Wood: Naturally, a Crowd Pleaser at JLC Live

For the fourth consecutive year, attendees at the JLC LIVE, Residential Construction Show in Providence, Rhode Island were attracted to the lobby display of softwood associations. A great number of the 9,000 attendees were eager to get wood product information from all three organizations: SFPA representing Southern Pine, along with Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association and Western Red Cedar Lumber Association. The Softwood Lumber Board sponsored the exhibit promoting North American lumber products, part of its Wood, Naturally campaign. SFPA’s Eric Gee served as the exhibit’s coordinator for this event and he provided this post-show report:

“With this being our fourth year at JLC LIVE, the attendees have grown eager to speak with associations’ staffers about the benefits of using softwood lumber products in outdoor, residential and nonresidential construction. The discussions focused around application; specifically,

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Communications Director Joins SFPA

Erin Graham has joined the SFPA staff as Communications Director. A native of New Orleans, Erin has more than 12 years’ experience in advertising and graphic design.  She began her career at Innovative Advertising in Covington, LA, working as an account executive for beverage and restaurant accounts, specializing in creating quarterly ad campaigns and assisting with media buys. In 2007, Erin moved to SPAR, Inc., a package design firm, where she began exploring her talents in the design field. She has designed packages for many of Sazerac, Inc. brands including W. L. Weller Bourbon, Ten High Bourbon and Legendre Ojen Liqueur.

“I’m excited to learn about the Southern Pine industry, meet the members and promote the use of member products in domestic and international markets.”  Erin has a BA degree in Integrated Communications with a minor in Graphic Design from Spring Hill College in Mobile. In her spare time she enjoys fishing in Dauphin Island with her family and playing golf with her dad.

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Housing & Registration Opens for EXPO 2017

Registration to attend the 34th Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition – EXPO 2017 – is now open; visit This three-day event will be held June 14-16 at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center.

The show for 2017 is shaping up to be another record event – larger than the 2015 show – continuing to benefit from an industry-wide recovery and many companies with ongoing upgrades underway. More than 150 companies are set to exhibit the latest equipment and services for the forest products industry, across more than 51,000 square feet of indoor space.

Some exhibit space remains. “More than 90% of the floor plan is under contract,” notes exposition director Eric Gee. “Many exhibitors returning from the 2015 show have expanded their displays for EXPO 2017, plus we have many first-time exhibitors,” he adds.

Complete registration information, housing details and other show facts are available by visiting

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SFPA Welcomes New Member

SFPA welcomes the Crossett Economic Development Foundation of Crossett, Arkansas, as a new Associate member.  Since its formation in 2001, the foundation has worked to provide quality economic development services to the City of Crossett.  Its primary mission is to create jobs and opportunities for the community, working with existing businesses and also recruiting new industry to the area. Jobs have been both saved and created due to the foundation’s efforts working with local enterprises.

Mike Smith is the Executive Director and will represent the foundation with SFPA. Contact him at 870/364-8745, or send e-mail to  To learn more about the foundation, visit

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2016: SP Shipments Top 17Bbf

For the seventh consecutive year, shipments of Southern Pine lumber in 2016 have increased, reaching a total of 17.34 billion board feet (Bbf), 4% above the 2015 volume. Tabulation of SP shipment totals is a cooperative effort with the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau and Timber Products Inspection.

SFPA members can review further details, including a month-by-month comparison of shipments over the past three years, within the Members Only section of Also there is an historical summary of annual SP shipments, 1915-2016.

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Indonesian Seminars a Success

On behalf of American Softwoods, two recent presentations in Semarang and Surabaya, Indonesia, introduced importers and key decision makers to American softwood products. SFPA’s Eric Gee introduced the features and benefits of Southern Pine materials, including treated products. While markets for pressure-treated lumber exist, a better understanding of proper retention levels and recommended preservative types is needed in the country’s severe wood decay hazard environment. Eric addressed the merits of using SP for interior applications, too, especially doors, stairs and windows. He also covered abundant Southern Pine resources, forest management practices, sustainability, and the legality of timber harvesting.

Eric teamed with Chris Knowles of Oregon State University who spoke about several U.S. softwood species available from the northeastern and western states. The seminars provided an interactive learning environment where the audience eagerly engaged both speakers on a variety of subjects. During the reception which followed each event,

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Financial Chief Retires

Following 32 years of service to SFPA members, Chief Financial Administrator Vernon Barabino retired yesterday. A native of New Orleans, Vernon came to SFPA to work in the mailroom for one year while he earned his accounting degree attending night school. More than three decades of SFPA record-keeping followed, managing complex accounts for international activities, Expo, as well as annual audits.   “It has been a great run,” Vernon said. “I’ve enjoyed the many great people I’ve met in this industry and I thank the association for providing this opportunity to serve the members,” he added.

“On behalf of all members, SFPA greatly appreciates the dedication Vernon has brought to his work throughout his career with us,” said Executive Director Tami Kessler. Rachel Elton has been promoted to the position of Accountant and will assume Vernon’s duties.

Vernon’s immediate retirement plans include preparing tax returns for family and friends,

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Bau Wood Show a Success

For the first time, American Softwoods (AMSO) exhibited at Bau, the largest trade show in Europe for manufacturers and suppliers of building materials. SFPA’s European consultant Charles Trevor, based in London, led an 11-member delegation to Munich, Germany for this marathon six-day exhibition.  Show sponsors claimed that some 250,000 visitors toured displays of more than 2100 exhibitors from 45 countries; there is always a waiting list for exhibit space. Filling 17 halls, the giant show concentrated exhibits of wood products into a single dedicated hall, channeling the right visitors to AMSO’s display. Copies of the SFPA publications Southern Pine Lumber Export Grades and the Guide to American Softwood Species were popular handouts.

Bau was not just a European show. “It should be considered by exhibitors with a focus beyond Europe, and in particular the Middle East and North Africa,” Charles noted in his report.

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SFPA Welcomes New Member

SFPA welcomes Nyle Systems LLC of Brewer, Maine, as a new Associate member.  Established 40 years ago, Nyle Systems aims to be an innovative leader in the drying of lumber using their dehumidification drying equipment, conventional kiln packages and advanced control solutions. All product lines are designed to be not only energy efficient and environmentally friendly, but also easy to use and maintain.  Installation is available for any kiln design and Nyle’s service team offers support anywhere in the world. The company has offices in Westport, Connecticut and a production facility in Brewer, Maine.

Jeremy Howard is Vice President of sales and will represent Nyle Systems with SFPA. Contact him at 800/777-6953, or send e-mail to   To learn more about Nyle Systems, visit

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EXPO 2017 Covers All the Bases

Soon, the wood industry will gather in Atlanta for Expo 2017 – SFPA’s 34th Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition. Over the course of three days, June 14-16, those working in lumber manufacturing, forestry and related processes can inspect the latest machinery and technology for virtually all segments of our industry, serving both softwood and hardwood operations.

“Expo is not just a pine show. In all our promotions, we’ve worked hard to drive home the fact that it’s an all-encompassing industry event,” notes exposition director Eric Gee. “Nearly 30% of the Expo 2017 floor plan features equipment for hardwood operations,” he adds. Beyond lumber manufacturing and engineering services, exhibitors include the biomass, pallet fabrication, material handling, treating and engineered wood segments of the industry.

With booth sales approaching 90% of capacity, some exhibit space remains available.  Exhibitors can enhance their presence at the show using a variety of sponsorship opportunities.

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