MFPC’s 55th annual meeting had it all

If you love invigorating golf, good food, a global view of the pulp/paper industry, New England energy perspective, fascinating tour of Irving’s Dixfield mill, outstanding award winners and opportunities to catch up with friends and colleagues — and who doesn’t? — MFPC’s 55th Annual Meeting was the only place to be Sept. 13-14. About a 100 people signed up for all or part of the meeting, which was held at Sunday River Resort in Newry

“This annual meeting was a really great get-together of industry folks, and recognizing the best of the industry was particularly satisfying to me,” said Mark Doty of Plum Creek.

This year’s award-winners were:

  • Albert D. Nutting Award — Jim Robbins Sr., president and owner of Robbins Lumber in Searsmont, a family-owned business for five generations. The award recognizes “his leadership of the Robbins Family legacy of sawmill operators, his dedication and advocacy for the forest industry, his passion for educating the public about Maine’s forest resources, and his accomplishments as a forester and conservationist.” FYI, Robbins also presided over an exceptionally fun auction.
  • Maine’s Outstanding Logger— Dean Pepper of Fayette, D. R. Pepper Wood Harvesting, for “exemplary on the ground performance and a strong commitment to meeting the management objectives of the landowner through innovation and sound business management.”
  • Maine’s Outstanding Forester — Tom Whitworth of Wallagrass, former regional enforcement coordinator for the Maine Forest Service (MFS), for “a career of tireless, pro-active education and counseling on forest management practices while maintaining the respect of landowners within a regulatory framework.”
  • Maine’s Outstanding Manufacturer — Lumbra Hardwoods Inc., Milo, in recognition of their perseverance, ingenuity, and excellence in the sawmill business, and support of the Milo community and the forest products industry since 1952.”
  • Abby Holman Public Service Award — Keith Kanoti of Old Town, formerly of the Maine Forest Service, “in recognition of his role as MFS water resource forester in supporting Maine’s private forest landowners.”  Read more.

Golf was played Sunday in cool rain and wonderful scenery. Being chilled and damp made dinner and drinks taste especially good. The winning team – Jason and Chris Brochu, John Cashwell, and John Bryant — scored 9 under par.

The business meeting went well and three new members were welcomed to the MFPC Board Monday morning, Richard Wing of Richard Wing & Son Logging; Joel Swanton of Expera Specialty Solutions, and Steve Hanington of Stead Timberlands, LLC. Members also received the 2015 annual report final

MFPC and Maine TREE Foundation held the premiere of the “This is my office — Maine” video, which was very well received. In fact, there have been a flood of requests for the online link (below), so feel free to share it with others inside and outside the industry. Many thanks and much appreciation for the Pacific Forest Foundation, creator of the original, award-winning “This Is My Office” video, which inspired our Maine version. See for more information.

Executive Director Patrick Strauch laughed off an interruption of his Legislative overview – the hotel sound system began blasting the Counting Crows’ version of Joni Mitchell “Big Yellow Taxi” — joking that the lyrics “paved paradise and put up a parking lot,” saying his dancing wasn’t up to the challenge of keeping up with the beat.

Brian McClay, principal of Brian McClay & Associates Inc., in Montreal, gave an excellent presentation on Global Trends in Market Pulp. We’ll be considering what he had to say over the coming weeks and months, but you can learn a lot just by studying his charts and graphs.

Michael S. Giaimo, Senior External Affairs Representative, ISO New England Inc., also gave members a New England regional update on energy issues.

Dave Struble, Maine state entomologist, also answered the question he posed in his presentation: Spruce budworm where are we?

“It was a great annual meeting,” Strauch said. “We learned a lot, enjoyed the sawmill Irving tour, and had a great time. The best part for me is getting the chance to step back and reflect together on what’s happening in our industry.”

As always, a big thanks to our sponsors and to Office Manager Sue McCarthy, who is a great event planner!

2015 Sponsors