Our Self Taught Superstar – Jenny Le

The furniture industry lost at least 60 percent of its production capacity in the United States from 2000 to 2008 with the closure of 270 major factories during that time period. Imports of wood furniture accounted for 68 percent of the U.S. market in 2008, up from 38 percent in 2000. Much of the furniture Americans consume today is manufactured in Vietnam.

Regardless of one’s opinion on where furniture should be manufactured, the reality is, American hardwood lumber is highly sought after in Vietnam. Vietnam produced furniture is manufactured almost exclusively for the United States and European markets. For this reason the Vietnam market plays an important role in the MacDonald & Owen sales strategy. 

Unfortunately, the use of American hardwood lumber is one of the few similarities shared between the United States and Vietnamese furniture producers. There are obvious cultural, language, product, and banking practice hurdles to deal with when shipping lumber to Vietnam. There is no way MacDonald & Owen Lumber Company could navigate the Vietnam market successfully without the help of staff on the ground in Vietnam.

While Jenny Le is not the first MacDonald & Owen representative of Vietnam, she certainly has been the most inspiring. Jenny joined the MacDonald & Owen team in 2018. Born in An Giang Province, located in South East Vietnam as part of the Mekong Delta region, Jenny moved to Ho Chi Minh City in 2003. 

Looking for a better life for her young daughter and herself, Jenny took it upon herself to learn English. She did this by taking a job working at a bar where she would speak with English speaking tourists. 

As her English developed she was offered a job as the production manager at a furniture factory. After several years in this role she was offered an opportunity to work for a lumber trading company where she remained for several years. It was at this stage of her career she caught the attention of MacDonald & Owen staff. Since 2018 Jenny has been a highly productive member of the MacDonald & Owen Asia sales team. Her continued willingness to learn and better herself is truly inspiring. 

During the recent trade dispute between the United States and China, Jenny again took it upon herself to study Chinese as many Chinese owned manufacturers moved their productions from mainland China to Vietnam. Her ability to communicate with both Vietnamese and Chinese -run manufacturing facilities in Vietnam creates more opportunities for MacDonald & Owen to supply high quality American hardwood lumber to the Vietnam market. 

Jenny works closely with our export sales team including Patrick McBride and Brett Cant, as well as our logistics team and credit department. We are very thankful Jenny decided to join the MacDonald & Owen team.