Universal Forest Products, Inc. (Nasdaq: UFPI) today announced changes intended to enhance the Company’s growth and profitability, including the addition of support around two areas of strong growth potential: international sales and product development. The changes are effective Oct. 1, 2011. Universal has tapped a 20-year veteran, UFP Eastern Division President C. Scott Greene, to lead and manage both of these initiatives as Executive Vice President of New Business Development. “Among the critical drivers for our growth and success is expanding our market and product mix. These are essential areas for Universal moving forward and there is no better person to lead those efforts than Scott Greene,” said CEO Matthew J. Missad. “Scott knows our company, has a proven track record of success in marketing, business development and leadership, and is eager to work in new ways to help Universal grow.” “I am excited for the opportunity to use my knowledge and experience in these areas to grow our business,” said Greene. “Our goal is to leverage our resources and expertise to grow internationally and promote new product development, which are critical to Universal’s growth. I look forward to the challenges and to driving the desired results.” Universal will return to two geographic divisions from three. UFP Eastern Division, Inc. will be led by 34-year UFP veteran Robert Lees. Lees currently is president of the Atlantic Division, which will be absorbed into the Eastern Division. The Western Division will remain unchanged, headed by Division President Allen Peters. Missad said that the consolidation to two operating divisions is intended to enhance efficiencies and streamline the Company’s operations. “Bob has been the consummate professional during his tenure at UFP and has proven his ability and willingness to take on challenges and opportunities presented to him,” Missad said. “I’m confident he’ll help drive sales and profits in the east, and help us maintain the high standards that have been the hallmark of our success.”
“I look forward to working with and building on the great structure and success created by Scott in the Eastern Division, and to creating even more synergies among efforts and initiatives in our operations in the eastern United States,” Lees said.Missad said that the emphases on new products and markets are crucial to the Company’s long-term growth. “We recognize that unless we expand our product offering and grow beyond North America, our results will be solely dependent on the North American economy and on our current product mix,” he said. “We aren’t sitting by, waiting for a recovery; instead, we’re driving the changes we feel will make us more profitable and a more dynamic company.” “I’m grateful to each of the Universal professionals for their eagerness to tackle new challenges and create opportunity for our company, employees, customers and shareholders,” Missad added. UNIVERSAL FOREST PRODUCTS, INC. Universal Forest Products, Inc. is a holding company that provides capital, management and administrative resources to subsidiaries that design, manufacture and market wood and wood-alternative products for DIY/retail home centers and other retailers, structural lumber products for the manufactured housing industry, engineered wood components for the construction markets, and specialty wood packaging and components for various industries. The Company's consumer products subsidiary offers a large portfolio of outdoor living products, including wood composite decking, decorative balusters, post caps and plastic lattice. Its lawn and garden group offers an array of products, such as trellises and arches, to retailers nationwide. Universal’s subsidiaries also provide framing services for the site-built market and forming products for concrete construction. Founded in 1955, Universal Forest Products is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., with operations throughout North America. For more about Universal Forest Products, go to www.ufpi.com. Please be aware that: Any statements included in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs of the Company's management as well as on assumptions made by, and information currently available to, the Company at the time such statements were made. The Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect facts, circumstances, assumptions or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made. Actual results could differ materially from those included in such forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainty. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements are the following: adverse lumber market trends, competitive activity, negative economic trends, government regulations and weather. Certain of these risk factors and additional information are included in the Company's reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.