Speakers & Presenters

The 2022 NHLA Annual Convention boasted an incredible line-up of speakers and presenters, including hardwood researchers, award-winning professors, experts on supply chain management, timber engineers, hardwood promoters, and an international economist guru. These speakers covered everything from labor issues to new markets for hardwood to the future of supply chain management.  

NHLA is proud to offer videos of the education sessions with their accompanying slides…for free! Enjoy the videos below.

Speakers & Presenters

Dr. Nate Irby, Executive Director of the Railway Tie Association, 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 provided a fundamental scope of the tie sector, a line of sight into tie sawing solutions and relevant grades of ties, and summarized meaningful tie statistics and future demand/usage outlook.

Speakers & Presenters

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, while 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. The 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, Tom Inman, and others as they discussed past, current, and future challenges, problems, and opportunities for 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. 

Speakers & Presenters

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.

Speakers & Presenters
Speakers & Presenters
The keynote presentation by CANVAS United on Friday morning was the official launch of the Real American Hardwood’s™ social media strategy to support the new consumer focused website. (Please visit the site if you haven’t already.)
 
The session also served as a call for the industry to support this very important initiative. The question industry leaders have consistently asked from the start of the RAHC is, “How much will this all cost?” The current strategy can be completed with a 5-year commitment of $2 million per year. It sounds like a lot of money, and it is. But it is certainly attainable. We need every association and every company with an interest in a healthy, vibrant, profitable U.S. hardwood industry put up just a little. For example, if 500 companies committed to $4,000, the RAHC would hit its goal. Of course, not every company can afford $4,000 per year…the RAHC recognizes this and has recommended funding levels, from $600 to $6,000, based on company size. Of course, these are only recommendations, and companies may decide to go lower or higher!!
 
However much an individual company can afford will be put towards benefiting the entire industry. It is critical that we band together with a united voice and act now. Because, if not now, when? As one company representative recently commented to the RAHC Board, “I don’t want to be sitting around talking about what we should have done to promote ourselves in 10 years. I want to be talking about what we DID do!”
 
Financial support is essential, but your company can engage in other ways as well. Display the Real American Hardwood logo on your products. Include it on invoices and business cards. Send us photos of you’re the logo on your products. Follow our social media channels. Be a part of the Real American Hardwood Coalition!
 
CANVAS United kicked off their presentation with a video that captured the feeling the RAHC wants to inspire in everyone that has a hand in making Real American Hardwood products and share with every consumer considering a hardwood product. Take a look below!
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