August 22 – 25, 2018

Georgia World Congress Center | Atlanta, GA| USA


Urban Wood Utilization:
Making Wood Products and Profits from Landscape Trees

Friday, August 26th from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Session Code: NBS6

Location: B312 (located in Building B - Level 3)

Presented by: Full Circle Forestry Network – representing IL, MI, MO & WI – grant funded by the USDA Forest Service

Speakers:  Jennifer Alger, CEO: Far West Forestry Products; Rick Siewert, Owner: Wood from the Hood and Siewert Cabinets; Dwayne Sperber, Owner: Wudeward Urban Forestry Products and Rich Christianson, Communications Director: Illinois Wood Utilization Team and Owner: Richson Media LLC

The Urban Wood Movement is coming to IWF! Come join us for this free informational and inspirational presentation to learn how your company can benefit by utilizing landscape and community trees felled by disease, storm damage, old age or other causes. The program will feature a panel of three entrepreneurs who will tell their stories about producing high-quality lumber, slabs, furniture, flooring and more from urban wood otherwise destined for the chipper or landfill. Rich Christianson, former editorial director of Woodworking Network, will moderate the program.

Highlights include:
    • How to find sources of urban wood.
    • The unique source local/buy local marketing appeal of urban wood products and the interesting stories they tell.

    • The environmental advantages of utilizing urban wood.
    • An opportunity to get answers to your questions from our expert panel.

This is s FREE session! Please note that while this session is free, registration is required to guarentee a seat

About the Speakers:  





Jennifer Alger is CEO of Far West Forest Products of Sheridan, CA, a family-owned business that actively works to promote the use of local native species and underutilized logs including reclaimed urban wood. Jennifer has worked alongside her father and brothers for most of her life and for more than the past decade also has been a regional representative for Wood-Mizer portable sawmills. She has presented at several urban log and lumber utilization workshops and seminars focused on marketing, growing and operating a small sawmill business. 




Rick Siewert is president and second-generation owner of Siewert Cabinet & Fixture Manufacturing, Inc. SCFM is a manufacturer of architectural woodwork, casework, and store fixtures located in Minneapolis, MN. The company celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. Siewert has been active with the Architectural Woodwork Institute since 1991 and has served on the board of directors for the Minnesota AWI chapter and national AWI as well as numerous committees. Siewert and his wife Cindy started Wood from the Hood, a producer of reclaimed urban wood from the Twin Cities’ urban forest in 2008. Today the company processes more than 100,000 board feet of urban lumber per year and ship products nationwide. Annual sales are approaching $1 million. 




Dwayne Sperber is the owner and founder of Wudeward Urban Forest Products, a commercial supplier of Wisconsin Urban Wood lumber for architects, designers, builders, and wood product producers.

The concept of urban wood lumber speaks to Sperber’s passions for architecture, woodworking, and the environment. For more than a decade, he has been a major advocate for its use, working tirelessly to build awareness and markets for the abundance of trees being removed due to insect, disease, or circumstance.

As an advisor and founding partner of Wisconsin Urban Wood, Sperber is helping to build a statewide network connecting people and businesses with quality urban wood products and services. Sperber also advises the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on the best ways to preserve, protect, expand and improve Wisconsin’s urban forest as an appointed member of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council.




Rich Christianson is the communications director of the Illinois Wood Utilization Team (IL WUT) and owner of Richson Media LLC, a Chicago-based communications firm focused on the industrial woodworking sector. Rich is the former long-time editorial director and associate publisher of Woodworking Network. During his 30-year career Rich has toured more than 200 woodworking plants throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has written extensively on woodworking technology, design and supply trends. In his capacity with IL WUT, Rich has written dozens of articles focused on urban wood utilization and coordinated an urban wood conference held in the Chicago area in March.