John Warner - Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, LLC
John received his BS in Chemistry from UMASS Boston, and his PhD in Chemistry from Princeton University. After working at the Polaroid Corporation for nearly a decade, he then served as tenured full professor at UMASS Boston and Lowell. In 2007 he founded the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry and Beyond Benign, a non-profit dedicated to sustainability and green chemistry education. John has more than 280 patents and has received several prestigious awards, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mentoring in 2004, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Merit Award and the Chemistry Industry Society's Perkin Medal.
Title of Presentation: Forestry Products and the Circular and Sustainable Economy.
George Meek - Top Wood Jobs, LLC
George Meek began his illustrious entrepreneurial career while participating in an electrical apprenticeship in high school. Following graduation, he worked as an electrician and an electrical supervisor at two separate plywood plants, before managing the electrical design, construction and startup of the Bennettsville MDF plant in South Carolina where he became the company's first maintenance superintendent. George worked for CE/ Western and Evergreen Engineering where he developed a passion for primary wood processing projects. He became a consultant for the woods product industry and was instrumental in handling the sale of ten manufacturing plants and in the creation of eight new factories. George started Top Wood Jobs in 2010. He focuses on recruiting new employees into the woods product industry.
Title of Presentation: Recruiting Employees in a Turnaround Market.
Justin Price - Evergreen Engineering, LLC
Justin Price is a licensed, professional engineer and a principal owner of Evergreen Engineering®. He has specialized in engineering for wood products, renewable power generation and chemical industries for 20 years. His responsibilities include, construction and project management, developing new and modified forest products manufacturing operations and process and equipment optimization. He started his career in forest products pulling green veneer and as a spray line attendant in a plywood facility. He also patented the design for a unique screening machine with a step deck. Justin understands the parameters that constrain manufacturing operations and sees beyond the immediate project. That information is invaluable to clients seeking the “big picture.” Justin's key responsibility is helping employees at Evergreen Engineering stay focused on making a client’s vision come to life.
Title of Presentation: From Ivory Towers to Blue Collars
Alicja Kacprzak - Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations
Alicja Kacprzak is a forestry officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. She specializes in topics related to the circular, bio-based economy, sustainability and employment. Before joining the United Nations, she worked at the World Economic Forum on environmental initiatives, such as green growth, climate change and renewable products. Prior to that, she worked in the private sector in the food processing industry and in the recycling and reuse of by-products from bio-based fields. She holds a Master of Science in Economics from the Poznan University of Economics in Poland, a Master of Science in Business Management from ESSCA Business School and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Sustainable Development from the University of Geneva, Switzerland.
Title of Presentation: Circularity Concepts in the Forest Sector
Iain Macdonald - TallWood Design Institute
Iain joined the TallWood Design Institute in 2016. He has worked in business development and training roles in the forest industry for 21 years, prior to which he was involved in export marketing of forest products to Asia Pacific markets. Macdonald led the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP) at University of British Columbia, Canada (UBC) for nine years, and holds degrees in marketing and professional education. He has significant experience globally in the design and delivery of technical and business education to workplace and professional learners, and in creating programs to stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship and business development. He is a director and past chair of the Wood Manufacturing Council.
Title of Presentation: The Evolving North American Mass Timber Sector
Art Schmon - Forest Economic Advisors, LLC
Art is the lead author of the Forest Economic Advisor’s newly minted Global Mass Timber Panel Forecast as well as lead author of the Engineered Lumber Quarterly Forecast. He is also managing director of the FEA produced Industrial Wood-Based Construction conference, a major international convention dedicated to fully-integrated, offsite construction. Art has more than 40 years of experience with engineered lumber products. He co-managed the R&D, market research, commercial development and market roll-out for MacMillan Bloedel’s $150 million commercialization of Parallam® PSL. Subsequently, Art managed the start-up and commercial development of Trus Joist MacMilan's European Operations, introducing LVL, PSL, LSL and I-joists to the European market.
Art regularly leads FEA multi-client and single-client studies. In 2017 he was the lead author on FEA’s widely acclaimed Global Outlook for Engineered Lumber Products, 2005 – 2021. Art has presented at numerous international conferences on the markets and technologies for engineered lumber products and is recognized as a leading expert in his field. He holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and an MBA from Simon Fraser University.
Title of Presentation: North American Mass Timber Before and After COVID-19