FSC audits SJ Morse’s supply chain from forest to final product, providing the company’s customers with confidence the wood is responsibly harvested and managed. “Due to the demand that the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification initiative has created, my percentage of certified wood products sales has increased,” said Morse. “And I’m sharing my knowledge of the expanding environmental opportunities with others new to green building.”  

Our Role

His growing business led Steve to NCIF, which had established itself as a lender to secondary forest products in West Virginia. Two loans from NCIF in 2008 helped the company purchase energy efficient HVAC and air compressor systems and add cutting and handling equipment to increase overall plant efficiency. Over the past five years, NCIF has also provided a range of technical assistance, including an energy assessment, helping the company transition to a new accounting system and, as Steve contemplates retirement, help to structure a succession plan to sell the company to his employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. 

Why This Project Matters

In 2015, SJ Morse sold more than 112,000 square feet of FSC-certified veneer panels, enough to cover two football fields, providing an important outlet for sustainable forestry operations across the state. His commitment to transferring ownership of SJ Morse to his employees means that the company will continue to build local wealth, provide well-paying jobs and generate needed economic development activity in this small community. 

“NCIF has been such an important partner for SJ Morse as we’ve grown our company.  They supported our expansion with capital when we needed it, but just as important has been the technical assistance NCIF offers.” – Steve Morse, Founder