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H A R D W O O D M AT T E R S March 2020

Keys to Successful

Employee Recruitment and Retention T H E O F F I C I A L P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E N AT I O N A L H A R D W O O D L U M B E R A S S O C I AT I O N S T R O N G R O O T S . G L O B A L R E A C H . | W W W. N H L A . C O M

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CONTENTS March 2020 • Issue 209

WHAT'S INSIDE feature 10 Keys to Successful Employee Recruitment and Retention


departments 6 Accolades 6 Inside NHLA 7 Memorial 8 Legislative Log Looking to 2020 After a Trying 2019


ONLINE TOP POST OF THE MONTH at facebook.com/NHLAOfficial Breaking News: US & China Sign "Phase 1" of Trade Agreement. The US and China formalized a limited trade agreement today, signaling a truce in the nearly two-year trade war between the world's two largest economies and sets the stage for a broader agreement down the road.

with Dana Cole

14 Rules Corner In So Many Words with

Chief Dana Spessert

reader services 4 15 16

President’s Message Job Board Educational Calendar

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National Hardwood Lumber Association PO Box 34518 • Memphis, TN 38184-0518 901-377-1818 • 901-382-6419 (fax) info@nhla.com • www.nhla.com

THE MISSION OF NH LA To serve NHLA Members engaged in the commerce of North American hardwood lumber by: maintaining order, structure and ethics in the changing global hardwood marketplace; providing unique member services; promoting North American hardwood lumber and advocating the interest of the hardwood community in public/private policy issues; and providing a platform for networking opportunities.



Darwin Murray McClain Forest Products President

Bucky Pescaglia Missouri-Pacific Lumber Co., Inc. Unique Services

Jeff Wirkkala Hardwood Industries, Inc. Vice President

Ray White Harold White Lumber Inc. Rules

Brent Stief Huron Forest Products, Inc. Past President 2016-2018

Joe Pryor Oaks Unlimited Industry Advocacy & Promotion

NHLA STAFF Lorna D. Christie CEO l.christie@nhla.com Amanda Boutwell Marketing and Communications Manager a.boutwell@nhla.com


Renee Hornsby Director of Communications/Editor r.hornsby@nhla.com


IBC Pike Lumber Company, Inc.

5 King City/Northway Forwarding

3 RossiGroup

Melissa Ellis Smith Graphic Designer m.ellis@nhla.com



Wood-Mizer, LLC

Midwest Hardwood

For advertising contact: John Hester, Director of Membership and Business Development at j.hester@nhla.com or 901-399-7558 or Vicky Simms, Membership Development Manager at v.simms@nhla.com or 901-399-7557

■■■ Rachel Blossman Marketing Associate r.spiers@nhla.com Denise Lopez Executive Assistant/Accounting Assistant Desirée Freeman Controller Julia Ganey Member Relations Manager

Jon Syre Cascade Hardwood, LLC Structure David Mayfield Mayfield Lumber Co. Membership & Networking COMMITTEE CHAIRS Stephanie VanDystadt DV Hardwoods, Inc. Membership Rob Cabral Upper Canada Forest Products, Ltd. Promotion & Advocacy Dennis Mann Baillie Lumber Co. Convention Scott Cummings Cummings Lumber Company, Inc. Inspection Services Bruce Horner Abenaki Timber Corp. ITS/Continuing Education

Rich Hascher Inspector Training School Instructor

Brin Langmuir Falcon Lumber Ltd. Communications & Marketing

John Hester Director of Membership and Business Development

Joe Snyder Fitzpatrick & Weller, Inc. Rules

Jens Lodholm Data Administration Specialist Carol McElya Inspector Training School Administrator Roman Matyushchenko Associate Dean of Education Vicky Quiñones Simms Membership Development Manager Dana Spessert Chief Inspector


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See the forest through the trees The RossiGroup has been helping customers navigate the global hardwoods industry for almost a century. We have raised the bar with our new state-of-the-art Emporium Mill and kiln facilities, our long-term supply agreements, and our uniquely personal brand of customer service. We deliver a world class selection of hardwoods – including the gold standard in cherry – all sorted, milled and dried to tolerances, consistencies, and yields that were not even possible five years ago.

Visit us www.rossilumber.com or call 860-632-3505




’m glad to see 2019 in my rear-view mirror as it was a difficult year. I am sure most of you will agree. Many of our members made it through a trade war that has threatened our existence. But like other epic market downturns in our history, we will survive, as the hardwood industry is resilient. While living with the trade war, we ensured that Washington, D.C. heard our voices and our stories.

And we are still here. It’s hard and frustrating work, standing up for what you believe in, but as we have done in the past, we persevered, and in my opinion, created a new level of understanding about the importance of our industry in Washington. Even in the worst of times there are lessons to be learned, particularly about the value of persistence, collaboration and the power of our united voices. It was difficult at first educating our leaders in DC about the consequences of the trade war on the hardwood industry. To quote one USDA official, “We just don’t know what to do with your industry.” The Hardwood Federation certainly played a role in our success in being heard, as did so many members who made the journey to Washington to meet with their representatives to plead our case, or wrote editorials for major publications. The associations’ collaborative Economic Impact Study also gave us all an invaluable tool to use to educate our leaders in DC about the contribution our industry makes to the American economy. Like many of you, I lost track of how many calls and meetings I had with my state and federal representatives with the goal of informing them of the unintentional but devastating impact of the trade war. Some were productive, others profoundly frustrating. But like you, I kept trying, using all the tools available to make my point. A highlight for me was at the opening session at the 2019 NHLA Annual Convention when we used P2Action to send over 800 letters to our Representatives and asked for their help seeking relief from the trade war. We recognized its success when we received a call from USDA officials the very same day asking, “What’s going on in the hardwood industry?”


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My answer was simple . . . we are fighting for our survival. And I am sure you all remember the date when US Trade Representative Lighthizer mentioned hardwoods on National TV. It was the first real evidence that our hard work was effective and that Washington finally listened to the people who spent so much time advocating for our industry. While we all celebrated when we learned that hardwoods were listed in Phase 1 of the trade deal, we know we still have a long way to go before we return to what may be a “new normal,” whenever that might be. Even with all the unknowns, I am optimistic that China will purchase more hardwoods in 2020 than it did in 2019. With all the focus on the trade war, it is easy to forget that there was a lot of other important work going on behind the scenes over the past year. The Real American Hardwood Promotion Coalition is making great strides in creating a promotion strategy with the highest levels of participation we have seen. AHEC has accomplished great results by building markets in other countries. While there is only one China as far as volume goes, we should all be grateful for the diligent work AHEC does in promoting hardwoods around the world. So, with the results of our work in DC to let our voices be heard, a flicker of hope that comes from hardwoods being included in the trade agreements, promotion moving forward at a steady pace and the promise of new opportunities in new markets, I am optimistic to believe there are new opportunities ahead of us. Let’s remain positive and continue to adjust our businesses. Endeavor to persevere, and Hardwoods will be great again!

Darwin Murray, NHLA President McClain Forest Products dmurray@mcclainforestproducts.com

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Milestone Members NHLA would like to recognize our members who celebrated a milestone anniversary of 5 years or more during January to March! 5 YEARS Euler Hermes North America | Sustaining | February 2015 Fromm Packaging Systems | Sustaining | February 2015 K & S Lumber | Active U1 | March 2015 10 YEARS Rossi Group | Active U4 | March 2010 20 YEARS Keller Lumber & Logging | Active U1 | January 2000 Weber Brothers Sawmill | Active U1 | January 2000 Cherokee Wood Products, Inc. | Active U3 | March 2000 Olympic Forest Products Inc. | Active U2 | March 2000 30 YEARS Brunner-Hildebrand Lumber Dry Kiln Co.| Sustaining | January 1990 Wood-Mizer, LLC | Sustaining | January 1990 75 YEARS Baillie Lumber Co. | Active U4 | March 1945

Welcome New Members (Quarter 4 2019)

ACTIVE U1 MEMBERS American Eagle Hardwoods LTD Mt. Eaton, OH E. F. Fitzgerald Lumber Co. Amherst, VA The Good Wood Guys, LLC Great Falls, MT Worley Lumber Company, Inc. Pekin, IN


NOMINATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR NHLA BOARD OF MANAGERS The NHLA Nominating Committee is now accepting nominations for the NHLA Board of Managers. You may nominate an "Active" company, individual, or yourself to serve, provided that you work for an "Active" member company. The definition of an "Active" member is a company based in the U.S. or Canada that is actively involved in the manufacturing, custom kiln drying, wholesale or distribution of hardwood lumber, plywood, or related products. All nominees must be employed by an "Active" NHLA member company in good standing.


Board members serve staggered three-year terms and are expected to support the Board’s role in addressing the needs of our diverse industry, as well as strengthen ties between all members and NHLA. You may email your nominations, along with their complete contact information, to nominees@nhla.com.


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IN MEMORIUM: Orn Eggert Gudmundsson, Sr. Orn Eggert Gudmundsson, Sr. of Prospect, Kentucky passed away February 1, 2020 after an extended battle with Parkinson's disease. Mr. Gudmundsson was born January 4, 1947 in Reykjavik, Iceland. He moved to Louisville in 1950 with his parents, Jon and Sesselja. He graduated from Louisville Country Day School, where he was co-captain of the football team, and the University of Louisville's undergraduate college of business. Afterwards, he served as an officer in the United States Navy Supply Corps on the NATO base in Keflavik, Iceland, with a final rank of Lieutenant (junior grade).


LUMBER DONATIONS The Inspector Training School Educational Foundation (ITSEF) is seeking donations of lumber on behalf of the NHLA Inspector Training School. The lumber will be used by students at the School for practice on board runs and testing. Any hardwood species is acceptable, and the lumber grades should be mixed as 3A Common & Better. We are asking that donations and delivery of lumber be made by August 3, in time for the next Inspector Training School program in September.

After the Navy, he joined Northland Corporation, the family hardwood lumber business, serving in various roles and rising to become its President, CEO and Chairman. As a leader in the hardwood industry, he served as President of the National Hardwood Lumber Association and the Hardwood Distributors Association. He also served on the boards of the Hardwood Manufacturers' Association, the Hardwood Federation PAC, and the Tropical Forest Foundation. He developed and maintained many strong friendships through the Bluegrass Chapter of Young Presidents Organization, where he served as President. He was a long-time member of Harmony Landing Country Club and the Pendennis Club. Orn had a love for the outdoors and spent many wonderful days hunting ducks and geese across North America. Mr. Gudmundsson maintained lifelong ties to Iceland, often visiting friends and extended family there, where he loved fly fishing for salmon. He was proud of his work as an Honorary Icelandic Consul.

If your company would be willing to donate, please contact Roman Matyushchenko, Associate Dean of the Inspector Training School at 901-399-7569 or email r.matyushchenko@nhla.com. Donations made through ITSEF are tax deductible.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Jon Sig Gudmundsson, Sr. and Sesselja E. Gudmundsson and his brother-in-law, Burgess A. Davis. Orn is survived by his wife of 51 years, Susan Varga, and by their son Orn, Jr. (Greta) and daughter Harper Becker (Aaron), brother Jon, Jr. (Susan Swinney), sister Hilda G. Davis, and grandchildren: Liv, Ella, and Signe Gudmundsson; Crawford, Emerson and Blake Becker. He will be missed by all. The family is grateful for the love and kindness shown to Orn by his caregivers. Donations in his honor can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. W W W. N H L A .C O M

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LOOKING TO 2020 After a Trying 2019

by DANA COLE, Executive Director Hardwood Federation


here is no denying that 2019 was one of the most trying years in recent memory for the hardwood industry. This fact was not lost as the 2020 Hardwood Federation Board of Directors and Hardwood Federation PAC Board of Directors held their annual winter meetings on Feb. 10-11 in Washington D.C. As always, it was a packed couple of days of discussion, networking and planning for policy and advocacy action in 2020. The first order of business was to welcome the members of our 2020 Board of Directors and HFPAC Board of Directors. The Federation Board provides strategic direction for advocacy priorities and outreach efforts as well as oversight of our budget and other administrative functions. The HFPAC Board is instrumental in helping raise PAC dollars to support our congressional allies and in identifying those we should consider for financial support. These groups are vital to


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our efforts on behalf of the industry, and we rely heavily on their insight and guidance. Finishing out their 2-year commitments as HF Board President is Rick Holden of Derr Flooring in Willow Grove, PA, who will be ably supported by Vice President Matthew Smith of Smith Creek in Borden, IN. The NHLA will be represented by a total of eight outstanding hardwood industry leaders on the Hardwood Federation and Hardwood Federation PAC Boards. The four NHLA representatives to the Hardwood Federation Board are Scott Heidler of Heidler Hardwood Lumber Company (who also serves as immediate Past President of the Board), Darwin Murray of McClain Forest Products, Ted Rossi of the Rossi Group (also Development Chair), and Jeff Wirkkala of Hardwood Industries Inc. NHLA representatives sitting on the HFPAC Board include Jesse Joyce of Middle Tennessee Lumber, W W W. N H L A .C O M

Congress will continue to hear from us why it is important that the right decisions are made when considering reform measures in these areas . . . and why the wrong decisions can devastate our industry.

purchasing. But we have our foot in the door and we will continue work to push it open for hardwood industry relief, including the consideration of more ways to re-open China and other markets.

newcomer Scott Cummings of Cummings Lumber Company, as well as two seats that had not yet been filled at the time of this writing. Departing the HFPAC Board this year is Charlie Netterville of Fred Netterville Lumber Company and we want to thank Charlie for all of the hard work and fundraising he did on our behalf. The HFPAC Board is led by newly minted President Bob Miller of Frank Miller Lumber. The Boards were briefed on the great deal of work done in 2019, with most of the conversation regarding the massive undertakings regarding Trade with China. Trade is one of the most difficult policy issues to navigate in D.C. While the Federation was able to clear one hurdle by being included in the Phase One deal with China (and by being mentioned in the text agreement, White House fact sheet and the U.S. Trade Representative in multiple media hits), there is a lot of work to be done. It is still unclear exactly how the Chinese will honor the huge commitments to both Agricultural and Manufacturing

While the trade situation with China took up the vast majority of the Board’s time, other issues of note were briefly touched on as well, including the USMCA; Appropriations – especially regarding Biomass, Wood Energy, and the implementation of the Farm Bill; and Transportation. The Board also noted the impressive rise of the hardwood industry and Federation’s profiles, both on Capitol Hill and in the Media – highlighted by dozens of publications and television and radio hits including Fox Business, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, CNBC, NPR and a multitude of regional and state outlets. Election years are always wild, with Presidential election years even more so, and we don’t foresee 2020 being any different. It is going to be quite a ride through November 3rd, and we will be focused and diligent on our issues from the get-go in the early part of the year. Congress will continue to hear from us why it is important that the right decisions are made when considering reform measures in these areas . . . and why the wrong decisions can devastate our industry. The Hardwood Federation is very grateful for the tremendous support and engagement of the NHLA in the Federation. We very much look forward to working with your delegates to our boards . . . and to our continued cooperative engagements with NHLA CEO Lorna Christie and her terrific team.

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Keys to Successful

Employee Recruitment and Retention NHLA recently surveyed a select group of members regarding their biggest problems in finding and retaining a qualified workforce. The results weren’t surprising. The most significant hurdles identified were competition for skilled employees, competitive salaries from other industries, and finding dependable people. To quote one respondent, “My biggest issue is finding people who are just willing to do the basics, like arrive on time and actually work while they are here.”


hanks to record-low unemployment, it is challenging to find and keep suitable employees. This problem isn’t unique to the hardwood industry, even giant companies like Amazon aren’t immune. During the company’s highly advertised ‘Jobs Day’ in August, Amazon only received 20,000 job applications, which fell significantly short of its goal of 50,000. There are multiple factors behind the difficulty of finding good employees. Low unemployment means potential employees can be picky about where they work. Many jobs in the industry require physical labor, which is a deal-breaker for some jobseekers. Then, of course, there are the matters of wages, benefits, flexibility, and paid time off. A new factor coming into play: drug tests and the legalization of marijuana. The law firm Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani recently held a webinar entitled “Poison Pill: Dealing with a Problem Employee.”


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During the webinar, Attorney Jean M. Terry identified what she called the “Employers’ Most Unwanted List.” 1. The Harasser/Discriminator 2. The Clock Watcher 3. The Social Butterfly 4. The Bully 5. The Unwelcome Organizer 6. The Marijuana User The marijuana user is the newest entry to the list. Cannabis is often hailed for its calming effects, but recently, it has been causing quite the opposite experience for company managers. Under federal law, W W W. N H L A .C O M


Washington, D.C.

States that allow recreational and medical marijuana use States with comprehensive medical marijuana programs States that allow CBD or low-THC products States with no public cannabis access program As of August 15, 2019. Source: National Conference of State Legislatures.

possession and use of marijuana are illegal. Still, individual states and cities have begun legalizing pot, which brings a multitude of problems to companies concerned about their drug-testing policies. Eleven states currently allow recreational use of marijuana, and 33 states allow the use of medicinal marijuana. As the legalization of marijuana continues to spread, so does its use, with 24 million Americans saying they are active cannabis users (according to Gallup). The spreading use of pot is proven by a growing number of people failing tests for marijuana, especially in states where recreational use is legal. There are now lawsuits across the country where employees claim they were unfairly fired due to their off-duty, legal use of marijuana. The judges in many of these cases have found in favor of the worker, accusing companies of discrimination when they fire (or refuse to hire) workers who flunk marijuana tests. In Nevada, it is illegal to W W W. N H L A .C O M

reject job applicants for failing a drug test involving pot. In New York City, it is unlawful to even test applicants for marijuana use with exceptions for jobs in public-safety. There are positions in the hardwood industry that fall under federal regulations that require testing for marijuana because employees are in safety-sensitive jobs. These include careers in trucking, transportation, and logistics. Companies with federal contracts or grants must also test for drug use. Sawmills and other businesses also have a good reason to drug-test employees for marijuana: individuals who test positive for pot have 55 percent more industrial accidents. They also have 85 percent more injuries and 75 percent more absenteeism (according to the Journal of the American Medical Association). Testing for marijuana use is vastly different than testing for alcohol use. When it comes to testing for alcohol, there are specific federal rules that define a positive test, and when it wears off, it is no longer detectable, M A R C H 2 0 2 0 H A R D W O O D M AT T E R S |


but with marijuana, there is no rule defining how much THC (the drug’s psychoactive component) means a person is impaired. Unlike alcohol, which affects all people in relatively the same way, the amount of THC in a person’s bloodstream varies depending on how frequently they use the drug, and whether they are a casual or heavy user. In other words, just because an employee tests positive for THC, it doesn’t necessarily mean the person was "high" at the time of the test. Each company has to decide as to whether or not it matters to them if employees use marijuana when they are away from work. According to the previously mentioned NHLA survey, the majority of companies (roughly 60%) don’t have policies in place that make marijuana use a fireable offense. Companies that are concerned about the legality of their policies should consult a lawyer to learn the rules for their location.


Nevertheless, to increase retention, companies should actively weed out underperforming employees. Sheridan points out that companies can’t find competent employees if they aren’t looking in the right place. While a help-wanted ad in the local paper may bring some jobseekers to your door, it is nothing compared to placing an advertisement on social media. Another way to find quality employees is to let people in relevant social media groups know that you are hiring. Another no-no when it comes to employee retention is underestimating the people that already work for you. Instead of immediately dismissing an employee from an opportunity for promotion because you don’t think they are up for the task, take the time to ask the employee how they are a good fit for the position. Their answers can be unexpected and can result in higher retention.

There are things companies can do to improve the quality of job applicants and employee retention. According to Marcus Sheridan, author of “They Ask You Answer,” the first thing to consider is letting go of unproductive employees. While this may sound counterintuitive, it will significantly improve the retention of quality workers.

Look to hire people with soft skills and who are willing to learn. Potential employees with soft skills related to communication, professionalism, and a positive work ethic are a great place to start. From there, you can train them for the positions you need filled.

Poor performing employees create a drain on productive employees, causing them to do more work to compensate for the tasks that are not being completed. These ‘bad apples’ can also cause great employees to question why they work hard if others don’t face any consequences for their inaction, eventually leading them to quit. Too often, business owners won’t fire poor performers even though they know the person isn’t a good fit, for fear of looking cruel or a lack of a replacement.

Finally, Mr. Sheridan says companies need to stop saying there aren’t any good people out there. It simply isn’t true; there are fantastic people out there looking for work that can help your business grow. Change your mindset. Believe you can find these valuable people. Remember, your attitude can draw people in just as much as it can push them away. A positive outlook is something people around you can feel, something they want to be around.


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FOUR SOFT SKILLS THAT MAKE A GREAT EMPLOYEE Working in the hardwood lumber industry requires specific knowledge and technical capabilities. Still, there are also soft skills that every employee should have in their arsenal for a company to succeed. Soft skills are a combination of attitude, people skills, and the ability to adjust to change. These soft skills apply to everyone from lumber stackers, to salespeople, to management.


The most important soft skill for employees to have is the ability to communicate. Having strong communication skills helps employees work well on a team, interact with customers, and understand directions. In a recent study of companies across America, The Economist Intelligence Unit found that 52 percent of executives, managers, and staff said poor communication skills added avoidable stress to their jobs. Twenty-five percent said lack of communication caused them to miss performance goals. Other issues caused by failure to communicate included low morale and an inability to close sales. Bottom line: employees with solid communication skills improve business performance.



As the hardwood industry embraces the use of more automation, there is an essential place for workers that have problem-solving skills. These are skills that allow employees the ability to identify problems, evaluate information, and understand how to prioritize. People with robust problem-solving skills are always thinking ahead to prevent potential problems.

Every employee should know how to behave with professionalism. Simply showing up on time and ready to work is professional, as are honesty and respect for others. But people with professionalism go even further. They adapt to change quickly, which is a vital skill for employees in a workplace that is rapidly evolving thanks to new technology.


Each employee is a member of a team, and successful teamwork requires the ability to build relationships and professionally resolve personality conflicts. It requires cooperation, listening, and an appreciation of the skills other coworkers bring to the team. In the long run, employees who excel at teamwork reduce burnout and keep their coworkers engaged in their job. The great news is that soft skills can be taught! There are several companies that offer soft skill training for employees. Most recently, NHLA hired Bob Graham, the CEO of Breakthrough Solutions, to come and train staff members on soft skills, to great success. You can reach out to Bob online by visiting www.breakthroughsolutions.co, or via phone at 937-SKILLS5.


IN SO MANY WORDS with Chief Inspector Dana Spessert


ver the last few months, I have been made aware of some issues involving page 4, paragraph 4 of the 2019 NHLA Rules Book.

“Lumber shall be inspected and measured as the inspector finds it, of full length, width and thickness. No allowance shall be made for the purpose of raising the grade, except that in rough stock, wane, and other defects which can be removed by surfacing to standard rough thickness shall not be considered. Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting the shipper from improving the grade or appearance of the lumber at time of or prior to shipment.” The sentence highlighted in the above paragraph, “except that in rough stock, wane, and other defects which can be removed by surfacing to standard rough thickness shall not be considered,” tends to get misused on many occasions. The reason this portion of the Rule is not correctly interpreted is that a lot of inspectors who tend to overuse this Rule have worked as shipping inspectors and not on the receiving side. Let me explain. If a board has over thickness (normally 1/8” over target on green lumber), the inspector will measure thickness from one face of the board to the other for the standard rough thickness, and anything left over is assumed to be removed by surfacing. There is a problem with this line of thinking. Unless the board is perfectly smooth on the face that is not going to be surfaced, then it will be thin somewhere after surfacing one face. In my experience, I have not seen many boards that did not have saw marks when it is rough; that is why it is termed rough. Some saw marks can be cut into the surface and therefore, would now be considered less than the standard rough thickness if all of the over thickness is removed from one face of the board. Another question recently asked of me was in reference to the amount of bird peck allowed on the 1 Common side of a F1F hickory board. To answer this question, let’s go to page 26, under the heading of “Hickory, Pecan & Rock Elm.”


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“Note: Bird pecks not over 3/8” average diameter are admitted in the cuttings in No. 2A Common and Better, but when exceeding in aggregate area 1/12 the total area of the required cuttings, will reduce a piece one grade only. (See Page 12, Par. 42)” The grade of Selects and F1F is determined by both faces and that the customer of these grades is purchasing the FAS side of these boards; therefore, the limitation would apply to the FAS side of the board only, provided that the 3/8” limitation on the bird peck size allowance is being met.

One of the great things about our industry is we have an outstanding educational institution for teaching the NHLA Lumber Grading Rules, the NHLA Inspector Training School in Memphis Tennessee. The types of questions that I receive on a regular basis are addressed and explained in detail during the NHLA Inspector Training School 12-week program. We also offer workshops and seminars throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as in-house training for employees. To see a complete list of our educational offerings, check-out our Calendar at nhla.com. HAVE A HARDWOOD LUMBER QUESTION? Tune in to my monthly Live with the Chief on Facebook, and I’ll answer your question in real-time! SAVE THE DATE: March 19 at 4 PM CST W W W. N H L A .C O M

NHLA JOB BOARD Here you will find our current job listings. To see more details or to post a job, visit www.nhla.com/industry-services/job-board.

LUMBER GRADER W. M. Cramer Lumber is seeking a lumber grader who will grade incoming green lumber and dry lumber coming out of the kilns using NHLA lumber grading rules. Qualifications & Skills Required: NHLA lumber grading certificate preferred but will accept advanced knowledge of the NHLA rules gained through on the job lumber grading experience. Salary & Benefits: Salary based on experience and ability. Benefits include paid vacation, paid holidays, company-paid life insurance, 401K plan How to Apply: Please send resumes and applications to Mark Vollinger at markv@ cramerlumber.com W. M. Cramer Lumber Company 3486 Texs Fish Camp Road | Connelly Springs, North Carolina 28612 Phone: 828-397-7481 | www.cramerlumber.com SALES MANAGER Quality Hardwood, Ltd. is seeking a sale manager to manage and coordinate purchasing and sales of both green and kiln-dried lumber with a dedicated sales team. This position is part of succession planning over next 12-24 months. This position would also coordinate with and support the well-experienced Operations Manager and support staff. Qualifications & Skills Required: Solid hardwood sales working in a team environment with the ability and goal to further build sales in domestic, U.S. and offshore markets. Knowledge and experience in yard and kiln operations are a major asset.

LUMBER GRADER Robinson Lumber Company is looking to hire a full-time Hardwood Lumber Grader at our facility in New Albany, Indiana. Primary duties and responsibilities include consistent and accurate grading of lumber. The successful candidate must be NHLA certified or have equivalent experience and have the ability to work in a team-oriented, fast-paced work environment. We are a strong team dedicated to continuous improvements. Responsibilities include: Visually inspects lumber according to species, grade, and dimension, Uses NHLA lumber grading rules to inspect lumber, Able to re-manufacture and upgrade lumber to increase value, Control quality and productivity throughout the inspection process, and Communicate quality issues with other team members Experience: 3+ years of experience, Experience with NHLA rules, Effective written and verbal communication, and the ability to work well with others with excellent attendance record Salary & Benefits: This is not an entry-level position and will require proven competencies. Competitive pay and benefits will be provided. How to Apply: Please email resume to Melissa Stein at melissa@roblumco.com. Robinson Lumber Company 1750 Ormond Rd | New Albany, Indiana 47150 Phone: 504-896-6125 | www.roblumco.com

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Salary & Benefits: Compensation and benefits commensurate with experience and background. How to Apply: Please send resumes and applications for this position to Pete Van Amselsfoot at pva@qualityhardwoodsltd.com. Quality Hardwoods, Ltd. 196 Latour Crescent | Powassan, Ontario P0H 1Z0 Phone: 705-724-2424 | www.qualityhardwoodsltd.com

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6-8 Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber. Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN Instructor: Rich Hascher, NHLA ITS Instructor


20-May 1 Inspector Training School Online Training Program MODULE 1 Two weeks of hands-on training.

Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN Instructor: Rich Hascher, NHLA ITS Instructor Module 2: Online study Module 3: Three weeks handson training and final testing at NHLA headquarters.





Complete Kiln Drying Lumber Workshop

From fundamentals to advanced: students will learn not only what to do but how and why. New kiln operators, trainees, supervisors and managers can advance their skills by attending. Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN Instructor: Gene Wengert – “The Wood Doctor”

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Intro to Crosstie Grading Have you been thinking of diversifying your business with the production of crossties? Want to learn more? This class will provide an overview of the tie grading process, species exceptions and defect identification.

Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN Instructors: Robert Pearce: Stella-Jones, Brad Crawford: Norfolk Southern and Nate Irby: Union Pacific




Advanced Kiln Drying Lumber Workshop

Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

This class is designed for people who have some experience running drying equipment. Basic procedures such as measuring moisture content are NOT covered. Students should bring real-life problems to the instructor for evaluation, discussion and resolution. Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN Instructor: Gene Wengert – “The Wood Doctor”

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber. Venue: Hardin County Extension Office Elizabethtown, KY Instructor: Mark Depp, NHLA National Inspector

W W W. N H L A .C O M

UNTRAINED EMPLOYEES ARE COSTING YOU MONEY! Employee turnover, low employee morale, and hiring new employees are costly! 40% of employees who receive little or no training quit in the first year Entry-level positions face the highest level of turnover (65-80% annually) Improve Efficiency, Reduce Costs, and Increase Retention & Morale





Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber.

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber.

Venue: Yoder Lumber Co., Inc. Millersburg, OH

Venue: Rowan County Courthouse Morehead, KY

Instructor: Barry Kibbey, NHLA National Inspector


10-21 Inspector Training School Online Training Program MODULE 1 Two weeks of hands-on training.

Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN Instructor: Rich Hascher, NHLA ITS Instructor Module 2: Online study Module 3: Three weeks handson training and final testing at NHLA headquarters.

W W W. N H L A .C O M

Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

Instructor: Mark Depp, NHLA National Inspector


1-Nov. 20 Inspector Training School 193rd Class

Traditional 12-week hands-on training to achieve the certificate of completion in Hardwood Lumber Inspection. Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN Instructor: Rich Hascher, NHLA ITS Instructor

M A R C H 2 0 2 0 H A R D W O O D M AT T E R S |


141 Cerulean Road • Cadiz, Kentucky 42211 USA

Opportunity to purchase contemporary Dry Kiln/ Concentration Yard in Southwest Kentucky. Little River Dry Kilns is a significant size, current technology, Dry Kiln/Concentration Yard located in Southwest Kentucky. It is situated in the heart of a high quality resource area featuring today’s most popular woods. Walnut, White Oak, Red Oak and Yellow Poplar are the major species. Also prevalent are Hickory, Ash and Hard Maple. Little River enjoys a strategic location with excellent access to the Midwest, Central region, West and South domestically. Internationally it enjoys competitive truck and rail rates to Mexico. Nashville, 80 miles away, provides competitive access to world markets as an export point. Little River enjoys all of the amenities Planing, storage and vision tally/container loading buildings of a full service concentration yard, current technology stacking and trimming, a nice air yard with “T” sheds, newer aluminum kilns, stainless steel Walnut steamers, a new planer line with extended pull & sort chain and reman system. Little River also features a new, high performance vision tally system, capable of 120 MBF shipments daily. Significant warehousing also includes a loading ramp for container shipments. Little River has management available, an excellent vendor base, and a sterling reputation. It is ready to start stacking and drying new products on very short notice. This plant will function very well as a concentration yard or as a dedicated drying facility for flooring, cabinets, or other secondary manufacturers, domestic or export. In as much as this plant is part of a larger, ongoing organization we can customize the offering to the potential buyer. As an example, we can remove the steamers or the vision tally, increase the kiln capacity or modify the plant to fit the buyer’s specific needs and price accordingly.

Please contact Mike Flynn at 763-391-6701 for additional information, or email interest at mikeflynn@midwesthardwood.com

Some of the features of this plant are: + + + + + + + + + + +

23 Acre Site 560 MBF (4/4 scale) aluminum dry kilns in good to excellent condition. (expandable to 760MBF) 3 boilers, two wood waste and a gas backup. 2 newer American stainless steel walnut steamers. An up to date planer mill with a 24� Newman 282 planer, reman center and 175’ pull chain. A late model vision tally system, complete with infeed and outfeed capable of 120 MBF per day. A new trim line with auto stacker A separate lumber grading and downstack line. 800,000 bd./ft. T sheds, significant expandable air yard Significant warehouse space and an excellent office facility. Excellent reputation among the area vendor mills.

This is a well maintained plant with a strong lumber supply. It is available due to a change in corporate strategy.

View of 8 kilns

Two recent vintage American stainless steel Walnut steamers

Partial view Planer line and Reman center

View of 2 wood waste boilers

Vision tally system and container loading dock

Double end trimming line

NHLA JOB BOARD Here you will find our current job listings. To see more details or to post a job, visit www.nhla.com/industry-services/job-board. (continued from page 15) LUMBER GRADER Granite Valley Forest Products is seeking a Lumber Grader to accurately inspect the lumber for quality and color to ensure the products are meeting customer needs. Essential Functions: The duties identified below are the essential functions of the position. Employees must be able to fulfill these functions in a consistent state of alertness and in a safe manner. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Conduct activities in a safe manner, follow corporate safety guidelines and requirements, use personal protective equipment and proactively address any unsafe conditions observed. Maintain housekeeping and safety compliance, inspection ready at all times, Inspects lumber using NHLA and proprietary grading rules and standards, Ensures customer specifications (length, width, grade, etc.) are being met, Operates the remanufacturing saw, Maintains production flow so customer orders are completed in a timely manner, Keeps workspace and surroundings clean and neat to foster productivity and efficiency, and Other assignments as made by management Qualifications & Skills Required: To perform this position successfully, an individual must demonstrate regular, predictable attendance and be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge and skill required. The individual must be able to successfully pass a drug test. Can work in group or alone; oriented towards the good of the whole. Contain the ability to build rapport and good working relationship with co-workers, High School Diploma or GED, NHLA certification preferred, Previous experience in the hardwood lumber industry preferred, Basic math skills, Understanding of NHLA standards and markings, and Ability to quickly solve problems

HARDWOOD OPERATIONS MANAGER Oversee the hardwood sawmill operations, which include: Procurement, Trucking, Receiving Log Pad, and Sawmill, Manage the activities in these areas to meet the financial goals of the company while setting up strategic plans to meet demands, Ensure quality control of hardwood, Implement and manage safety policies, Identify, recommend, and implement changes to improve productivity and cost, Responsible for planning and maintaining department budgets, Identify opportunities to drive operational efficiency; Implement and/or delegate necessary action to realize benefits,and Responsible for the overall efficiency, quantity, and quality of work performed in all order fulfillment processes. This includes ensuring all key positions have adequate back-up and providing resources for all individuals to perform their functions Experience: 5 + years of operation management experience, 10 + years of Sawmill experience, BA/BS preferred but not required, Ability to thrive in a team environment, Technology skills required, including proficiency in Microsoft Office, Expert communication skills in person, on paper and electronically, Demonstrated high character, Ability to utilize Microsoft Word & Excel and other 3rd party software applications at an intermediate level Salary & Benefits: Salary will be based on experience. Missouri Walnut offers a great benefits package! We offer all team members within the organization: 401K, Health, Dental, Vision, Profit Sharing Bonus, Production Based Bonuses, and many more! How to Apply: Please email resume to Gage McKinnis at gmckinnis@missouriwalnutgroup.com. Missouri Walnut, LLC 11417 Oak Road | Neosho, Missouri 64850 Phone: 417-455-0972 | www.mo-walnut.com

Salary & Benefits: Medical, Dental, Vision Insurance Life Insurance Paid Holidays Vacation 401(k) How to Apply: Please send resumes and applications to Becky Sather at bsather@granitevalley.com. Granite Valley Forest Products 500 Co HWY S | New London, WI 54961 Phone: 920-250-5425 | www.granitevalley.com


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W W W. N H L A .C O M

Quality lumber doesn’t just happen. It starts with quality logs and precision sawing. Checking lumber thickness along with inspectors at every machine center guarantees consistent manufacture and grade.

Pike Brand


That’s what separates ® Hardwoods from all the rest. Getting the details right!


AKRON, INDIANA • U.S.A. P: 800.356.4554 F: 574.893.7400


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