Sept 28-30, 2022
Portland, Oregon
Dick Baldwin

Managing Partner
Oak Creek Investment

Richard F. (Dick) Baldwin, a native of Lebanon, Ore., draws on six decades of experience across the forest products industry. Currently Dick is Managing Partner of Oak Creek Investments LLC, an investor in several wood and non-wood businesses. Dick was a co-founder of Winston Plywood & Veneer in Louisville, Miss. and from 2007 to 2013 he served as Executive V.P./General Manager for the Southeastern U.S. division of Wood Resources LLC. Previously Dick had operating authority over wood products factories in Latin America and Southeast Asia, was Managing Partner of an operator of seven wood products manufacturing plants, and was SVP of a Fortune 100 company with profit-and-loss responsibility for 15 wood products mills. Dick has held office as a member of the Oregon State Board of Forestry through Governor appointment and Senate confirmation. He was a member of the Forestry Trust Advisory Committee at the Oregon State Board of Forestry, a member of the Forest Research Laboratory Committee at Oregon State U. Dick earned a BS (Operations Management) from the U. of Oregon, a MS (Forestry) from Stephen F. Austin State U. (Texas), and a Ph.D (Public Affairs) from the U. of Texas at Dallas. He has authored many books and journal articles concerning manufacturing, maintenance, operations management, and forestry issues.

Rich Baldwin

Oak Creek Investments

Richard W. (Rich) Baldwin draws on more than 25 years of analytical and supervisory experience across the retail & consumer products, insurance, and forest products industries. Currently Rich is CFO/Treasurer of Oak Creek Investments, Consultant for Georgia Research Institute, and Visiting Professor at Southwest Forestry University in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China. Baldwin regularly consults on forest products projects in the U.S. and overseas. Recent projects include (1) a feasibility study for a value-added MDF panel, (2) analysis of a non-wood substitute for wood structural panels, (3) a market analysis for an Asian wood products manufacturer analyzing expansion in North America, (4) a marketing study for a European panel manufacturer analyzing expansion into the U.S., (5) an ongoing analysis of the panel and engineered wood markets in China, (6) due diligence for the CalAg MDF plant now under construction in California, (7) the initial business plan for the Winston Plywood & Veneer softwood plywood mill in Mississippi, and (8) researching allegations of dumping of Chinese hardwood plywood in a case brought to the U.S. International Trade Commission.From 2013 to 2016, as consulting Vice President of Strategic Planning for Winston Plywood & Veneer, Rich put together the original business plan for the $110 million mill in Louisville MS (commenced production in October 2016), periodically updated the business plan as the project neared start-up, and participated in debt and equity capital raising efforts. Previously, Rich was Senior Analyst at A.M Best Co with a portfolio of life insurance and annuity writers and reinsurers across the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean and Vice President / Senior Analyst at Moody’s Investors Service with a portfolio of investment grade and high-yield retail and consumer products issuers. Rich has published extensively on a variety of credit-related topics with a particular focus on liquidity, commercial paper analysis, and the retail industry.

Gerhard Binder

Projecting and Sales

Gerhard graduated in economics and technology of the woodworking industry at the University of Hamburg, Germany. He has worked worldwide for major German woodworking machine manufacturers as project and sales engineer in the engineered wood industry for more than 30 years. He is specialized in plant engineering, optimization and automation. He joined MINDA 10 years ago and concentrates on projects manufacturing laminated wooden constructional products.

Mike Crondahl

President & Owner
Westmill Industries USA

Westmill Industries has focused exclusively on improving veneer drying for more than 43 years. Mike Crondahl grew up around plywood plants from a very young age and joined the Westmill team in 1990 before assuming the role of President and Owner in 1996. Under Mike’s leadership Westmill has developed innovative veneer dryer technologies and solutions, offering Westmill the distinction of being the industry leader in this field. Westmill’s specialization makes all the difference to its customers and is one of the reasons why Westmill was chosen by its customers to receive the first ever “APA Innovator of the Year” Award. Mike is not a “corner office” type of president, and has been actively involved in every Westmill new dryer project, rebuild and upgrade throughout North America and beyond, including Uruguay, Portugal, Chile and New Zealand.

Stefan Eisenkohl

Head Sales and Market Director
Baumer Inspection

Stefan is the head sales and marketing director at Baumer Inspection GmbH and joined Baumer in 2018. He has a background in mechanical and product engineering. With almost 20 years of experience in global sales of automation systems as well as handling machines he has a clear view on customer needs throughout various business segments. To know the challenges of the production process and support the customer with valuable information based on the automated optical inspection is always Stefan’s goal. Valuable information is in his understanding to classify the recognized defects to the process step that caused it. Such information will support the user to react directly to false events.

Tyler Freres

Vice President of Sales
Freres Lumber

Tyler’s career in the timber industry began during the summers of his high school years. His first official job required cleaning grease out of road crew and logging equipment prior to repair. After high school, he attended Southern Methodist University and earned a B.A. in English Literature and a B.B.A. in Business Administration with a Finance minor. Throughout his college career, he returned to Oregon each summer, and continued working at the mills or in the woods in every available job: millwright, dryer feeder, barker operator, green chain, core layer, log scaling and road crew. After graduation from SMU, he attended courses at Oregon State University College of Forestry to achieve a better understanding of timber-related issues in business. While at OSU, he also cruised timber and worked timber inventories and tree planting. He earned a M.B.A. via correspondence while living in France with his wife, Deana, who was working on a sporting clothing project. Since returning to the U.S., Tyler has worked directly in plywood manufacturing. In 2005, he took over the veneer sales position and has since been responsible for selling and sourcing all veneer for Freres Lumber veneer and plywood operations. Tyler takes an active role in determining the long-term direction of the company, including its recent development of the Mass Plywood Panel product and the operation of its new MPP plant in Lyons, Ore.

Charles Gale

Doug Fir Consulting

Charles is a Montana native and owner of Doug Fir Consulting which provides professional services for the wood product industry and forestry research organizations. He is currently working with SmartLam (a CLT manufacturer based in Montana) providing business process improvements. Before starting his consulting firm in 2017 he was the Sales and Operations Planner and Manufacturing Business Analyst with Stimson Lumber in Portland, Ore. Prior to that, he was with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) in Montana, having published several general technical reports (GTRs) and various forestry and wood products industry journal publications. He has extensive experience conducting economic wood product industry analysis, forestry and logging utilization studies, and research for improving efficiencies in manufacturing operations. He has also worked at Missoula Area Economic Development Corporation (MAEDC) in Montana conducting foundational and background analysis for Montana’s Wood Product revolving loan fund now called WPRLF. Charles has a B.A. in Resource Conservation and a minor in Climate Change studies from the University of Montana School of Forestry and Conservation. Starting in 2017 Charles was selected to serve on the board of the Forest Product Society as a Northwest regional representative.

Ethan Martin

Regional Director

Ethan is a licensed engineer in several states with experience ranging from civil engineering and land development to residential, commercial and educational building design. He earned a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University specializing in structures. As the previous owner of a structural engineering firm in North Carolina, Ethan has worked on projects that range from small renovations to a 470,000 square-foot, $125 million K-12 central school for the Cherokee Nation.

Miguel Martinez

Key Account Manager

Miguel serves as Key Account Manager at Sugimat, S.L. He has an M. Sc. in Chemical Engineering at Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain). In addition to his bachelor’s degree, he holds three different Masters in International Business, Marketing & Sales, and Project Management at University Isabel I in Spain. He has been active in thermal energy area especially in thermal oil boilers and steam boilers for more than years at Sugimat, S.L. His international experience includes conferences as a frequent speaker such as Board of European Students of Technology (Valencia, Spain), conference at Expo Biomasa (Valladolid, Spain), seminar at Biomassa de Catalunya fair (Barcelona, Spain) and more recently at Achema trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany talking about “efficient heat generation” and how to apply the high-efficiency technology used in thermal oil boilers of the solar thermal sector to process boilers in the chemical industry.

Anna McCann

Merritt Machinery

Anna McCann is President and sole owner of Merritt Machinery, LLC. She has more than 30 years of industry experience and began her career with Merritt Plywood Machinery as an accountant, holding positions of Controller then Vice President before acquiring the company assets in 2008. Anna received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration & Accounting from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She served as Vice President of the Supplier Division of the Hardwood Plywood Veneer Association and was on the Board of Directors for 10 years. Merritt Machinery manufactures equipment for the production of rotary peeled and sliced decorative veneer and is the U.S. representative for Meinan Machinery Works, Inc., Japanese manufacturers of veneer and plywood machinery.

Evan Schmidt

Outreach Coordinator
TallWood Design Institute

Evan Schmidt is the Outreach Coordinator for the TallWood Design Institute (TDI)—a coalition between Oregon State University and University of Oregon focusing on advancing mass timber products and solutions through applied research and design. Evan has a bachelors in architecture, and recently received his MS in wood science and engineering from Oregon State. His research emphasis was on moisture performance of cross-laminated timber and monitoring of timber structures.

Steve Swanson

President and CEO
Swanson Group

Steve became president and CEO of Swanson Group in 2001. He joined Superior Lumber (now Swanson Group) in 1977 as office manager, after attending the University of Oregon and Umpqua Community College. In 1973, brothers Dean, Rod and Ray had built Swanson-Superior Forest Products in Noti, Ore. In the 1970s, the next generation of Swansons entered the business, including Steve. This generation took the company to the next level with a series of acquisitions starting in the 1990s. In Glendale, the company bought Gregory Forest Products, a large neighboring mill complex that included a plywood and veneer mill. Swanson Group Inc. acquired another plywood mill in Springfield, Ore. from McKenzie Forest Products. The Springfield mill went through extensive capital improvements and brought a number of new specialty panels to the product mix making Swanson Group one of the largest and most diverse panel producers on the West Coast. But in late 2014, tragedy struck when fire consumed the Springfield plant. Not to be deterred, Swanson Group, led by Steve, rebuilt this plant, saving hundreds of jobs while continuing as a major contributors to the region’s economics.

Russ Vaagen

Vaagen Timbers

Russ formed Vaagen Timbers in 2017 and the company is currently building a mass timber facility in Colville, Wash. that will manufacture CLT and glulam beams. The new facility is adjacent the Vaagen Bros. Lumber sawmill and headquarters, where for 14 years Russ served the family business as vice president and was instrumental in the operation’s business strategy, including on-the-ground leadership with Vaagen’s multiple sawmills and constant collaboration on national forest timber supply issues. Russ writes a regular column for Timber Processing magazine, called “Collaboration,” and speaks frequently before civic and industrial groups. He graduated from Washington State University in business and economics in 1999.

Dominik Wolfschuetz

Market Research Specialist
German Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers Assn. (VDMA)

As a market researcher for the woodworking machinery sector of the German machinery association VDMA, Dominik is responsible for consulting the member companies when it comes to strategic sales and marketing decisions. As co-organizers of LIGNA he is also responsible for further developing the leading exhibition for woodworking machinery and the organization of several German Pavilions around the globe. Dominik received a degree in wood science and technology from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria.