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2020 Trade Show Recap
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2020 NLA Convention Season Recap

The Northwestern Lumber Association would like to thank the dealers, exhibitors, board members, speakers, and guests who attended our annual Northwestern Building Products Expo North (Minnesota) and brand-new Expo South (Iowa). These two regional LBM events brought in over 900 total people throughout the Midwest for education, project knowledge and networking! Read below for a recap of our 2020 convention season:



It is NLA’s goal to provide our members with the educational topics that will provide answers to their questions! This year was no exception, as top-notch industry experts such as Rick Davis, Craig Webb, Mick Frank, Lynne Jenson-Nelson and several others spoke on a variety of highly requested topics that brought in over 300 total seminar attendees.


Exhibits & Networking Events!

With hundreds of exhibit booths between the two shows, the floors were filled with an impressive representation of leading industry suppliers as well as a good handful of NEW exhibitors showcasing their products and connecting with the dealers in each region. Some suppliers even gave onsite product demonstrations of their products to a captive audience, and the annual exhibit floor receptions both brought a nice hum of activity.


In addition, the Awards Mixer and Dinner (3rd annual at Expo North and 1st annual at Expo South) drew notable crowds, with over 150 attendees at North and 100 attendees at South. Complete with complimentary beverages at the Mixer, delicious full meals, awards presentations, and comedians wrapping up the night, this always proves to be a popular event at the Expo(s).

New in 2020, NLA introduced a networking Meet & Greet event specifically for the women in the LBM Industry. This was an opportunity for women on both the dealer and supplier side to get to know each other and form supportive connections they can rely on throughout the year and for many years to come. We had a fantastic turnout to this event at both shows – over 20 women showed up at Expo North and another dozen at the Expo South. We’re excited to see how this group grows in the coming years!


Association Business!

NLA also accomplished a lot of association business while at the conventions.

At each of the 2020 Conventions/Conferences, the Association also provided an update to the membership during the membership meeting(s) & meal(s). The Association highlighted its continued focus on dealer education via the LumberTech program and the organization’s continued research into online training. Members also heard about the increased attendance at NLA’s various special events and tours. During each of the meals, NLA Chairman of the Board Bill Brotherton of Wall Lake Lumber Company in Wall Lake, IA addressed the membership with a proposal to reduce the size of the NLA Board of Directors from 23 members to 15 members over a two year period beginning in September 2020. After months of review and discussion, the organization has recognized that although it may be large and represent a large number of members, the Board must be nimble, strategic in their focus and fiscally responsible. To achieve these goals, the Board approved the proposal for decrease. Following a review of the plans and assurance that each state will continue to have a voice and a presence, the membership unanimously approved the measure.



CASH and PRIZES…what more is there to say?! NLA gave away high value seminar prizes and thousands of dollars in Grand Prize cash for the Seminar Game Card Contest during these two shows! Exhibitors also gave away some amazing prizes to dealers walking the show floor.

We recognized many well-deserving individuals and companies while at the conventions. Congratulations to the following for going above and beyond in the industry and for NLA.


Expo North: Arrow Building Center
Expo South: Gilcrest / Jewett Lumber Company


Expo North:
Empire Moulding & Millwork
Manion’s Wholesale Building Supplies
Expo South: RAKA


Expo North: Trent Peabody of Lumber Mart
Expo South: Brad Spelts of Spelts Lumber Company



Expo North: Manion Lumber & Truss
Expo South Empire Moulding & Millwork


Expo North: Bayer Built Woodworks
Expo South: Bayer Built Woodworks


We also have some incredible sponsors who generously supported our annual conventions to help keep costs lower - we could not do these events without them! THANK YOU to the following 2020 Expo sponsors:

Expo North Sponsors: Bayer Built Woodworks, BlueTarp Financial, Dakota Steel and Trim, Inc., Dealers Choice, ECi Software Solutions, Empire Moulding & Millwork, Federated Insurance, Hutchison Lumber & Building Products, Manion Lumber and Truss, Manion’s Wholesale Building Supplies, Midland Garage Door Mfg. NLA 401K MEP, Quality Edge, Pennsylvania Mutual Lumbermens Insurance Company, and Sprenger Midwest.

Expo South Sponsors: Alpine Truss, LLC, Bayer Built Woodworks, BlueTarp Financial, Central Sales, Dakota Steel and Trim, Inc., Data Business Equipment, Dealers Choice, ECi Software Solutions, Empire Moulding & Millwork, Federated Insurance, Husker Vinyl, Hutchison Lumber & Building Products, Midland Garage Door Mfg. NLA 401K MEP, Quality Edge, RAKA, and Sprenger Midwest.