November-December 2015

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Page 12 of 47 PalletCentral • November-December 2015 13 ore than 40 years ago, a group of well- intentioned young men commissioned a coffee table be made to resemble a high- end wooden pallet. The table was to be a gift for an influential U.S. Senator credited with bringing new industry and jobs to impoverished West Virginia. As it turns out, the gift never made it to the lawmaker. A supervisor of the young men at a forest products marketing laboratory where they worked, discovered the table and squashed the plan. The table was destined for the office of the now late Senator Robert Byrd. That supervisor also directed an employee to take the one-of-a-kind gift out of the government-run office, and that is how the handsome table wound up with Hollis Large. Large, a recent college graduate in 1971 with an entrepreneurial spirit, was leaving the USDA Forest Service Facility in Princeton, West Virginia to embark on a pallet manufacturing career in north Alabama. Decades later, Large gave the table to his friend and business partner Jimmy Wilson, the founder and president of Bay Wood Products in southern Alabama. For a few years in the early 1970s, Large worked with the USDA Forestry Division in West Virginia. "I was placed in the pallet project division," he said. "Our focus and objective was Handmade Table Holds Historic Significance for U.S. Pallet Industry NATURE'S PACKAGING M (l-r) Jim Schwab, Pallet Logistics of America; Brent McClendon, NWPCA; Jimmy Wilson, Bay Wood Products, Inc.; Jim Taylor, Pensacola Skid & Pallet, Inc.; Robert Trexler, Pasadena Skid & Pallet, Inc.; Bob Wenner, Pallet Service Corporation; Hollis Large; Tommy Orr, WNC Pallet & Forest Products Co.; Tom Thrash, WNC Pallet & Forest Products Co.

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