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.

NELMA’s 84th Annual Meeting held in Newport, Rhode Island

A total of 166 members and guests attended the 84th Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (NELMA),2017Annuallogo 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.

2-5-webThe 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, providedPaul1-web 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.

NELMA Does Boston for its 82nd Annual Convention

The Marriott Long Wharf Hotel hosted the 82nd Annual Convention of the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association (NELMA), April 23 & 24 in Boston.  This year’s event was attended by 189 representatives of the forest products industry, the largest gathering of its kind in the northeast. The “State of the Association” presentation and Annual General Membership Meeting opened the Convention on Thursday, where NELMA President Jeff Easterling gave a status report on the Association’s accredited inspection programs, personnel changes in the field and headquarters office, marketing2015 Convention Logo program and research project highlights, and the infamous “World of NELMA” map.  Election of NELMA Officers and Board of Directors resulted in the following leadership:  Chairman – Jethro Poulin of Milan Lumber (Milan, New Hampshire); 1st Vice Chairman – Scott Brown of DiPrizio Pine Sales (Middleton, New Hampshire); 2nd Vice Chairman – Alden Robbins of Robbins Lumber (Searsmont, Maine).  New Board of Director members include: Susan Coulombe of Irving Forest Products (Dixfield, Maine), Chris Brochu of Pleasant River Lumber (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine), Matt Duprey of Hancock Lumber (Casco, Maine), representing Associate members on the Board, Chuck Gaede of Woodbrowser (New London, New Hampshire), and representing NSLB, Pete Aube of Potlatch Corp. (Bemidji, Minnesota).  Two members were voted to the Advisory Committee, Win Smith, Jr. of Limington Lumber (Baldwin, Maine) representing Past Chairmen, and B. Manning of Durgin & Crowell (New London, New Hampshire) as Member-at-Large.

Following the opening session, Day 1 of the Convention continued with the popular Marketing Committee meeting where the forest products industry’s very first comic strip, The Adventures of Skip and Wane, was introduced to the crowd.  A trio Comic Strip Headerof presentations were given which included highlights of the 2014 marketing program by Jeff Easterling; upcoming projects such as NELMA’s new trade show exhibit and the next “door” for the online Virtual Home Tour, all presented by John Rooks of The SOAP Group agency; ending with a recap of PR activities by Kim Drew of Drew Public Relations that included “Wood Geeks”, trade press editorial opportunities, and launch of a media-targeted monthly email of NELMA projects and activities of interest.  A presentation on the “Truth About Trees” program by Crystal Oldham of the Hardwood Forest Foundation and spokesperson Tommy MacDonald from the popular PBS Show, Rough Cut, ended the meeting.  The Pine Subcommittee concluded the first day’s business sessions, where updates were reported on two NELMA-sponsored research projects at the University of Maine that involve Eastern White Pine tree diseases and pests.  A diverse group of exhibitors were on hand for the “Products & Displays” program, held prior to and during the evening’s Welcome Reception.  Thirteen companies took advantage of the 2-1/2 hour time slot to meet with current customers and attract new business during this prime networking opportunity.

ExhibitsDay 2 kicked off with the Dimension Subcommitee meeting where Norway Spruce sampling and testing was the primary topic of the meeting, followed by a video update on the issue of the Spruce Budworm outbreak on Maine’s doorstep and readiness plans to combat the cyclical pest should it become a major threat to the forest as it has in the past.  Next, the 4th annual Sustainable Versatility Design Award (SVDA) program began with remarks from guest presenter, Andy Engel – Senior Editor of Fine Homebuilding magazine regarding trends in home building, followed by the presentation of the Rich Quitadamo Sustainable Versatility Design Award to this year’s 1st place winner, Jack Searcy of2015 Design Award Texas A&M.  Via Skype on the big screen, Mr. Searcy accepted the award and was joined by his professor, Dr. Ali, for an informative Q&A session with the program audience.  Business took a break for the Industry Luncheon, featuring Bob Marley as guest entertainer and emcee for the first “Skip & Wane” caption contest, won by Alden Robbins of Robbins Lumber.  Outgoing NELMA Chairman, Terry Walters, was honored for his service to the Association over the past 2 years, receiving the infamous NELMA Chair on stage as a token of appreciation from staff and the membership.

Afternoon meetings began with the Grading Committee followed immediately by a presentation on the topic of “The Economy is Mending So Why is the Housing Sector Still Sputtering?” by Brendan Lowney of Forest Economic Advisors (FEA).  The Board of Directors meeting ended Day 2’s business sessions, which included guest presentations by Zoltan van Heyningen of the U.S. Lumber Coalition regarding industry options after the November expiration of the Softwood Lumber Agreement, and by Alden Robbins, the northeast representative to the Softwood Lumber Board, updating the check-off program’s activities and plans.  The evening’s Chairman’s Reception provided attendees with one final face-to-face networking opportunity to end the 82nd Convention of NELMA.

Most of the meeting presentations have been posted to the “Members Area” of website for viewing and printing.

The next meeting of the Association is set for September 24 & 25 at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine as members and guests gather for the 2015 Fall Board Meeting and Golf Outing.