June 11, 2018

With Solid Industry Mandate Softwood Lumber Board Launches Aggressive Five-Year Plan

Referendum positions SLB to continue demand growth with aggressive market development programs

With a super-majority mandate from 94% of industry production representing 78% of companies voting in the referendum, the Softwood Lumber Board of Directors met on May 31st to launch an initiative to establish softwood lumber as the preferred choice for the built environment by 2024.  “We will move from re-think wood when we started, to think wood today, to of course wood in 5 years”, said SLB Chairman Marc Brinkmeyer.  To achieve this ambitious goal, the SLB will review and refine its strategy, tactics and funded initiatives to ensure all are optimized and aligned given the changing dynamics in the market.  The conditions in 2018 are very different and more advantageous for lumber than they were when the SLB was established in 2011, as such the approach to delivering on its objectives will also need to evolve.

The SLB also announced Steve Lovett’s plan to step down as Chief Executive Officer at the end of November 2018, and the appointment of Cees de Jager to take his place as Chief Executive Officer upon Steve’s retirement.  Commenting on the transition, Marc Brinkmeyer said: “Steve has led a very successful start-up of the SLB with the goal of seeing the organization through a successful revote, and has designed a transition to transform the SLB from a start-up to a mature organization.  Steve and Cees have worked closely for ten years and both have demonstrated tremendous leadership in executing the SLB’s vision of making softwood lumber the building material of choice.”

Steve Lovett added, “The SLB is essentially a marketing organization, and under Cees’ leadership as Chief Marketing Officer, we have proven that marketing is what the industry needs to drive growth.  Cees’ leadership, marketing expertise, determination and proven commitment to the industry’s future will continue to drive growth. The Board could not have made a better choice for its next CEO.”

Recognizing the opportunities to increase market share and the SLB’s need for expanded market development skill sets, the Board announced that Ryan Flom has been appointed to fill the new VP of Market Promotion & Research position.  Ryan brings more than 20 years of marketing, sales and business development experience to the SLB, most recently at Hanley Wood.  In welcoming him to the organization, Cees de Jager noted “Ryan’s entrepreneurial attitude combined with his proven ability to manage complex, multi-faceted programs significantly enhances our ability to deliver on the SLB’s objectives.”  Ryan will assume the CMO position, when the CEO transition takes place later this year.

To round out future staffing the Board also announced a search for a new Vice President of Operations that will begin immediately.  Those interested in learning more about this opportunity should contact Steve Lovett (lovett@softwoodlumberboard.org).

Media Contact:

Peter Andrews
Softwood Lumber Board