Speakers & Presenters

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In a recent NHLA membership survey, more than 60% of respondents identified employee hiring and retention as their number-one issue. With this statistic in mind, NHLA is thrilled to welcome Chester Elton as the 2022 keynote speaker; someone who can bring value and real-world solutions and ideas to a challenge facing the hardwood industry every day.

Keynote Speaker

You do not want to miss the educational session by Dr. Nate Irby, Executive Director of the Railway Tie Association, as he provides an overview of the dynamics of the wood tie markets and railroads.  Hardwood ties and timbers equated to more than 10% of total hardwood consumption in 2021 (source: Hardwood Market Report) and are slated to remain in high demand for the foreseeable future. The railroad industry has consistently used more than 18 million ties every year for the last decade, in maintenance allocations alone, plus the newly passed national infrastructure bill has allotted big dollars for regional and short-line railroads to upgrade their corridors.  This educational session will provide a fundamental scope of the tie sector, a line of sight into tie sawing solutions and relevant grades of ties, and summarize meaningful tie statistics and future demand/usage outlook.

Keynote Speaker

Hardwood lumber is making its way into the timber market, specifically in the manufacturing of cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels. The structural market in the United States and Canada is dominated by softwood lumber species where hardwood lumber is used mostly for furniture, exports, flooring and molding, pallets, and railroad ties.

Over the last 10 years industry, associations, universities, and the federal government have led several initiatives to establish a market for hardwood lumber as raw material for CLT production with a focus on using yellow poplar or tulip wood. This species is considered because it is abundant, sustainable, and brings excellent strength, machinability, and aesthetic properties.

The joint work among the different stakeholders on hardwood CLT has focused on various aspects including supply, manufacturing, structural grading, panel performance, and testing. Results are very promising. The last piece of the puzzle for the working partnership is to include yellow poplar CLT panels in the APA-PRG 320 standard. This standard provides the guidelines and technical specifications for the use and manufacturing of CLT panels in the United States and Canada.

This panel includes Dr. Quesada, Brian Bond, Brant Cobb, Ishan Abeysekera, David Venables, and Tom Inman. They will discuss past, current, and future challenges, problems, and opportunities of using yellow poplar for the manufacturing of CLT panels. The panel includes different perspectives, including yellow poplar manufacturers, architects, university researchers, industry representatives, and CLT manufacturers. Come and join us! This will be a great opportunity to learn more about the effort.

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Is a normal supply chain in the future? Supply chain issues: we all have them but what’s the reason and when will things get back to normal?  Join Dr. Tom Goldsby – co-faculty director for the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business, as he lays out the landscape of supply chain issues affecting the hardwood industry.

Keynote Speaker
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National Hardwood Lumber Association

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