November 01, 2023
Meet Our Members: Carl Lamb
After stumbling into the lumber industry as an engineered wood products (EWP) designer at Snavely Forest Products almost 30 years ago, Carl Lamb has not only worked his way up to executive vice president of the company but has also seen how the lumber industry has been able to evolve over the years. Learn more about Carl's career journey, including what motivates him to continue on the path he is on, as well as his involvement with the NAWLA 10 Group program and more below.
What is your background and how did you get involved with wholesale lumber?
Like many others, I stumbled into an industry I didn’t even know existed. Snavely Forest Products was hiring an EWP designer and I was recommended by one of my professors. Since then, I have enjoyed a steady stream of opportunities and promotions and am now the executive vice president of Snavely Forest Products.
What motivates you to continue on this career path and be a part of the wholesale lumber industry?
The wholesale lumber industry is a relationship industry. Throughout my career I have had several mentors and have been surrounded by people willing to help me grow along the way. I couldn't imagine any other industry being so open about helping people succeed.
In what ways have you seen the lumber industry evolve over the years?
I have been lucky to be in this industry for almost 30 years now. I have watched technology transform how we operate to become more efficient and saw email become the new norm of communication. Today, there is far less paperwork associated with each transaction, and information is more easily tracked. With warehouse management systems (WMS), electronic proof of deliveries and more, automated systems are prevalent. I have also witnessed industry consolidation in the manufacturing, distribution and retail sectors.
What has been the most rewarding part of your career so far? Are there any “wow” moments that particularly stand out to you?
There are so many rewarding aspects to my career so far, but I would say the people I have had the opportunity to meet have been the most rewarding part. A few years ago, I attended NAWLA’s Executive Management Institute (EMI), which was the best educational program NAWLA has put together.
Tell us about your involvement with NAWLA. How long have you been a member and what made you want to join?
Snavely Forest Products has been a member of NAWLA for 95 years. For me, Traders Market was my introduction to NAWLA, but the association really became impactful to me once I joined a 10 Group and started volunteering for committees and attending the Leadership Summit. I currently serve as the secretary/treasurer on the NAWLA Board of Directors and could not be more proud of serving such a wonderful organization.
Tell us about your volunteer work with NAWLA over the years. What made you want to get even more involved and serve on the NAWLA Board of Directors?
I started volunteering on committees and wanted to help NAWLA evolve into a more diverse organization. The people I have met through volunteer work and the networking aspect of the association enabled me to accomplish a lot and made me want to volunteer more.
What advice would you give to a new NAWLA member?
This seems cliché but you really get more than you put into NAWLA. If you are active, the people you will meet and the opportunities that will be available are fantastic. Ask questions, be present and make it a point to get involved.
Tell us about your involvement with the 10 Groups. What made you want to join a group and what do you get out of it?
My GenNext 10 Group is one of the best things about NAWLA. When our group was formed, we were young and new to getting really involved in NAWLA. Most of us did not know each other but were dedicated to learning from each other. Those a part of my group have become trusted friends and advisors that I can call on when I have any questions.
What has been your favorite NAWLA moment?
Without question, my favorite NAWLA moments are with my 10 Group. They are my lifelong friends and allies. In 2021, when Traders Market returned after COVID-19, being able to see all my peers in the industry was also very memorable.
Anything else you would like to share?
We are blessed to be in this industry. The friends and networks you make through NAWLA will last a lifetime.