About AHEC

About AHEC

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is the leading international trade association for the U.S. hardwood industry, representing the committed U.S. hardwood exporters and the major U.S. hardwood product trade associations. AHEC runs a worldwide programme to promote the full range of American hardwoods in over 50 export markets.

From Washington, DC and six overseas offices, strategically located near key hardwood markets, AHEC conducts a worldwide promotion programme with activities in more than 35 countries. All programmes are run though the joint efforts of the U.S. hardwood industry and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to broaden the impact on, and outreach into international markets giving members the sharp competitive edge needed to meet the growing worldwide demand for American hardwood products.

AHEC Europe, established in London in 1988, serves Europe, providing promotional assistance and technical information on American hardwoods. AHEC recognises that no single hardwood company or association alone can promote its products intensively worldwide. Nor can it keep track of every critical international market trend and export opportunity and personally educate potential foreign buyers about U.S. hardwood products. But united in AHEC, they can.



Our Services

AHEC's members include the major U.S. hardwood exporting companies and associations, representing the full range of products from lumber, veneer, plywood, flooring and moulding to dimension materials.

Technical Information and Networking Assistance

AHEC U.S. Hardwood Exporter Brochure:  
The brochure lists all AHEC members, including complete contact information, information on species and product lines, type of production units and annual export sales.  20,000 brochures are distributed annually.   

Online AHEC Membership Database:
Complete contact and product line information for all AHEC members is catalogued in an online database, through which potential buyers can search for suppliers by region, species or product.  

Trade Leads: 
AHEC distributes all trade leads received through AHEC overseas offices by potential overseas buyers to all AHEC members.  

AHEC Publications:
AHEC produces a variety of technical publications, and makes them available in all major European and Asian languages.  Free of charge to AHEC members, these publications have proven invaluable to sales staff.  Publications cover hardwood species, hardwood products, hardwood grading, and a range of publications that target architects, designers and specifiers.

Market Reports:
Every month, AHEC members receive market reports from AHEC overseas directors.  Reports are based on the directors' 100+ trade servicing visits with timber traders, manufacturers, architects and designers, and provide cutting edge information on current market conditions and future opportunities, feedback from importers and end-users, and updates on the latest regional hardwood events.

Statistical Reports:
With access to resources like the World Trade Atlas, U.S. Census Bureau hardwood statistics and other statistical reports, AHEC overseas offices generate quarterly statistical reports, with specific import/export trade data available upon request.  

Events and Promotion

AHEC sponsors more than 20 seminars in 15 different countries per year.  Offering another significant networking opportunity to all AHEC members, the seminars are designed to give overseas importers, specifiers and end users an increased understanding of the U.S. hardwood resource, as well as technical information of grading, characteristics and applications of the major U.S. hardwood species.  

AHEC's annual conventions in Greater China/Southeast Asia and Europe draw an average of 500 and 200 attendees respectively.  These provide unique opportunities to network with a large number of potential overseas buyers and learn about the latest market developments.

Trade Shows:  
AHEC participates in over 20 regional and national trade shows around the world, from events in Cairo, Vietnam and Dailan, PRC to more established shows throughout Europe, Korea, Japan, China and Mexico.  

U.S. Hardwood Pubic Relations Campaign:  
Reaching more than 28 million people in 24 countries, AHEC's worldwide public relations campaigns target overseas specifiers, consumers, and importers, promoting U.S. hardwoods and hardwood products.  In a given year, more than 750 AHEC advertisements, press releases and feature articles are published in newspapers, magazines and trade journals worldwide.  

Strategic Planning Committees (SPC):  
All AHEC members have the opportunity to sit on AHEC's regional SPCs and have direct input into the marketing strategies and overall strategic plans of all AHEC programs.  Coordinated by Washington, DC staff and overseas directors, the SPCs convene during AHEC's annual meeting and strategise throughout the year as necessary.

Interested in becoming a member? Contact our Washington office.



Directors and consultants

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  • Mike Snow

    Mike Snow

    Executive Director

    Michael S. Snow has been the Executive Director of the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) since 1999.

  • David Venables

    David Venables

    European Director

    David Venables, has a specialised background in hardwood, with a BSc in Timber Technology and more than 20 years experience in the international marketing of hardwood products.

  • Roderick Wiles

    Roderick Wiles

    Director - Africa, Middle East, India, Oceania

    Roderick has been associated with AHEC since 1999. His is currently responsible for overseeing AHEC's programmes in Africa, the Middle East, India and Australasia from his base in Singapore.

  • Rupert Oliver

    Rupert Oliver

    Consultant to AHEC for Sustainability Issues

    Rupert Oliver is an internationally recognised independent authority with 20 years experience on environmental issues related to the timber trade and forest management.

  • Dana Spessert

    Dana Spessert

    Consultant to AHEC for Lumber Grading

    Dana Spessert has served as the Chief Inspector of the NHLA since 2010. He has presented the NHLA hardwood lumber inspection rules to thousands of lumber traders, architects, manufacturers and other hardwood related attendees around the globe. 

  • John Chan

    John Chan

    Director: Southeast Asia & Greater China Office

    Mr. John Chan joined the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) as Director of its Southeast Asia and Greater China Office when the regional office was established in Hong Kong in 1992.

  • Sharon Shek

    Sharon Shek

    Assistant Director of Compliance & Operation, Southeast Asia & Greater China Office

    Sharon Shek joined the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) in 2003.

  • Criswell Davis

    Criswell Davis

    A well-known international speaker, Criswell is based in Ohio and regularly travels the world speaking directly to architects and designers about US hardwoods. He is currently acting as a US hardwood adviser for several international hotel projects.