AGAINST THE GRAIN: SPECIAL EDITION (JUNE 23, 2020)

Coming Back Together

Dear Friends,

Now that shelter-in-place orders are starting to ease in much of the U.S., you’re probably staring to think about when you can return to the activities you enjoy the most, and conduct business as usual in a post-pandemic world.

While many of us have learned to run our companies remotely practically overnight, and conduct meetings via our computers and phones, I firmly believe there is still no replacement for an in-person discussion. That’s been essential to our success for generations.

That’s why I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to gather in Columbus later this year for NAWLA’s Traders Market, November 4-6. There is no other event that allows you to meet your customers, suppliers, prospects and friends, in person, all in two days, and make deals, face-to-face, for the next year.

Granted, the event will probably need to look a little differently than what you’re used to, with wider trade show floor aisles and reduced seating at our kick-off luncheon tables to help facilitate social distancing. You might have to save your handshakes for next year.

However, I can assure you that the Traders Market Committee and NAWLA Headquarters team will follow the recommendations of the appropriate health authorities and event partners to help keep you safe, while giving all of us a much-needed chance to see each other without the aid of an electronic device. We’ll make sure you have more details about what to expect and how to navigate the event in the coming weeks.

I appreciate that everyone has a different tolerance for risk, and there are many legitimate reasons for being a little comfortable with the idea of attending an event or traveling right now. Given the vast improvements we’ve seen in circumstances in the last three months, I am optimistic that things will continue to get significantly better between now and November, and it will seem a lot less daunting to come to Columbus by then.

You may not realize this, but Columbus is within a one-day’s drive (500 miles) of cities like Ontario, Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, Nashville, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. So for many of us, a road trip to Columbus may be a less stressful and more cost-effective alternative to flying.

There is little risk to you or your company in registering for the event, so please go ahead and do so, even if you’re on the fence about things now. If NAWLA should have to cancel the Traders Market for any reason (including COVID-19 concerns), your registration will either be refunded or credited to the 2021 Traders Market, whichever you prefer. In fact, if you sign up by the July 15 early-bird deadline, you can save $100 per person on the registration fees, so there’s another reason to sign up sooner rather than later.

You’ll soon get a survey from NAWLA HQ, and I ask you to let us know how you’re feeling about coming to Traders Market so that we can accommodate you to the best of our ability. And remember to sign up at the same time if you haven’t already; we know that we are motivated to attend by seeing who else is coming. Make sure your name is on that list!

See you in Columbus, and be well!

Tom Le Vere
President | Shareholder, Weekes Forest Products
2020 NAWLA Chair

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