Kenny Bernstein, director of purchasing and sales.
Warwick, N.Y.—Mid-State Lumber Corp. has remained a family-owned business since its inception in 1976, as a traditional building material wholesaler distributor.  Bernie Bernstein started the company with its headquarters in Branchburg, N.J., and added two more locations—one in Kingston, Pa., in 1986, and one in Warwick, N.Y., in 1994.

Today, the Bernstein family is still focusing on customer satisfaction and staying committed to the suppliers they have had since day one. Bernie Bernstein is the founder and chief executive officer; Kenny Bernstein is the vice president of purchasing and sales; Gary Bernstein is the vice president of operations; and David Bernstein is the vice president of finance.

Mid-State Lumber Corp. offers a wide range of wood products, including finger-jointed prime Pine; Western Red Cedar decking, shakes, shingles and sidings; green and kiln-dried Douglas Fir; green and kiln-dried Hem-Fir; and Yellow Spruce dimension. The firm also carries a line of Dricon fire retardant commodities; an engineered wood line consisting of Anthony Power Beams; the Trim Joist line; and the International I-beam Line.

Species that the operation markets are Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, Eastern White Pine, Fir and Larch, Hem-Fir, Idaho White Pine, Incense Cedar, Inland Red Cedar, Ponderosa Pine, Southern Yellow Pine, Sugar Pine, oak, ipe, red meranti and European Spruce.

Ron Zuckerman, who works at the Warwick location, and Bill Artigliere and Ernie Brandl, who work at the Branchburg, N.J., location, are integral to the team at Mid-State Lumber Corp.
In addition to their wood fiber product line, Mid-State carries a variety of types of composite products. Some of the lines the firm carries are Eon Outdoor Living, Elk Corp.’s decking and railing, a full line of James Hardie Fiber Cement, and a Koma, PVC trim boar. 

Mid-State is always looking to add to their line of products, and Kenny stated that in the near future, they would be adding another line of products that is very unique to the market. 

“This is going to give our customers an opportunity to get into hardwood decking with something more of a Cedar tone,” he explained.

All three of the Mid-State locations have rail siding with loading and unloading abilities, and the company has 16 flatbed trucks for shipping products. The three facilities also use several contract truckers for servicing many of their accounts.   The company also uses four reloads in the Northeast to distribute its material.

Jay Neadle is the director of engineered wood products at the company.
The Branchburg site is situated on 8 acres of land, with 5 acres paved and 165,000 square feet covered. This operation serves Delaware, New Jersey, Staten Island, N.Y., and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The Warwick facility sits on 19 acres, with 15 acres paved and 155,500 square feet of covered storage. This location serves the Hudson Valley, Albany, Long Island and Oneonta, N.Y., and Hartford, Conn. In Kingston, Pa., the outfit is 5-acres, with 79,000 square feet of covered storage. This operation serves central and western New York, eastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa., northern Maryland and Delaware.

One of the aspects of the company that is very important to the Bernstein family is the management team and the employees at the company.

“Here, the people and the management team create the success of the company,” Bernie said. “We have around 100 employees here and many of them have been here for more than 20 years. I feel we have the most knowledgeable individuals answering the phone for our retail lumberyard customer.”

The management team is comprised of Inez Caon, vice president of marketing; Jay Neadle, director of engineered wood
Bobby Kay is the director of the commodities division at the firm.
products; Bobby Kay, director of commodities division; Jack Dalton, director of the warehouse division. All of these people are supported by long-time committed Mid-State staff.

One way that Mid-State is attempting to educate the trade about their products is by hosting a vendor trade show that is directed and is specific to one territory at a time. The idea is to bring retailers, builders and architects together, offering training seminars in the morning and a vendor expo in the afternoon.

“We are still dealing with the majority of the same vendors this business started with 30 years ago,” Bernie said. “We pride ourselves on dealing with quality suppliers.  We demand high quality and that is how we want to function.  We pass on the marketing and distribution of some products because we don’t feel that they are going to hold up in the marketplace.”

The firm is a member of and supports the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau, North American Wholesale Lumber Assoc., the Northeastern Retail Lumber Assoc., and the New Jersey Lumbermen’s Assoc.

Rhiannon Yalenti works in inside sales at Mid-State Lumber Corp.
In the past 30 years of operation, Mid-State Lumber Corp. has grown from a one building operation into a company with three locations that services six states in the Mid-Atlantic and lower New England regions. In addition to the growth of the warehouse locations, the company has added commodity inventories, manpower, reload capabilities and company trucks, as well as continuing to expand its product line.

In the future, Bernie hopes to continue their success and grow the company even more, but with the same goals at its foundation, “supplying the highest quality products at the most competitive costs to the marketplace.”

Brian Ecker, designer; Larry Caron, designer/draftsman; and Martin Hirschhorn, design supervisor, are an important part of the daily operations at Mid-State Lumber Corp.


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