NELMA Celebrates Its 85th Anniversary on Cape Cod

The 2018 Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (NELMA) was held September 19-21 on Cape Cod at the Chatham Bars Inn & Resort.  Members and Guests numbered 141 that attended this year’s events that began with the NELMA Golf Scramble at the infamous Captains Cape Cod Golf Course in Brewster.  Fifteen foursomes enjoyed a day on the “Starboard” links that resulted in the following winners: First Place Gross Score (63) – Alden Robbins (Robbins Lumber), Mike Tichenor (Capital Forest Products), Tom Merkert (Capital Forest Products), and Rob Hoffman (Capital Forest Products).  First Place Net Score (49) – Prisco DiPrizio (P.DiPrizio Lumber), John Feuer (Feuer Lumber), Henry Lamothe (Henniker Forest Products), and Chuck Gaede (Sawmill Associates).

The official annual meeting opening began with a Welcome Reception the evening following golf that included 14 forest products equipment and services exhibits and displays.  Networking and learning about the latest technology was the opportunity of the night.

Thursday was all business, beginning with Session I and the Meeting of the Membership.  NELMA Chairman Scott Brown of DiPrizio Pine emceed the proceedings that included an activity update from each of the 4 Committees/Subcommittees Chairmen, a snapshot of NELMA’s overall operations in a “State of the Association” presentation by President, Jeff Easterling, an acknowledgement of the 2018 Mill Safety Awards based on 2017 Performance, and nominations for Officers and Board of Directors of NELMA.  Officers re-nominated for a final year of their term:  Scott Brown, DiPrizio Pine – Chairman; Alden Robbins, Robbins Lumber – 1st Vice Chairman; Chris Brochu, Pleasant River Lumber – 2nd Vice Chairman; B. Manning, Durgin & Crowell – Treasurer.  Elected for a second 3-year term to the Board of Directors: Susan Coulombe of Irving Forest Products, and Matt Duprey of Hancock Lumber.  To represent the Associate Membership on the Board of Directors for a one-year term, Jim Dermody of Seaboard International.  The elections concluded with the approval of Tom Jenkins, Green Light Forest Products, to represent the At-Large membership on NELMA’s Advisory Committee.

Session I continued with an overview of NELMA’s Marketing Program with presentations by Jeff Easterling, John Rooks of S.O.A.P, and Kim Drew of Drew Public Relations.  The update included a review of current program activities, new happenings coming up, and a summary of the variety of PR events that enhance the overall program.  The first of 4 guest speakers wrapped up Session I, with Zaid Algoria of Timber Experts, providing valuable market information on Pakistan, the largest export market for Eastern White Pine.  His presentation was titled, “So, You’re Selling Eastern White Pine to Pakistan! But Do You Know How it is Being Used?”

Session II saw additional impactful presentations on a wide-variety of topics starting with Craig Webb’s “The 30-Year Bet: How Construction and Suppliers Will Change by the Year 2048.”  Craig was formerly the Editor-in-Chief for Pro Sales and also Remodeling Magazine.  Russell Edgar, Manager of the Advanced Structures & Composite Center at the University of Maine, followed with his timely presentation titled “The Impact of NELMA’s Lumber Testing on Mass Timber & CLT’s Future in the Northeast.”  Session II ended on a powerful, take-away presentation by Paul Jannke, Principal-Forest Economic Advisors LLC, titled, “2018 Saw Strong Demand & Record Profitability.  Can We Expect Another Good Year in 2019?”  The Chairman’s Reception, Dinner, and Golf Awards ended Thursday’s program of events.

The 2018 NELMA Annual Meeting concluded with a meeting of the Board of Directors.  The Board reviewed the Association’s Inspection Program results, as reported by Matt Pomeroy, NELMA’s Director of Inspection Services, a review of current financial statements, and review and approval of the 2019 NELMA Budget Plan.  The meeting also incorporated 2 important updates: “State & Federal Sawmill Operation Regulations”, by Phil Ruck of Stillwater Engineering, and “Current Status and Programs Under the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB)”, by the Northeastern Representative to SLB, Alden Robbins of Robbins Lumber.

Next year’s meeting of NELMA will be held September 18-20 at the Woodstock Inn & Resort located in historic Woodstock, Vermont.