Timber Framers Guild Gathers in Montebello, Quebec

Carl Peter of Charles City Timber & Mat, VA.
Carl Peter of Charles City Timber & Mat, VA.

“I believe this kind of building is more important now than ever. Our need for well built, environmentally sensitive and energy efficient homes is increasing in the marketplace.” ~Patrick Evelyn, Charles City Timber & Mat, LLC~

As demonstrated by the improbable results of Carl Peter’s axe throwing…smart business owners don’t always hit their target right away, but never stop aiming for the bullseye. It’s not only about how many years we’ve been working or even how well we’ve done (or not)…when we’re lucky…and the stars align properly it’s also about the pursuit of our passion, belief in our work and our ability to achieve our objectives.

As an example…in his relentless and generational pursuit of excellence, and understanding the importance of growth and change, in these special times, Patrick Evelyn, Principal owner of Charles City Timber & Mat, LLC, and his staff traveled from Virginia to learn more about the TFG, TFBC, its members and the benefits of joining the national organizations. In a recent phone conversation with Patrick (who joined the Guild at the conference), when asked why he made this significant investment, during a tight economy, with several members of his company, he said…”I believe this kind of building is more important now than ever. Our need for well built, environmentally sensitive and energy efficient homes is increasing in the marketplace. We also want to diversify our 40 year old Timber mill business…this seems like a good fit”. His review of the conference experience revealed a high level of satisfaction. It’s clear he is impressed with the members he enjoyed meeting and mission of the Guild and Business Council. We welcome him as a new member of the TFG and join him in his beliefs.

Montebello FireplaceIf there’s a definition of success worth sharing for all those attempting to achieve this illusive state of being…I would have to say that a shining example is our Montebello conference. To me, the outstanding essence of gatherings attended by this colorful and dedicated group of crafters, is their exceptional common respect, affection and colleagueship. As an old guy joined in membership with so many diverse groups….the TFG is unique in its fraternal intensity. The stewardship of Joel McCarty provides an extraordinarily unique, competent and rare mix of git-er-done with a personal style belying his astute professionalism.

Those who understand that the hallmark of true expertise is in making the complex look effortless, appreciate the skill set and hard work required to roll out a successful event of this magnitude; especially across international borders. Joel, Susan and their compact staff of workers and volunteers are the quintessential dream team for this effort. The conference was an unqualified success in content, presentation and organization. The setting of the Fairmount, Montebello Resort is spectacular. Montebello Fireplace 2The food and fun was hyper-ample and high quality in all respects. And then there was the unexpected pleasure of an impromptu Blue Grass concert on Saturday evening. It was extemporaneously performed by several members (Rick and Whit Holder, Kim & “Dancing Dan” Reagan, Tina Therien and partner, Bruce Lindsay & Char Cooper) with instruments in tow from guitars to flute, mouth harp, tom-tom, violin and various improvised musical instruments (including the percussive combination of a beer bottle cap and wine glass played by yours truly). So much fun! I wished the largely French Canadian group, and incredibly talented guitarist, vocalist, Rick Holder “Adieu” at 2AM. As I made my way sleepily and reluctantly…but smiling widely toward the elevator, there was no sign the festivities were ending. I guess I’m not as young as I used to be, or as old as I’m may get.

Kicking Horse BridgeOn Sunday, one of the closing sessions “Why You Need Professional Help”, was led by David Hourdequin and Al Cobb. The importance of emphasizing the need and requirement for early frame engineering and design collaboration was discussed by a mostly insynch audience. Preparation for the municipal permitting process as well as running the numbers for a structurally sound frame was generally agreed to be an important but sometimes not fully addressed service Timber Framers should provide and/or recommend to their clients. Whether performed in-house or outsourced to qualified and licensed practitioners, it was widely perceived as an imperative instead of an option. Watch for a follow up to this subject in Scantlings, our national org websites and Forum discussions.

We were happy to sponsor the auction which appeared to be a great success. I believe the unofficial results are in the neighborhood of 12 & 15K. CONGRATULATIONS! The auctioneer (Rick Holder) was incredibly entertaining and obviously very competent at selling everything, including baseball hats for up to $100.00 each to a willing and generous audience. Thanks to the ample skils of our collection team, AKA “The Gang of Five”…Ben Brungraber, Paul Freeman, Lisa Stasser, Kevin Smith & Tony Rizzo approximately $1800.00 was added to the kitty by a spur of the moment appeal for the Membership Renewal Support Fund announced in Octobers Scantlings. If you missed an opportunity to contribute during the GIMME $5-$10-$20 campaign… CLICK HERE to participate in this worthwhile effort and send your “we want you back” message to former members and colleagues. As a member of the TFG Membership Committee, I want to say a special…THANK YOU!

Jack Costantino, Pres.
Timber Frames Unlimited, LLC
(908) 876.5262

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