It is my pleasure to write for the first time as the executive director of NHLA. I have always believed in the value of associations and the ability they have to make a difference in an industry. To that end, I made it a career goal, early on, to run an association. I had some experience as president of a classical music society, but my love for music does not compare to my love for the forest products industry.
I also worked for the Canadian forestry association Forintek, now FPInnovations, where I was engaged with the NAHB surveying contractors and homeowners on their use of wood, including Hardwoods. As a Masters’ student at UBC, I studied the ability of thermally modified wood to help rural communities be more sustainable, as a value-added commodity can handle market swings better than a low-value commodity. Afterward, I continued to promote thermal modification and became a member of the NHLA, and attended the convention as an exhibitor and sponsor for a couple of years. Then I took over as the Executive Director of the Western Wood Preservers Institute. For the last 10 years, I have worked to promote and unify the preservers, changing their perceptions from the negative to the positive. I am proud to say I accomplished my goals there and will work to do the same for the NHLA.
One more experience I would like to share with you was my Undergraduate Wood Thesis. I interviewed top softwood industry executives; George Weyerhaeuser Jr., Bill Sauder (InterFor), Michael Ainsworth, and Reid Carter (Brookfield Asset Management). I asked them about leadership in the wood industry and got some great insight into how a leader can change a company. However, I realized that it was really their extracurricular activities, with associations and universities, that was changing the industry.
I am not one to settle for small change; I want to change the world. I am an idealist and believe that we can. And it starts right here with NHLA. As connected as we are, we hold the future of the Hardwood industry in our meetings. The ability to make the ties you ship on, the pallets you ship with, the floor you walk on, the table you eat on, the cabinets you store in, the furniture you sit on, and much, much more; will be critical to developing the continued environmental movement. Using wood is the best way to be sustainable and lower your ecological footprint as carbon sequestration becomes the focus of climate strategies.
The staff at NHLA are doing our best to get your message out to the market, regulators, and consumers; to use Hardwoods. Your extracurricular participation with NHLA at meetings and other activities are where you get to influence and be influenced by the industry. We have a lot of work to do, to get everyone on board the Hardwood cart, and we cannot wait for or expect others to do it for us.
So, my first request is that we work together. Let us know your issues and concern, and help us get the message out. Please visit with us at conventions and conferences, and we will do our best to help you. Whether you are an NHLA member or not, Why Knot participate