Spring Vietnam Sales Trip

One of the most successful sales trips was recently concluded by the MacDonald & Owen export sales team as they returned from a 10 day, 3 city tour of Vietnam.

The trip commenced in a relatively new market for MacDonald & Owen. Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam is a relatively small market in comparison to Ho Chi Minh City. A usually crowded city was all the more crowded due to the International Summit of the heads of state of the United States of American and North Korea. Nevertheless the M&O team was able to schedule some meetings with some existing customers as well as some new customers we were fortunate to bring on board this trip.

A priority of the spring trip was to visit the beautiful Oceanside city of Da Nang, located in the central coastland part of the country. Whilst Da Nang is an even smaller market than Da Nang, it is the 5th largest city in Vietnam. The team was able to secure additional orders with some existing customers as well as confirming business with several new accounts. Fortunately the team was able to spend the weekend in Da Nang and enjoy some downtime. The team went on an evening trip to the ancient city of Hoi An located 40 min south of Da Nang. There we wandered the markets followed by a return trip to Da Nang to watch the evening dragon bridge fire and water display. Sunday was a lot of fun with a boar tour out to Cham Island where the team jumped in the water for a few hours of snorkeling. On Monday it was back to work visiting customers, touring their facilities, and putting deals together.

After our short stay in Da Nang, it was time for the heavy lifting to begin. Ho Chi Minh City is a well established and highly competitive market for American Hardwoods. Our knowledge of the market, willingness to understand the customer’s needs, and the ability to see opportunities made our 5 day stay in Ho Chi Minh City highly productive. We were able to confirm a lot of new business, and thus our 2nd quarter shipments to Vietnam look to be highly profitable.

Overall there was a genuine optimism in the market that the worst is behind us and that 2019 should turn out to be a good year for US lumber exports in to Vietnam. The vast majority of the factories are operating at maximum capacity with several opening additional production facilities to keep up with demand.

Our final day in Vietnam was spent taking a day trip to the Mekong Delta. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn a little more about what life is like outside of the larger cities in Vietnam.

Overall this trip was a huge success for the company and most importantly we were able to learn more about the country and the unique cultures of all 3 cities we visited.

Viva Las AWFS!

Bright lights? Summer in Las Vegas? You guessed it! It was HOT! The Las Vegas Convention Center had a strange mix of people drawn to it as it had many events under the same roof. To list a few, AAU Basketball, IDEA World Fitness 2017, and Association of Woodworking & Furnishing Suppliers (AWFS) were among the organizations that inter-mingled throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center. The atmosphere really made for an interesting affair.

For the most part, woodworking trade shows are regional, but once a year, there is a show that garners national attention. This year, my friends, it was AWFS 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. While there were many attractions under the same roof, it was the AWFS 2017 fair that took center stage. With about 15,000 attendees and over 500 exhibitors from throughout the United States and abroad (the veneer booth next to us was from Turkey!) were in attendance. In an effort to represent our company well, MacDonald & Owen Lumber Company Sales Interns Jerry Flores and Keonte Turner joined veteran Sales Representatives Justin Briski, Heidi Hurtis and Erik Skjervem to host a booth at the AWFS 2017.

For our M&O sales team, there was never a dull moment.  There were displays of woodworking tools, supplies, finishes, accessories and countless customers and vendors to connect with. There were aisles and aisles of innovation, new products and technology. Additionally, Axalta (A paint coating system manufacturer), had Dale Earnhardt Jr. as a speaker!

Another noteworthy thing about this year’s AWFS was the new way that attendees exchanged information with one another. This year’s innovation took us from old fashion business cards to Compulead. Compulead is a smart phone app that allows individuals to swap information. Two easy steps of opening the app on your smart phone and scanning someone’s QR barcode on their badge could give you access to their company’s name, location, phone number and email. This served as a very useful tool!

Overall the event was both exciting as well as a success! The sales team of MacDonald & Owen Lumber Company had the opportunity to talk with current and potential customers and suppliers. It was an invaluable experience & we can’t wait to do it again at AWFS 2018!  

MacDonald & Owen Lumber Company Does Lakes States

This year’s Lake States Lumber Association summer golf outing was another impressive event in the beautiful northwoods of Minocqua, Wisconsin. Returning to the Timber Ridge Golf Course every three years, this event is one to look forward to boasting friendly competition and great prizes. Our attendees worked hard on the golf course enjoying their winnings and making connections with vendors. Golfing was fun and networking resulted in confirmations that the lumber market should remain strong despite the high levels of rain we received this past season. The main thing to celebrate at this year’s Lake States event was not our golf scores. Instead, strength and confidence in the lumber industry is something we at MacDonald & Owen Lumber Company are thrilled to be celebrating alongside our customers and lumber suppliers. If you missed this year’s event, reach out to one of our sales team members here at MacDonald & Owen Lumber Company. We would love to catch you up on what is happening in our industry and sell you some boards while we’re at it. Visit us at www.hardwoodlumber.net today!

Tour De M&O

For the month of June, many M&O employees strapped on their walking shoes to compete in a company-wide step challenge.  The competition was fierce! Labeled the “Tour De M&O”, the goal was to walk a scaled down map of our locations, starting at Brookville, PA and ending in Luck, WI. One tenth of the actual distance equated to about 140 miles (10,000 steps per day).  By the end of the first week, there were a few clear leaders, but they were no match for Ms. Katie Hawes!  Not only is she an Export Logistics extraordinaire but also a mean walking machine.  Last Friday, just half way through the month, she completed the challenge with ease leaving the rest of us in her dust.  Buzz of cheating circulated through the office but little did we know, she and her husband had just purchased a new treadmill–and boy did she use it! They clearly got their money’s worth!  Give her a shout out on her big win!

Leadercast: Powered by Purpose

On May 5th, Dahl Automotive welcomed 400+ local leaders to The Weber Center for the Performing Arts for La Crosse’s Leadercast Local Leadership Panel. The panel brought together 5 of La Crosse’s most recognized and respected leaders to create a leadership experience unlike any other. Member of the panel included Shane Holden, Senior Pastor at First Free Church; Misty Lown, Owner of Misty’s Dance Unlimited; Dr. Scott Rathgaber, CEO of Gundersen Health System; Gelena Temple, President of Viterbo University and our very own, David Twite, Owner of MacDonald and Owen Lumber Company.

Leadercast is the largest one-day leadership conference in the U.S. The conference is simulcast live from Atlanta, GA to 100,000+ people in hundreds of locations around the world. Leadercast endeavors to inspire attendees to become leaders worth following by selecting leaders in the community who strive for something more within their business and personal life. The theme  this year was “Powered by Purpose”.  Each leader dug deep to articulate what their purpose is and how it powers them in their daily lives.

David said, “I had a God encounter in my life that transformed me personally. What it did for me was make me more ‘other’ centered than ‘me’ centered.  I think from a leadership standpoint, people are the core of every business. This new purpose created more of an attractive culture, where I care more about our people than our bottom line. What I found is that it attracts great talent and it inspires people to go to great places.”

Click Here to learn more about David, MacDonald and Owen, and the other great business leaders who were part of Leadercast La Crosse!

And We Keep on Growin’

M&O’s family has grown in the past month. Our roll call now includes 139 talented individuals ready to serve you, our valued customers. In addition to our growing headcount of team members, Bowling Green, KY kiln space has grown. Two new kilns on our Bowling Green, KY campus are now up and running, taking us from three to five kilns. The additional kiln space will increase lumber availability – from 180,000 board feet per month to 290,000 board feet per month.

Along with our headcount and kiln capacity, sales for the month of March also increased. We had a record breaking sales month. Great job to our sales team for working hard to smash our previously held record!

If you are a customer of MacDonald and Owen Lumber Company, we thank you for helping us make March our best sales month to date. If you are a potential customer, we urge you to give us a call today. We would love to help you grow with us! Contact a sales representative today at domesticsales@hardwoodlumber.net.

M&O Travels Again

Adam Hyer, our International Sales Director, met with our Asia Sales Team, Frank Mao and Sabrina Huang, in Guangzhou, China for the Interzum Wood Show last week.

The Interzum Wood Show is the most comprehensive trade fair for the woodworking machinery, furniture production, and interior design industry in Asia and the definitive one-stop platform for participants to meet buyers, manufacturers and suppliers from all vertical sectors of the furniture manufacturing, production and design industries. With 1,329 exhibitors (330 international exhibitors) participating, it is easy to see why this was an excellent opportunity for Adam, Frank, and Sabrina. Over 70,000 visitors attended this year’s show from 38 counties and regions, making it Asia’s largest furniture production trade fair.

MacDonald & Owen Lumber Co. is always pleased to work with new customers. If you have any interest in connecting with our International Sales Team or any of our Sales Representatives either in the U.S. or internationally, please do not hesitate to connect with us. Contact one of our sales representatives today at: exportsales@hardwoodlumber.net.

Now Hiring!!

MacDonald & Owen Lumber Company is growing again! We are looking for great people to join our team! Opportunities available in Luck, WI and Sparta, WI.

Luck, WI Positions:

  • Forklift Driver – Luck, WI
    • Transport lumber around yard using a lift truck
  • Pre-Dryer Operator – Luck, WI
    • Operate forklift to load/unload pre-dryer, track moisture content and assist kiln operator
  • Dry Kiln Operator – Luck, WI
    • Operate forklift to load/unload dry kiln, track moisture content and set drying schedules in kiln control computer
  • Lumber Inspector – Luck, WI
    • Grade green and kiln dried lumber using NHLA grading rules

Positions are:

  • Full time
  • Require the ability to pass a drug screen
  • Valid driver’s license
  • 3-5 years forklift operation experience
  • All positions are eligible for a 90 day wage increase, benefits and the opportunity for advancement

Click Here for an application. Applications can be returned to 230 Duncan St, Luck, WI or faxed to (608) 269-4418.


Sparta, WI Positions:

  • Human Resources & Payroll Manager – Sparta, WI
    • Manage company HR functions, semimonthly payroll processing and other tasks as assigned
    • Click Here for application details
  • Assistant Controller – Sparta, WI
    • Process A/R & A/P functions, prepares financial statements, prepares sales tax returns and assures internal control compliance
    • Click Here for application details

Positions are:

  • Full time
  • Require the ability to pass a drug screen


If you are ready to be part of team that really cares about you, please submit your application today and come grow with us!

Welcome Jon Knudson!

We are pleased to announce the newest member of the MacDonald & Owen Lumber family, Jon Knudson.  Jon will be joining the Sales and Purchasing team on February 6, 2017.  While his primary focus will be buying Green Lumber for our Luck, WI facility, he will also be doing some kiln dried lumber purchasing and sales. Jon and his wife currently reside in St. Cloud, MN and enjoy spending their free time with their grandchildren at their cabin in Ely, MN.   For the last 11 years Jon held the position of President of Harris Hardwoods.  He is also a long-time customer of MacDonald & Owen, and a lifelong outdoorsman. Not only does Jon have many years of experience in the lumber industry but he has a passion for serving his customers and a firm belief in M&O’s core principles.

When asked for his thoughts on this new adventure, Jon had plenty to say. “I look forward to being a part of the MacDonald & Owen Lumber team.  Working with a company that has the same values that I have used as my guide in the wood industry for the past 44 years feels right.”  In regards to his experience, he went on to say, “Maintaining positive relationships with suppliers, employees, and customers has always come first for me in whatever position I have held.” Jon’s direct phone number at MacDonald & Owen will be 844-368-4648. He can also be reached via email at jon@hardwoodlumber.net.  He’ll be happy to serve you!

Setting our sights on…

Now that the winter holidays are a few weeks behind us, M&O employees are back at it, setting their sights on 2017 goals. At M&O we set measurable expectations because we know that what we measure improves and we like to celebrate improvement. So with that in mind, M&O’s leadership has identified the following four goals that will guide employees as they navigate 2017:

  • $70 Million in Revenue
  • Turn inventory faster and more efficiently
  • Zero lost time incidents (we want ALL of our employees to be safe and injury free)
  • Improve overall employee engagement (making M&O a place our employees are proud to work and like so much so they’d even recommend us to a friend or family member.)

Employees at all four M&O locations will be challenged to assist in completing the above mentioned goals. It is sure to be an action-packed year and we would love for you to be a part of the fun! We look forward to the opportunity to serve you in 2017 and to celebrating our successes along the way. Please contact us today at domesticsales@hardwoodlumber.net or exportsales@hardwoodlumber.net to see how we can meet your hardwood lumber needs.