NHLA Inspection Services Department Carries On Despite  Challenges

The hardwood industry has undergone significant changes over the past two years, and NHLA is no exception. We have had to make some tough decisions, and through this, we have managed to carry on our mission, which is to “serve NHLA Members engaged in the commerce of North American hardwood lumber by maintaining order, structure, and ethics in the changing global hardwood marketplace; providing unique member services; promoting North American hardwood lumber and advocating the interest of the hardwood community in public/private policy issues; and providing a platform for networking opportunities.”

As you are reading this, I hope you decided to join us at our Annual Convention, an event where you meet with old friends and make some new ones. The Annual Convention is one way that we help to ensure a vibrant and robust hardwood industry.

Another significant role that we embrace is maintaining the NHLA Rules and the process by which they are refreshed and updated over time. We hold a special meeting on a quadrennial basis and allow our members to submit Rules changes that go through an extensive screening process through our Rules Committee that consists of 13 or more members of varying industry segments. The Rules Committee is tasked with verifying the efficacy and impact of the proposals to ensure that we do not create conflicting Rules changes. The Rules changes that passed the Rules Committee process will be voted on by our Active members in November – December this year.

NHLA also has the responsibility of ensuring that the Rules have been explained and taught to as many people in the industry as possible. We have continued to deliver classes of varying lengths, from 3-days to 8-weeks throughout the pandemic. We have many ways of providing education, including the ITS Online Training Program that allows some education to be studied from home. Over the past several years, NHLA has embraced webinars and will continue to provide those as an opportunity to learn from the convenience of the office or home.

We have continued to meet our members’ needs through our National Inspectors located throughout the US and Canada. We are a smaller staff than in the past, yet we are still delivering the services required to meet the demand throughout North America. Our National Inspectors have become much more than the National Inspectors of the past; they are ambassadors for the industry. They have the capability of working with owners, managers, supervisors, and the employees of our membership to help everyone reach their full potential, not only in lumber inspection but in management, quality control, yield studies, and many other aspects of the lumber production.

Please get in touch with one of the National Inspectors or me to see how we can help you and your team.

-Dana Spessert
NHLA Chief Inspector