Ron grew up in the Brookings area while his father and business partners ran the mill. He went on to graduate from what is now known as Southern Oregon University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Ron then took a management position at International Paper before returning to the family business in 1973 where he started as a general manager and soon became President and CEO.
As Ron would be seen around town or around the facilities, no one would be able to guess that he was the CEO. You could count on him being dressed in a hickory shirt with a hole in the shoulder from carrying his saw around. Ron became known for his uncanny sense of timing in making business decisions, as he developed the family company into one of Oregon’s largest privately owned timber companies, with international ties. He had incredible intuition for what was necessary to do through the ups and downs of the economy. Ron always kept a “big picture” mentality with the goal of providing reliable jobs to individuals in the community.
During his 46 years of management, Ron oversaw major developments including the purchase of significant timberland, the acquisition of Brookings Plywood, and the construction of an LVL plant and a new state-of-the-art sawmill. When he took over as CEO, the company owned about 16,000 acres of timber. Ron acquired 60,000 acres of timberland from Agnew in 1989 and another 18,000 acres of timberland from Georgia Pacific in 1991. These purchases grew the company exponentially. Even though Ron made daring business decisions, he was always more reserved socially and was never fond of being in the spotlight. He would make anonymous charitable donations that benefited those he cared for most: the local community, employees, opportunities for the younger generations, and animals.
Ron was quick and witty with a sharp sense of humor. He had a nickname for everyone of significance in his life. He also had enormous pride in South Coast Lumber Company and all the people who worked there. In the evenings at home, he enjoyed relating stories about his time with employees at the company, especially those doing the hard physical work of day-to-day operations.
In his spare time, Ron enjoyed spending time at his ranch clearing the land with his Cat and caring for the trees. Just like his father, Ron never strayed far from his passion for being in the woods surrounded by trees. That was his happy place, and he would always go there to process decisions and just think.