Growing and Diversifying BC’s Value-Added Wood Exports

By Kelly McCloskey, Editor
The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 24, 2022
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

BC’s forests are once again headlining mainstream newscasts with for-and-against opinions on logging old growth and managing forests for wildfire and climate change resilience. One area where there is broad concurrence however, lies in the objective of maximizing the value generated for every log harvested—which is why governments and industry associations support value-added wood companies to expand their markets. Ask any value-added manufacturer what it takes to accomplish this and you’re apt to hear about the usual constraints to expansion, such as a lack of skilled labour, fibre supply, financing and market intel/experience.

With respect to the latter, we noticed that BC Wood’s Export Readiness Training Program kicks off this Wednesday, so we decided to take a closer look. Initiated in 2019 and supported by funding by BC FII and NRCan, this in-depth, webinar based, 9-module program guides participants through the complete process of exporting. The modules are broken into three phases: i) determining export readiness; ii) tactical lessons in research and planning; and iii) dealing with international logistics (trade agreements, finance, virtual selling, etc.). The weekly modules are open to any Canadian company, are delivered virtually, and can be undertaken in whole or part. They’re also 1.5 hours each and you can join live (at 8:30 am PST) or listen to one or more of the sessions at your convenience (for more information, contact BC Wood’s Randi Walker at or 604-309-6683).

So – how are they doing? Based on a survey of previous year participants, the program is very well received. Of those that responded, 9 of 10 said they would “recommend the program to a friend or colleague” and 8 of 10 said the program would likely or very likely “help grow their export sales in the next 12 months.” With BC Wood’s backing, we’ve agreed to reach out to a handful of these individuals to see what they have to say a year or more later (stay tuned for that). Meanwhile, looking at the experience of the presenter/trainers, we’re not surprised how well it’s been rated to date. For example:

Greg Henderson – ExportSpark – Trainer/Leader (program developer & module 6 presenter)

Greg Henderson is the Founder and President of Exportspark Services Inc., a consulting company that helps businesses figure out exporting. As a Certified International Trade Professional (CITP) and Registered Incoterms® 2020 Trainer with over 25 years of international business development experience gained in over 60 countries, Greg understands international. Greg also has a BA in German and a BA in Psychology from Carleton University in Ottawa. During his career, he has lived and worked in Denmark, Germany, England, the Netherlands and Australia, and is currently based in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Exportspark has helped hundreds of businesses build Export Plans and develop marketing plans for entry into dozens of markets.

Allison Boulton – Export Navigator (module 1 & 4)

After living in China and the Middle East for three years, Allison returned to Vancouver to work as an International Trade Advisor with Small Business BC, and started her own firm assisting entrepreneurs grow globally. While abroad, she completed her MBA and worked as the China Director of Marketing and Trade Sales with an importer and distributor of North American beverages. Prior to moving overseas, Allison was the Director of Operations for a boutique Canadian winery with exports to over 20 countries.

Laura Tetzlaff – Sandbox Marketing (module 2)

A self-proclaimed curiosity junkie, Laura Tetzlaff is the founder of Sandbox Marketing, a strategic brand and creative marketing agency.  She helps small to medium-sized businesses business clarify their unique message, so their marketing actually works. 

From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, clients leverage Laura’s strategic marketing skills to plan their path to success. Her combined branding, marketing, sales and project management expertise packs a powerful punch.

Nora Gonzales – G & G Gestoria (module 3)

Ms. Gonzalez is founding partner of G&G Gestoria en Comercio Exterior, a consulting firm specialized in helping Mexican companies to export its products and services, and in assisting international companies to enter or expand into the Mexican market. Recently, they have expanded their presence throughout Latin America with representatives in Peru, Colombia, El Salvador, Chile and Brazil. Ms. Gonzalez has coordinated and completed diverse market studies and developed trade missions for several companies and governments from Canada, the US, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Spain, UK , Brazil, Japan and France. Ms. Gonzalez has an International Trade degree from the University ITESO (Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Occidente) and diplomas in International Trade (ITESM), Mexican Customs Legislation (Universidad Panamericana), and Logistics (COMCE)

Jonathan Christian – We Make Stuff Happen (module 8)

Jonathan is an internationally renowned speaker, trainer, and social media expert who inspires and educates audiences to harness the power of Social Media and explode their business. His insights drive creative strategy, sales, and results. For the past decade, Jonathan has been helping business owners maximize their time on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to exponentially grow their business. Jonathan shows his audiences how to create a winning formula in today’s digital world. He has over 35 years of successful business experience, and has spoken on big stages around the world, using his humor, expertise, and charm to shift audiences to the next level.


About the Author: Prior to joining the Tree Frog News, Kelly McCloskey led dozens of forestry and forest product initiatives in Canada and the US. This includes the North American Wood Promotion Network and the Canadian Wood Council.

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