Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In the LMC: Advancing Business Acumen program, you will:

  • Learn frameworks and models that will improve your understanding of the business in key areas of strategy, finance, people, and operations
  • Enhance your management ability to solve real-world problems that affect the forest-products and building-materials retail business
  • Network with Wharton faculty and fellow leaders across the country in the LMC dealer network
  • Apply learning in a real-world case study

Experience & Impact

As the forest-products and building-materials industry ramps up to meet the increase in construction demands, independent lumberyards face some challenges: consolidation, pressure to operate efficiently, and finding new ways to attract and retain the best talent. LMC, a forest-products and building-materials co-op serving over 360 independent lumberyards, has partnered with Wharton to design a unique program to enhance the skills of leaders.

LMC: Advancing Business Acumen offers independent lumberyards a comprehensive management training program hosted by the world’s oldest U.S. business school. The program includes interactive lectures and faculty and peer dialogue on the newest core concepts of business, with the opportunity to apply these concepts in participants' own businesses. Participants will explore working across organizational boundaries and also receive instruction on finance and negotiation. Additional sessions delve into corporate growth, organizational culture, digital marketing, and succession planning.

Wharton faculty apply their field-based research and the latest strategic insights to help participants learn what they need to know to be a strategic change agent for their organizations.

Session topics include:

  • Collaboration and Leadership
  • Managing Innovation
  • Evaluating Corporate Health: Key Performance Indicators
  • Financial Management: Risk, Return, and Investor Expectations
  • Frictions and Business Evolution in the Digital Economy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Negotiations
  • Organizational Culture
  • Strategic Execution
  • Succession Planning

Through highly interactive lectures, exercises, and case studies, both in the classroom and in smaller work groups, this deep dive into the essentials of management will enable participants to build industry knowledge and business acumen and apply it to their day-to-day roles, positioning them for broader responsibilities.

Forest-Products and Building-Materials Industry Case Study

A key part of the learning for the week is when participants apply what they studied in the classroom to an industry-related case developed by LMC stockholders and Wharton. Working together in teams, participants must formulate their recommendations for the case study. More importantly, on the final day each member of the group presents his/her group's decision and then has the opportunity to listen and question others sharing different approaches. This last day is an important part of the learning process, enabling participants to apply the basic foundational topics such as finance, marketing, and operations to a real-world scenario.

Due to our application review period, applications submitted after 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday for programs beginning the following Monday may not be processed in time to grant admission. Applicants will be contacted by a member of our Client Relations Team to discuss options for future programs and dates.

Who Should Attend

LMC: Advancing Business Acumen is designed for emerging leaders and mid-level managers from operations, finance, marketing, and human resources in the building and construction industry. Participants include professionals with a business background and a fair amount of business experience who want to polish up their skills, as well as individuals making a transition from a functional part of the business to more of a general management role. The program also is beneficial to industry professionals with no formal business training but who wish to understand business essentials.

Participants leave the program with an expanded peer network, plus specific tools and frameworks they can use to lead significant change initiatives within their companies or organizations.

Fluency in English, written and spoken, is required for participation in Wharton Executive Education programs unless otherwise indicated.

Plan your stay in Philadelphia

Plan Your Stay

This program is held at the Steinberg Conference Center located on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia. Meals and accommodations are included in the program fees. Learn more about planning your stay at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus.

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group-enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.


David Wessels

David Wessels, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Adjunct Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Gad Allon

Gad Allon, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Jeffrey A. Keswin Professor; Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions; Director, Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Operations management and operations strategy

Nancy Rothbard

Nancy Rothbard, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Deputy Dean; David Pottruck Professor; Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Emotion and identity, work motivation and engagement, work-life and career development

Gregory Shea

Gregory Shea, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Adjunct Professor of Management; Senior Fellow, Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management; Adjunct Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Leadership, leadership of change, organizational innovation

Patti Williams

Patti Williams, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Ira A. Lipman Associate Professor of Marketing; Vice Dean, Wharton Executive Education

Research Interests: Consumer decision making, emotional and attitudinal ambivalence, the persuasive effects of emotion

Jerry Wind

Jerry Wind, PhDSee Faculty Bio

The Lauder Professor Emeritus of Marketing; Director, SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Global marketing strategy, marketing-driven corporate strategy, new product and business development


Amazing week for us. The biggest takeaway I’ve had is learning new ways to delve down deep and interpret our financials. I look forward to taking that home and bringing that forward in our company.”

Kate Borroni Woodson Wholesale, Texas

I have to say the instructors are world class — certainly tops. The content hits exactly what we all go through as dealers every day. The week has gone by so quickly with so much information. The challenge will be to go back and set goals we can get done.”

Larry Huot Lavalley-Middleton Building Supply, New Hampshire

Here at Wharton spending the week with peers from across the country, I just can’t say enough about the experience. It was a first-class experience. The teachers were phenomenal, the content relevant, and the format enjoyable. Networking with my peers and learning more about their business made for a great combination. I’m going to take back and implement ideas to our business.”

Denise Brookhouse Koopman Lumber, Massachusetts

The Wharton experience was fantastic. We learned a great deal about each other, and were taught specific tools to use in our business, and made some great contacts within the industry that we will be able to call on in the future. One of the things I found most helpful was the process that every instructor used. They started by describing what the goals of the session were, presented the material, gave specific real-life examples of the point, we discussed in small groups, then worked on a case study in small groups, and finally circled back to discuss what we learned from the case study. This process can be applied in everyday life to follow up with initiatives in our own business.”

Alicia Dedman Detering Company, Texas

The time spent this past week at Wharton was well beyond worthwhile. LMC arranged an incredible program featuring instruction by some of the best minds in business academia coupled with collaboration with a great group of industry peers.”

J.D. Saunders Economy Lumber, California

It exceeded all of my expectations; well thought out, organized, and productive. It was very applicable to day to day operational issues. Thanks for the experience.”

Randy Chippeaux Star Lumber, Kansas

Download the program schedule, including session details and format.

Email to Apply

Contact Us

For more information about this program, please contact Michele Murtaugh at LMC.

 +1 800-218-0043, Ext. 7006

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