Catch up with PFI in this issue of the Pellet Wire!

June 14, 2019 

In This Week's Pellet Wire:


Executive Director's Notes: Everything was Sweet in Hershey 

Just one week ago we officially wrapped up the 2019 PFI Annual Conference with a tour of the Hearth & Home Technologies manufacturing facility in Halifax, Pennsylvania. The bus ride from Hershey to Halifax wound through some gorgeous country on a sun-dappled day. Conference organizers worried about the weather and we couldn’t have been luckier. Our week got off to a great start weather-wise on Wednesday morning when our significant golf contingent was greeted with near perfect conditions. The course in Hershey was terrific and I heard many comments about how this year’s golf outing was as good as its been in quite some time. Our golf tournament remains incredibly popular and next year we’ll be adding more foursomes as we sold out the initial allotment, had to add a few more and could have filled probably another 2-3 foursomes. In fact, the course had to scramble to come up with golf clubs for everybody and our start was delayed while that was sorted out.

Because we had the opportunity to offer an important industry tour on Friday, we made the decision to pack all our conversations into Thursday. We covered a tremendous amount of ground with conversations ranging from the PFI’s posture with federal and state policymakers all the way through to ascertaining how many pellets BBQ pellet grill consumers can be expected to purchase in a given year. We featured a retailer panel that I think will become a featured panel at our conference for some time to come as well as a panel of wood pellet producers with which we closed the show. The discussions were lively and, most satisfying to me, they typically carried over among the audience into the networking breaks.

Our conference also saw our board of directors change over and appoint new officers. Congratulations to John Utter (Lignetics) who will serve as our board chairman for the next year. Joining him on the executive committee will be Vice Chairman Kenny Lisle (Energex) and Secretary/Treasurer Stan Elliot (Pacific Coast Pellets). Don Wagner (Appalachian Wood Pellets) will remain on the executive committee as past-chair. I reminded our board that Don was the first board chair that I saw all the way through his term as the Executive Director and he is to be commended for his efforts and his accomplishments. During our board meeting, I read a letter to our board where I outlined Don’s accomplishments while serving as chair. Don would be the first to tell you the year comes and goes very quickly. Still, under Don’s leadership, the PFI formalized three strategic priorities, revitalized its intentional effort to better understand our retailer partners, launched a social media beta test to promote the pellet option with consumers and added new members to our ranks via a “Chairman’s Tour” that he conceived, planned and executed. Job well done, Don.

Finally, we welcomed new members to our board while at the conference. I’m pleased to share that we’ve added two hearth retailers to the board. Dean Michanzyk (Dean’s Stove and Spa) and Adam Martin (Martin’s Sales and Service) will both add important retailer perspective to the board as they begin their terms. Joining Adam and Dean are Mike Curci (Andritz) and Frank Kvietok (Lignetics). Finally, Cory Schrock (Fiber By-Products) and Mike Porter (Uzelac) were elected for second terms.

Because of the support of sponsors and exhibitors, I’m happy to report that our conference was a financial success, which is certainly not a guarantee. If you joined us in Hershey, thank you so much. If you weren’t with us this year we certainly hope to see you next year in Milwaukee, June 24-26.

Kenny Lisle (committee conference chair and Hershey enthusiast), you are tops. Bravo on a great show.

Tim Portz 
Executive Director

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 Photo of the Week


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We’re building a collection of photos of our members, their pellets mills and product. Send them to Carrie Annand at [email protected]. This week’s featured photos are scenes from the PFI Annual Conference in Hershey, PA.

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Industry News

Synergy happening in Sanford's new wood pellet industry (Journal Tribune, Maine):

SANFORD – A company with roots five generations deep in the Maine forest products industry is up and running in Sanford, taking sawmill residue and turning it into wood pellets to heat homes in Maine and across New England...

Read Full Article

Enviva shifts tree-sourcing policy (AG Insider):

Enviva, the largest industrial wood-pellet manufacturer in the world, launched what it calls an “enhanced and expanded global sourcing policy” last week in partnership with Earthworm Foundation, a non-profit that helps businesses reform their supply chains ...

Read Full Article

Marking forces of fiber (Biomass Magazine): 

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Pellet Fuels Institute

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