Earl Perrino, shipping manager, and Scott Brown, vice president of sales, stand beside Eastern White Pine products that are ready for shipment from Diprizio Pine Sales, located in Middleton, N.H. Diprizio’s warehouse holds 1.2 million board feet, which they keep for prompt shipment for their wholesale and distribution customers.
Old Time Values Bring DIPRIZIO and LAVALLEY Families Together
Middleton, N.H.—1938 brought the most devastating hurricane that the Northeast has ever seen. New Hampshire, in particular, was hit hard. Trees in forests throughout the state were uprooted, and devastation of woodlands lay strewn about in catastrophic proportion. It was through this tragic challenge that a staunch and hardworking family from Italy saw an opportunity to build a business that served the needs of the people in their region with a quality that still withstands the forces of nature today.
When Charles DiPrizio and his sons endeavored with a portable sawmill to clean up a forestry nightmare in southeastern New Hampshire in 1938, their industrious pride served local neighborhoods and counties throughout the state. Now it serves lumber wholesalers throughout the United States with DiPrizio Pine.
From the portable mill to several lane hand set sawmills, to the family’s first automatic sawmill in 1968, much has changed for the DiPrizio company through the years. DiPrizio Pine Sales now manufactures 15 million board feet of Eastern White Pine annually, and it is now owned and operated by the LaValley-Middleton family of companies.
Marcella Perry, the general operations manager for DiPrizio Pine Sales and LaValley-Middleton Building Supply, is pictured in front of the firm’s new turbine, which is now supplying all the power for Diprizio’s kilns as well as the moulder and planer.
While Charles DiPrizio and sons were gaining momentum in their family business, another visionary leader on the western side of the state of New Hampshire, Harold LaValley, was building a business in the lumber and building material industry. Being a lumberman at heart, with a fascination for manufacturing, Harold LaValley believed there was a better way to keep costs low for builders, all while delivering top-quality goods and services at lower prices for consumers. That passion to reduce the risks and create profits for builders brought LaValley’s dream of vertical integration to an uncommon but vibrant reality in New Hampshire when, in 1993, he joined with the DiPrizio family to embark on a 15- year mill renewal project at DiPrizio Pine Sales. It was at that time that the DiPrizio’s sold their business to the LaValley family.
It was the mutual respect of old-time values, the recognition that “every business is the business of people”—from the vision of the founders and the pride of the coworkers, to the sensitivity to the needs of the customers, the ability to communicate, and the commitment to serve and build long-term relationships— that first brought the DiPrizio and LaValley families together in 1993. And it was those same values that laid the groundwork for the great success that the LaValley-DiPrizio combination of businesses has achieved in its current manufacturing operations.
The LaValley-DiPrizio combination is a regional family of companies, known locally as LaValley-Middleton Building Supply, with manufacturing operations that include the material wholesale distribution of Eastern White Pine boards in unlimited patterns for flooring, siding, paneling and trim boards, with numerous finishes and pre-stained products. LaValley-Middleton manufacturing also includes: residential and commercial roof and floor trusses; prefabricated floor, roof, deck, and wall panels; prehung door units; fabricated countertops; and even modular systems-built construction. Employing over 400 career-minded representatives, the LaValley-Middleton family of businesses is very well versed in
Scott Brown, vice president of sales, and Jamie Moulton, finished end supervisor at Diprizio, inspect 1x5 premium White Pine boards that recently came through the planer.
working with builders, architects, project supervisors, and buyers at all levels.
The goal is to partner with customers in such a way that they can get everything to do with their job or project directly from one of the LaValley-Middleton companies.
Instrumental to this business efficiency has been the fifteen-year mill upgrading project at DiPrizio Pine Sales that began in 1993. With its facilities spread across 40 acres, DiPrizio operates a planer/moulder and reman center, nine dry kilns with over 600,000 board feet of capacity per cycle, and biomass and biproduct processing plants. The company also has a 600-horsepower Hurst wood-fired boiler and turbine producing steam heat and electricity by recycling systems. The incorporation of this latest technology and equipment in the industry has enabled DiPrizio Pine Sales to become a premier brand in Eastern White Pine quality, product selection, reliable shipments, and competitive pricing. While DiPrizio Pine Sales manufactures and remans 15-20 million board feet of Eastern White Pine each year, it is not the largest mill in New England. It is, however, one of the most modern. The mill carries an extensive inventory of kiln-dried 4/4 through 6/4 Eastern White Pine lumber, White Pine timber, Red Pine flooring and V-joint decking, as well as unique products such as 6/4 log siding, bevel clapboards, paneling, and pre-stained trim, including a vast variety of finger-jointed products with the quality Weining moulder finish. DiPrizio Pine Sales stands out in its ability to handle requests for special patterns, grade programs, and variety of services.
“Regardless if the customer wants square edge or patterns in one of our own mill grades, a custom program, or a NELMA grade (D and Better, or CSelect), DiPrizio Pine is the place to get it all from,” says Scott Brown, Vice President of Wholesale Sales for DiPrizio.
With the goal to be positioned and responsive to customers’ needs while being reliable with on-time, quality-guaranteed shipments, careful scheduling and maximum control of every process from log buying to sawing, kiln drying and planing are hallmarks of DiPrizio Pine Sales’ daily operations. The company uses computerized techniques to ensure accuracy; and, because of the firm’s warehouse inventory system, most orders can be turned around within ten days.
The company also has a 600-horsepower Hurst wood-fired boiler.
“Our goal in the distribution chain,” says Larry Huot, President of DiPrizio Pine Sales, “is to help our wholesale distributor clients avoid a duplication in handling and overhead by having us perform those same steps in our normal material flow. The net result is that our clients can be more profitable using DiPrizio services.”
DiPrizio Pine Sales is well known as a premier quality manufacturer, agile and versatile in serving specialty needs and niche markets on a high-volume basis. Not only does the company supply its products to LaValley-Middleton Building Supply stores, but lumber is also shipped throughout the United States— as far away as California. Most of the DiPrizio brand-name products, though, remain in the New England area where they are well known by craftsmen specializing in new building, renovation, and restoration projects. The unique character, workability, and aesthetic appeal of Eastern White Pine are available to these craftsmen in a timely and surprisingly affordable manner, due to the mill capacity at DiPrizio Pine Sales as well as to the company’s resource-efficient practices.
In 2007, when Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH), the state’s largest electric utility, decided to discontinue its sawmill rate program (a 75% reduction in demand charges), DiPrizio Pine Sales began a process of “going green.” With additional drying costs and forecasted increases in electrical rates and oil prices, DiPrizio Pine turned to co-generation technology (wood-fired boilers and turbines) to reduce expenses. Marcella Perry, Director of Operations at the mill, led and championed the endeavor to fund the project through exhaustive research and countless meetings, becoming reality through the assistance of great people and aid by federal funds: a community development block grant sponsored by the Town of Middleton and administered through the Southeast Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), and a federal grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.
Although such an undertaking started out as a mission, it grew into a vision of what the lumber industry can contribute to slowing the tide of global warming. With a responsible use of renewable resources, DiPrizio has reduced its demand for oil by 390,500 gallons and its SO2 emissions by 18.6 percent. DiPrizio Pine Sales also meets or exceeds all Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) regulations.
DiPrizio’s Hurst electric co-generation turbine produces steam heat and electricity by recycling systems.
According to the company’s estimates, 7,500 gallons of No. 2 fuel oil are required each week to process 600,000 board feet of lumber. DiPrizio has replaced fossil fuel with 41.5 tons of byproduct such as sawdust, woodchips, and whole-wood chips. The turbine produces approximately 60 percent of DiPrizio’s electrical needs, and the steam from the boiler is used to heat several buildings. The resource stewardship continues further down the line as loggers attend annual felling and handling clinics, and customers purchase bark mulch, sawdust, and woodchips.
NELMA-certified DiPrizio Pine Sales is an active member of the Northeastern Lumbermen’s Association (NELMA), a charter member of the North American Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA) Trader’s Market, as well as a member of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA) and the Northeast Retail Lumber Association (NRLA).
DiPrizio Pine Sales is grateful to the commitment and dedication of its people, and to the communities in which the company operates and serves. Without them, DiPrizio Pine would not be where it is today. At DiPrizio Pine Sales, we listen, we care, and we understand your needs. We look forward to the opportunity to learn your business and to tell you more about ours! Visit us on the web, www.dipriziopine.com, and www.lavalleys.com, or call 1-800-647- 8989.