I have been reading TimberTrader News since…2008, and at the time I was working for ITC Timber. There have always been some particular articles I love to read, such as Truss Talk by Paul Davis – which is always pretty interesting!
It is good to always keep up to date with what is going on in the industry and other timber distribution businesses.
Before I was in my current role I was…the operations manager with Australian Sustainable Hardwoods and I spent more than seven years based in regional Victoria in that role. Prior to that I commissioned a couple of green fields laminated veneer lumber plants.
I originally studied forestry engineering at Canterbury University and was then employed by Carter Holt Harvey at their engineered wood products business in Tokoroa, New Zealand. So, yeah, I just kept going with engineered wood!
My motivation to get out of bed every morning and go to work is…seeing progress, and I enjoy witnessing improvement; I enjoy seeing my staff grow and develop. Those are the things that really motivate me at work. In my current role I’m focused on making sure that EWPAA members’ products are fit for purpose. That involves making sure people understand the products, both from a manufacturing perspective, and from a product-use perspective. There is also the challenge of trying to develop new market opportunities through standards, technical work, and product reliability.
My career highlight would have to be…commissioning two green fields plants, starting from scratch. In that situation you need to establish solid business systems and have employees who are enthusiastic to learn. It was a great learning experience, but damn hard work. You learn a lot about yourself and others through that process.
I love working in the timber industry because…of the people I get to work with – I think this industry has something for everyone. I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing engineers and scientists; I’ve met people who have built businesses from nothing; and I have been able to watch people’s careers develop, and had the opportunity to be a part of that development. I enjoy being able to work with people across the spectrum.
My biggest inspiration has been…Hank Bier. He was a great mentor for me as a graduate and senior manager, and someone I still keep in touch with. I heard someone recently describe Hank as “the person we all want to be when we retire.” He is a real gentleman and passionate about what he does and what he believes in. Hank is technically very, very good, but also quite humble in how he conducts himself. While he is passionate, he always treats others with kindness and respect.
When I am not working, you can find me…well – if you had asked me this question last year it would have been sitting in the car driving my children to and from Melbourne and Heyfield (prior to commencing with the EWPAA) in Queensland – a whole new world of opportunities for me and my family so the hobbies are yet to be determined!