See you in New Orleans - April 16 – 18, 2018

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We’re less than two weeks away from FRA’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans, and this year’s agenda and networking opportunities promise something for everyone.  With great topics and discussions throughout the meeting and over 125 industry leaders in attendance, this is an excellent opportunity to advance company and industry priorities.

The meeting kicks off on Monday with the National Public Policy Committee to discuss the latest from the Trump Administration and Capitol Hill.  We will discuss regulatory reform, tax policy, truck weights, carbon neutrality of biomass, guest worker reform, and other issues critical to the forest industry supply chain.  At the same time, the THATS Committee will meet to advance ways to improve safety up and down the wood supply chain.  The evening wraps with a welcome reception at The Court of Two Sisters.

Tuesday starts with the Annual Member’s Meeting, including reports by FRA Chairman Bill Johnson and my President’s Report.  After that, we’ll be learning about “Forestry Trends in A Global Marketplace” from speakers Maria Brennan (Vice President of Supply Chain at Domtar) and Robert Flynn (Director of International Timber at RISI).

The National Operations Committee will hear from D.K. Knight (Executive Editor, Hatton Brown Publishing) discussing “Log Trucking Industry Challenges”, an issue that impacts the industry nationwide.  Todd Martin of the member-owned Southern Loggers Cooperative will join the National Supplier/Consumer Relations Committee meeting to talk about how that organization has acted to lower diesel costs.  Following the speaker sessions, both committees will meet to discuss a range of challenges and opportunities facing the forest industry supply chain.

We cap off Tuesday evening with the FRA Awards Reception and Dinner, where we will recognize and celebrate excellence in the industry.  The dinner also features the THATS Auction, so come ready to support supply chain safety and go home with great auction items.

Our meeting finishes with the Board Meeting on Wednesday morning, where we make decisions that will guide FRA through the year. During this time we will also hear from Pete Madden (CEO, Drax Biomass) on “Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities in the Wood Pellet Industry.”  This is a great opportunity to learn from a leader in an area of our industry that has seen significant growth over the past decade.

In addition to FRA’s meeting, there are groups convening before and after.  FRA’s Southcentral Region Policy Committee will meet on Monday morning, FRA’s Executive Committee will meet by invitation-only after lunch on Monday, and our friends at the Wood Supply Research Institute will meet on Wednesday at the conclusion of FRA’s Annual Meeting.

The FRA team has worked to make sure this meeting is informative, productive and fun. I can’t wait to see you in New Orleans!
Deb Hawkinson | President

Deb serves as the President of the Forest Resources Association.