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Read of the Day: Seneca Sawmill ownership shifts within Jones family

Seneca Sawmill ownership shifts within Jones family

Portland Business Journal by Erik Siemers , Business Journal staff writer

Aaron Jones, who founded the Seneca Sawmill Co. in Eugene in 1953, has now handed control of the company to his three daughters. 

Aaron Jones, who founded the Seneca Sawmill Co. in Eugene in 1953, has now handed control of the company to his three daughters.

The Seneca Family of Companies founder has shifted control of the company to his three daughters in a transition more than 30 years in the making.

Aaron Jones, who founded the Seneca Sawmill Co. in 1953, has handed control of the company to his daughters Becky, Jody and Kathy — all of whom have worked throughout the company over the past 25 years. The sisters will work alongside CEORick Re, who continues to run the company’s day-to-day operations.

Eugene-based Seneca — with companies that include Seneca Sawmill Co., Seneca Jones Timber Co., Seneca Sustainable Energy and Senca Noti — employs more than 375 and manages more than 165,000 acres of Oregon forestland. The company produces 485 million board feet of lumber annually.

“Our father built one of the strongest and technologically-advanced sawmill and timber companies in the U.S., and we are honored to continue his legacy,” Jody Jones said in a news release. “He had the strategic foresight to bring all of us into the company many years ago for today’s seamless transition.”

According to a news release, Aaron Jones began preparing his daughters to take over back in the 1980s. An active University of Oregon alumni, he hired professors from the university’s Lundquist School of Business to teach them Seneca’s business processes and management.

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Read of the Day: Idaho sawmill hopes new technology ups efficiency

Idaho sawmill hopes new technology ups efficiency

BILL ROBERTS, The Idaho Statesman
Friday, November 9, 2012
  • Alan Dehlin obtains information from computerized equipment to help guide the cutting of logs at Evergreen Forest Products’ mill southwest of New Meadows, Idaho on Oct. 23, 2012.  At Evergreen Forest Products, new scanners will read rough-cut timber, showing mill workers how to get around impurities such as knots. The devices will help produce the highest-grade cuts that will bring Evergreen the most money.   LOCAL TV OUT (KTVB 7) Photo: The Idaho Statesman, Chris Butler / AP
    Alan Dehlin obtains information from computerized equipment to help guide the cutting of logs at Evergreen Forest Products’ mill southwest of New Meadows, Idaho on Oct. 23, 2012. At Evergreen Forest Products, new scanners will read rough-cut timber, showing mill workers how to get around impurities such as knots. The devices will help produce the highest-grade cuts that will bring Evergreen the most money. LOCAL TV OUT (KTVB 7) Photo: The Idaho Statesman, Chris Butler / AP

NEW MEADOWS, Idaho (AP) — With the gradual turnaround in the housing market, a family-run lumber company in Adams County is about to put down $1.5 million on high-tech equipment to get more out of its logs.

At Evergreen Forest Products, new scanners will read rough-cut timber, showing mill workers how to get around impurities such as knots. The devices will help produce the highest-grade cuts that will bring Evergreen the most money.

And Rodney Krogh, Evergreen’s president, won’t have to wait long for a financial return. “The payback will be within a year on grade alone,” he said.

Scanners and other automated equipment have become practically a necessity in Idaho sawmills like Evergreen’s, which cut soft woods such as Douglas fir and ponderosa pine. In a shrinking field of sawmills — some didn’t survive the recession — competition demands getting the most financial return from each log.

“(It) means mills have to purchase fewer logs,” said Steve Shook, a University of Idaho marketing professor who specializes in the wood-products industry.

Adding new equipment isn’t always easy. Mills have struggled with trying to marry high-tech equipment with old machinery, Shook said. And finding financing can be difficult.

Krogh says Evergreen will install its scanner early next year. Today, workers eyeball the wood to grade it for specific types of cuts. They lift a board to figure out whether it would make a 2-by-8 or a more profitable 2-by-6, for example.

Even the best eyes can’t see what the scanner sees, Krogh said.

New manufacturing technology often means hiring fewer workers, in lumber mills and other industries. But Krogh says he won’t lay anyone off.

“I won’t lose the guy,” Krogh said. “He won’t be lifting these big boards all day long.”

___

Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Idaho-sawmill-hopes-new-technology-ups-efficiency-4024239.php#ixzz2BqwfCLMm

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