A total of 166 members and guests attended the 84th Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (NELMA), held September 20-22 in Newport, Rhode Island. This first-time meeting venue in the Ocean State marked the beginning of the Association’s single gathering format that replaces the Spring Convention and the Fall Board of Director’s meeting & Golf Scramble with one combination event.
Meeting activities began with a late afternoon Opening Session that included a “State of the Association” presentation by NELMA President, Jeff Easterling, followed by the Annual Business Meeting of the Membership, ending with a recognition of members. Election to the Board of Directors: Chairman, Scott Brown (DiPrizio Pine – Middleton, New Hampshire), 1st Vice-Chairman, Alden Robbins (Robbins Lumber – Searsmont, Maine), 2nd Vice Chairman, Chris Brochu (Pleasant River Lumber – Dover-Foxcroft, Maine), Treasurer, B. Manning (Durgin & Crowell – New London, New Hampshire), Immediate Past Chairman, Jethro Poulin (Milan Lumber – Milan, New Hampshire), Board Member 1st Term, Rick Wilson (Pukall Lumber – Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin, and Advisory Committee At-Large Representative, Tom Jenkins (Green Light Forest Products – Bangor, Maine).
Outgoing Chairman, Jethro Poulin, was recognized for his service as the longest-term Chairman of NELMA because of the change in meeting schedule formats. The final approval of structural values for Norway Spruce by ALSC and the merge with the Northern States Lumber Bureau (NSLB) were two significant events that were successfully finalized during Jethro’s term as Chairman. Randy Caron, retiring Treasurer of NELMA, was also recognized for his 34 years of participation with the Association in more than 10 different Committees/Subcommittees and Board of Director positions. A video was shown that provided humorous stories about Randy over the years from several industry friends.
The first day concluded with 2 hours of business interactions with personnel representing a wide range of exhibitors at the 16 Products & Displays tables, which included the Welcome Reception for the annual meeting. Day 2 opened with the meeting of the Marketing Committee. Highlights of 2017 program activities were provided by Jeff Easterling, NELMA President, followed by a preview of projects nearing completion by John Rooks, NELMA’s Creative agency. A full report on PR projects by Kim Drew of Drew Public Relations rounded out the visual report of NELMA’s marketing program. Marketing Chairman, Dan Paige, concluded the meeting with a presentation of the 2017 Rich Quitadamo Sustainable Versatility Design Award to Omkar Prabhu of Mississippi State University for his winning submission titled, Exploring Avenues in Timber.
The annual NELMA Golf Scramble attracted 64 individuals to the historic Newport National Golf Club for a “breezy” day of fun, thanks to the last gasps of Tropical Storm Jose. The winning teams: For Low Net Score (56), Bill Ossenfort, Bob Bronkie, Dante Diorio, and Tom Jenkins. For Low Gross Score (66), Matt Duprey, Cowbell Jack Bowen, and Bernie Nugent. Day 2 ended with the Chairman’s Reception that included Golf Awards for the Top Teams and Individual Closest to the Pin winners.
The final day of activities kicked off with a meeting of the Grading Committee. Director of Inspection Services, Matt Pomeroy, provided members with current inspection details for both the lumber and wood packaging programs. Grading Committee Chairman, Peter Buckley, congratulated this year’s Eastern White Pine Graders Competition winner of the team Bronze Hammer, Hancock Lumber Company’s Casco Mill, and individual winner, Matt Chesley of DiPrizio Pine. Immediately following the Grading Committee meeting, guest speaker Paul Jannke of Forest Economic Associates provided members with information on the economy and lumber markets in a presentation titled, US Lumber and Housing Markets Are Due for a Boom but Beware of the Supply Side.
The 84th Annual Meeting of NELMA concluded with the Association’s Board of Directors Meeting. Next year’s event is scheduled for September 19-21 at Cape Cod’s historic Chatham Bars Inn & Resort in Chatham, Massachusetts.