Forest Products Society
January 13, 2016
As we are now well into January, we would like to express our appreciation to all of our members for their support of the Society, and wish you all the best for a prosperous New Year. We also want to keep you updated on current events and developments within the Society.
Over the past two years, the Society has undergone a rigorous process to further strengthen our organization and reverse the decline in membership and assets with which we have grappled for over 20 years. As you may remember, to combat this trend, in October 2013 we took action on many items that had been in discussion for a while, including hiring an association management company (TAPPI) to handle the day-to-day operations of the Society more efficiently.
Today we are pleased to report that since taking over management responsibilities of the Society, TAPPI has been able to make significant improvements, both operationally and fiscally. Operationally, the Society has resumed publication, an improved website was launched, and the FPS Knowledge Base was introduced. Fiscally, TAPPI was able to cut the budgeted loss for FY14 from $400,000 to $100,000, and the building in Madison was sold, which generated operating funds to provide the much-needed time for TAPPI and our staff to continue improvement initiatives for the Society. Furthermore, customer service has improved and the focus on membership and the member experience has been restored.
Last year, one of our top goals also was to reconnect with companies and individuals in the industry and beyond, and to cover topics that you find most important and timely. Our Society has made significant progress in this regard and we continue to find new ways to serve as the melting pot for research, technology, education, and knowledge sharing, which are at the heart of our organization. 2015 was an exciting year for FPS in this arena. We hosted several successful professional gatherings, helping to "connect science to industry.”
The International Convention drew in 170 delegates from 13 countries to discuss ways to unlock the power of forest products. The North American Wood Window and Door Symposium attracted nearly 90 industry innovators in wood production, preservation, and processing. In addition, 14 companies exhibited their products and services. And, finally, FPS' first-ever Introduction to Wood Science and Forest Products course treated 13 individuals with an insider look at the markets and products in the forest products industry.
Every year, we welcome new organizational members, and we are always very thankful to all of the companies and organizations who support and utilize the programs we offer. We would like to welcome our 2015 new organizational members:
Alabama A&M University, Cards of Wood Inc, Holzforschung Austria, University of the Sunshine Coast, and Wood Care Systems.
The Board wants to assure you that the best interests of the Society and its members are at the heart of every decision we make. We will continue to be transparent about our changes and developments. In this spirit, we would like to inform you that Craig McKinney, FPS Executive Director, has decided to pursue new career opportunities and will be succeeded by Scott Springmier effective this month.
Craig has demonstrated both a dedication to the success of the Society as well as a commitment to its future. While we are disappointed to see him leave, we understand and wish him well in this new phase of his life and career. Meanwhile, please extend a warm welcome to Scott who is already off to a great start, beginning to work with our experienced volunteers, staff and the Board to help drive continuous improvement of our Society.
Scott is currently Manager, Business Development for TAPPI. He joined TAPPI in 2007, working with volunteers to create the PaperCon annual conference, a new Tissue Division and as well as managing publications like TAPPI Journal and the Tissue360 magazine and newsletter. Prior to TAPPI, Scott spent nearly 30 years in the pulp and paper industry, including 17 with Valmet in various sales and marketing roles including regional service center manager. He has also worked with Fisher International and Kimberly-Clark and has been a TAPPI member since 1986. He has a degree in Industrial Engineering from Michigan and MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Scott can be reached at 404-375-0464 or email@example.com.
We are excited for 2016, and all that the New Year will bring to the Society and our members. Our direction is simple and clear—deliver value to our members so that individuals and companies working in/for the forest products industry see the Society as the source for knowledge and networking in the field.
As we move forward, we will continue strong communication efforts, such as this annual update from the President, the monthly E-Update, messages and discussions through social media, and continuous updates to our website. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any other board member if you have not received the communication. We are happy to discuss suggestions or concerns.
And, one last item, now is the time to mark your calendar for the 70th FPS International Convention, which will be held in my home town, Portland, Oregon, on June 27-29, 2016, at the Marriott Portland Downtown Waterfront hotel. Portland is home to the MLS Champion Portland Timbers, 876 coffee shops, and you have your choice of 6,170 different beers. You can learn more about the Convention at fpsconvention.org, and remember to submit your abstract for consideration in this year’s technical program. The deadline is January 15. We look forward to seeing you at the Convention.
Maureen Puettmann, PhD
President, Forest Products Society
WoodLife Environmental Consultants, LLC
541-231-2627 | Maureen.firstname.lastname@example.org
December 22, 2014
It is hard to believe that it's time to close the curtains on 2014 and ring in the New Year. 2014 was an exciting year for the industry and for the Forest Products Society (FPS). The industry was blazing at the forefront of hot topics such as nanotechnology, cross laminated timber, and energy production. Pellet demand grew at exponential rates. It was wonderful to see all of the activity and interest.
2014 was also an exciting time to be a member of the FPS. Each member now receives added value with the price of membership, including complimentary electronic subscriptions to all three of our technical journals – Forest Products Journal, Wood Design Focus, and the International Journal of Forest Engineering. Our new, online Knowledge Base was launched as the premier resource for the forest products industry and members can now download any of our more than 10,000 technical articles free of charge. Print issues of Forest Products Journal are once again being sent to all members. Altogether, it appears Santa came early this year.
FPS welcomed a record nine new organizational members in 2014 including two new Gold members – TAPPI and Louisiana-Pacific. Organizational members now receive a free ad in Forest Products Journal and a member spotlight article in our weekly newsletter, The Forest Products Report. We would like to say thank you to all of the companies and organizations who support and utilize the programs that we offer!
One thing we look forward to each year is seeing so many of you at the International Convention (IC). This year the IC was held in Quebec City, Canada, and was partnered with the World Conference on Timber Engineering. It was the first time that our two organizations collaborated and the event was a huge success with more than 800 total attendees and eight tracks of programming. We hope to see you at our events in 2015.
Finally, as we say goodbye to another year, we would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to all of the individuals who volunteer their time, energy, and resources to FPS. Your commitment to helping us "connect science to industry" is the heart of our organization. We love hearing from our members and receiving feedback. If you ever have any questions or want to know more about the Forest Products Society please give us a call at 770-209-7294 or toll free at 1-855-475-0291.
Warmest Holiday Wishes!
Niels de Hoop
President, Forest Products Society
Associate Professor, Louisiana Forest Products Development Center
January 10, 2014
I would like to wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year in 2014! I also wanted to keep you updated on current events and developments within the Society. For some time it has been apparent that FPS must adapt to a continually changing landscape; in fact, we have had a team of volunteer leaders working to develop ways to help FPS not only survive, but thrive. As a result, FPS underwent many changes in 2013, which the Board believes will further strengthen our organization and increase its value to you as a member. We have already enhanced your membership with new benefits and we are working with an experienced team to help drive continuous improvement of our Society.
Over the past year, the Board of Directors commissioned retired President & CEO of Western Wood Products Association and past President of FPS Michael O'Halloran to lead a process to review various models for the Society's future. Through their efforts in collaboration with Executive Officers, we have concluded that FPS can no longer operate as it has done in the past, because it would be prohibitively expensive and, based on the current fiscal reality, not sustainable. Therefore, the best strategy forward is to leverage the resources of an experienced association management company to provide a greater range of services at a lower cost to members.
After an exhaustive search investigating multiple companies that provide association management services, the FPS Board of Directors selected TAPPI. TAPPI's related mission and the fact that they provide similar services to many other associations constitutes a natural fit. It is important that in this model FPS is and will remain a separate entity. FPS independently makes all of the decisions concerning the Society, and will continue to be governed by its Board of Directors.
TAPPI has faced many of the same obstacles as FPS, and we are confident that many of the strategies they have applied to put their association back on track will also help with the Society's turnaround. The Board is focused on how to strengthen the Association's reserves, and understands that drawing them down so dramatically—which is what would happen if we continued to operate under the old model—would just not be prudent.
The Board wants to assure you that the best interests of the Society and its members are at the heart of our decisions. We will continue to be transparent about our changes, beginning with our new interim director, Mr. Craig McKinney. Craig is off to a great start and the association management model that FPS adopted last year has transitioned very well. We have also officially moved our offices to Atlanta as of December 1, 2013. The existing FPS headquarters building in Madison is currently on the market and we anticipate sale of the property in 2014. This move will allow us to reduce expenses without impacting member service, and will provide immediate financial benefits to your association. As part of our commitment to improving your member experience, we are continuing to significantly enhance the Society's website www.forestprod.org, making it easier for you to manage your membership online and access the wealth of resources available to you through your membership.
One of our top goals for 2014 is to reconnect with companies and individuals in the industry and beyond, and to cover topics that you find most important and timely. Our Society should be the melting pot for research, technology, education, and knowledge sharing that is theoretical in nature (on the horizon) as well as practical and useful for today's marketplace, and we aim to make it so.
As we move forward, our direction is simple and clear—deliver value to our members so that individuals and companies working in/for the forest products industry see FPS as the source for knowledge and networking in the field.
In 2014, we are going to be launching new campaigns around several new member benefits that were recently made available to all members. These initiatives include:
The all-new Knowledge Base, which features historical articles, back issues of all four journals, and the entire collection of Hardwood Symposium Proceedings. This is one of the greatest benefits for our members, offering access to the wealth of knowledge FPS has accumulated over the years from folks like you who have contributed so much to our industry. The Knowledge Base is a way to share this knowledge openly with members in a format that can be accessed in a timely and efficient manner. FPS is committed to keeping this information available to all members.
Monthly APA newsletter and a joint CPA/FPS quarterly newsletter to CPA and FPS members.We have signed MOUs with APA and CPA that will provide additional value by providing FPS members with industry-related content and updates via monthly and quarterly newsletters.
In 2014, our International Convention (IC) will be held in Quebec City in cooperation with the World Conference on Timber Engineering. Although the prices will be much like what you have seen over the past few years, access to any Convention and WCTE sessions will be included in registration (2 conferences for the price of 1). I hope you will plan to attend the IC and take advantage of the Call for Abstracts, which is still open until February 3, 2014.
Based on your feedback, our goal will be to hold conferences and symposiums in locations that are close to the industry and affordable. We have assembled a new team of individuals who will be researching locations, developing partnerships with other events, and negotiating contracts that are in the best interest of our members and the Society.
We understand that new content and new methods of communication are still needed to engage the industry and our members. Currently, we are looking at several new and different tools for our "membership tool belt" that we will make available to you beginning this year. Among them will be a new member packet with a membership card, a welcome letter, and an explanation of benefits.
We are excited for 2014, and all that the New Year will bring to the Society and our members. Please do not hesitate to contact Craig McKinney at email@example.com or 770-209-7294, or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-946-1119. Please look for additional information about our transition, as well as progress on our efforts to increase member value, on FPS's website throughout 2014.
Timothy M. Young
Professor, The University of Tennessee
President, Forest Products Society
December 20, 2013I am Craig McKinney, and I am excited to be working with you as Member Relations Manager. I look forward to connecting with the FPS member community – your experience, expertise, and energy are what make FPS such a valuable and dynamic organization. I would also like to express appreciation to Stefan Bergmann for his past service to FPS as its Executive Vice President. We wish Stefan all the best as he pursues other opportunities and interests. As 2013 draws to a close, I'd like to take a few moments with you to consider everything your association has accomplished during this past year, and to let you know about the exciting changes ahead.
The new and highly-anticipated Knowledge Base Beta site is up and running, providing an interactive resource that highlights emerging thinking around today's most important issues in the forest products industry.
FPS members now receive a complimentary electronic subscription to all four FPS technical journals: Forest Products Journal, Wood Design Focus, Journal of Forest Products Business Research, and International Journal of Forest Engineering. This is a savings of more than $500 – but more importantly, it is a wealth of current information delivered directly to members' desktops.
With a host of new knowledge-based resources and efforts underway to grow membership – including the launch of the newest section of the Society, FPS Europe – I sincerely believe that there has never been a better time to be an FPS member. I look forward to working closely with the Board, and volunteer leadership to give you an outstanding member experience. Please contact me at any time with questions, concerns, or suggestions. I welcome your feedback, and look forward to meeting many of you personally in 2014.
Thank you for your continued support of FPS!
Member Relations Manager
Forest Products Society