Thom L. Labrie, the president of Auburn Enterprises LLC, is a Maine native who has spent over thirty years dedicated to developing practical solutions for generating more yield and value from every tree harvested for the wood products manufacturing industry. Since 1995 his primary focus has been on developing efficient technologies, systems and methods for converting recoverable under-utilized and waste stream wood into a wide range of value added solid wood products. His “Maine Made & Green” ™ initiative was created to connect Maine’s wood products industry to rapidly emerging opportunities in the Green marketplace. He has worked diligently to encourage sawmills, wood product manufacturers, new and recycled pallet operations, construction and deconstruction companies, recyclers and others handling recoverable wood to work towards facilitating wood Recovery and Value Adding (RVA) enterprises.
Mr. Labrie has developed a variety of cutting edge technologies for converting random size and shaped offal material into clean and uniform components prepared to be efficiently transitioned into a wide range of value added products. He has designed and prototyped many different types of wood products manufactured from various sources of pre and post consumer waste stream wood. His award winning Yield Pro wood recovery machine demonstrated the simplicity of converting used pallet boards with embedded nails into clean and uniform component stock and lead based paint coated wood into clean lumber prepared to be converted into any number of recovered wood products. The wood recovery and value adding equipment he has developed is in operation from California west to Russia, and from Canada south to Chile. Mr. Labrie is both a patent holder and a recipient of numerous awards, recognitions and research grants from federal and state agencies, industry trade associations and private foundations, relative to his work for facilitating more economic and environmentally responsible utilization and management of our timber resources.
His “Agent of Change” approach assists companies to recognize the “Innovation” and “Green Market” opportunities that they are strategically positioned to capitalize on. His broad based and hands on experience in all facets of the recovery and value adding to under-utilized and waste stream wood places him in a unique position to design and implement practical solutions for challenging wood recovery opportunities. His latest technology development project has generated the design for a cutting edge portable wood recovery system for converting timber victimized by forest fires, hurricanes and tornadoes, pest infestations, floods and other natural disasters into saleable products. This technology has been created to act as a strategic stepping stone for simplifying the process of efficiently transitioning recoverable victimized timber into the raw material supply chain for the wood products manufacturing industry. Its development is key to facilitating his vision of having the forest products industry create a wood Recovery and Value Adding (RVA) division. He sees this new sector as being a dynamic, pro-active and growth oriented opportunity to create a wide range of low to high skilled manufacturing sector and green collar jobs, an opportunity to reduce harvesting pressures on healthy and CO² sequestering timber stands, and a responsible approach for managing the sustainability of a vital natural resource.
He has been a member of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Smart Production Committee, the Massachusetts DEP Construction and Demolition Debris subcommittee, and has co-chaired the Maine Governors Business Advisory Council. He has published over fifty articles and has made dozens of educational presentations to Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, universities, educational institutions and trade associations. Auburn Enterprises LLC set up the first comprehensive wood Recovery & Value Adding (RVA) program in the country, which includes a proprietary process for converting lead paint coated wood into value added products instead of hazardous waste landfill.