The Urban Wood Movement Surges Ahead at IWF

 

IWF Urban Wood Seminar

Rich Christianson, left, moderated the seminar that featured Dwayne Sperber, Jennifer Alger and Joe Lehnen.

Representatives of urban wood utilization groups located in the Southeast, West Coast and Midwest shared their knowledge and passion with professional woodworkers attending the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta.

The free 90-minute seminar, “The Urban Wood Revolution Is Now! Come Join the Movement,” was held Aug. 24 at IWF, North America’s largest industrial woodworking event. Nearly 80 woodworkers from across North America registered for the program organized by the Urban Wood Network.

Wood-Mizer, a leading manufacturer of portable sawmills and other wood processing equipment, is the lead sponsor of this unique program. Other sponsors include Richelieu Hardware, one of North America’s largest sources of cabinet and furniture hardware, Dynabrade, manufacturer of industrial sanding equipment, and Safety Speed Manufacturing, a U.S. manufacturer of vertical panel saws, widebelt sanders and other woodworking equipment.

IWF URBAN WOOD SEMINAR SPONSORS

Rich Christianson, communications director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, moderated the session. Presenters included:

Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products based in Sheridan, CA, and president of Urban Salvaged and Reclaimed Woods, the first West Coast urban wood network.

Joe Lehnen, forest utilization & marketing specialist for the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the new Virginia Urban Wood Group.

Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward Urban Forest Products of Milwaukee and Wisconsin state lead for the Urban Wood Network.

“A lot of great things have happened to push the movement forward since the IWF hosted the first urban wood seminar in 2016,” Christianson said. “First and foremost, larger networks like the Urban Wood Network, Urban Salvaged and Reclaimed Woods and Virginia Urban Wood did not exist. These umbrella groups are bringing local networks and individual companies and stakeholders together to do business, share best practices and raise the awareness of urban wood’s potential.

“Secondly, while Wood-Mizer once again took the lead to demonstrate its fantastic support for the urban wood movement, we were gratified to have the additional backing of major IWF exhibitors like Richelieu, Dynabrade and Safety Speed Manufacturing. Their support is further evidence that the urban wood movement is gaining traction among the mainstream woodworking industry.”

Program highlights included:

• The unique source local/buy local marketing appeal of urban wood products and the interesting stories they tell.
• The environmental advantages of utilizing urban wood.
• How to find local sources of urban wood.
• How to join or start a local urban wood network.

In addition to the individual presentations, the seminar was anchored by a robust Q&A session that afforded audience members the opportunity to get immediate responses to their questions and viewpoints from the panel and fellow seminar attendees.

About the Urban Wood Network
The Urban Wood Network (UWN) operates from funding provided by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern, State and Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration Grant Program. UWN has opened up membership to other state urban wood organizations as well as individual companies and entities. The four state partners include:
Illinois Wood Utilization Team;
Michigan Urban Wood;
Missouri Department of Conservation
; and
Wisconsin Urban Wood.

About the International About the International Woodworking Fair
The International Woodworking Fair, owned by the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association and the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, is North America’s largest industrial woodworking event. IWF 2018 is scheduled for August 22-25 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. It is the “must-attend” show for manufacturers of furniture, cabinets, flooring and other secondary wood products. IWF 2016 attracted more than 17,000 woodworking professionals and featured more than 1,100 exhibitors from the U.S., Canada and beyond. Learn more at iwfatlanta.com.2

IWF 2018 Urban Wood Seminar Presentations

Rich Christianson

Jennifer Alger

Joe Lehnen

Dwayne Sperber