Becky Newton (253) 983-7738 • Fax (253) 983-7895 •
Economic Development Manager

(From left to right: Bill McGovern, Joe Nealon, Mike Betz, Dave Betz, Dan Spriestersbach)

Adapting in a Volatile Marketplace

Mr. Joe Nealon, President of Pacific Western Lumber (PacWest) has dedicated 41 years to the timber and lumber business. He started PacWest 26 years ago right here in Lakewood along with Bill McGovern, Dan Spriestersbach and Dave Betz.

The company is a broker/wholesaler of lumber products and exclusive provider of “Woodguard” a boric acid treated plastic coated lumber mainly used for horse fencing/residential guaranteed applications and playground equipment. Only about 10% of their products are sold here and the rest is sold outside the state, making them a primary business that brings in new money to the economy. PacWest’s primary focus is on U.S. sales however, they also sell to Canada and Mexico. Pacwest also has a branch sales office in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

The lumber business itself has been quite volatile. Mr. Nealon sees an eroding supply chain and that is of concern. Most of this he feels has to do with public policy allowing materials and processes required to produce these products. The industry has seen increasing raw materials costs while lumber product prices have been in decline. This has been going on for several years creating an industry in disarray with little hope for a turnaround any time soon.