From the Desk of Kelly ShotboltOthers Corporate Products Grayling
As we lead up to AWFS this week, I wanted to share some thoughts on a couple topics. First, as many of you may know, on August 1st I am transitioning roles at ARAUCO from the executive role as President to a strategic role on the Board of Directors. My day-to-day is going to change, but my passion for the industry, and my commitment to and respect for industry friends and colleagues remains.
The role of Chairman will allow me to support the new leadership team by tapping ARAUCO’s internal resources as well as our broad network of customers and suppliers within North America. ARAUCO will remain an agent of transformative change, seeking solutions that address changing consumer lifestyles alongside changing industrial and commercial conditions.
This work goes to the heart of ARAUCO’s vision statement: to contribute to improving people’s lives by developing forest products for the challenges of a sustainable world.
ARAUCO’s footprint across five continents and 208 ports-of-call brings a wealth of experience and unprecedented offerings to the North American marketplace. In the face of global pressures, it becomes increasingly important to align with globally minded companies that can leverage the insights, resources, and supply chains to meet customer requirements. Being part of a global concern anchors our work in North America and benefits our customers, who rely on us for excellent logistics and product value. Product diversity across wood panels, plywood and lumber, as well as wood pulp and energy self-sufficiency across many of our operations provide for long-term economic stability to help shore up one business unit whenever another is caught in a disadvantageous market cycle.
Furthermore, we have access to internal resources such as Bioforest, a multi-disciplinary Center of Excellence and laboratory dedicated to develop and apply new technologies to maximize forest and industry resources. There is more on our website.
However, it is the attention to the unique needs of local markets that is the hallmark of ARAUCO’s business approach. The Company has invested generously in each of the mills in North America to ensure that the mill offerings, capacity, and quality is tuned to the needs to customer requirements.
This is most evidenced in our newly opened Grayling particleboard operation. Equipped with ARAUCO’s resources, we have built one of the most incredible wood panel facilities imaginable. The Grayling mill, an investment of US$ 450 million, represents ARAUCO’s largest investment in North America to-date, and is constructed to be one of the most important, most modern, and most automated composite panel facilities anywhere in the world. another is caught in a disadvantageous market cycle.
Grayling will produce a board of exceptional quality that is lighter, that is stronger, and made with the most recent efficiencies that we could ever build into a facility. We've located this mill close to our Midwest customers so we can take the freight out, and support those customers that have stayed true to this region to help them sustain their business, and to grow their business.
Watch a clip from Opening Day at Grayling
Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to introduce Pablo Franzini, who will assume the active role of President of ARAUCO’s North American operations, including Canada, the United States, and Mexico. I have known Pablo for several years and believe that he is truly a wonderful fit in terms of his business acumen, his energy and vision, and his appreciation for forest products and composite panels. Having been with ARAUCO for 19 years, Pablo currently leads the company’s businesses in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Mexico, and has held leadership positions in the financial, logistics and commercial areas of the company. I look forward to working with my prior colleague and friend in our new capacities. Please join me in welcoming Pablo to North America.
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