John Murphy has been named the 2023 Bronson J. Lewis honoree. Now in its 18th year, the Bronson Lewis Award recognizes individuals for their leadership and outstanding contributions to the engineered wood industry. Murphy was presented with the award at the APA Annual Meeting in Palm Desert, California. The meeting took place Oct. 14-17, 2023. The award is named in honor of the late Bronson Lewis, who served 24 years as secretary and then executive vice president of APA – The Engineered Wood Association.
Having served the industry for over 50 years, Murphy’s dedication and contributions are well-respected. He is the third generation to lead the Murphy Company as current president and CEO.
Born in Portland, Oregon, Murphy moved to Florence, Oregon, in 1973 to help operate the Murphy Company’s Cushman, Swisshome and Myrtle Point veneer mills. Just a few years later, in the early 1980s, he operated his first plywood mill in Natron, Oregon, followed by plants in Milwaukie and Sutherlin, Oregon.
On July 5, 2005, the Murphy Company suffered a catastrophic fire at its Sutherlin plywood mill. In 2008, Murphy led the mill reconstruction efforts, overseeing its transformation into a state-of-the-art engineered wood facility.
He went on to lead the Murphy Company through a series of transactions between 2002 and 2017, adding veneer and plywood facilities to the company’s portfolio.
Under his watchful eye, the Murphy Company has grown tremendously to become a major player in the Softwood plywood, hardwood plywood and LVL markets. Today, the Murphy Company employs over 1,000 at six mill locations throughout Oregon and Washington.
Murphy leaves a remarkable legacy of service to the industry. His contributions include serving 25 years on the APA – The Engineered Wood Association Board of Trustees, including a year as vice chair from 2003-2004 and chair from 2004-2005.
“As a tireless advocate of APA and the industry, we are thrilled to recognize John with this year’s Bronson J. Lewis Award,” said APA President Mark Tibbetts. “Receiving this year’s award commemorates John’s decades-long service and commitment to APA and the industry.”
Murphy and his wife of 51 years, Chrissy, reside in Eugene, Oregon, where they raised six children. His son, John Jr., helps his father run the family business as executive vice president.