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Ward Lumber leadership transition

The Ward Lumber Worker Cooperative (WLWC) has announced a significant leadership transition as Derrick Manson, the inaugural board president, passes the baton of responsibility to Tim Clark.

Ward Lumber was a pioneer as the first employee-owned cooperative in its industry. One of the guides down that path was Rob Brown from the Cooperative Development Institute. Speaking on working with Manson, Brown said, “His calm, collaborative and good-natured leadership made him an obvious choice to chair the newly formed board of directors after the buyout. [Derrick] set a great example.”

Manson’s journey as a leader in the cooperative began with the steering committee, where he played a pivotal role in the cooperatives’ formation. He led the fledgling cooperative through the purchase of the company and then served as president for two years. Jay Ward, the former fourth generation owner and current CEO, says of Derrick’s leadership, “[He] provided stability, steadiness, and a whole lot of work while forming the co-op.”

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Tim Clark, the newly elected board president, has been at Ward Lumber for four years. He also has leadership experience as a member of the Upper Jay Fire Department Board and the current president of the Mount Fay Fish and Game Club.

“The opportunity to lead Ward Lumber Worker Cooperative as the president is an honor, and I am excited to work alongside our dedicated board members and employee owners. We have an incredible team in place, and together, we will continue to build on the legacy that Derrick has created,” said Tim, expressing his eagerness to contribute to the cooperative’s bright future.

As the new board president, Clark aims to nurture a culture of collaboration and empowerment, ensuring that every worker owner’s voice is heard. He is committed to upholding the cooperative’s values, promoting sustainability, and fostering an inclusive environment where everyone’s contributions are valued.

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