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PELICE Remembers

PELICE Remembers
Article by Dan Shell,
Managing Editor
During the second Panel & Engineered Lumber International Conference & Expo back in 2010, while moderating a keynote speaker session, conference co-chair Fred Kurpiel mentioned several industry figures who had passed away since the previous PELICE event.
Afterward, several exhibitors and visitors expressed the sentiment to show organizers that they appreciated the mention, didn’t realize someone was gone, etc. So began a PELICE tradition to recognize those who have contributed to industry.
Accordingly, here is the PELICE 2018 list of industry contributors who have passed away since spring 2016:
  • Bill Robison served APA 41 years as field rep, regional manager, director, vice president and president before retiring in 1992.
  • Paul Barringer, longtime leader of Coastal Lumber, helped develop it into a softwood plywood producer.
  • George Sleet worked for APA 39 years as a lab technician, quality services head and also served as a vice president and secretary. For many, Sleet was the face of APA.
  • Hiroshi Yamaji spent a career with Raute doing groundbreaking work with microprocessor-based control systems.
  • Terry Sellers was a researcher and educator at Mississippi State University for 24 years, best known for research with natural and synthetic adhesives and engineered wood products.
  • Harry Merlo changed the arc of industry with his development of and innovations with OSB. Always a maverick and a larger than life figure, Merlo was also a true American success story: the child of Italian immigrants who rose to the top of the forest products industry as a one-of-a-kind executive and panel industry legend.
  • William Whelan worked with US Plywood, Champion International, Roseburg Lumber, Pope & Talbot and Timber Products Co.
  • John Fery, CEO of Boise Cascade, developed the company into a fully integrated forest products conglomerate before retiring in 1995.
  • Paul Ehinger served as APA president and chairman in the early 1970s. He was also a regional vice-president of the National Forest Products Assn.
  • Robert Crawford, a true particleboard industry pioneer, plant manager at Pope & Talbot in Oakridge, who then managed Roseburg’s particleboard division from 1966 until his retirement in 2000.
  • Thomas Flint joined APA’s Technical Services Div. in 1958, serving in a variety of positions in that area including director and also vice president of standards and regulation before retiring in 1992.

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