The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the New Hampshire Bankers Association (NHBA) recently announced that Northland Forest Products of Kingston, NH and Troy, Virginia has been selected as the 2018 Small Business Exporter of the Year for New Hampshire and New England.
Northland Forest Products (NFP) is a hardwood lumber processor and distributor producing their own exclusive brand of lumber for markets in the U.S. and 26 nations around the world. NFP was founded in 1970 with a history dating back to the late 19th century through the family of its’ President Jameson “Jamey” French. Now in their fourth generation, the businesscontinues to serve as a leader in innovation and responsible forest stewardship. With approximately 65 employees balanced equally between New Hampshire and Virginia, NFP has managed to consistently grow their export sales year after year and finished 2017 with 49.8% of sales attributed to exporting.
International exposure is nothing new to Mr. French. He began his career in the forest products industry at a timber agency in Liverpool, England after studying at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. His work for Northland Forest Products has led Jamey to all corners of the world, promoting sales of American hardwoods in most of Europe and East Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand. A first trip to China and Japan in 1980 started a long association for Jamey and Northland Forest Products with both of those markets.
As president of Northland Forest Products, Mr. French was instrumental in the formative years and later served as Chairman of the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and has helped to promote American hardwoods around the globe. According to AHEC Executive Director Mike Snow, “Indeed, Jamey is fondly referred to as a “founding father” of AHEC, and his leadership and recognition of the need for the industry to speak with one voice in overseas markets were major forces behind the formation of this organization.”
In 2016 and 2017 Northland Forest Products worked with the NH International Commerce Office and participated in the State Trade Expansion Promotion program. Through this program they have expanded their global reach into Germany, Vietnam, and Malaysia while developing leads in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, among others.
Northland Forest Products was nominated by Mr. Wildolfo Arvelo, Director of the Division of Economic Development at the NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs. In his nomination he stated “Northland Forest Products epitomizes the benefits and importance of global markets for New Hampshire Companies as a way to diversify their customer base, increase revenue and ultimately grow their business. It is an example of a business that can inspire others to find their next market, not around the corner but around the world.”
Greta Johansson, District Director of the Concord New Hampshire Office of the SBA commented “As an exporter of quality hardwoods Mr. French and his team at Northland Forest Products have an enviable record of success. More importantly they have also demonstrated a long-term commitment to responsible and sustainable management of forests and woodlands. Their products are recognized globally as first class and their work to promote sustainable practices throughout their industry is a model for all. In Jamey’s own words “NFP is proud to offer innovative and responsible lumber products from the sustainable resources of the Northeastern hardwood forests—a quality wood basket for the world.”
Jameson “Jamey” French to be recognized at May 2nd Small Business Week Awards Presentation.