SFPA/SLMA Host Joint 2024 Spring Meeting For Southern Pine Lumber Community

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Southern Pine lumber was front and center during the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association’s (SLMA) and Southern Forest Products Association’s (SFPA) 2024 Spring Meeting held recently at The Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, LA.

The 2024 Spring Meeting brought 246 Southern Pine industry professionals together representing 154 companies directly involved with the production of Southern Pine lumber, from sawmills to equipment manufacturers to service providers. A trade expo was also held during the spring meeting, with 39 companies showcasing their services to support the manufacturing and delivery of Southern Pine lumber.

“This was a can’t-miss opportunity to network within the Southern Pine industry,” said Bryan Smalley, SLMA’s president.

Beyond networking, a key component of the 2024 Spring Meeting involved industry update:

  • Dale Bracken, SLMA’s faculty advisor, reviewed the Safety Culture Works program and the benefits of behavioral-based safety leadership.
  • Tim Dunton, director of digital offerings and IT with Reliability Solutions, discussed updates and progress with the SLMA Saw Filer Apprenticeship Program.
  • Jeff Miller, president and executive director with the Treated Wood Council, provided federal regulatory and congressional action updates related to treated wood.
  • Dan Seale, the Warren S. Thompson professor of wood science and technology and James R. Moreton fellow in sustainable bioproducts with Mississippi State University’s Department of Sustainable Bioproducts, showed how the university is preparing students for lumber and engineered wood research and outreach.
  • Pete Stewart, president and CEO with ResourceWise, provided an update on forest economics that included the strength of Southern forests, housing demands driven by immigration, supply chain demands and transparency, and how decarbonization is impacting the demand for wood.
  • Fernanda Vale, international market consultant with SFPA and American Softwoods, reviewed American Softwoods’ Southern Pine promotion efforts – and success – in the Caribbean and Central and South America.
  • Tim Young, a professor in the University of Tennessee’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries and Center for Renewable Carbon and interim director of the school’s Data Science Institute for Machine Learning and AI (DSIMLA), discussed the emerging era of data science for the wood products industry and how that’s changing and helping operations.
  • Megan Zavertnik, managing member with MZ Advising, delivered an update on government affairs that included SLMA and AWC’s mass timber efforts on Capitol Hill and the U.S. Department of Defense incorporating more wood into their construction projects.
    “It was great to have so many members of the Southern Pine lumber community join us in New Orleans for the 2024 Spring Meeting,” said Eric Gee, SFPA’s executive director. “The networking value these meetings provide is invaluable for establishing connections and building relationships that last a lifetime.”
    SLMA also held a French Quarter Fundraiser on the opening night of the meeting, which raised $40,000 for the association’s workforce and consumer outreach programs.

The Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association membership spans from Texas to Maryland and includes sawmills, lumber treaters, and lumber remanufacturers. In total, SLMA serves 90 member companies across 130 locations and directly employs more than 13,000 people, along with the hundreds of thousands of secondary jobs from the wood products industry.

SFPA is a nonprofit trade association that has represented manufacturers of Southern Pine lumber since 1915. Today, SFPA is the leading source of information about Southern Pine lumber products for design-build professionals and consumers.

Learn more at www.southernpine.com.

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

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

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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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