Building Success

Hamilton Building Supply has been in John Perna’s ’18 EMBA family for three generations. After earning an Executive MBA at Villanova, Perna returned to Hamilton as President, ready to take the business to the next level to become a best-in-class company in the lumber and building materials industry.

Perna entered the lumber and building materials industry after college, gaining experience at Hamilton and other companies. He recognizes that this career choice is a relatively unknown opportunity for recent business graduates who often flock to big corporations in management consulting, banking/investing, or pharmaceuticals. He has found that the lumber and building materials industry is a collegial and relationship-driven one that can provide great career opportunities with much room for advancement.

In order to take his career to the next step, Perna decided to pursue an EMBA at Villanova. He had some working experience, so it seemed like an opportune time to combine his industry background with a refined skill set. Lucky for him, Perna’s timing was not only ideal for his career but also for Villanova Men’s Basketball- his time here was anchored by two National Championships. Perna reflects that his EMBA proved invaluable to him in moving up in his career. He was able to refresh technical skills like Finance and Accounting as well as presenting and communication skills. The EMBA environment also enabled classmates from different industries to learn and grow from each other as they worked together to solve problems.

As the current President and owner, Perna is focused on helping Hamilton take the next steps to be a best-in-class company in the lumber and building materials industry. He has already succeeded, and Hamilton was recently named LBM (Lumber and Building Materials) Journal’s 2021 Dealer of the Year.  

John Perna

John Perna’s ’18 EMBA

“My EMBA professors made complicated subjects easier to understand so my classmates and I could tackle problems and develop solutions.”