January 29, 2021
AGAINST THE GRAIN: SPECIAL EDITION (JANUARY 27, 2021)
The Strongest Wind Makes the Strongest Trees
First off, I’d like to welcome each of you to a new year with NAWLA, and thank you for everything you’ve done for our association and industry over the past year.
It goes without saying that 2020 was wild. But NAWLA successfully weathered this past year and we are poised to accomplish great things in 2021.
Thanks to our past Board of Directors, NAWLA has built up healthy financial reserves to help us through challenging times like last year, and ensure NAWLA remains in strong financial health. I’m not sure any of them would have predicted a world pandemic, but they sure deserve a big thank you for having the foresight to prepare us for whatever might hit our association! Yes, we had to be nimble this past year – I know we all missed seeing each other in person at our virtual Traders Market – but I am so proud of the NAWLA committee members, volunteers, staff and members who made that possible. Maybe we aren’t as set in our ways as we sometimes think!
My goal for this year is simple: Reminding each of you how this association brings value to your companies and employees. Reminding you to be proud of working in this industry and how we stood tall in a year when many other industries struggled.
I listened to an ESPN podcast recently that talked about how the sports world came crashing down on March 11, 2020. They talked about the fear, uncertainty and chaos that ensued for the next few days, weeks and months for all the players, coaches, staff and league. We are no different in the lumber industry, but I believe we happen to have a unique scenario. Most of us had one of the best years in our careers and it’s my belief that is by no coincidence. We learned a new phrase this year, “essential business,” and I hope it’s something we carry with us into the future. If there were ever a time to recruit and retain the next generation of leaders into the lumber industry, now is that time. We can no longer pretend we aren’t sexy — no more excuses.
The podcast I listened to ended with a quote by J. Willard Marriott: “Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.” I could not think of a better way to explain how I feel about 2021, and specifically, what is to come for NAWLA this year.
We have a lot of things to do and a lot of things to look forward to. I can’t wait to work on behalf of all you this year and see how we grow in 2021.
Business Manager | Capital Lumber Company
2021 NAWLA Chair