NAWLA’s Regional Meetings: A Platform for Local Industry Connection  

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By The NAWLA Editor

NAWLA’s Regional Meetings are in full swing this summer following successful events in Montréal, Vancouver, and Portland which collectively drew a little more than 500 attendees. Curated by the NAWLA Regional Meetings Committee, these one-day events take place throughout the United States and Canada and offer peer-to-peer networking and educational opportunities on a local level. Regional Meetings serve two important purposes — to educate and connect local members, and to connect with members of other regions. Members from different regions are encouraged to register for Regionals to connect with potential customers or suppliers in these different markets.

NAWLA’s Regional Meetings: A Platform for Local Industry Connection   1
Attendees enjoy the recent NAWLA Portland Regional Meeting.

NAWLA’s Executive Director, Matthew Bruno explains the importance of NAWLA’s Regional Meetings saying, “The impact of each regional meeting is demonstrated at each event we hold. We’re there to connect and discuss the unique challenges and opportunities that exist within each of the regions. In addition to connecting and reconnecting with others in the industry, the educational component serves as a platform to drive in-depth conversations. A good example of that is the in-depth discussion unique to Redwood in regions around Vancouver.”

Registration to NAWLA’s Regional Meetings is currently open to members and non-members of the organization. Information on past and upcoming events is made available on NAWLA’s website.

• Montréal – April 9, 2024

o Held in conjunction with the Montréal Wood Convention at Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, the meeting served as a hub for industry professionals, enthusiasts, and experts to come together to shape the future of our dynamic industry. Montreal Regional Meeting attendees had the chance to hear from David Gourde, Senior Vice President-Engineering, Product Line Management, Service and Reliability – BID Group; Louis-Philippe Poirier, P. Eng., M.Sc.A., Director of Operations at Nordic Structures; and Tony Gerber, President of Flash Freight Systems.

• Vancouver – May 22, 2024

o Hosted at the Vancouver Club, attendees were able to hear from a panel of speakers including Bob Brash, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association (TLA); Ken Kalesnikoff head of Kalesnikoff Lumber Co.; and Hon. Andrew Mercier, Minister of State for Sustainable Forestry Innovation. The panel discussed various issues about the Red Cedar industry that are prevalent in the region.

• Portland – June 6, 2024

o Portland attendees heard from Jodi Hack, CEO of the Oregon Homebuilders Association on Thursday, June 6 at the Amaterra Winery.

Southeast – June 20, 2024

o The Southeast Regional Meeting is hosted in collaboration with the MLMA Convention and Trade Show where attendees had the opportunity to interact with influential Mill Members and a diverse group of Associate Members. Southeast attendees were invited to hear from Crystal Gauvin, the primary author of FEA’s Lumber Market Status & Trends newsletter, who is responsible for FEA’s Sawmill Profiles, and heads up FEA’s new pricing service, PricePulse, North America’s first direct-transaction price report for wood products.

• Midwest – August 8, 2024

o Back by popular demand, the Midwest Regional Meeting is being held at BIG Bar in Chicago, IL this fall. This was the former home of Traders Market for many years and NAWLA is excited to host members here again!

• Northeast – September 18, 2024

o Continue to check the NAWLA website as more details become available.

• Texas – September 23, 2024

o NAWLA will be hosting the Texas Regional Meeting in collaboration with the LAT Annual Convention and Expo. Founded in 1886, the Lumbermen’s Association of Texas (LAT) is a non-profit trade association representing lumber and building material dealers, the majority independent, multi-generational family-owned businesses. The Annual Convention and Expo is scheduled for Monday, September 23, through Tuesday, September 25, at the Live! by Loews in Arlington, Texas. Texas Regional attendees will be able to hear from Tom Grieve, longtime television analyst for the Texas Rangers.

To learn more about NAWLA, visit

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