On Jan. 1, Jim Snodgrass, vice president of export sales for molding manufacturer Contact Lumber in Portland, Ore., began a four-year term on the Oregon International Trade Commission. Appointed by governor Ted Kulongoski, Snodgrass is serving with 14 other members, working to plan policy initiatives related to international trade, develop ideas to help Oregon companies be competitive in the international marketplace, and help stimulate the state's job growth and economy.

Snodgrass' appointment is partly due to his and Contact Lumber's extensive experience in the international arena, which includes exporting finished molding products to Asia and soon to Europe. In addition, as the commission's first wood products company member and with its manufacturing plant in central Oregon, Contact Lumber is expanding the board's geographic and industry representation.

As part of his work, Snodgrass will serve on the education subcommittee, which looks for new ways to train and educate workers in Oregon. He also hopes to expand knowledge and communication about Oregon's wood resources within and outside the industry.

“I think the main thing that I [can do is] represent the wood products industry, which has not been represented in the past,” says Snodgrass. “[For] secondary wood products, which we are in, there's over 70,000 workers in the state of Oregon. ... So it's much more sizeable than people realize.”