Speakers Provide Important Industry Updates At WHA Annual Convention

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If you are in the Hardwood lumber business, you know things are a little rough in the marketplace. During the recently concluded annual convention of the Western Hardwood Association (WHA) on the Oregon coast, a panel of specialists shared their insights and valuable tips regarding refining the finer details of their business proforma.

Starting with the last speaker first, Mario Angel of Koval, shared how important storytelling is to reach hundreds of potential customers, convert prospects into customers, and attract and retain employees.

The market and supply issues were covered by three different speakers from varying perspectives. Glenn Ahrens, no stranger to the Hardwood industry from Oregon State University and the Hardwood Silviculture Coop, drew upon his more than three decades of on the ground experience to explain that the outlook for Red Alder inventory may be improving due to increasing recognition of both the economic and ecological benefits of sustaining the Alder resource as part of a diverse forest portfolio.

Indroneil Ganguly, University of Washington, reported the recent life cycle assessment (LCA) to assess the environmental impacts throughout Red Alder’s product life cycle. Using a comparative assessment framework, Ganguly evaluated the potential natural climate solution role of Red Alder.

The use of Hardwoods in design was shown by Cory Olsen, University of Oregon. Coupling local sustainable materials with species trends in furniture and interiors, Olsen offered talking points to increase public interest and excitement for the utilization of Hardwoods in the built environment.

On the national front, Dallin Brooks of NHLA, explained the exciting new ways to increase communication and utilize the industry participation to grow and stabilize the Hardwood industry. He encouraged everyone present to support and to be a part of the Real American Hardwood Coalition.

Dana Cole, of the Hardwood Federation, took a look ahead to federal policies impacting the Hardwood industry in the balance of 2023. The Farm Bill and corporate tax policy should be front and center.

Turning to the international scene, Tripp Pryor, of AHEC, focused on the latest developments in trade patterns, market growth, and trade policy including the new European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) and what that means for U.S. Hardwood exporters.

Tetiana Larsen, Hub International Insurance, capped off the speaker program with a critical look at the economy and how the next months will be important for the future of the Hardwood industry. She noted that companies need to be proactive in their business models to weather the storm. An important aspect of your financial balance sheet is assessing your risk tolerance in connection with insurance.

Learn more at www.westernhardwood.org.

By Zach Miller

Editor and fourth generation of the Miller family to work at Miller Wood Trade Publications.

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