We are fortunate to have so many family-owned companies in the Pacific Northwest that provide family-wage jobs for their employees. These family-owned companies plan and provide for long-term investments to encourage multi-generation involvement. Investments and multi-generation involvement bode well for the communities in which these businesses are located. Family-owned businesses tend to take pride in how they treat their employees and how they are viewed in the communities where they do business. This is reflected by encouraging their employees to get involved in community activities as well as making financial or in-kind contributions to community projects.

The Hampton Family started having annual family meetings to educate the up and coming generation about our business and operations. For this annual meeting, members of the family toured our Tillamook, Oregon, sawmill Friday, July 27, 2012. The Tillamook Team hosted the third generation of Hamptons, their spouses and children. Hampton’s non-family Board Chairman also accompanied the family on the tour and gave them an overview of the business and how he became involved with the company and the family.

This year the tour was particularly meaningful because the Oregon Board of Forestry (BOF) was on a field trip related to reviewing the Forest Management Plan on the Tillamook State Forest, which included an “economic contributions and community connection” first stop at our Tillamook sawmill on the same day as the family tour.

BOF presenters, David Hampton and Dave Ivanoff thought that having the Hampton family at the mill stop would present an opportunity to show the faces of “family” in family businesses dependent on our state’s sustainable resources. Other featured presenters included Mark Elston, Tillamook Mill Manager; Tim Josi, Tillamook County Commissioner; local logging operators; and school district officials. The presentations varied, but the message was the same: Tillamook County communities and businesses need a secure sustainable timber harvest program from the Tillamook State Forest!

The Tillamook Team also did a great job in preparing an appropriate site for the BOF tour stop with the Tillamook log yard and sawmill as a back drop. Dave continued on the tour with the BOF to other stops related to environmental and recreational contributions. He heard several comments from BOF members and the state forester about the impression made on them from having the family present and hearing about the positive things Hampton does for the its employees and the community by having a viable business in Tillamook.

After a safety briefing and donning personal protection equipment, the family broke up into three groups and toured the mill with members of the Tillamook Team. The fourth generation family members (numbering 10 now, with 9 on the tour) seemed to be particularly impressed by the level of technology we employ in the mill and by the years of service and pride so many of our employees have with Hampton. We not only have multi-generational family owners, but we have many multi-generation employees in our facilities.

Following the sawmill tour and lunch, the Hampton family stopped at the Tillamook Forest Center on the Wilson River Highway. If you haven’t been there, it’s worth the stop for a variety of activities and information provided in formats and venues for all ages.

For our family-owned business to stay viable, we need a reliable affordable timber supply. For our state to stay viable and meet infrastructure requirements and social service needs, it needs the revenue that comes from state timber sales.

It’s all about sustainable timber supply!

Steve Zika
CEO, Hampton Lumber