Russin Lumber Corp. History

After receiving two bronze stars fighting as a machine gunner in General Patton’s army during World War II, Leonard Russin came back to Brooklyn, New York and worked as a forklift operator for a relative’s lumber company. A few years later, with a growing family, Lenny struck out on his own. Russin Lumber Corp. was founded in 1957 as a wholesaler and distributor of stair materials sold exclusively to the professional wood staircase manufacturing industry.
Competition was tough early on, but Lenny’s tenacity and willingness to outwork his competitors gave him a foot in the door with local stairbuilders. Russin Lumber grew and required larger space, and Lenny moved the company several times to accommodate the growth. Every move and uptick in business brought new challenges which needed to be overcome, but Lenny proved that by listening to his customers and finding a way to say yes to their biggest challenges, his company could grow in importance as a supplier.
In 1972 Barry Russin joined his father as the sixth employee in the family business. Together with his Dad, Barry began the strategy of expanding the company’s product lines and customizing their in-house manufacturing that continues to this day.
Another move to a larger facility in 1978 allowed the company to expand its pine offerings and add cedar products, white fir and kiln-dried Spruce to the mix. It was during the years that followed that Russin expanded into the treated SYP business, becoming the first wholesale distributor to buy raw Southern Yellow Pine and have it custom treated in the South. This allowed Russin to offer mixed loads to dealer specifications with prompt shipments.
Russin built its current facility in Montgomery, NY in 1988. Expansions over the years have brought the facility’s storage space to 140,000 square feet under cover, with 18 acres of additional storage space and an in-house custom milling operation. Barry chose the location due to its access to an on-site rail siding and close proximity to the intersection of I-84 and I-87, giving the company easy logistical access to its customer base.
In 2003, Russin expanded its factory finishing business by opening a brand new facility in Montgomery, less than one mile from its main location. This facility features sophisticated, state-of-the-art equipment unrivaled in the Northeast, and contains 41,000 square feet located on 13 acres with the capacity to double its current size.
“Expanding our capabilities is extremely important in today’s business climate,” Barry Russin said at the time. “The biggest challenge we face is the constant change in our industry. Offshore wood products and the advent of alternative goods have created significant opportunities to the building industry. These remarkable new products have, and will continue to, reshape the way we approach business.”
The company’s expansion continued in 2007 with the opening of Russin Lumber of Chile. Just outside the city of Concepcion, the new facility is a manufacturing operation devoted to the production of fingerjointed radiata pine blanks. Less than a year later, Russin opened a full time office in Nanjing, China which handles quality control for its line of DesignerPly hardwood plywoods. “In a global marketplace, the companies who win will be the organizations who are willing to go to the source to control the manufacturing process,” Barry Russin said. “Rather than crossing our fingers and hoping for the best, we can assure our customers the quality they expect by managing the production ourselves.”
Russin Lumber continues to evolve and grow into the next generation. In 2002 Barry’s eldest son Jordan joined the business, followed in 2008 by his younger son Adam. Jordan’s first-born, Ryan Grey, came into the world in September 2010, giving Russin Lumber a fourth generation to look towards for the future!
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