The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB), the industry committee that will oversee the recently launched softwood lumber check-off program, elected officers and created four standing committees during its first meeting on Nov. 29 in Chicago. The board consists of 19 directors chosen by U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack.

The softwood check-off program was approved on June 16 following a vote by industry members and involves assessments on imports and exports of softwood lumber that will begin on Jan. 1. The program is expected to generate millions of dollars annually, the majority of which would fund the promotional side of the SLB as it aims its message at builders, architects, and other users of construction materials.

Along with launching the check-off program and voting in officers, the SLB announced and filled two executive positions as Steve Lovett was named CEO and Cees de Jager will serve as chief marketing officer. The board will outsource all other staff and service functions to an association management company.

Jack Jordan, executive vice president at Jordan's Lumber & Supply in Mount Gilead, N.C., was elected chairman. Duncan Davies, president and CEO of Vancouver, B.C.-based Interfor, was voted in as first vice chairman.

Other officers elected during the meeting were Marc Brinkmeyer, co-owner and chairman of the Idaho Forest Group, as second vice chairman; Steve Zika, CEO of Portland, Ore.-based Hampton Affiliates, as secretary; Mike Case, CEO of The Westervelt Company in Tuscaloosa, Ala., was voted as treasurer; Hank Scott, the CEO of Collum's Lumber in Allendale, S.C., was named chairman at large; and David Gray, with Mill &Timber in Vancouver, B.C., was named immediate past chair.

Among the committees created by SLB members were the Executive Committee, which includes Lovett and de Jager, to oversee day to day operations of the board and check-off program. The Programs Committee, which is chaired by Scott, will oversee market research, research and promotion programs, and evaluations. Mike Case will chair the Finance Committee and Zika will be in charge of the Governance and Industry Relations Committee which will produce industry communications.

"I am gratified and encouraged by the commitment of this new board to the goal of working progressively together to build a better future for the industry," said Jordan.