Rick Baumgarten

About

Rick Baumgarten has been President of Lee Lumber & Building Material Corp., an independent, urban lumber dealer established in 1952 by Rick’s father, Lee, since 1981, having started there in 1967. Lee Lumber’s sales are derived from the Chicago lumberyard and showrooms for Windows, Doors, Cabinetry and Custom Millwork in Lincoln Park, on North Elston Avenue, and in Highland Park. Rick was responsible for selecting the company’s first computer system in 1975. After directing custom programming modifications, the system was delivered about Christmas, of 1975, and was in full use February 1, 1976. The (then) unique dual directory inventory data base led to Rick’s working with programmers to develop a Point-of- Sale system, the first in the industry, in 1979. The data base and numbering system was resold many times and was put into use all over the country, within several years. Rick holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago, having been admitted without an undergraduate degree by scoring in the 99th percentile on a multi-day college level equivalency battery of tests. Test taking and general knowledge were always a strength, as Rick also scored a perfect 36 on the ACT college entry exams while in High School. Rick is a past Chairman of the National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association. During that Chairmanship, Rick spoke at 20 State and Regional Association meetings and met with a number of members of the US House and Senate. Rick has been a director of The Lumber Trade Association of Greater Chicago and was the Chief Strategist and spokesperson representing the Association membership in Labor negotiations. Years later, negotiating for Lee Lumber, Rick was able to actually secure the withdrawal of a union in place for many years. Definite strengths would be strategic thinking and negotiation. Rick has served as Chairman of SmartRooms, a cabinetry showroom in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart since its formation over fifteen years ago, until its acquisition by Lee Lumber in 2007. A past Trustee of Francis W. Parker School, Rick is a former member of the Board of Managers of the Valentine Chicago Boys and Girls Club. Rick has been active in youth oriented community centers for over 25 years and is a past president of a center he helped to establish. Rick has attended Weyerhaeuser’s Leadership Institute, served as an advisor to the consultants for Pacific Lumber Company’s forced land sale to the Federal Government, given the keynote address at the annual meeting of one of the major building material buying groups and has been a speaker or panelist at a number of trade related meetings and seminars including several in Canada. Rick is 71 years old, married to Esther for 47 years and has two daughters, a graduate of Yale University and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business (MBA); and a graduate of Colby College in Maine, and Medical School at Tulane University, in residency for Surgery. Rick is seriously interested in collecting fine art prints and drawings, and has a depth of knowledge in Classical Music. Rick has recently become certified by the French Wine Society as a Master of Rhone and Bordeaux wines. Winter vacations typically include skiing. Rick and Esther have travelled quite extensively both here and abroad.
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