The 90th Anniversary of the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (NELMA) was celebrated at their annual meeting held recently at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, ME. The 2.5 days of events and activities was attended by 128 members and industry guests of the Association. Hurricane Lee exited the region earlier in the week leaving a picture-perfect day for the first event, the NELMA Annual Golf Scramble.
Hosted by the Samoset Resorts’ own golf course that features seven oceanside holes and additional 14 holes with spectacular views of the Atlantic, it was aptly named as the “Pebble Beach of the East” in a Golf Digest 2023 article. This year’s winners: 1st Place 4Some with a gross score of 64 – Adam Duplisea and Jeremy Howard (Nyle Dry Kilns), Michael Conlin and Jeff Evans (Pennsylvania Lumbermen’s Mutual Insurance). 2nd Place with a Team gross score of 66 – Chris Brochu, Jason Brochu, Alan Orcut and Toby Pineo (Pleasant River Lumber). Longest Drive – Adam Duplisea (Nyle Dry Kilns). Closest to the Designated Pin – Toby Pineo (Pleasant River Lumber).
The first day concluded the opening of the Exhibits & Displays that included 16 tables of forest equipment and services vendors ready to meet and greet attendees with a wide variety of product information, which lasted throughout the evening’s Welcome Reception.
The second day began with a Special Video introduced by Chairman Chris Brochu at the start of the first Business Session. The meeting theme of Real > Artificial quickly came into play with the use of AI that allowed the very first Chairman of NELMA from 1933-1935, E.R. Plunkett, to “speak” to the Opening Session audience about major events during his time at the helm. E.R. then introduced Raymond Young (1959-1961) who provided insight into his years as Chairman, followed by Thomas Plunkett (1974-1975) and his story.
This opening surprise was followed by the annual “State of the Association” report by Jeff Easterling, President, then to the Board of Director Nominations, recommended by the Advisory Committee to the General Membership. Elected were Chairperson: Susan Coulombe of Irving Forest Products, Vice-Chair: Matt Duprey of Hancock Lumber, and 2nd Vice-Chair: Jason Brochu of Pleasant River Lumber, and Treasurer: Robert Moses of Britton Lumber. To the Board of Directors replacing the expiring term of Rick Wilson was Jeff Johanns (Hedstrom Lumber). This for a first of two, 3-year terms. And for the “At-Large” position on the NELMA Advisory Committee, B Manning of Sawmill Associates, a one-year term.
The Business Session continued with highlights from this year’s marketing program and public relations activities, and insights into an ongoing discussion with architects regarding their product decision process. After a short break, the attendees were exposed to a lot more Artificial Intelligence information by guest speaker Rich Brooks of Flyte Media. He spoke along the topic of “How AI is Changing Everything!”.
The Industry Luncheon brought together 14 past Chairman of NELMA as special guests and part of the 90th Anniversary celebration. Each were recognized in a brief ceremony for all their past service to the Association following lunch. Then it was back to business as perennial guest speaker, Paul Jannke of Forest Economic Associates, presented his economic program on “What Happened to the Recession?”.
And the final business event of the day, “Speed Dating III on the Green” was presented by the North America Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA) and NELMA. This event serves as NAWLA’s Northeast Regional Meeting and has grown each year with its popularity as a one-of-a-kind, fast-moving, networking of lumber mills and lumber wholesalers and other industry-related individuals. A total of 11 NELMA mills participated as host tables that saw more than 45 visitors that gave it their all for 5 minutes each!
With only the Board of Directors meeting the following morning, the 90th Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association celebrated into the evening with the Chairman’s Reception and Dinner held on the outdoor patio in a perfect September Maine coastal setting!
Join NELMA next year at a location to be determined; check in with www.nelma.org and the annual meeting tab for details when they become available.