By Dallin Brooks, Executive Director, National Hardwood Lumber Assoc.
Being a middle child in a big, blended family, with 9 siblings, as well as being a Canadian, I know what it is like to be the forgotten child or the little brother. You are constantly looking for attention. You want to be included, even when you can’t do the same things. Everyone was always in different stages of life and had different needs, yet I kept in touch. This analogy also holds for the Hardwood and forestry industry associations.
We can just keep in touch, see each other on special occasions, and look like a family or we can really embrace each other, serve together and be a united family. We will always have issues and different needs but that doesn’t mean that we can’t work together and be unified. And not just the Hardwood associations but the step associations too, you know, the other children, also known as the state forestry associations, logging associations, and other forest-related associations that impact our supply chain.
I have run a regional association, and we always needed help from the national association, the bigger brother, to help tackle issues we couldn’t do on our own. Now I am at the NHLA, the big brother of the Hardwood industry, and I want to bring our family together. We need to recognize, participate with, and serve together with all the different associations. They are doing a lot of good and are a critical part of our multi-billion-dollar industry.
It is time the NHLA reaches out to and participates with all Hardwood supply chain industry associations in their meetings and works on their issues, as well as invites them to the NHLA Annual Convention. If we work alongside all our industry supply chain associations, we will have better relationships, resulting in more knowledge, unity, and impact.
We have so many associations in the Hardwood industry because each group wants to protect its special interests, and the nationalization of these may mean a loss of voice and thus an unfair advantage. Make no mistake we buy and sell Hardwood. We are the biggest value-added commodity in the solid Hardwood industry. But we need their participation at our meetings as well. I had a good conversation with a member that said quite clearly “this is also a veneer industry problem, not just a lumber industry problem” to which I could not agree more. Let’s grow up and stop acting like the jealous big brother.
We are a major part of the Hardwood industry, if we ignore the regional, state, and other Hardwood supply chain industry associations, we lose the opportunity to grow and serve together as much as they do. The Hardwood industry is a big, blended family with a lot of differences, but we have a common connection and can still love each member/association and serve with them. No matter who they are, what they do, and where they are.
Why Knot Be a Real Family and Love Each Other.