Hancock Lumber’s Yarmouth store hosted a lunch to celebrate the amazing career of long-time industry leader, Peter Bernier.
Thursday marked approximately 45 years to the day since Peter Bernier began working in the industry here in Maine. He started in 1973, right out of college, selling for Brunswick Coal and Lumber (who he had worked summers for since 1968). All the salesmen wore coats and ties at Brunswick Coal back then. Peter designed and drafted almost every house he sold…then estimated every house he sold…and then designed the kitchen for nearly every house he sold. His company car was a VW Beetle!
Kevin Hancock writes, “By the time I started in the business in 1991 Peter was already an icon in the industry here in Maine and regionally in New England. His company was one of the best run lumber companies in New England and Peter served the industry extensively through the NRLA. Seven and a half years ago Peter joined Hancock Lumber and has set an amazing example of professionalism and ‘values-centered’ work. Peter helped lead the early re-invention of our Brunswick store as a Hancock Lumber location. Congratulations, Peter! Thank you for being you!”
At Thursday’s lunch, stories were shared from Team Hancock, as well as past co-workers and friends. Not surprisingly, a common theme emerged:
“Peter is a tremendous body of knowledge for our industry. He was the hardest seller to compete with (you could never convert one of his customers over if you were selling against him), and he was the greatest resource to have on your team.” The Brunswick team fondly considered Peter a father figure when he joined the Hancock Team, feeling mentored and supported by him as young employees grew into sales positions under his guidance. They even were known to call him Dad on occasion!
Customers noted that “business for them has been about personal relationships- these are the people you communicate with every day. Peter has been a tremendous asset to our business.” And, we know the feeling is mutual. When being interviewed for a company video last year, Peter’s response was perfectly aligned on the power of relationships. He is a testament to the value of nurturing long-term relationships in business and friendship.
While it is hard to see him go, we all feel so fortunate to have had him on Team Hancock – he will forever be remembered as a trailblazing steward of this industry. Peter Bernier is a true class-act and it has been so valuable learning from him and working alongside him over the years. Congratulations on an accomplished career and best of luck in retirement, Peter! Thank you!