Michael Buckley, the first non-American recipient of “The Guy in the Glass” (Image credit: Michael Buckely)
Michael Buckley, a well-respected and accomplished figure in the global woodworking industry, has been selected to be The Guy in the Glass for 2019 in recognition of his achievements and contributions to the American hardwood industry. Buckley, who is from the UK, is the first non-American to receive this title.
Launched by Hardwood Market Report (HMR)’s owner Abe Lemsky in 1960, The Guy in the Glass is the equivalent of a “Who’s Who” of people in the hardwood industry distinguished by their personal character, commitment and achievements. According to HMR, its office hallway is lined with framed pictures of the honourees. Buckley is the 60th recipient.
On selecting Buckley, Judd Johnson, managing editor of HMR said, “Michael deserves gratitude from anyone who derives their livelihood from U.S. hardwoods. We all are beneficiaries of his efforts that helped build U.S. hardwood export markets from a small percent of total grade lumber markets (16 per cent in 1999) to more than half of all grade lumber markets (2017).”
Buckley is a renowned expert on the uses and market applications of hardwood species and products. Working internationally, he is an authority in the areas of hardwood market analysis and promotion, sustained yield forest management of hardwood industries in Europe, Asia and the USA, as well as tropical forest products.
On receiving this title, Buckley expressed his appreciation and his continuing intention to promote wood as the only sustainable and low carbon impact material available to man. “We have come a long way in understanding the importance of wood from natural forests and plantations,” he says “but there is still the job of passing this understanding to professionals and consumers. I have played a small role in this over the last 52 years, while enjoying meeting the hundreds of people that I have cooperated with internationally who work in wood.”
A great love for hardwood and the hardwood industry
His long list of accomplishments includes being the former European Director of the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) for 12 years. He has taken on major projects on behalf of national governments as his international consultancy assignments, as well as being accredited as an adviser to the Timber Committee of the UN/ECE in Geneva and was a member of the UN/ECE Team of Specialists on Forest Products Markets and Marketing for many years.
In recent years, Buckley took a keen interest in designing with timber, working with leading furniture designers and many architects. In 2003, on behalf of sponsors, he launched the annual Wood Awards, now the leading UK award scheme for wood in architecture and furniture. He was Chairman of the Judging Panel of the Wood Awards and was also involved with several national furniture design schemes around the world, particularly in Southeast Asia. He worked on the International Furniture Design Advisory Committee of the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) and was an advisor to its Environmental Committee.
Written by Szeto Hiu Yan