Forest Industry News

COFI Convention

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Thanks for attending! PDF files for most conference presentations are available for viewing or download here.

Mark your calendar for April 8-10, COFI Convention 2015 in Prince George

COFI Board of Directors Announced

The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) announces a reconstituted Board of Directors consisting of 14 Chief Executive Officers representing forest companies operating in British Columbia’s interior. They are:
Ted Seraphim, West Fraser (Chair)
John Brink, Brink Forest Products
Alan Fitzpatrick, Nechako Lumber Co.
Dave Gandossi, Mercer International
Anne Giardini, Weyerhaeuser
Ron Gorman, Gorman Bros. Lumber
Don Kayne, Canfor
Bill Kordyban, Carrier Lumber
Martin Lorrion, Domtar
Rob Novak, Dunkley Lumber
Mac Palmiere, Louisiana Pacific Canada
Ken Shields, Conifex
Greg Stewart, Lakeland Mills
Steve Zika, Babine Forest Products

One of the CEO Board’s first actions was to establish a Management Committee consisting of senior operational staff from the industry.

“My colleagues and I believe that having a Board comprised of the forest industry’s CEOs demonstrates our dedication to COFI and its representation of our sector,” stated newly elected board Chair, Ted Seraphim, President and CEO of West Fraser. “Our board, and our recent appointment of President and CEO James Gorman, signals our renewed commitment to work together to advance interests that benefit our industry, our employees and the communities that depend on us,” Seraphim concluded.

The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) is the voice of the BC interior forest industry. COFI members vary in size and produce lumber, pulp and paper, panels and engineered wood products at more than 60 facilities across the interior. All share a commitment to a future based on employee safety, sustainable forestry and manufacturing practices, and innovative product development.

Remembering Ron Neil

The COFI Board of Directors and staff were deeply saddened to learn of Ron Neil’s passing on November 16, 2013.  Ron served on COFI’s Board for many years with wisdom, kindness and enthusiasm.  His commitment to COFI and the forest industry was evident in all he did.

A Celebration of Life will be held in Victoria on January 4th.  For more information visit this page: Ronald (Ron) William Neil September 15, 1938 – November 16, 2013

Watch Wood Innovation at Work in Northern BC

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre is being built in Prince George and is expected to be among the tallest modern wood buildings in the world when it is completed next summer. Funded by the Government of BC, construction features an all-wood structure on top of a concrete foundation, utilizing glulam beams, cross-laminated timber panels, and other wood products. UNBC will occupy nearly half of the building, providing Engineering classrooms, offices, a lecture theatre and research/teaching lab.

Click here for information about UNBC Engineering programs, a link to the Government of BC’s website about the Wood Innovation and Design Centre, and links to the webcams that will allow anyone to view the construction progress at any time from two vantage points: The top of the Ramada Hotel (looking west) and the Twisted Cork Restaurant (looking northeast).

2013 BC Wood Design Conferences

2013 Theme: Taller, Faster, Better Performance: Breaking Barriers to Innovative Wood Structures

3 Dates and Locations in BC

KELOWNA – Tuesday, November 26
The Manteo Resort – *note new location*
3762 Lakeshore Rd

VICTORIA – Thursday, November 28
Delta Ocean Pointe
45 Songhees Road

NANAIMO – Friday, November 29
Vancouver Island Conference Centre
101 Gordon Street

Click here for more information and registration.

COFI Announces New President and CEO

Vancouver, BC (September 3, 2013) – The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of James Gorman as President and Chief Executive Officer effective September 23, 2013.

Gorman brings extensive public policy and senior management experience to his new role. He most recently served the Government of British Columbia as the Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and prior to that as Deputy of Education (K-12) and the BC Public Service Agency.

His accomplishments include transforming the BC Public Service into a top employer; expanding the province’s K-12 education brand into international markets; and managing complex labor relations files on behalf of government.

“We are exceptionally pleased to have James joining us”, stated Nick Arkle, COFI Board Chair, “as his experience at the highest levels of the public service will be instrumental in helping us shape an exciting and productive future for our forest industry and the employees and communities that depend upon it.”

Gorman has a Masters Degree in Political Science from McGill University and a Bachelors Degree from the University of British Columbia.

The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) is the voice of the BC interior forest industry. COFI members vary in size and produce lumber, pulp and paper, panels and engineered wood products at more than 60 facilities across the interior. All share a commitment to a future based on employee safety, sustainable forestry and manufacturing practices, and innovative product development.

For further information: Nick Arkle: 1-250-768-6214
Jess Ketchum: 1-604-922-5204

News release:
James Gorman Appointed COFI CEO

Save the Date: WSCA 2014 Annual Conference & Tradeshow

Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association 2014 Annual Conference & Tradeshow

Conference Dates:  Wed to Fri, January 29 to 31, 2014

Trade Show Date: Thurs, January 30, 2014

Course Dates (tentative): Mon to Wed, January 27 to 29, 2014

Location: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort & Conference Centre, Kelowna, BC, Canada

Please visit for further information.

New wood engineering master degrees at UNBC announced

Students in B.C.’s thriving wood industry will be able to build on their expertise through two new master programs in engineering to be offered by UNBC at the new Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC) in Prince George, Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk announced today

A one-year, course-based master of engineering in integrated wood design will train students in technical specializations such as wood structure engineering, engineering for sustainable energy, and forest product engineering. It will be complemented by a thesis-based master of science in wood-related engineering research. The new programs will advance B.C.’s Wood First agenda.

“Our government is developing real-world skills that are aligned with labour demand,” said Virk. “The two wood-engineering master degrees at UNBC will let students gain the education and skills needed in a changing labour market, while maintaining B.C.’s position as a world leader in wood technology.”

The Ministry of Advanced Education is providing up to $466,000 this year to fund start-up costs. The first $237,000 will be provided immediately to assist with faculty and student recruitment, curriculum development and other components needed to start a new program. Once the programs are established, they will add up to 36 full-time equivalent student spaces.

The new programs will be housed at the new WIDC in downtown Prince George. Construction of the centre started recently and is expected to be completed by fall 2014. Academic and industry partnerships and programs are a key part of the design centre and will bring together builders, architects, designers and engineers to advance the commercialization of value-added wood-building and design products.

For more information visit the BC government news room: B.C. sows seeds of new wood engineering master degrees at UNBC

Wood Dust Audit Now Available

The Wood Dust Mitigation and Control Audit and Sawmill Wood Dust Sampling Analysis and Explosibility documents are now available for download.

Wood Dust Audit July 2013 (PDF, 500 KB)
Sawmill Wood Dust Sampling Analysis and Explosibility-130226-FINAL (PDF, 2MB)

COFI is Hiring: Manager, Forest Education

We are currently seeking a full-time Manager, Forest Education for our COFI office in Prince George, British Columbia reporting to the General Manager, Forestry Northern Operations or in their absence the President and CEO.  The successful candidate will work in consultation with educators and industry representatives to develop and deliver quality forest education resources, programs and activities for elementary and high school students, liaise with post-secondary institutions in delivering career awareness programs at the high school level and integrate forest education programs into the Community Relations  programs as appropriate. This dynamic position is regionally based and will require extensive travel throughout north-central BC.

The ideal candidate will have a degree in Education, a minimum of five years’ teaching experience, a strong knowledge of the K-12 Curriculum and an understanding of the local forest industry.  Desirable qualifications include superior written and oral communication skills, strong interpersonal abilities and organizational skills, and dynamic presentation skills.  Energetic, enthusiastic and self-motivated, applicants must be able to work independently and in a team setting.

COFI offers a challenging and dynamic work environment.  Compensation will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Interested candidates are invited to forward a detailed resume in confidence to:

Douglas A. Routledge

A/President & CEO

Council of Forest Industries

#100-2666 Queensway,

Prince George, BC V2L 1N2



Applications should be received by July 29th, 2013 to ensure consideration.

Download job advertisement: COFI, Manager Forest Education