Selling building materials wasn’t initially what Wilson Lumber Director of Sales Josh Hendrickson sought to do with his life. The California-native moved to Huntsville, Ala. – aka, the Rocket City – at the age of 6. Like a lot of youngsters who grew up around NASA and the U.S. Army base in Huntsville, Josh was interested in engineering. Huntsville has more engineers in one place than anywhere else in the U.S.
Josh studied mechanical engineering at the local university. But once he got into the higher-level mechanical engineering classes, he realized it wasn’t a great fit.
So, at the age of 25, he changed gears.
He was running his own small landscaping business yet was motivated to earn his college degree and to become the first person in his family to complete a four-year degree. Josh transferred schools and fast-tracked a degree in business administration in just one year.
Around the same time, flipping houses was an emerging trend, and Josh gave it a try. “I didn’t know anything about construction until my first flip,” he said.
He did a lot of the work himself and just figured it out. “My dad raised me in such a way where you just figured stuff out,” Josh said. “My mind naturally likes to deconstruct things and figure out how they work.”
That first flip was 15 years ago, during which time Josh has grown to become an expert in building materials, residential construction, commercial construction, and engineered wood products like trusses. As he learned more, Josh discovered a passion and talent for selling and helping customers through challenges. “You have to put yourself in the position where you see the customer and what they’re going through,” Josh advises.
He started out selling to residential builders, growing relationships, and thus growing sales. He learned about the lumber industry by asking a lot of questions of people who had been in the industry for a long time.
Josh also realized that truss manufacturing was something that set Wilson Lumber apart, and he chose to focus his energy there. This resulted in significant growth in truss sales and was the first step in creating the Wilson Lumber commercial sales department. Today, commercial sales make up about 30 % of the company’s business, providing trusses and millwork to commercial projects throughout the Southeast.
Josh was promoted from truss salesman to commercial sales manager then to the director of all sales in 2019. “My goal is to make my salespeople more effective at their job by teaching them to make better decisions for themselves and providing better solutions to their customers,” he said.
He also leads by example. “The Wilson Lumber Core Values make it really easy to do my job. I use the core values to help navigate me through decision making.”
Josh and his wife Susy stay busy with their 3 young children: 7-year-old Evy, 4-year-old Rowan and 2-year-old Eliza. Josh is also an award-winning barbecue chef and enjoys backpacking. He has hiked every trail on Monte Sano Mountain and hiked about 70 miles on the Appalachian Trail.