Welcome to SFPA

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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