Softwood Forest Products Buyer


Feature Story


PacWestʼs Lakewood, Wash., personnel (L to R): Bill McGovern, Dave Betz, Joe Nealon, Dan Spriestersbach, and Mike Betz.
PacWest—Providing Multiple Markets with Quality Products

By Wayne Miller

Lakewood, Wash.—Pacific Western Lumber Inc., also known in the industry as “PacWest,” offers extensive knowledge of lumber manufacturing capabilities and continues to put that knowledge to work for its customers.

The firm is primarily a wholesale firm specializing in industrial and commercial products, as well as a sales agent for mills in the Pacific Northwest. The company markets framing lumber and studs, structural timbers, exposed beams, poles/pilings, roof and patio decking, finish, flooring, treated products, railroad ties, railway bridge components, plywood, OSB, as well as a complete array of agricultural products. These items are available in most western species. PacWest also focuses on the fabrication of industrial components and heavy construction timbers in specified lengths and fractional sizes.

Over the past five years, PacWest has been importing tropical hardwoods. “We’re bringing in apitong from Malaysia and Indonesia, ipe and tigerwood decking from Brazil as well as South American Pine finger-jointed clears and primed moldings” business partner Bill McGovern explained. “The import part of our business has grown quite substantially during the last several years. “Traditionally we’ve always been in the heavy timber business, marketing to timber frame manufacturers, etc. Since that business has been adversely affected by the housing market, we’re diversifying and offering different products,” partner Joe Nealon said. “Historically we’ve always been involved in the log home industry. We manufacture a complete line of D-log and wall log patterns as well as siding and components.

Agricultural Woodguard 3-rail fencing in Cedar tone
We also produce dowels and latheturned logs (constant diameter) in Pine, Spruce, Douglas Fir and Cedar. These are utilized for exposed log trusses, deck supports and exposed columns in casinos, lodges and a variety of construction forms. PacWest offers this material both treated and un-treated for indoor or outdoor use. PacWest also represents Woodguard™, a manufacturer of plastic coated borate-treated lumber, used in fencing, playground components, patio covers, outdoor products and organic agricultural processing aids. “Woodguard has recently obtained organic certification and because the product (borate treated lumber), is plastic coated whether it’s in a round or rectangular lumber form—there is nothing toxic about it compared to other treated lumber products,” Mike Betz, another partner, who heads up the Woodguard department said. “We recently revamped the website because we wanted to highlight the new organic aspect of the product.”

We’ve been involved with Woodguard for over two years as their exclusive sales and marketing agent,” Betz added. The organic certification is new and it took us a while to accomplish.” PacWest received a letter from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) qualifying Woodguard as an organic processing aid. Partner Dave Betz recently went on a trip within Washington to visit a blueberry grower who is using all Woodguard posts throughout his 70 acres. “Aside from the organic nature, the idea that you can dispose of these line posts into a normal landfill is a real advantage because it doesn’t have the high cost of disposal, like most treated lumber does,” Betz noted. More information on these products can be found at

The Lake Oswego, Ore. team: (L to R): Pat Murphy, Steve Wearne, and Chris Sallee.
The combined experience of PacWest’s staff focuses directly on their clients’ needs for specialty items and manufacturing services. In their capacity as wholesale agents and problem-solvers, they utilize knowledge and resources to provide a full range of products for retailers and distribution yards as well as industrial and commercial users.

Established in 1985, PacWest has offices in Lakewood, Washington and in Lake Oswego, Oregon. With eight experienced traders the firm possesses expertise in a wide variety of specialties from railroad and mining specifications to agricultural crating and vineyard posts as well as the full array of commodity lumber products. In addition, PacWest is proud to support the efforts of responsible forest stewardship and possesses an FSC Chain of Custody Certification.

“We carry inventory at approximately 20 locations in North America,” Nealon said. “I can think of four different inventory locations where we maintain product to support specific projects that require ‘just-in-time’ delivery. Most of the other locations contain in-process inventory where products are undergoing some form of value-added manufacturing including drying, sorting, treating, etc.”

This is an engineered scissor truss system made for a large barn and stable in Oregon.
An important part of the business is the agricultural segment. “Steve Wearne works out of our Portland office,” Nealon explained. “He has over twenty five years of experience focusing primarily on agricultural sales including everything from tree props, grape stakes, tomato stakes, hop poles, and various other components. He also provides treated wooden horse fencing as well as jump rails for the equestrian industry. His business has been very consistent throughout the downturn in the overall economy.”

Also at the Portland office are key personnel Pat Murphy and Chris Sallee. Murphy has 38 years experience in the forest products industry and has served as division manager for PacWest for approximately five years. Sallee has 30 years experience and has also been with PacWest five years.

Joe Nealon, Mike Betz, Dan Spriestersbach and Bill McGovern are the owners of PacWest and they work primarily from the firm’s headquarters in Lakewood, Wash. The Administrative Staff includes: Tracy Hallock, Linda Haeckel, Ladena Larson, and Martha Kellcy. For more information visit

This is a shaft set manufactured for a mine in Ontario. These pieces are utilized in a deep vertical mine and forms the framework for an all wooden elevator.

Heavy timber trusses PacWest fabricated for a winery in Napa, California.

PacWestʼs Woodguard organic agricultural product used in a vineyard construction.

Corral fencing manufactured by PacWest for a horse farm in Oregon.


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