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Join us for the first of our 2024 monthly educational webinar Series

January 10

This first session will be: Navigating our Origins and Charting a Sustainable, Resilient, and Enduring Environmental Response Through Urban Wood Utilization.


Join urban wood utilization veterans, Jessica Simons, Director of the original Urban Wood Project and now the VP for Conservation Stewardship at the Kalamazoo Nature Center and Rick Siewert, Director of Manufacturing at Wood From The Hood, for the first monthly webinar of the newly refocused Urban Wood Network Inc.

Urban Wood Network (UWN), a leading force in the urban wood industry, emerged in response to environmental challenges and fragmented efforts, uniting a diverse range of stakeholders. Our mission encompasses promoting sustainable urban and community forest management, fostering collaboration, and standardizing urban wood utilization practices. Within this webinar, you’ll explore UWN’s Code of Ethics, delve into our history, experiences, and stories, learn about member partnerships, access valuable education resources, connect through networking opportunities, discover economic possibilities, and embrace our core motto: “Trees First, Wood Next™.” UWN isn’t just about resources and networking; it’s about making a substantial environmental impact while creating economic opportunities and maintaining ethical standards. Supporting the UWN brand means endorsing established quality standards and paving the way for superior urban forest products. Together, we can collectively make a positive impact on our world.

Learning Objectives:

  • Educational Insight: Provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the Urban Wood Network’s mission and brand, with focus on the promotion of sustainable urban and community forest management, fostering collaboration, and standardizing urban wood utilization practices.
  • Ethical and Sustainable Practices: Emphasize the significance of ethical standards by exploring UWN’s Code of Ethics, ensuring participants understand the importance of ethical practices in the urban wood industry.
  • Historical Context: Delve into the history, experiences, and stories that have shaped the Urban Wood Network, enabling attendees to appreciate the organization’s background and evolution.
  • Networking and Partnerships: Encourage participants to learn about member partnerships and provide opportunities for networking, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing with like-minded individuals and organizations.
  • Economic and Environmental Impact: Showcase the potential economic opportunities that sustainable urban wood utilization offers while highlighting the substantial environmental impact that can be achieved by supporting the UWN brand and its established quality standards.



Jessica Simons: Jessica is the Vice President for Conservation Stewardship at the Kalamazoo Nature Center where she oversees land management, research, ecological services, and community science activities. Simons previously owned Verdant Stewardship, a consulting service that guided urban wood recovery and recycling programs across several states, managed urban agriculture education programs in Detroit, and coordinated the national Firewood Scout program.

She currently volunteers as an advisor on the Steering Committee of Urban Wood Network’s Michigan Chapter. She has a B.A. in Biology from West Virginia University and a M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan. 


Rick Siewert: Rick is the President & second-generation owner of Siewert Cabinet & Fixture Manufacturing, Inc. SCFM is a manufacturer of architectural woodwork, casework, and store fixtures located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and 2023 marked their 58th year in business.

Rick started in the Siewert shop in 1985 and took over as majority owner and President in 1997.  He’s been involved in the Architectural Woodwork Institute since 1991, serving on both the Minnesota & National Board of Directors, as well as numerous AWI committees.  He also sits on the cabinet making advisory board of two local technical colleges and served as a member of the Seward Civic & Commerce Association Executive Committee.

In 2008, Rick & his wife started Wood From The Hood, a producer of reclaimed urban lumber and custom wood products from the Twin Cities urban forest.  Today they process over 100,000 board feet of lumber per year, and ship products nationwide.

Together, the two entities employee 50 people, with combined sales of over 8 million dollars.

For the past ten years, Rick & several key urban wood enthusiasts have been meeting to further urban wood utilization.  Together, they formed the Urban Wood Network (UWN).  Today Rick sits on the interim UWN Board of Directors, is lead of the marketing committee, sits on the Midwest education committee, and is also on the Urban Salvaged & Reclaimed Wood standards review/pilot program.

In his spare time, Rick enjoys hunting, fishing, the family cabin and spending time with his wife Cindy & their three children.



January 10
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Latest Newsletter

New Board of Directors Announced!

Please join us in welcoming our newly appointed Urban Wood Network (UWN) Board of Directors (BoD / Board), who were appointed by the current Interim UWN BoD during our Board meeting on January 3, 2024:

Simms Acuff, Jennifer Alger, Jennifer Flynn, Frederik Laleicke, Marisa Repka, Jessica Sanders, Rick Siewert, Daniel Torres and Scott Ward

We’d like to congratulate this core team of leaders who were selected from a group 21 highly qualified applicants who represent the diversity and dedication of the past, present and future of UWN.

This great team was selected for several reasons: they are highly qualified professionals in our industry who represent diversity in industry sectors, skillsets, and the diverse regions across the US; they have exhibited throughout their careers the ability to work together effectively as a team to further the mission of companies, organizations and agencies; they are passionate about the UWN mission and clearly ready to lead this organization forward.

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