As seen in the Valley Breeze
Jeanne Pepin Budnick, a daughter in the founding family of Pepin Lumber on Cumberland Hill Road, was honored by the Woonsocket Rotary Club with the 2015 Vocational Service Award.
The award is presented by Rotary each year "to an individual or business that: exemplifies 'service above self,' has shown outstanding achievement in their vocation or business by encouraging high ethical standards; and dignified that vocation as an opportunity to serve society."
Budnick, 49, is the daughter of Pepin Lumber founders Camille and Jeanne Pepin. She, along with her three sisters and brother, manage the company today. She has worked there since her teenage years.
Budnick has in recent years spearheaded the founding of the area's "Buy Local" effort, creating the Blackstone Valley Independent Business Alliance, and serving it as vice president and president. She also began "Cash Mobs," which visit local businesses and restaurants each month. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Northern R.I. Chamber of Commerce.
Budnick was nominated for the award by Rotarian Dave Lahousse, who owns both Kay's Restaurant and The Lodge Pub & Eatery in Lincoln.
She is a 1984 graduate of Woonsocket High School and won the high school's business award as the "Most Achieved Student" there.
As a woman in the lumber business, she is certified in estimating most home projects, served two terms as secretary of the Rhode Island Lumber Dealers, and chaired the annual Lumber Dealers' Clambake for 10 years. In January of 2000, she was awarded Lumber Person of the Year for Rhode Island and honored locally and at the Northeast Retail Lumbermen Association Convention in Boston.
She was the first person in Rhode Island to become a Certified Building Materials Specialist following an extensive program.
She is married to Kenneth Budnick, and they have two children, Steven and Rachel. They live in Woonsocket.