Dear Kerry: I read a lot. I have often thought to let my favourite authors know how much I have enjoyed their work, but I never do. You, Sir, have always provided me with a great amount of joy. You never let me down. In your one page that sometimes spills into more we share many of the same insights and frustrations. It is a pleasure to hear your perspective. You are trapped in the woodworking world. Worse you are trapped in the Canadian woodworking world. Your comments and opinions deserve a much broader market.

I am an owner and a president. Your May/June Success, on your terms was the last straw; I had to let you know the brilliance of your mind. I have supplied vacuum pumps to the CNC router business for all the years they have been used. In business since 1984. A lot of what you make relevant to wood industry readers is vital to small business OWNERS in all markets.

When you start to write I often wonder who your target may be. You tie it to relevance. However, it must be difficult to contain within your two chubby (wide) columns. The recession has taught this business owner a great deal. It has encouraged me to try and write on the topic of why Canadian small business is required to be small.

If you reside in the southern Ontario landscape I would like to buy you lunch. The topic may wander, BUT, I promise to tie it to the wood industry.

Ray Ralph

R.E.M. Equipment

Mississauga, Ont.

Dear Ray: Naturally, I am flattered. It means a great deal to hear we can be of help. However, let me make one thing clear. I never feel trapped. I have had an interesting and successful life, so far, and I am doing exactly what I want to do. 

I have been the editorial voice of Canada’s secondary wood-products industry for over 16 years. During that time, I have worked to enhance associations, inform readers of economic, labour and regulatory issues and to promote the wood industry in Canada and abroad.

Like our readers, I am doing my job, and really enjoy doing it right. Letters like yours, the outpouring of enthusiasm in our annual Readers’ Surveys and the friendliness of people I meet here and there in the course of a day’s work make it perfect. There can be no greater tribute than to know your work is understood and appreciated.

As with any undertaking, there is a right way and a wrong way. A rapid deterioration of media quality followed the purchase of the small trade magazines in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The decline has been so general, most people today believe a magazine is supposed to act as a secretary for a few, arrogant, special interests. That is what happens when they don’t know what they are talking about. The ONLY function for a magazine is to attract and hold an audience. A magazine is a creative work. If two magazines are the same, both should go, since one is copying the other and the other isn’t good enough to move ahead. If three are alike, you have a herd of ducks. To the degree we have been successful in helping the industry, the thanks goes to you, and the other faithful readers of Wood Industry.


Wood Industry is the one industry publication that I always look forward to. I find the stories are relevant to my business, many of the stories are locally sourced, and the stories seem to be reader driven as opposed to some advertising tripe disguised as a story which seems to be presented by other publications. I also look forward to Kerry Knudsen’s editorial — sometimes he makes me laugh, sometimes I agree with his opinions, and sometimes he raises my eyebrows. The common thread with Mr. Knudsen is that he is always entertaining, and I always look forward to read what he will write about next.  Keep it up. Great publication.”

Livio Passalent

Crescent Cabinet Company Limited

Hamilton, Ont.


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