FRA has a wide range of members from the supply chain that boast a rich history of giving back to communities where they live, work and do business. This month’s FRA member spotlight, Superior Hardwoods of Ohio, is one such example. Stretching back generations, current President of Superior Hardwoods Adam Conway has come from a long line of involvement in forestry. Adam’s grandfather began work as a forest ranger in the Zaleski State Forest in Ohio where he was tasked with compiling an “extensive timber inventory of all the existing state forests.” Today, his work is still referenced by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Taking after his father’s love of forestry, Adam’s dad, Emmet Conway Jr., started his lumber business (what is now Superior Hardwoods of Ohio,Inc.) with a logging crew and small circle mill in the 1970s. A decade later, they began manufacturing and exporting white oak to Japan, helping to form what became a worldwide market for American hardwoods.
After graduating from Ohio State University and spending four years with an international lumber trading firm, Adam brought his family home to Ohio to join the family business. Today, they have four modern band mills in Ohio. They have imported finished wood products, exported American products and have worked with architects, distributors and manufacturers in almost every facet of the industry.
It’s this care for forestry and his deep Ohioan roots that caused him to get involved with his college alma mater to help transform the very library he had studied in while attending OSU.
When a vision for the Thompson Library was being laid out and preparations were being made it was clear that, like his family and business, this venture should be focused on Ohio, thus beginning the process of selecting panels from trees grown on land managed by the Ohio Forest system. This not only ensured the library’s unique ties to Ohio, but also any proceeds from these sales would be returned directly to the local communities. Going back to the very forests his grandfather had walked and inventoried over 60 years ago in the Zaleski State Forest, each log would be hand-picked using only white oak. In the end, over 300,000 board feet of white oak were used in the project. As he describes the library, you can tell how much care and pride went into this project, leaving behind a piece of the family legacy to live on and be appreciated by current and future OSU students. Beyond that, it will continue to inspire a sense of pride in the industry and in future foresters.
Use the link below to read the full article on Superior Hardwoods of Ohio involvement in the Thompson Library. http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.ohioforest.org/resource/resmgr/pdf/owj_thompson_library.pdf