Wood products industry leader to head NWPCA
The National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) announced today that Brent J. McClendon, CAE, executive vice president (EVP) of the International Wood Products Association (IWPA), has been selected as the new president and CEO of the NWPCA. Brent replaces Bruce N. Scholnick who died from complications of cancer in July.
Brent has been the EVP for IWPA since 2003. IWPA has more than 220 member companies and trade organizations engaged in the import/export of hardwoods and softwoods in more than 30 nations. As EVP, Brent advocated the industry’s view on laws and regulations with U.S. and international policymakers. He built and managed large coalitions to advance workable solutions to the complex environmental issues involved in the Lacey Act. Brent also effectively represented members’ interests as spokesperson with national media.
Brent has spent the past 22 years in the forest products industry with a variety of work experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors. He’s worked as a field forester for a state agency, as a hardwood veneer sales manager responsible for $35 million in international and domestic sales, and in government and public affairs, lobbying in Washington for multiple domestic trade associations, including the Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association and the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association. Brent currently serves as a security-cleared advisor to several Department of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative advisory committees and is the current co-chair of the International Tropical Timber Organization’s Trade Advisory Group.
Brent has two undergraduate degrees from North Carolina State University in Forestry and Agriculture Business Management, an MBA from George Mason University and is a Certified Association Executive.
“NWPCA is perfectly positioned for growth, with a strong array of business products and membership services that are enhanced with outstanding staff and a strong and committed volunteer leadership,” Brent commented. “I’m honored and excited to help lead this association as we tackle the challenges ahead. The executive search committee and I immediately connected as we’re both focused on expanding business innovation and delivering exceptional customer service.”
“We were impressed with several candidates, but Brent’s long career in the wood products industry put him at the top of an exceptional slate of contenders,” said James Ruder, NWPCA Chairman of the Board and a member of the executive search team. “We also felt his experience working for a hardwood veneer manufacturer gave him real-world experience that would bring a distinctive outlook to his position at the association.”
Joe O’Brien, Chairman of the Executive Search team and incoming Chairman of the Board said, “I was worried that finding a person with the experience and ability to lead the association through the sizable changes and challenges facing our industry was going to be impossible and that in the end we would have to ‘settle’. But that wasn’t the case at all. I was greatly impressed with the caliber of the candidates and in Brent I believe we found an extraordinary fit both in terms of experience and personality.”
“I want to thank Joe O’Brien and the entire executive search team for studying the resumes, taking three full days from your business to meet with applicants and ask probing questions that contributed greatly to finding the right person to lead the organization,” said Ruder. “I know the industry will give Brent a warm welcome when he joins us at the Annual Leadership Conference in Orlando.”
Brent will begin his tenure with NWPCA on Feb. 1. In the meantime, he will be in frequent communication with Interim President Sam McAdow to assure a smooth transition, and will meet periodically with NWPCA staff.