Wholesale lumber distribution

Latest edition of Against the Grain, from January 15, 2016

A Year of Opportunity
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are excited about the start of 2016. I would like to wish you, your businesses and your families the very best this year.

We all learned a lot about our businesses in 2015. As we reflect on those lessons and start planing for the months and years ahead, I'm sure we will recognize there are many opportunities for NAWLA and its members to have a successful 2016. NAWLA's Board and committees are already hard at work to ensure that you have ample occasions to build knowledge and relationships that benefit you personally and professionally this year.
2015 Traders Market Experiences Continued Growth
On behalf of myself and the entire Traders Market Committee, I'd like to thank everyone involved with the 2015 Traders Market. The event, which took place November 4-6 in Dallas, Texas, was an overwhelming success. Overall, the event saw an increase in attendance over 2014. A highlight for me was meeting first-time attendees and new traders to the lumber industry. Here is what a few of my fellow attendees said about their experience:
2015 Traders Market

" The Traders Market has become the best time to meet face-to-face with the people that we grow our business with. The industry needs this event to help deepen relationships and build a level of trust that cannot be accomplished via email or telephone," Matt Hamilton, General Manager - Atlanta, Klumb Lumber Company

" I made dozens of new contacts, which for someone new to the industry, is priceless," Gavy Gosal, Sales, Sawarne Lumber

What's in a Shape?
 
One of the most talked-about features of this year's event was our Grand Opening Luncheon Keynote Connie Podesta. After her presentation, I heard many attendees debating whether a colleague was one of the shapes pictured here and recounting experiences to back up those assumptions.

If you missed that presentation, Connie walked the group through a "
personality shapes" exercise to help sales professionals better understand and adapt their behaviors to improve relationships with their customers and prospects. Click on this link to learn more.

See You Next Year! 
We're already looking forward to 2016 and plans for Traders Market 2016 in Las Vegas are underway. Mark your calendars now and join us October 26-28 for another successful event!
Trends to Watch in 2016
I spoke briefly about the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition in our last issue, and heard from many of you that you appreciated a look at new innovations that impact our industry. With that feedback in mind, and a new year ahead of us, in this edition I wanted to highlight cross-laminated timber (CLT), which not only allows for the construction of taller wood buildings, but also offers other benefits that have made it a popular alternative to stone and concrete building materials in Europe.
Awareness and popularity is slowly increasing in North America for CLT. In fact, some sawmills in Oregon are now producing CLT, resulting in a boost to the local economy and yet another opportunity to showcase sustainable building design options made possible with wood.
To learn more about CLT applications, download the 2013 US CLT Handbook from FPInnovations, the American Wood Council, The U.S. Forest Products Laboratory, APA (The Engineered Wood Association) and U.S. WoodWorks.

The handbook concludes that CLT can be a cost-effective, compliant and safe alternative building material. Since the handbook was published, CLT has been incorporated into ICC's 2015 International Building Code.
Structures like the Metropol Parasol (pictured here) in Seville, Spain, are examples of the contemporary building design enabled by CLT. I anticipate we'll see more good news about CLT in 2016.
Regional Meetings: Network with Industry Leaders in Your Area
It's time to start looking ahead to NAWLA education and networking opportunities in the New Year. I strongly suggest you consider attending your local Regional Meeting. These events are a great way to stay connected with fellow NAWLA members, and meet industry leaders in your area. Each features a panel discussion between industry-leading professionals from manufacturers, wholesalers and other related firms on timely industry issues and challenges, along with ample time to network with other attendees.

Regional meetings will be held in Providence, Portland, Vancouver, Toronto and Birmingham, with the first kicking off in February 2016. Registration is now open for all five meetings, and we already have a great mix of representatives signed up to participate.

Click on the city name below to learn more about that area's Regional Meeting:
Key Industry Executives to Speak at
Leadership Summit

I am really excited about how the 2016 Leadership Summit agenda is shaping up. March 13-15 in Palm Springs, you'll hear insights from the CEOs or Presidents of Boise Cascade, West Fraser and Klausner, as well as executives from Arauco, CSX Railroad, Koch Pulp & Paper Trading, RISI and Evergreen Consulting. These speakers will provide updates on their businesses and address key industry topics that impact NAWLA members and the industry.

If you haven't already signed up, I encourage you to register today to reserve a spot at this popular event. Please email me any suggestions for topics or future speakers you believe might add value to our agenda.
Thank You for a Successful 2015
I'd like to personally thank all of NAWLA's members, volunteers, sponsors and supporters for their contributions to the organization's continued growth and success.
I mentioned during my recent Traders Market remarks that NAWLA has been slowly evolving step-by-step in recent years rather than in one big push. This progress wouldn't be possible without people working together, with many of these individuals volunteering their time beyond the scope of their paying jobs.
Here are a few 2015 highlights and accomplishments of which I'm particularly proud (check out our infographic for more details):
  • Education programs are in greater demand than ever in NAWLA history.
  • We've seen significantly increased participation in NAWLA programs, including a new Wood Masters Course and revitalized Executive Management Institute (EMI).
  • Our peer-to-peer groups (10 Groups) have grown in number to 14, including special focus areas such as CFO and IT groups.
  • We have turned the corner and NAWLA's financial health has improved.
I'm grateful for everyone who has helped position us for an even better 2016. Remember to renew your membership early in the year to stay connected to new and expanded benefits, including a third Wood Basics course, and additional opportunities to send your teams or yourselves to Wood Masters and EMI.

I would also like to thank our NAWLA staff, led by Executive Director Marc Saracco, for their support of NAWLA's programs in 2015. By managing the day-to-day operations of the organization, they allow us to focus on guiding the vision and sharing our successes throughout the forest products industry.

Have a great 2016 and thanks for your support of and participation with NAWLA, which is the key to growth and sustained success.