A CEO who started at the bottom and worked up

PORT ANGELES — It’s the classic American success story: entry-level employee starts out working in the lumber yard and one day becomes president of the company.

“I’ve never thought of myself as Cinderella, but I guess I am,” said Doug Smith, a 20-year employee of Hartnagel Building Supply Inc., who will take over as president and CEO of Lumber Traders on July 1.

Lumber Traders is the holding company that owns Hartnagel, now at 3111 East U.S. Highway 101, along with Angeles Millwork and Lumber Co. at 1601 South C Street and Angeles Millworks Showcase at 833 E. Front St. — all in Port Angeles.

Current CEO and president Arnold Schouten and his wife, Debbie, who owned the business from 1984 until they sold it to their employees in January 2004, are retiring on Monday, June 30.

“We were talking about that. Should we come in on Monday?” Arnold Schouten said with a laugh.

“We’re hoping for a seamless transition,” he said.

“Doug’s been part of the process for a while. He understood the finances and has a lot of knowledge of the operation.”

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