In 1982, Ron Adnrews purchased a samll sawmill in Tunkhannock Township, with a goal of creating a thriving generational business that would lead the industry in caring for its employees and community. 40 years later, it’s safe to say that mission has been accomplished. On Friday afternoon, Deer Park Lumber celebrated its 40th anniversary with a banquet to honor all current and former employees at Shadowbrook Resort. “Today is all about you, this is your day,” Deer Park Lumber plant manager and head of operations Dan DiMeoleo said. “The work the plant accomplishes couldn’t have been done without every single one of you.”
Deer Park Lumber has been processing a variety of hardwoods since it opened in October 1982, including red oak, white oak, cherry, ash, hard and soft maple, birch and walnut, and ships the kiln dried lumber domestically and internationally.
The business has come a long way since its opening. According to Andrews, he started out with only two employees. Today, that number has grown to 75 and is not stopping.
The company is currently in the process of a $10 million expansion. The expansion will see the installation of an automated bin sorter, along with an optimizing grading system to streamline its materials handling and operations process.
“This expansion is going to automate a good portion of the production flow and increase efficiency,” Andrews said. “It is also going to put us in a much stronger competitive position both domestically and internationally.” According to Deer Park Lumber Human Resources Director Brad Georgetti, the expansion is expected to be complete in January 2023 and will add approximately eight new jobs to the facility.
Over the past 40 years, Deer Park Lumber has put sustainable forest management and the environment at the forefront of its mission.
It kiln-dries lumber in buildings heated by burning sawdust — with fans that dry the boards to a finished moisture content of 6-8 percent. This is a completely natural process that involves no chemicals, making hardwoods a Green and Renewable product. Any remaining sawdust is sold to local farmers for animal bedding. In a speech, Andrews told his employees how long the mill has come in 40 years. He said his first full month of operation, the business lost $13,000 and interest rates were at 18 percent. It only has gone up from there however. According to Andrews since 1982, approximately 500 million feet of lumber have been cut at the mill, 50,000 truck loads of lumber have been shipped out and approximately 8,333,000 logs have gone through Deer Park Lumber.
He finished his address by talking about how all employees are important, from the mill workers to the office staff and that the job could never be fully completed without every one of them.
“I say this, you take one person out of the equation and something doesn’t get done,” Andrews said. “This has been 40 years of good work by a lot of hard working people, alot of whom I am very close with to this very day."
(Pictured left to right - Ryan Andrews, Ron Andrews, Kayanne Andrews, Vanessa DiMeolo, Dan DiMeolo and Matt Andrews)