Lesson number one: Don’t keep score

Susan and Pat Thorne accept the Independent Pro Dealer of the Year award.

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Not everyone has the opportunity to work with their spouse. Pat and Susan Thorne have found a way to make it successful.

The two co-owners of three-unit Pat Thorne Lumber of Chillicothe, Mo., have discovered some ground rules that promote a healthy business.

“There are probably three things that work for us,” said Pat Thorne during his 2013 Independent Pro Dealer of the Year acceptance speech. “Number one, we don’t keep score. Number two: We don’t care who is right; we just try to get it right. And number three: we don’t take work home.”

The HCN Independent Pro Dealer of the Year award recognizes an independent dealer for community involvement, service and values. Thorne accepted the award during the ProDealer Industry Summit in Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 23.

The Thornes’ community involvement is illustrated by their participation in a recent church group mission to Mozambique, where they helped build a church in the East African country. “A truly great experience,” Thorne said.

“We feel we owe our success to our employees, our customers and our vendors,” he added. “We think it takes all three to give the business the opportunity to grow.”

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