2022 was a wonderful year at AIFP! After two years of the pandemic, things got back to our new normal, and our team was once again able to travel together and reinstate some of the traditions that weren’t possible in 2020 and 2021. In honor of the hard work and effort of everyone on our team, we wanted to share some highlights from last year!
In 2022, AIFP welcomed seven new trader trainees and rookie traders to our fast-growing team: Parker Riser, Nous Keobounnam, Griffin Urness, Dylan Conway, Dylan Helphingstine, Connor Bryson, and Trevor McNeish. One great thing about this recent batch of traders is how varied their backgrounds have been. While many of these new team members come from small towns and cities in the Pacific Northwest, there are also individuals who grew up as far away as Boston and Chiang Mai, Thailand. They majored in everything from Journalism and Graphic Design to Finance and Business Information Systems, and one of our newest traders is even a member of the National Guard.
Want to be a part of the AIFP team? We’re hiring! Our paid-trader training program offers on-the-job training and mentorship that teaches you everything you need to succeed as a commodity trader at AIFP, so no experience is necessary! Apply your skills. Grow your business. Make your own success!
We couldn’t do what we do without the amazing support of our Admin team and as our trading team grows, our Admin team grows with it. This year, we welcomed four new team members, including Aurea Saltonas (Trader Assistant), David Thomson (Network Administrator), Lucas Hamilton (Import/Export Associate Assistant) and Shane Johnson (Trade Compliance Specialist).
In addition to our paid apprenticeship program, AIFP also participates in a paid intern program that gives college students real-life experience in the fast-paced world of commodity trading. In 2022, we had two amazing interns who were able to get an inside look at the industry, expand their network, gain real world experience, and apply their skills beyond the classroom.
One of the special things about our apprenticeship program is that it supports our trader trainees as they work toward their first sale. This year, five of our rookie traders made their first sales (and many more!) within their first year at AIFP.
We’re incredibly proud of our retention rate at AIFP, and this year we celebrated five anniversaries with Forest City Trading Group and AIFP, including Jeff Richmond (40 Years), Bryan Payne (30 Years), Arthur Reid (20 Years), Elsa Brown (20 Years), and Jeff Hoggard (10 years)!
At AIFP, we’re known as thought leaders in the lumber industry. That’s why it’s no surprise that SBCA partnered with two of our traders for their Lumber Connection Podcast, which features Ken Timmins and Justin Binning. The podcast, which was conceived in February 2020, continues to be an amazing way to keep up with lumber industry trends and hear smart analysis from experts in the field.
At AIFP, we don’t just work together, we’re a family. Not only did our team celebrate a wide range of professional milestones this year, but we also celebrated many personal milestones. In addition to welcoming two babies to the AIFP family, we also had a team member buy their first home and another got engaged in 2022.
Strong relationships are at the crux of our business. They ensure that we have access to the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices. While there are many ways to create strong relationships, one way we do so is by attending conferences across the country. This year, our traders attended the Building Component Manufacturers Conference (BCMC) in Columbus, Ohio, the North American Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA) Traders Market in Phoenix, Arizona, and the Portland Wholesale Lumber Association conference in Salem, Oregon.
As a member of the Portland business community, we seek to have a positive impact through philanthropic efforts around the city. This year, we collected presents for the St. Mary’s Home for the Boys Christmas Wish Drive and donated to the Nancy Valenkamph Cancer Foundation. In September through December, our traders also gave a percentage of their sales, which AIFP matched for a total donation of $43,134 to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
In addition to these philanthropic efforts, AIFP partners with local colleges such as Oregon State University, University of Oregon, and other local universities to help students prepare for their future careers. From hosting and sponsoring college events to attending college career fairs, AIFP values the education of the next generation and offers many opportunities for students and graduates.
2022 was a very special year for holidays at AIFP, for this year we were able to continue our long-standing holiday traditions that were on pause due to COVID. From turkeys and wreaths personally handed out to the team by our president, John Vranizan to having the rookies go out and pick the office Christmas tree, being able to reinstate these traditions brought so much spirit to the holidays. On top of our holiday traditions, AIFP’s annual Christmas party and Halloween costume contest was a huge success! Our staff had a blast dressing up and we already can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store!
Along with our holiday traditions returning to the office, 2022 was also the year our company events and travel returned in full swing. Between our traders going out and enjoying company golf tournaments and bonding experiences and our admin team going on their annual weekend getaway, our team knows how to work hard and play hard. What was most exciting was, last June we were fortunate enough to have the whole AIFP team take a trip to Las Vegas in honor of everyone’s hard work. Whether its something small like an afternoon at top golf, a ride on Portland’s spirit cruise or family fun at a Timbers game, or something big like a weekend trip for the admin at Brasada Ranch and the young guns trader trip to Sunriver, AIFP takes care of our team.
Want a commodity trading career at one of the best places to work in Portland, Oregon? Send us your resume today! We can’t wait to see all the amazing things that 2023 will bring to AIFP!
Up for the challenge? We'll give you the tools to excel. AIFP is continually growing. We recruit new traders year-round.
There is no substitute for hard work. If you really want to make and run a business here, you have all the tools available to you here.Billy Culver Trader, European Products Department Head
I really enjoy the freedom to create your own customer base and build a business trading the products you want to trade. While being the hardest thing I have ever done, being a trader has also been the most rewarding!Alex Schilling Trader