Successful Collaborative Discussion had about Lumber Changes and Use

Originally published by: SBCAMay 24, 2012

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Madison, WI— “I think this meeting will go down as an historic meeting in building relationships between the components industry and lumber suppliers,” said Jim Thomas (President/COO, Trussway Holdings). “I was floored at the number of lumber producers who approached us after the meeting, thanking us for the honesty and openness of the session and how they are looking forward to our next meeting.”

At this inaugural “Lumber Summit,” 71 participants, including key lumber industry leaders, the top five lumber producers in North America, and component manufacturers representing approximately 700 million board feet of U.S. structural lumber purchases, were in attendance. “Conversation is the first step towards mutual respect and understanding,” said Stan Sias (National Manager-Plated Truss Industry, Simpson Strong-Tie). “I think the summit accomplished that goal successfully.”

Indeed, many participants felt the summit was long overdue. “Getting component manufacturers together with lumber producers to have this type of conversation probably should have happened years ago,” said David Green (Southeast Component Manager, Stock Building Supply).

“Our family has been in the component manufacturing business for a long, long time,” said Scott Ward (Secretary-Treasurer, Southern Components). “This summit was significant in that it gave us a first-time opportunity to sit down across the table with a large cross-section of the lumber industry and begin to talk about our common problems and possible solutions.”

Many lumber producers expressed similar sentiments that the summit was of great value to them. “The summit provided a good venue for valuable conversations to be held,” said Mark Richardson (Sales Manager, Westervelt Lumber).  “I think it will be a good starting point for industry participants to build on and move forward in adjusting to these lumber design value changes.”

“It was valuable to have the opportunity to meet with a number of component manufacturers to discuss their views and product options,” said Terry Jones (Sales Manager, Travis Lumber). “It was great to see some old faces, contacts that we have spoken to for years and never met, and, of course, make new contacts and new opportunities.” 

To kick off the summit, attendees focused on getting to know one another during a component manufacturing tour at the local Builder FirstSource plant in Harrisburg, followed by a tour and dinner at the nearby Charlotte Motor Speedway. “Once one realizes that the competitors are real people – doing their best – many positive things can happen,” said Mike Karceski (President, Atlas Components).

“I thought the summit goal of getting producers and consumers together sounded like a great idea and worth my time and expense to attend,” said John Branstetter (Sales Manager, Vaagen Brothers Lumber). “I was not disappointed.” 

“There was a significant exchange of information and a connection made between two important industries that supply builders with structural building components,” said Hardy Wentzel (VP of Sales, Tolko Marketing & Sales, Ltd.).

“This was a great forum for a proposed unified ‘go-forward’ strategy,” said Gary Schweizer (Senior Engineer, Weyerhaeuser) “Now, let the work begin.”

To view the entire press release, click on the pdf link below.