August 18, 2021
AGAINST THE GRAIN: SPECIAL EDITION (AUGUST 18, 2021)
NAWLA Goes for the Gold
The Olympics just ended a few weeks ago and just like every year, I was completely enthralled.
For 17 days, I watched, and this year it seemed extra special. The fact that they pulled it off in the midst of a pandemic is a testament to how important it is to come together, as humans, even in these unprecedented times. This story in particular was my favorite part of the Olympics. Dutch runner Sifan Hassan fell down in the middle of the race, and not only does she get back up, she ends up winning the heat to advance her to the semifinals. What an incredible example of tenacity and determination. Nobody cared what country she was representing, but everyone watching was rooting for her that day.
In some ways, Traders Market is our Olympics. It brings together the best in the industry, including distributors and manufacturers. Except our goal isn’t to compete, it’s to share ideas, showcase our amazing products, network with our friends, and help connect and grow this industry we all love.
I get asked a lot what it’s like to be a woman in the lumber industry. I always have the same answer, which is it’s like being in any other industry, only more fun. However, similar to all those athletes I watched, I’ve been lucky in both the company I work for and also the mentors I’ve been fortunate to have helped steer me in the right direction. They have always coached me, sponsored my efforts and championed my growth. At the end of the day though, I’m just like anyone else: I have to show up, work hard, say yes to things I’m unsure of and more often than not, make sure that when I fall down (which happens frequently), I get back up and stay in the game.
When we come together this November, it will have been well over a year (20 months to be exact) since we all connected in person. My hope (and call to action!) is that each of us attending Traders Market this fall makes a point to introduce yourself to someone new and do your own part to ensure everyone feels welcomed to our industry. See someone standing by themselves? Introduce yourself and strike up a conversation. Find yourself talking to the same colleagues each day? Make a point to talk to someone new. This is our one chance to come together as a full community, and if there’s anything the past 18 months has taught us, it’s that we can’t take that for granted.
Think about all the blooming Olympians in your companies and ask yourself if they could use some additional support. Maybe an invite to Traders Market would give them the boost they need and you could introduce them to a key supplier or attend the opening luncheon together. It’s the seemingly small things that make a difference, and behind every great Olympian are their team and coaches.
Business Manager | Capital Lumber Company
2021 NAWLA Chair