News Developments – February 2021

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William Penn Cabinetry Expands

William Penn Cabinetry in Freeburg, PA recently announced its plan to hire 150 workers at its manufacturing facility here. William Penn uses domestic solid Hardwoods in its high-end cabinetry products.

Maurice Brubaker founded William Penn Cabinetry last February and in March 2020 also purchased architectural mouldings firm Stanley Woodworking in nearby Middleburg. Then COVID-19 hit and the plant shut down temporarily. However, Brubaker and his staff of 10 at William Penn pressed forward, and the end result is the acquisition of enough work to warrant hiring up to 150 new employees.

In published reports, Brubaker attributes his young company’s success to the work ethic of his employees.

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River City Millwork Acquisition Secured by Rugby

Hardwoods Distribution Inc., Langley, BC, announced recently that it has, through its subsidiary Rugby Holdings LLC, purchased substantially all of the assets and assumed certain liabilities of River City Millwork Inc.

River City Millwork, located in Rockford, IL, is a wholesale distributor of interior and exterior doors, custom millwork, and other ancillary products. Products sold are comprised of a wide variety of Hardwoods, including Oak, Cherry, Poplar and Maple. River City’s estimated annual sales are $14 million and they will operate under the Rugby brand name going forward.

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NWFA Completes 52nd Home with Gary Sinise Foundation

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), located in St. Louis, MO, has provided flooring for its 52nd home in support of the Gary Sinise Foundation R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment). The R.I.S.E. program builds custom, specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. The home dedication for Arnold, MO, Police Officer Ryan O’Connor took place recently in St. Louis. Flooring for the project was donated by NWFA member Homerwood, with receiving and delivery donated by NWFA member Ambassador Floor Company.

Officer O’Connor graduated from the police academy in 1997, serving 12 years with the St. Louis County Police Department, before joining the Ferguson Police Department. On December 5, 2017, Officer O’Connor was transporting a burglary suspect when he was shot in the head with a hidden firearm. His injuries resulted in severe brain damage, the removal of part of his skull, and the paralysis of his right arm. He currently is learning to walk again, with assistance.

“Just two months after the shooting, Officer O’Connor was able to speak his first sentence,” said NWFA President and CEO, Michael Martin. “He said, ‘I just gotta’ get my badge.’ This clearly demonstrated that while he had a long recovery ahead, his will remained intact. We’re honored to partner with Homerwood and Ambassador to provide flooring for his new home.”

In addition to the 52 homes already completed, NWFA currently is working with its members to source wood flooring for 16 additional R.I.S.E. homes in various stages of planning and construction. Currently, 141 NWFA member companies have donated product, logistics, and installation services in locations throughout the United States, with a total value of more than $5.2 million. A list of all NWFA R.I.S.E. participating companies can be found at

To learn more about the program, and how you and/or your company can get involved, contact the NWFA at 800-422-4556, or e-mail them at

The National Wood Flooring Association is a not-for-profit trade organization, with more than 3,200 member companies world-wide, dedicated to educating consumers, architects, designers, specifiers and builders in the uses and benefits of wood flooring. 

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Commerce Sets New AD/CVD Rates For Hardwood Plywood & Flooring

The U.S. Department of Commerce has completed its review of Hardwood plywood antidumping and countervailing duty rates for the 21 Chinese exporters and producers who requested a review. For these 21 companies only, the new combined duty rate is 14.95 percent (first review AD final) plus 23 percent (first review CVD final) plus 25 percent (301 tariffs), resulting in a combined rate of about 63 percent. All other Chinese companies remain subject to the 183 percent antidumping duty rates from the investigation.

The final results of the review of 2017 countervailing duty rates for multilayered wood flooring are Baroque Timber, 14.09 percent; Jiangsu Guyu, 122.92 percent; and all other non-examined companies, 20.75 percent, which will apply to most Chinese producers. The new rates will go into effect shortly and retroactively cover shipments during the 2017 review period. More than 150 Chinese companies are covered by the higher countervailing duty rate.

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Chestnut Research Continues

Through podcasts and Chestnut Chat, The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) has found ways to continue their research, field work, and outreach goals. Published reports note that TACF staff, volunteers, and members instituted new safety standards, developed a continuation of operations plan, held regular meetings and ensured staff and volunteers can stay motivated and productive while adjusting to life during a pandemic. The most recent meeting looked at the challenges in cloning American, hybrid and transgenic Chestnuts. Last fall, the online series covered how the Genome Wide Association Study works.

TACF also conducted a year-end appeal to support its efforts. 

To see how you can support ongoing Chestnut promotional efforts, go to

Gabler Announced as New Pennsylvania Forest Products Association Leader

The Pennsylvania Forest Products Association (PFPA), in Harrisburg, PA, announced recently that State Rep. Matt Gabler (R – Clearfield/Elk) has taken the helm as Executive Director.

Gabler has represented the 75th District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for six terms since his first election in 2008. Earlier this year, Gabler announced his intent not to seek reelection to the State House and to instead seek opportunities in the private sector.

“I am truly honored to be chosen to lead such a well-respected organization representing an important segment of our state’s economy,” Gabler said. “The forest products industry provides excellent job opportunities in all 67 of Pennsylvania’s counties – from our smallest villages to our largest cities. I have always been passionate in advocating for the economy of Rural Pennsylvania, and I see this opportunity as a continuation of that important work that can positively impact every community in our Commonwealth.”

The PFPA is a statewide membership organization consisting of approximately 250 entities ranging from timber operators and sawmills to paper and wood product manufacturers and equipment suppliers.

As a member of the State House, Gabler successfully authored legislation that enacted the extension of an agricultural sales tax exclusion for equipment and parts to timber operators in Pennsylvania. He has also extensively worked with the industry to support issues of importance for economic competitiveness.

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NLBMDA Urges Governors to Extend ‘Essential’ Business Status and Supports Safety Stand Down for COVID-19 Workplace Safety 

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) in Washington, DC recently sent a letter to governors of all 50 states urging them to continue to designate lumber and building material dealers as essential businesses during the pandemic. The NLBMDA sent a similar letter last spring to each governor. The NLBMDA said that the latest letter reminds “the governors of this designation and the important role LBM dealers play in the nation’s economic recovery.”

NLBMDA also recently urged its members to join a multi-industry effort to “stand down” for workplace safety awareness in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. NLBMDA issued the following statement:

“NLBMDA has a long history of commitment to health and safety and that is more important now than ever,” said Jonathan Paine, NLBMDA president and CEO. “This stand down will reaffirm our members’ dedication to a safe workplace and ensure that employers and employees are educated on the steps needed to protect all individuals. We are proud to once again join the National Association of Home Builders and others in the construction industry in this important initiative.”

As part of the stand down, NLBMDA members were asked to pause work for at least 10 minutes recently to underscore coronavirus safety precautions, such as maintaining a distance of no less than six feet with other workers at all times, cleaning and sanitizing frequently used tools, equipment and touched surfaces on a regular basis as well as ensuring the proper sanitation of common surfaces/equipment. 

NLBMDA has also compiled the important health and safety information in the COVID-19 Action Resource Center, located on the NLBMDA website.

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By Miller Wood Trade Publications

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

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