Following in the footsteps of his father, Breeze Cross, and generations before him, Andrew Cross officially took control of Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Company on Dec. 5, 2011.
The 80-year-old company operates lumberyards in downtown Truckee and Tahoe City, a warehouse in Sparks, Nev. and a full-service design showroom and door shop, Home Concepts Design Resource Center.
Breeze Cross, who has run the company for the past 35 years, will remain involved as chairman of the board of directors and will continue to mentor his son through the transition. “We have been preparing for this transition for several years, and both the family and company are excited to see Andrew step into his new role,” said Breeze. “He has proven that he can competently lead the business; not only to me, but also to our board of directors, our customers, and our vendors.”
And prove himself he did. Breeze made it clear to his son from a young age that if he were to ever take over the company, he would first have to qualify for the job by meeting several criteria, including obtaining an advanced degree, gaining outside work experience, and becoming involved in community organizations.
Since that time, Andrew has met and surpassed all of the criteria set forth. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of California Davis and in May of 2012 he will graduate with a master of business administration from the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business. He currently serves as treasurer of the board of directors for the Rotary Club of Truckee.
For the past five years, Andrew has gained experience working in every position at Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Company, starting in 2006 as a lumber yard laborer and moving to vice president/ general manager of lumberyard operations in 2008. While Breeze initially announced his retirement in 2007, he returned to his position as CEO in 2008 as a result of the collapse of the construction industry and subsequent company downsizing.
It was important to Breeze that his son work side-by-side with every employee in the company. “It’s hard to manage something you don’t understand,” Breeze said. While exhausting at times, the experience proved invaluable, Andrew said. “I shoveled snow all day, but I also worked with great people and I learned a lot,” he said of his duties as a lumber yard laborer.
Even more challenging for Andrew has been managing the lumberyard through the current
economic recession, which his father called the most difficult period the company has ever seen. But the company remains strong, despite the major slowdown within the building industry. “Andrew’s wisdom, leadership, and work ethic have seen the company through these past three years,” said Breeze. “As a result of his strengths, the company grew stronger, and the board of directors grew confident in his capabilities.” Confident enough to promote him to president and CEO in December.
Since 1931, Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Company has served the area’s lumber and building supply needs. The company was founded in 1931 by E.T. Robie and was purchased by Breeze’s grandfather, Charlie Cross, upon Robie’s death in 1950. The company was the main supplier for the construction of Squaw Valley’s Olympic Village for the 1960 Olympic Winter Games. Chal Cross, Breeze’s father, directed the company through the region’s building boom in the 1970s, until his son took over in 1979.
Since then the company has grown significantly, but the business remains grounded in integrity, said Breeze. “Many of the relationships my grandfather and father had were based on a handshake,” Breeze said. “We’ve always tried to instill that commitment to understanding and satisfying the needs of our customers.”
Today the Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Company operates three locations, with lumberyards in Truckee and Tahoe City and a warehouse in Sparks, Nev. The family also owns Home Concepts, a full-service interior design and door shop in Truckee, which is run by brother, Ira.
While the lumber industry faces new challenges of sustainability and a changing market, the family looks forward to building even stronger relationships with their customers, vendors and the community. “I am excited about the future and look forward to meeting the new challenges, while working with such a dedicated staff and continuing my family’s legacy,” said Andrew.
Serving Northern California and Nevada since 1931, Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Company is the region’s premier lumber and building supply company, with two lumber yards, a door shop, and full-service interior design services.