Congressional Fly-In Receives Rave Reviews

NWPCA’s Congressional Fly-In this June received an extrememly positive response from those who participated in Washington DC, including a number of WPA members.

“I really enjoyed the whole experience,” stated Kathleen Dietrich,Operations Manager of Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company and Current President of the Western Pallet Association.

“I believe the collaboration with NAM (National Association of Manufacturers) really gave us an opportunity, with appointments to meet with those legislators specific to our districts and states. It was all very informative and the lobbyists from NAM really were prepared. It made for such a fun and knowledge gaining experience. The evening at the Capitol Hill Club, where we actually met congressman and senators from different states, was such an intimate setting and you really got to literally ‘hand shake” with the legislators directly, and hear their viewpoints on those matters important to our industry.”

“It was a very eye opening experience to see a small glimpse into how Capitol Hill works,” added Caroline Beach Skinner, WPA Past-President. “NAM put together a great program and  they were very accommodating to our schedules. Meeting with different senators, representatives and their staff and listening to them speak about their viewpoints gave us great insight to the struggles that go on in Capitol Hill.” She added that it was great to participate in having the industry’s concerns being heard by lawmakers, and that she found a new found appreciation for what people like Patrick Atagi and others do on a day-to-day basis.


WPA Director Jeff Carr of Northwest Hardwoods was also enthusiastic about his experience in Washington DC. “The Fly-In was excellent as well as surprising,” he said.

“NAM and NWPCA organized the event very well. I was surprised at how many congress persons that I had access to and how much time I had with them for my own company’s concerns. We will happily attend next year’s event if the opportunity presents itself, likely with a couple company representatives, if possible.

“The NWPCA Congressional Fly-In was a great success, and the impact of having our West Coast members participate and discuss issues important to the industry was significant,” stated Patrick Atagi, Vice President of NWPCA. “It shows that our industry has depth and that it spans the entire country.”

Atagi added that many positive measurable outcomes come from these meetings. For example, Jacqueline “Jackie” Garduno from The Pallet Center Inc. was able to meet with the office of Congresswoman Torres (California 35th) and secure a commitment for a Congressional Mill tour at The Pallet Center Inc. in Riverside, California.

Mill tours not only educate Members of Congress first-hand on the issues facing the wooden pallet industry and small businesses, but help companies show they are a positive part of the community providing jobs and contributing to the local economy.

All in all, the Fly-In received high praise as a successful event.

Part of Our Story

In 1962, Ray Gutierrez started his first year of work at Commercial Lumber Company and was hired as a yard worker pictured in the upper left corner. Now, he is our President-CEO. The collage of these pictures were all taken in 1962 and all of these employees transferred with us to City of Industry when the pallet company began in 1975.

We wanted to share these interesting pictures to display the rich history and hard work behind CLC Pallets.

Industry Thought Leaders Share Keys to a Trust-Centered Culture

Company executives like to say they have strong corporate cultures, but does that translate into higher performance? As it turns out, yes, but only if executives say what they mean, and mean what they say.

A study by researchers from MIT, Northwestern and University of Chicago found that a firm’s performance is stronger when top managers are perceived as trustworthy and ethical. Employee perception matters because it’s easy for companies to say they have strong values, but not necessarily to follow through.

“The [trust-centered] culture is also reinforced with daily safety checks and constant back-and-forth communication between employees and management.”

-Kathleen Dietrich
Vice President & Operations Manager
Commercial Lumber & Pallet Company

You can read the entire publication HERE.

Industry Thought Leaders

Share What’s on Their Mind, Whats on Their Desk.

The wooden packaging industry is a dynamic, evolving, and ever-changing network of businesses and business models. The only constant is change. Whenever NWPCA staff travels to visit members, they always return with interesting stories on how people originally got into the pallet business, what they do outside the pallet industry and, what they expect for business through end of 2016.

Ray Gutierrez, President/CEO, Commercial Lumber & Pallet

How are general business conditions? What do you expect through year-end?
Generally Speaking, I feel that this year will be very similar to last year, which would be great. Presently, I am anticipating upward pressure on pricing though, as lumber mills in the Pacific Northwest continue to struggle for logs.

How did you get started in the pallet business?
Commercial Lumber was established in 1941 and was heavily involved in heavy engineering and industrial grade lumber. When Governor Pat Brown came into office, he didn’t see the need for this type of infrastructure in the State of California at the time. Before things came to a significant halt, and much research was needed in the alternate industries involving wood, we decided to get involved in the pallet business. We completed that expansion in 1974, and changed our name to Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company.

What is on your desk right now? Operations? Expansion plans? Customer concerns? Opportunities?
Knudsen Cottage Cheese, Road and Track Magazine, sawmill lumber offerings and my current in-house Rail Car Report.

What do you do when you’re not at work? If you weren’t in the pallet business, what would you be doing?
I work from home. And if I wasn’t in the pallet business, I would be looking for a job!

You can read the entire publication HERE.

Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company backs responsible procurement

Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company backs responsible procurement with their recent 5 year renewal audit for SFI Certified Sourcing.

City of Industry, California

As part of its broad commitment to the corporate social responsibility, Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company announced today it will meet Sustainable Forestry Initiative© (SFI) lumber sourcing requirements across its City of Industry and Beaumont location.

The SFI certified sourcing label tells consumers at least two-thirds of Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company’s lumber comes from a company certified to the procurement requirements of the SFI 2015-2020 Standard, a third party certified forest and/or from pre- or post-consumer recycled sources. There is also a risk assessment of any raw material from outside of North America to avoid controversial sources such as illegal logging operations.

“We know our customers care about how forests are managed”, stated Ray Gutierrez, President-CEO of Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company. “SFI certified sourcing tells them our products are made with fiber from responsible sources—and our procurement practices are third party audited”. “With SFI certified sourcing, Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company, and our customers, can show we support improved forestry practices and strong communities across North America.”

Through its certified sourcing, the independent, non-profit SFI program stands apart from other certification programs by addressing the fact that 90 percent of the world’s forests are not certified. An SFI certified sourcing label tells consumers that lumber in a product is from legal and responsible sources, regardless of whether the forest is certified.

“By achieving SFI Fiber Sourcing requirements, Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company joins more than 245 companies that meet the mandatory practice requirements for the responsible procurement of all fiber sourced directly from the forest, whether the forest is certified or not. Among other requirements, SFI Fiber Sourcing includes measures to broaden biodiversity, use Best Management Practices to protect water quality, invest in forest-related research and conduct landowner outreach.” Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.

Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company was established in 1941. They manufacture and recycle new and used wooden pallets. They have two locations, City of Industry and Beaumont California.

About SFI

SFI Inc. is an independent 501c (3) nonprofit charitable organization, and is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative. (SFI) Program. ( Across North America, more the 195 million acres are certified to the SFI forest management standard, making it the largest single forest standard in the world. SFI chain-of-custody certification tells buyers the percentage of lumber from certified forests, certified sourcing, and/or post-consumer recycled content. The SFI program’s unique lumber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers’ lands. SFI Inc. is governed by a three chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equallty.

Environmental Benefits of Wood-Use for Pallets

Get the facts, share the facts with your customers on the environmental benefits of using wood:

  • According to the U.S. Forest Service, there were 119 percent more hardwood trees in 2007 than in 1953, with the growth-to-removal ratio of 2.00 (two new trees for every one removed). Want more good news? Each year 1.7 billion trees are planted in the United States – more than five trees for every man, woman and child in America – an average of 4.8 million seedlings each day. (From the U.S. Forest Service.)
  • U.S. industry harvests just 42% of the annual growth in hardwood timber that is biologically available to harvest. This is like using 42% of the interest/dividends you receive on your investments in any given year, without touching the principal. In fact, every year more trees die and rot in the woods than are removed by the industry.
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Welcome to Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company

Commercial Lumber & Pallet Company is a California-based pallet manufacturer that offers competitively priced new, refurbished and custom designed pallets, shipping crates and storage crates, industrial lumber, and pallet recycling. We are your one-source provider for pallets and crating. Established in 1941, we are one of the oldest and largest Lumber Mills and Pallet Manufacturers on the West Coast.

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Forecasts & Wishes

Ray Gutierrez, President – CEO
Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company, Inc.
City of Industry, California

We are looking upon 2015 to have many challenges and opportunities. The challenges, in our estimate, will continue to be the sourcing of raw material, the acquisition of good dependable labor, and the rising costs of insurance, energy and overall maintenance expenses. Facing these challenges indicates that we are anticipating growth in 2015 and how we plan to address that growth, thus the opportunities.

To read the entire letter from President-CEO Ray Gutierrez click here

Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company

The Goal of Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company, Inc. is to provide you with utmost in product quality, customer service, and reliability at all times. We will do this by maintaining our versatility, by empowering all employees involved with the knowledge necessary to maintain quality, by continuing our team approach to all issues involving your company, and by providing an open line of communication at all times. Lastly, Commercial Lumber and Pallet Company, Inc., and all of our employees, will remain dedicated to servicing your needs and assisting you achieve your goals at all times.