Step Up To The Challenge

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By now you have heard about the Real American Hardwood Coalition. If not, then this is your call to action. If you are sick of hearing about the RAHC, then this is your call to react. Either way, let me sum up in two sentences what the RAHC is. The Real American Hardwood Coalition unites efforts and collective resources of the industry to advance American Hardwoods as the most Naturally Authentic™ choice. Connecting the world to the benefits, beauty, and enduring value of American Hardwoods for a sustainable future.

The Coalition board of directors, your association executives, met in late November and worked on a strategic plan to accomplish the mission of the RAHC. While they might not appreciate it, I want to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the meeting. Twelve executives were in the room, representing your regional, state, multistate, and national associations for solid and engineered Hardwood products. The coalition was also diverse in age from 70 years -19 months to 35 and carded at the restaurant. We also had members from the north, south, east, and west (including a Canadian that just moved to Memphis). It was also diverse in gender with 6 women and 6 men. I think you should be proud of this, as it shows the coalition’s commitment to being inclusive and unifying the industry.

The conversations and attitudes were upbeat, with the members committed to making the coalition work, despite the financial and time restrictions that it would cause their own association work. The board members were also thoughtful and considerate of each other, being careful not to step on each other’s toes but also making sure we could solve problems with equal input. Because of each association’s desire to not run the show, things have been discussed thoroughly and often too extensively. However, we all committed to working smarter, not recreating the wheel, and empowering the committees to make decisions. This was complimented by the four areas of focus we determined we needed to work on: Promotion, Fundraising, Unity, and Operations.

Promotion is obvious for the RAHC, it’s why the coalition was formed. RAHC has a marketing plan, created by Canvas and a price tag to do the work. Fundraising is now the critical component. We need to raise $3 million a year for five years. This is a big ask from a fractured industry asking only for voluntary contributions. It can only be met if everyone speaks up and participates. The large producers can help get things off the ground, but the small contributors add up and will make a greater difference. I am the Chair of the Fundraising Committee and will make this a top priority in 2023 and ask you to contribute, either directly or through your state challenge. This is not a give-once and walk-away ask, this is a 5-year commitment to give.

The fundraising will only work if we stay unified as an industry. We cannot walk away or wait for others; we must answer the call or volunteer to make the calls to get our peers to participate. The association executives cannot raise all these funds. We have our own organizations to run and RAHC operations to oversee. We can do a lot together and I was impressed that the coalition board members all stated, in a blind survey, that they believed that the talent in the room was a strength and could lead and accomplish the RAHC goals.

So, reach out today and commit to donating to RAHC for the next five years. Why Knot Step up to the Challenge?

Visit to learn more about how you can give or give me a call.

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

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

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