Recently, the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (SLMA) held its 59th Annual Conference at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Florida. Over 500 attendees came together for the Association’s first in-person trade expo and networking event since 2019.
In a written address by SLMA Chairman David Richbourg, of H.W. Culp Lumber Co., it was noted that “SLMA has kept us together, informed and involved as we faced political, economic, and societal uncertainty in these unprecedented times.”
“The association continues to keep members up to date on the federal government’s legislative and regulatory actions in response to COVID-19, while simultaneously lobbying on issues of importance to the industry, such as utilization of wood products for military construction, and working with the agencies and our industry partners on air, water and endangered species regulations.”
He continued, “SLMA also launched the Lumber.Works website to help members reach out to the next generation of sawmillers and foresters in middle schools, high schools and trade schools, and successfully graduated two classes of future industry leaders from the Fundamentals of Leadership certification program.”
The recent conference provided attendees with more than three days of networking opportunities and educational sessions. The SLMA Issues Forum included an economic outlook from Michael Swanson, agriculture economist, Wells Fargo; Program Updates from Cynthia West, PhD, Station Director, USDA Forest Products Lab; a State of the Sawmill panel led by various industry spokespersons, and an overview of Lumber.Works, SLMA’s recruitment resource for sawmills. Bob Cooke and Seth DiSantos of Lockdown International gave the keynote presentation.
During the board & business meeting, the following members were appointed to the SLMA Board of Directors: Treasurer Parker Dempsey of Dempsey Wood Product in Orangeburg, SC; Director Ryan Hilsinger of Industrial Wood Products in Climax, NC; Director Beth Hutchins of Flippo Lumber Corporation in Doswell, VA; Director Jill Snider of Snider Industries in Marshall, TX; and Director Anderson Thomas of Shuqualak Lumber Co. in Shuqualak, MS.
The Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association is a trade association that represents solid sawn lumber manufacturing operations, lumber remanufacturing operations, lumber treating operations and their suppliers throughout the Southeast.
SLMA member companies operate roughly 125 locations, directly employ nearly 10,000 people, and manage over 2 million acres of timberland.