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Crossroads woman becomes board chairwoman of national lumber association

ALLISON MILES

By ALLISON MILES
Dec. 3, 2011 at 6:03 a.m.
Updated Dec. 4, 2011 at 6:04 a.m.

Cally Fromme, center, accepts her position as first female board chair for the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association. Also pictured are President Michael O'Brien, left, and Immediate Past Chair Joe Collings.

One Crossroads resident proves the building industry isn't necessarily a man's world.

Cally Fromme, executive vice president of Victoria's Zarsky Lumber Co., became the first woman board chair for the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association.

Her role became official Oct. 26.

Fromme said she was proud of her position in what many consider a male-oriented industry.

"I want to do it well," she said. "To set a good precedent for the women behind me."

Fromme's role makes her volunteer leader for the association, which represents 6,000 privately-held lumber dealers nationwide. The organization educates industry pros on issues that affect them, such as pending legislation that could limit CDL drivers to hands-free cellphones.

The Victoria native got an early start in the lumber world.

Her father was president of both Zarsky Lumber Co. and the Lumbermen's Association of Texas & Louisiana, and often took her to industry events. Although she spent some time in California after college, she returned home and soon began learning the industry's various facets.

Fromme worked her way up the ladder, eventually becoming the lumbermen's association's first female president. She also served in other roles with the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association.

She attributed her success to her sense of humor and relaxed attitude.

"I don't think it helps anyone to be too uptight or rigid or feminist," she said. "It doesn't do anybody any favors."

Fromme also kept busy with other organizations, according to the United States Congress' Congressional Record. She has worked with the Victoria Rotary Club, Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Victoria Economic Development Corp., Trinity Episcopal School and City of Victoria Planning Commission.

Fromme is married to Travis Fromme and said she was proud their two children - Karoline, 10, and Coleman, 8 - can accompany her to events, much like she did years ago.

"I think it's a great standard, especially for my daughter, to see a woman and mother leading a large group like that," she said.

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