It seems like it was just yesterday that Skipper Beal asked me to ‘step to the plate;’ take the plunge and yes, become an HMA Officer. I was 43 years old then; had already served a two year term on HMA’s Board of Directors, valued the HMA greatly and knew that I wanted to grow my involvement with the Association.
And now, here I am. Fifty years old and coming to the close of my two-year term as President of the Hardwood Manufacturers Association! The time has certainly flown by, and I have enjoyed every bit of it! But, where to begin to say “thank you” to the many industry colleagues and friends that have gotten me to this point in my HMA journey?
I was always told, “You will be successful whenever you have a strong team around you.” And without question, the HMA-team that I’ve been blessed to work with has been, if anything, phenomenal!
To the HMA Staff in Pittsburgh – HMA Executive Vice President, Linda Jovanovich, Amanda Dorohovich and Darleen Licina-Tubbs – thank you. You all continue to perform like a well-oiled machine, keeping the HMA-train connected, on track and moving forward.
I would especially like to express my gratitude to Linda. Her counsel has been golden. And I hope that going forward, she will allow me to continue to call upon her, her acumen regarding the hardwood industry, and her bottomless knowledge of the HMA.
To Troy Brown – Kretz Lumber Company, Inc., Antigo, Wisconsin - thank you for your support and friendship. You’ve been a great Vice President and I’ve been blessed to have had you at my side. As you assume the role of HMA President, all the best. And if I can assist you in any way, do not hesitate to call on me, please.
To the HMA membership – thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as President of our unique Association. You, a community of like-minded brothers and sisters passionate about our industry and the people we employ in our businesses, are simply amazing. And I thank you for calling me, friend.
And so, I look forward to spending time with you all in Nashville at HMA’s National Conference and Expo. If you have yet to register to attend, please do so. While the entire event is not-to-be-missed, it is critical that you take part in a special session regarding the work of the Real American Hardwood Promotion Coalition (RAHPC), a coalition of industry associations passionate about: raising public awareness regarding the benefits of products made from real American hardwood, generating new products and markets, increasing sales, and ultimately improving/stabilizing the hardwood industry. Don’t miss this.