Industry Education And Networking In Charming Charleston

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In just a few short weeks, HMA members, non-members, industry suppliers, and other stakeholders will be convening at The Charleston Place in Charleston, South Carolina, for HMA’s 2024 National Conference and Expo. Slated for Monday–Wednesday, March 25–27, the event will provide plenty of in-demand learning sessions; sold out exhibit space; and networking opportunities to mix, mingle, and share knowledge with industry colleagues—old and new.

This year’s theme is Pathways to Success and our agenda is geared toward helping your company navigate volatile markets, economic uncertainty, and other challenges ahead.

•2024 Hardwood Industry Outlook

Hear from industry experts on a range of topics, including forecasts on pallets, railway ties, and residuals, as well as gain insights into the battle against misleading claims from alternative products and U.S. forest inventory and analysis.

•Funding Improvements: Grant Opportunities

What is the USDA Forest Service’s Wood Innovations Grant (WIG) Program? How can a grant help your company make equipment and operational upgrades? What companies are eligible? How do you apply for a grant? Marcus Taylor, Wood Innovations coordinator for the Southern Region, will be with us to provide all the details and answer questions.

•Effective Communication Panel

Times have changed and communicating with workers from different generations can be challenging and frustrating for all involved. This panel discussion, moderated by Steve James—president and CEO of Frank Miller Lumber Company and a certified John C. Maxwell coach, trainer, and speaker—will bring together three generations to candidly discuss collaboration, stereotypes surrounding different age groups, and why generational spread is a strength, not a weakness.

•Sawmilling in the Pacific Northwest

Go on a virtual tour of NWH’s facility in Longview, Washington, to get a close-up look at their operations, and soar high above an Alder forest while learning about this beautiful yet underutilized species.

•Economic Predictions: Hits and Misses

This year, we’re welcoming back our 2023 presenter, Dr. Christopher Kuehl, co-founder of Armada Corporate Intelligence. His presentation will give an honest critique of his assessment last year, as well as a current look at the U.S. economy and a forward-looking analysis of trends to watch.

There’s still time to register, but act quickly as hotel rooms are going fast. All the details—including our full schedule and a listing of exhibitors—can be found at And feel free to direct any questions to me at or Linda at

Before closing out this month’s column, I’d like to thank the following companies for going above and beyond with their support of NatCon 2024. Your generous support is truly appreciated.
Thank you to:

•Event Sponsors: Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company, Taylor Machine Works, Inc.
•Platinum Sponsors: BID Group, Nyle Dry Kilns, Piché, and USNR
•Gold Sponsors: Frank Miller Lumber and JoeScan, Inc.
•Silver Sponsors: Carbotech Group and Eagle Machinery & Supply, Inc.
•Bronze Sponsors: American Wood Technology, LLC, and DMSi

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

The premier online information source for the forest products industry since 1927.

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