In January, Marks Lumber was honored with the Small Business of the Year Award at the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Luncheon. Awards were given based on company culture, participation in the Helena community and accomplishments throughout the previous year. Other winners included Opportunity Bank of Montana as Business of the Year, Valley Bank of Helena President and CEO Rosslyn Duncan as businessperson of the year and Arlene Flynn as volunteer of the year.
In front of the greater Helena business community, Owner Steve Marks accepted the award.
"This is an amazing culmination of a year of awards for us," Steve said, as reported by the Independent Record. "I'd like to thank my staff more than anything. We have 24 amazing employees."
In 2021, Marks Lumber also received the Governor’s Inaugural Forest Products Award, the Montana Wood Products Association’s Communicator of the Year Award, and the Montana Tree Farm System’s Logger of the Year Award.
For this award, Marks Lumber stood out due to its advocacy for the timber products industry, Montana businesses, and responsible forest management and fire mitigation.
Owners and operators Steve and Laura Marks are proud to carry on more than 75 years of Marks family tradition manufacturing lumber products. Since 1988, Steve and Laura have continually operated and evolved Marks Lumber, creating a successful and innovative small business that has persevered through difficult and volatile times in the industry. With this success, Marks Lumber has taken every opportunity to improve its sustainable forestry practices, give back to the Helena community and provide a better quality of life for its employees.
Sustainable Forestry Practices
Marks Lumber reduces its waste by using the whole log, turning waste wood into marketable products like Engineered Wood Fiber (EWF) and bio-fuels used to fuel boilers and dryers at industrial facilities. In addition, Marks applies modern forestry’s Best Management Practices and buys logs exclusively harvested in an ecologically sound fashion. In 2020, Marks also introduced an ongoing multi-media project, advocating for proper forest management and demonstrating how the timber products industry can help create lasting, healthy, multi-use forests.
Community Involvement and Giving
Marks is active in many noteworthy organizations and continuously seeks opportunities to help the community, partnering with local food shares and volunteering to help build park infrastructure for the City.
Along with that, in March of 2020, Marks Lumber entered into an essential public-private partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC). This project provides necessary reclamation work and fire mitigation to the Brooklyn Bridge area, a wildland-urban interface located just south of Helena.
A High-Quality Employer
Marks also works to provide a high quality of life for the company’s employees. Improvements to our manufacturing process allow us to provide competitive wages that are measured against both industry averages and the national median income. Additionally, the Marks management team strives to provide job satisfaction and opportunities for personal development, continually looking for new ways to lead, motivate, and encourage employee growth.
Marks Lumber is a true example of an organization that provides benefits to the Montana economy and our communities. While making specialty wood products is our business, we strive to contribute to our state, friends, families, and neighbors by providing beautiful products, quality jobs, and improved forest health and wildlife habitat.
Many thanks to the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce for recognizing us for this award!