Mead Associates

The key to our success is our over 900 associates, many of whom have made Mead their workplace for life. Almost two dozen associates have more than 30 years of service with our company. Our frontline employees, particularly our drivers, inside and outside sales people, office support, manufacturing, and local management personnel that interface with our customers’ everyday define who we are as a company. The culture of our company, combined with our commitment to providing a safe yet fast paced work environment, solid growth opportunities, attractive compensation and fringe benefits, has created an outstanding work force that is very talented, loyal and hardworking. The Mead family now spanning four generations has provided great leadership and a solid foundation from which we have continued to grow. As both a family owned and ESOP Company, our employees have a vested interest in providing you- our customer, great service and value.

The Mead senior management team consists of the following individuals, each of them committed to providing a great and meaningful work environment for our associates, suppliers, community, owners, and our customers. Feel free to contact any of us if we can help you in any way, or if you have any other thoughts and recommendations which we could help improve our company, and/or share feedback with our valued associates.


Craig Bradshaw

President-Mead Lumber

Craig graduated from Colorado State University in 1979 with a degree in marketing. He started in the lumber business in 1981 with Everitt Lumber, a division of Weyerhaeuser in Fort Collins, CO. Craig moved to Nebraska in 1985 to become a partner and general manager of Builders Warehouse in Kearney, NE. Craig sold his share of Builders Warehouse to his partner in 2006 and was hired as president of Mead Lumber to replace Bob Mead who retired and became chairman of the board.

As president of Mead Lumber, Craig provides the leadership across our growing footprint. Today, the Mead/Knecht family of stores includes: Mead Lumber, Knecht Home Centers, Thomae Lumber and Truss, Black Hills Truss, Great Plains Countertop and Ace Hardware’s in Canon City, Sheridan, and Rapid City. The company has over 750 Employee Owners who are committed to making Mead Lumber and Knecht Home Center our customers’ first choice for lumber, building materials, hardware, and trusses.

Phone: 402-564-5225
Email Craig


Bryan Rice

Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Bryan graduated from Metropolitan State University in 1981 with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. He started in the lumber business in 1978 as a sales person for Lampert Lumber in the Twin Cities. In 1983 he accepted an opportunity to be the assistant manager in Rapid City for Lampert and after a couple great years in the Black Hills, was asked to manage the Lampert yard in Mankato, MN. In 1991 United Building Centers acquired several of the Lampert Lumber yards, including Mankato. With UBC, Bryan was promoted to District Manager in 1994. In 2000, Bryan was promoted to UBC’s senior management team, serving as a senior vice president in both operations and sales. Under his marketing leadership, UBC was recognized nationally in 2004 as the first Pro Sales Excellence Dealer of the Year award winner in the area of marketing and customer service.

In 2009, Bryan accepted an opportunity to lead the Knecht/Ace Region for the Mead Lumber Company. In 2015, he was asked to provide leadership in the areas of Sales and Marketing across the Mead footprint. He is committed to providing outstanding customer service and is always making sure that the company meets our customer’s wants and needs to better ensure their satisfaction and success. Today with over 900 employees, Bryan is also committed to providing a safe, vibrant work place for our associates along with providing opportunities for them and their families.

Phone: 605-719-3041
Email Bryan


Ryan Rudd

Vice President of Purchasing/Regional Manager

Ryan is a graduate of Dodge City Community College with a degree in Applied Science.  He began his career in the lumber industry with Mead Lumber in 1991 in the yard as a loader/driver at our Dodge City location.  A year later, he transitioned into sales  and then into the role as an Outside Sales Rep for the next 12 years where he learned the operations and personnel side of the business.  This provided the opportunity to then take on the role as Center Manager in Dodge City, where he served in that role for 5 years.

Since 2012 Ryan has served as Regional Manager overseeing the personnel and operations of 15 lumberyards and home centers for the company.  In addition to his responsibilities as a Regional Manager, Ryan serves as Vice President of Purchasing where he is responsible for the purchasing programs and purchasing strategies for the company with our key supplier community.  As a long time employee of Mead Lumber, Ryan is committed to the success and support of the employees, stores, and overall growth goals of our company.

Phone: 402-564-5225
Email Ryan


Jeff Taake

Vice President of Manufacturing & Commercial Sales, Regional Manager

Jeff attended the University of Nebraska Lincoln where he studied Architecture and Business. Jeff holds a Lean Management Certificate from the University of Nebraska Omaha and has been trained in Gallup’s Strengths Based Management

Jeff is a 26-year veteran of the building materials industry and accepted a position with the Mead Lumber family in October of 2016 to provide leadership and strategy for manufacturing operations and commercial sales across the company footprint.

Jeff most recently was the VP of Operations and Commercial Sales for Millard Lumber based out of Omaha, Nebraska, where he started in 2002. He was responsible their sales and operations in the following markets; Des Moines, IA, Lincoln, NE, Kansas City, KS and Omaha, NE. Prior to becoming the VP of Operations and Commercials sales he was their Operations Manager where he revamped their millwork operations and expanded their interior/exterior prehung door manufacturing capacity.

Jeff is active in the homebuilding industry serving or having served on the Board of Directors and in leadership positons for the Nebraska Green Council, Associated Builders and Contractors, Structural Building Components Association and Iowa Truss Manufacturer Association.

Phone: 402-564-5225
Email Jeff