In many ways, 2021 looked more like 2020 than most of us expected. And while we continue to be sensitive to the hardships and grief so many of us have endured during the pandemic, we do want to take a moment to celebrate the hard work and achievement of our employees and our company. Here are some AIFP highlights from 2021!
While we’re always on the lookout for strong candidates for our paid trader training program and our impressive admin team, 2021 was certainly a year of growth for our team.
Scott Valenkamph is the most recent addition to our trader apprenticeship program. After coming to us from the industrial water treatment industry, he recently completed his training rotation in our Trucking Department and will spend the rest of the month completing his Admin Department training rotation. From there, he’ll officially make the transition to the trading floor.
We also have two new trainees who will begin the program in March and July of this year and we’re continuing to hire for our one-of-a-kind trader training program.
In addition to our new trader trainees, we also hired three new admin staff to help with inventory & import management. We’re so lucky to have Brittany Owens, Stephen Nguyen, and Carissa Whisamore on the team!
At AIFP, we believe in setting our traders up for success through our unparalleled trader training program. That’s why we’re so proud of all of the amazing work our traders have done in 2021.
Congratulations to Abrie Abrams and Daniel Rodriguez who completed our trader training program in December and crossed over to trader status early this year. All of the in-depth lumber industry training, mentorship, and sales support is sure to pay off as you hit the trading floor.
We couldn’t be prouder to announce that three of our newest traders went straight to gold-level trading status in their first year after graduating from our trader training program. Congratulation to Collin Landry, David Kerlin, and Ben Rist on all of your sales success in 2021. The quick jump to gold status is a testament to all of your hard work and determination, as well as the effectiveness of our apprenticeship program.
Two of our veteran traders, Justin Binning and Ken Timmins, have joined forces with the Structural Building Component Association to co-host the Lumber Connection Podcast. On each episode, Justin and Ken offer expert commentary on the factors impacting supply and demand, as well as an in-depth information that can help companies find the best buying strategies to stay ahead of upcoming lumber market trends.
When it comes to running a successful business, retention matters. In fact, the average tenure for employees at AIFP is 15-16 years. We want to congratulate Kathi Berry (30 years), Joe Griffith (25 years), Nick Klohs (20 years), Roby Westbrook (15 years), and Rob LuManyan (10 years), John Owens (10 years), and Brian Kirwan(10 years) on their length of service awards. We’re so lucky to have you on our team!
From the success of our trader training program to our long-lasting relationships with industry associations, AIFP is thriving.
While fiber was tight in 2021, we were able to grow our sales volume 14% by providing creative solutions to our suppliers and customers.
In addition to building strong partnerships with suppliers and customers, we’re also dedicated to our involvement with key associations in the industry. That’s why we’re proud to be involved with Structural Building Components Association (SBCA), North American Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA), Western Wood Products Association (WWPA), and International Order of Hoo-Hoo.
At AIFP, we believe in our responsibility to our community. In fact, we’re partners with sales organizations at both the University of Oregon (OU Sales Club) and Oregon State University (OSU Sales Academy). Plus, we’re committed to supporting St. Mary’s Home for Boys. While their COVID restrictions meant we couldn’t do much in person in 2021, we were still able to do our annual gift drive and are looking forward to our annual BBQ and game day in 2022.
Want a career at one of the best places to work in Portland, Oregon? AIFP is hiring! To apply to our paid apprenticeship program, send us your resume today. In the meantime, check out the AIFP blog where we cover everything from job search tips for recent grads and what it’s like to work at AIFP to what you need to know about dimensional lumber and southern yellow pine.
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