August 22 – 25, 2018

Georgia World Congress Center | Atlanta, GA| USA

Social Media Tips and Trends for
the Forest Products Industry

Friday, August 26th from 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM 

Session Code: MKT1

Location: B311 (located in Building B - Level 3)

Presented by: USDA Forest Service & West Virginia University

Speakers: Iris Montague: USDA Forest Service; Kathryn Arano: West Virginia University; Jan Wiedenbeck: USDA Forest Service

A workshop on social media use in the wood products industry with a focus on value-added segments of the industry. Use of Twitter, YouTube, FaceBook, Google Plus, and other media types and forums can be a great way to connect with new customers, suppliers, and the general public about your business and products. Trends in the adoption of social media will be discussed as will be insights from industry members with experience using social media. How effective is social media in our industry? An updated answer to this critical question will be given with supporting data.

About the Speakers:


Iris B. Montague is a Research Forester with the USDA Forest Service (Northern Research Station) in Starkville, MS. She received her B.S. (Forestry Management) and MBA (Marketing) from Alabama A&M University and a Ph.D. in Forestry Resources with a concentration in Marketing and Finance from the University of Georgia.

She is a member of the Northern Research Station’s Ecological and Economic Sustainability of the Appalachian Forest in an Era of Globalization Unit (NRS-01). She is also a member of the Forest Products Marketing Unit (FPMU) at the Forest Products Lab in Madison Wisconsin.

Since joining NRS-01, she has researched the linkages between certification and global competitiveness in the Appalachian hardwood industry, examined the hardwood log distribution chain and the role of log brokers, and studied the use of social media as a marketing tool among hardwood products manufacturers.

Her current work interests include forest products certification, forest product competitiveness, globalization, non-traditional forest products, and social media networking in the forestry industry.



Kathryn Arano Gazal is currently an Associate Professor of Forest Economics and Management and the program coordinator of the Forest Resources Management Program in the School of Natural Resources at West Virginia University (WVU). She received her BS and MS degrees in forestry from the University of the Philippines Los Banos and her PhD degree from Mississippi State University. She was hired as an assistant professor at WVU in 2004 and has taught courses in Principles of Forestry Economics, Forest Valuation and Investment, Renewable Natural Resources Policy and Governance and Global Forest Resources. Her research work included examining investment behavior of private forest landowners, forest taxation, urban forestry, export activities of forest products companies in West Virginia, and more recently, e-commerce and social media use in the forest products industry.


Jan Wiedenbeck is a Research Forest Products Technologist and Team Leader with the Northern Research Station of the USDA Forest Service located in Princeton, West Virginia. She joined the Forest Service in 1992. She received her bachelor’s degree in Forestry from the University of Michigan and her Masters and PhD. degrees from Virginia Tech in Wood Science and Forest Products. Prior to graduate school, Jan worked for 6 years in forest industry in Louisiana and Mississippi. Jan is a Past President of the Forest Products Society and former Editor-in-Chief of the Forest Products Journal.

Her research focuses on improving efficiency in the manufacture of solid hardwood products, on improving our understanding of the quality requirements of different hardwood processing sectors, on learning how silvicultural treatments and management systems impact quality attributes, and the potential utility of non-destructive evaluation of trees and logs for enhanced decision making in managing multi-use forests.