Jennifer Alger

a headshot of Jennifer AlgerJennifer is CEO of Far West Forest Products, a family owned and operated company specializing in hard to find, wide wood slabs of urban, salvaged, and reclaimed lumber near Sacramento California. Jennifer has worked alongside her father and brothers who are licensed timber operators and tree service contractors for most of her life and for the past 16 years has been dedicated to the success of the Wood-Mizer and lumber marketing aspect of the family business. She helps people find the Wood-Mizer or Timbery sawmill and saw blade that is best suited for their needs, and provides parts and technical service support. She actively promotes California and other west coast hardwoods, and under-utilized species of urban logs for lumber. She has a goal of helping to develop a strong commercial market for lumber milled by small owner operator sawmills, especially in the realm of urban, reclaimed, and salvaged materials. Working with local urban sawyers, she helps them to market their wood and assists them is selling their product on consignment allowing them to spend more time doing what they do best – sawing lumber. She is very passionate about the urban wood movement and is a proponent of a market driven solution as opposed to legislative action to handle our urban forests and reduce the amount of material going to landfills.

Georg Kast

a headshot of George KastGeorg is a Registered Professional Engineer and is currently on permanent staff at the Palomar College Cabinet & Furniture Technology (CFT) Program as an Instructional Support Assistant. In this capacity, he supports the CFT instructors and more than 1000 students annually in the achievement of the 6 separate CFT Degree A.S Degrees.

Included in his responsibilities is the operation and maintenance of the College’s Sawmill operations which currently include 2 Wood-Mizer sawmills, other portable sawmills, a 1000BF Wood-Mizer Vacuum Kiln and a Wood-Mizer/Nyle 2500BF dehumidifying kiln.

Prior to working at Palomar College, Georg was an engineer in the nuclear industry most recently working at Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Georg has a B.S. degree in Geological Engineering from the University of Utah, a Project Management Certificate from UC Irvine and 6 Associate Degrees in woodworking disciplines from Palomar College.

Andy Trotter

a headshot of Andy Trotter Andy works for West Coast Arborists a municipal tree care company who serves over 200 communities in California. He has been with WCA for 35 years and is a certified arborist and utility specialist. Active in the tree care industry he is past president of Street Tree Seminar in Southern California and the California Urban Forests Council. As vice president for West Coast Arborists he is responsible for the field operations, recycling, safety and training programs and nursery operations. His interest in wood working started with high school classes and continued when he saw opportunities as an arborist to recover lumber from tree removals with an Alaskan Sawmill which he made into furniture at a friend’s wood shop. He encouraged his company to invest in a Wood-Mizer portable mill in the mid 90’s. Today West Coast has 3 sawmills and 2 dry kilns with 6 employees in their urban wood program. As WCA continues to grow he has found opportunities as trees have to be removed to work with communities to return the urban wood back into products for use in communities.

Sean O’Brien

placeholder imageSean O’Brien is the proud owner of Pacific Coast Lumber (PCL). He purchased PCL in December 2015 from Don Seawater, a true pioneer in the Urban Forest milling business. Seawater started PCL in 1996 with the vision of using this wonderful and diverse biomass local resource to its best and highest use. Mr O’Brien is devoted to carrying on this mission by expanding the PCL marketspace and educate San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties on the ecological benefits of keeping our urban forest lumber available for use.

Prior to purchasing PCL, Mr O’Brien was a software engineer and software manager for 25 years in San Luis Obispo after graduating from Cal Poly in 1991. His wife Dana O’Brien had worked for the San Luis Obispo County Assessor’s office for 23 years and felt a calling to leave government and pursue her passion for gardening and ecology. The O’Brien’s founded a small business called, A Place to Grow (APG) in 2011. They began reclaiming old doors, windows, wood and metal elements from construction waste as the basis for building beautiful functionally artistic outdoor lifestyle structures (such as greenhouses, meditation studios, art studios etc) which forged the way for the current She Shed trend. The PCL mill is located about 100 yards away from the APG shop and when Mr Seawater decided to retire he suggested the O’Briens buy his mill.

After some appreciable due diligence, they took the leap of faith and made the purchase of PCL. Now the O’Briens are keeping construction waste from our landfills as well as making the best use of urban forested lumber and sequestering the carbons at the same time keeping useful and valuable lumber from the landfills or being used as firewood.

Providing a unique high quality urban forest lumber material to woodworkers, both professional and weekend warriors, is a thrill to Mr O’Brien and he could not be happier with his career change!