by Troy Brown
Thank you! After such an extraordinary 2020, HMA’s recent National Conference and Expo, in Austin, was a taste of ‘normalcy!’ And it was a pleasure to see and spend time with so many of you. Despite the legion of naysayers, you took that leap of Faith - as did HMA’s Executive Vice President, Linda Jovanovich, and the HMA Officers and Board - to make NatCon 21 the first HMA in-person industry event since fall of 2020.
As I see it, HMA has once again demonstrated its acumen as an industry leader. And I’d especially like to thank Linda, HMA’s Executive Committee members, and HMA’s Board of Directors for their exemplary leadership during the COVID crisis. Making the hard decisions is never easy. Thank you for your dedication and hard work.
If you were unable to be in Austin, it was an awesome event comprised of speakers and presentation topics relevant to ‘today.’ An Expo of dedicated industry suppliers, ready and able to assist us in our efforts. And industry friends anxious to catch-up and share. The take-away value was immense.
For me, there was one Business Session that really hit home – “The Real American Hardwood Coalition Update.” The Marketing Plan was ‘rolled out.’ Funding milestones identified. And in accordance with 5O1c3 guidelines, the Coalition is in the process of electing officers comprised of the Executive Directors of associations that are participating in the Initiative. Really exciting.
Additionally, RealAmericanHardwood.org, a website to communicate the Initiative’s progress and accomplishments, is up and running. As industry members and partners, I encourage you to regularly visit the site. Many of the questions you may have, will be answered there, especially how businesses and individuals can contribute to the effort.
Before signing off, I feel it is important to discuss HMA’s participation in the Hardwood Federation. If you are not aware, HMA currently holds three seats on the Federation’s Board of Directors – Bob Miller, Tommy Petzoldt, and myself - along with HF Policy Chairman, Jameson French, HMA member and Past President. All of us have been in the meetings to discuss our industry’s message to President Biden’s ‘Climate’ Initiative.
- Good News is that we have a unique opportunity to position the timber industry as a solution to the perceived problem, as opposed to being the enemy.
- Your Assignment is to be actively educating elected officials regarding the benefit of well managed forests.
- If there is a Bottom Line it’s this: Regardless if the forest is managed for economic, ecological or wildlife reasons, any and all forest management is better for the climate, than a forest that is not managed at all! Spread the word!
Enjoy spring everyone, and keep up the good fight!