Maggie Hardy Knox, 84 Lumber, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Maggie Hardy Knox

Family-Owned Values

Editors’ Note

As president of 84 Lumber, Maggie Hardy Knox oversees day-to-day operations of 84 Lumber and its approximately 250 stores, component manufacturing plants, custom door shops, custom millwork shops and engineered wood product centers nationwide. After taking over the company in 1992, she refocused concentration on the professional market. Hardy Knox strikes a delicate balance between maintaining the company’s traditional approach to doing business and adapting to meet ever-changing customer needs. Hardy Knox assumed leadership of 84 Lumber when she was just 26 years old. Even then, she was showing her business smarts and proving her toughness. She maintains those qualities today and continues to find new ways to make the company an industry stand-out.

Company Brief

Founded in 1956 and headquartered in Eighty Four, Pennsylvania, 84 Lumber Company (84lumber.com) is the nation’s largest privately-held supplier of building materials, manufactured components and industry-leading services for single- and multi-family residences and commercial buildings. The company operates over 250 stores, component manufacturing plants, custom door shops, custom millwork shops and engineered wood product centers in more than 30 states. 84 Lumber also offers turnkey installation services for a variety of products, including framing, insulation, siding, windows, roofing, decking and drywall. A certified national women’s business enterprise, 84 Lumber was named by Forbes as one of America’s Largest Private Companies in 2018 and 2020, and one of America’s Best Large Employers in 2019.

84 Lumber

How has 84 Lumber adapted its business to address the challenges caused by the pandemic?

First and foremost, the health and safety of my 84 Lumber associates and their families is always my absolute number one priority, whether there is a pandemic or not. At 84 Lumber, we have always been about people. We treat our associates, customers and partners like family. From the very beginning of the pandemic, we worked together to figure out the most efficient ways to continue serving our customers safely.

How proud are you to see the way 84 Lumber’s workforce has shown strength and resilience during this challenging and uncertain time?

Our associates are always willing to do whatever it takes to continue getting things done for our customers. I’m extremely proud of our team for how much strength and resilience they showed during these times of uncertainty. Not only did they work hard and keep safety at the forefront, but they also helped us achieve a record-breaking year at 84 Lumber.

How do you define the 84 Lumber difference and what have been the keys to the company’s success?

At 84 Lumber, we have the opportunity to bring our family-owned values into our day-to-day business operations. We not only provide the best available products and services, but we also maintain a team of highly-trained, hardworking associates. We also commit to the local communities where we live and work. Whether it’s exceptional customer service, collaboration with various charities, or investment in our associates, our priorities have kept us successful and strong for nearly 65 years and will continue to guide us in the decades ahead.

How critical is it for 84 Lumber to build a diverse and inclusive workforce in order to bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the table when making business decisions?

84’s goal has always been to create opportunity for our associates. Whether someone has been with our company for 60 years or 60 days, we strive to show them that they are valued. We make sure each of our manager trainees comes to team headquarters in the beginning of their training where they meet with leadership and are shown that their voices are heard.

Will you discuss 84 Lumber’s commitment to supporting its employees, customers and communities during this unprecedented time?

We have over 250 locations and over 5,900 associates and we reach thousands of people each day. The pandemic has been very real for each and every one of our associates and customers. Throughout 2020, we donated millions of dollars to various charities and families in need, including $500,000 to the Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, bringing over 5 million meals to the community we’re based in.

All of us at 84 Lumber are continuing to stay positive and look for ways to support the people in our communities.

What do you see as the responsibility of leading companies to be engaged in the communities they serve and to be good corporate citizens?

We take our responsibility to give back very seriously. In the last year, we donated 84 mammograms to local women during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a tiny house to a military veteran in need, $84,084 to 24 different charities during the holidays, and a home makeover to assist a 13-year-old with disabilities. Most recently, we donated $10,000 to the American Heart Association for Wear Red and Give Day.

We are dedicated to our communities, and we are not stopping anytime soon.

What are the keys to effective leadership and how you do you describe your management style?

I have found that over the years the key to leadership is being hands on, and hands on means listening and hearing from associates and customers.

As a leading woman executive, do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to grow and lead in the industry?

If the individual has passion for what they want to do, the opportunities will fall into place. At 84 Lumber, there’s room for every associate to succeed. Our culture creates an environment where if you work hard, care, and check your ego at the door, you can do anything you want in this company. Here, the sky’s the limit.

What advice do you offer to young people beginning their careers during this challenging and uncertain time?

My advice to anyone is whether you choose this industry or another one, your hard work and your dedication will separate you from anyone else and make you stand out.