It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we advise that our friend and colleague, Gerry Van Leeuwen, passed away on July 3 at the age of 66. Gerry joined WOOD MARKETS in 1998 and was a key part of the growth and success of WOOD MARKETS following his 25-year career in the sawmilling business with Interfor (Vancouver, BC).
Gerry had a passion for learning and understanding the major trends and developments in the global forest industry and was always keen to travel to see a new area of the world. He applied his many personal attributes and business skills to the wide variety of work that he conducted for many clients.
Anyone who spent time with Gerry got to hear about his wide breadth of knowledge and global perspectives from his many travels overseas. WOOD MARKETS’ largest consulting projects were located in South Africa, Australia, China and Russia and Gerry was the key person in these strategic assignments. He was particularly intrigued by Russia and conducted over 30 WOOD MARKETS’ consulting projects and tours – requiring extensive travels inside Russia. Gerry became one of the world’s leading experts on Siberia in terms of the status and trends in the forest industry, log processing and export potential. He also had expertise in the overall global sawmilling business and major markets. His insights and industry knowledge yielded a unique perspective on a wide range of international topics. Gerry’s ongoing contributions were invaluable, and he produced, and/or contributed to, a wide range of strategic client projects and WOOD MARKETS reports during his tenure.
Gerry was always welcoming, easy to talk to, and presented a positive outlook. He handled himself with grace and commanded great respect from those who knew him. Gerry quietly battled cancer for the last 18 months and stayed connected to the WOOD MARKETS team and all of the latest industry developments until the last few weeks. He will be missed by his own family, as well as the WOOD MARKETS family.
A Celebration of Gerry’s Life is planned by his family for late August in Vancouver. The date and venue will be posted on our website soon.
A more detailed profile of Gerry’s wood products industry career and a sampling of some of his main accomplishments can be viewed HERE.