The Lumberman of the Year award for 2018 has been posthumously awarded to Ted Freres, former president of plywood and veneer manufacturer Freres Lumber Co.
Freres, who died last year of pancreatic cancer at 68, is credited with buying the company’s first computer, eventually leading to the advanced computer-controlled manufacturing technologies employed by Freres Lumber today.
“He was visionary, always open to new ideas, always looking for the next innovation. He enjoyed people, had a tactful way of getting things done, and knew when to compromise in order to see his ideas become reality,” according to the Portland Wholesale Lumber Association, which recognized Freres with the award in December.
After graduating in 1973 with a business degree from Oregon State University, where he also studied forestry and mechanical engineering, Freres returned to the family’s lumber company and eventually became its fourth president in 1990.
Freres was the father of three sons with his wife of 45 years, Diane, and is remembered as a lifelong supporter of community organizations in his hometown of Stayton, Ore., and the surrounding Santiam Canyon area.