St. Louis—The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) recently held its Fall Board meeting in conjunction with the annual Hardwood Federation Fly-In, which took place in Washington last month. The Fly-In represents NFWA’s first large-scale participation in the event.
Following NWFA’s annual board meeting, board members participated in face-to-face meetings with members of Congress to discuss issues affecting the hardwood industry. More than 70 meetings took place with representatives from every state, and with leaders on both sides of the aisle.
“It was very encouraging to see the level of engagement we experienced during our meetings,” said Michael Martin, NWFA’s president and CEO. “My group met with five leaders from Missouri, which is my home state, to discuss issues like the Farm Bill, green building, biomass legislation and healthy forest initiatives. We had an opportunity to raise concerns, educate our leaders, answer questions and provoke thought and discussion. It was rewarding to see the reaction to issues to our industry and our members.”
In addition to face-to-face meetings, NWFA board members participated in a tour of Capitol Hill, networking functions with Congressional leaders and Senators, and the Hardwood Federation board meeting and political action committee meeting. Speakers at these events included the Dept. of Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Robert Bonnie, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Representative Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).
Hardwood Federation executive director, Dana Lee Cole hopes that NWFA’s participation will serve as an example for other hardwood associations to actively participate in the Fly-In. “There is nothing more impactful than talking one-on-one with our nation’s leaders about how their policies directly impact our businesses. When they hear how their decisions impact small businesses throughout our country, and have that small business owner sitting with them at the table, it’s a story they won’t soon forget.”
For more on the Fly-In, visit hardwoodfederation.net.