We work and live in dozens of communities that depend on the forest for their economic and social viability. In this blog series, Resolute’s Forest Families, we are profiling families with a long history in the forest products industry – employees, suppliers, contractors and neighbors of Resolute – and asking them to share their stories of managing the resources in their care.
In this installment we meet the Dismukes family, founders of Vaiden Timber Company LLC, timber buyers and certified professional loggers, who have been selling pine pulpwood to our Grenada newsprint mill in Mississippi since the early 1980s.
Brian Dismukes speaks proudly of his family roots in the forest products business, quickly pointing out that his parents Charles and Carolyn Dismukes were recognized as “Tree Farmer of the Year” in 2011 by the Mississippi Forestry Association (MFA). The MFA Tree Farmer program is committed to sustaining forests, watersheds and healthy habitats through the power of private stewardship.
“My father was a registered forester who used sustainable forestry management practices long before they were known as such. He advised many people in the region on how to sustainably plant and groom trees.”
Brian’s grandfather started the Vaiden Timber Company in 1969 in Vaiden, Mississippi. Brian and his brother Barry took over the family business when his father Charles retired in 2004.
Today, Vaiden is certified through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) and the MS Professional Logging Manager Program. The company has nine direct employees and one of its own logging crews; it contracts with two other firms, who have a combined crew of almost 20 members.
Vaiden began selling pine pulpwood to Mississippi Chemicals, Resolute’s forerunner company, around 1980. “We’ve been fortunate to have a long-term relationship with Resolute’s Grenada team. The reason we’ve been successfully in business for over 47 years is our repeat business. It has really paid off for us.”
While there have been lean times, especially during the housing market collapse, Brian sees a busy year ahead and is gearing up for more production. The key, he says, is surrounding yourself with a good group of people you can count on during the good times and bad. “I’ve known many of the people who work for us for all or most of my life. My brother and I have worked for other people. We know what it’s like to be an employee, so we just try to treat people as good as possible.”
Photo: Charles Dismukes, Karen Rosamond (Dees Logging), Brian Dees (Dees Logging), Barry Dismukes, Chris Dees (Dees Logging)