Letter from the Director
I always enjoy sitting down and writing this letter. It reminds me of why I joined higher education after 15 years in the private sector, and why I love coming to work every day. It’s about the friendships we have established over the years and the hope that our work at the Center has positively impacted your businesses. Some of you have graduated from the department and now are leaders in your companies.
Some of you have used our research to make improved products to serve your customers better, and some of you have been supporters to help students meet their financial or educational needs. Whatever the reason, we greatly appreciate this great partnership which is now 20 years old. We are the oldest active industrial center in the college, and have changed over the years to meet your needs and our students’ needs for the 21st Century.
As you know, I am a big user of “positive” quotes for reinforcement. Napoleon Hill, who I consider one of the founders of the positive psychology movement, wrote “Think and Grow Rich” in 1937. It should be mandatory reading today for anyone who wants to lead an organization. He has also said that our success in not determined only by our ability, but by our imagination. He reinforces that we are the only ones holding ourselves back. I mention this because of the current economic climate within our industry and our nation. If you listen to the daily media, we should all either find a cave to hide in or find a cliff to jump off. Unfortunately, the media believes only bad news sells. Yet, we see our members continue to hire students and expand operations. We see exports of lumber rise and new products and services being offered. We hear of great stories of how companies are adapting to the “new normal” of business. We see what Napoleon Hill taught three-quarters of a century ago, as relevant today as it was during our industrial revolution. Our goal at the Center is to educate students who not only have the technical skills to run a business, but the creative skills to look for your next business. As Alvin Toffler said:
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
Your Center has had a good year. Our faculty accomplishments are listed later in this report. Dr. Henry Quesada was named Assistant Director of the Center to help with daily operations. The Department of Wood Science and Forest Products hired Dr. Barry Goodell, from the University of Maine as their new department head. We awarded over $15,000 of scholarships in the fall of 2010 and will award nearly that amount again in fall of 2011. Our undergraduate enrollment in the department remains stable at approximately 50 students, with most graduates still finding jobs. We remain the largest traditional wood
science and forest products program in the United States. Our annual meeting was held in March, and we also surveyed the membership during that time. Marketing/manufacturing research, relationships with faculty, and our students remain the top reasons members belong to the Center. We have updated our website to provide more information, so please visit us at http://www.cfpb.vt.edu I thank you for your continued support of our center. If there is anything I can do, please feel free to contact me at 540-231-
7679 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to get a copy of the 2010-2011 please click here