Besse Forest Product Group has been 100% family owned since its inception in 1966. It’s through these family values that the company has grown from twelve employees to providing employment for hundreds of individuals in the United States. Now Besse Forest Products Group is a leading manufacturer of high quality Northern hardwood veneer, lumber, and specialty plywood for cabinets, doors, flooring, furniture, industrial pallets, millwork, musical instruments, railroad ties, sporting goods, wall panels, windows, and other wood products used worldwide.

Besse Forest Products Group Companies are built on the foundation of John Besse’s 60+ years of experience in the wood products manufacturing business. Greg Besse, President/CEO/Owner, is dedicated to building on his father’s foundation as he leads the Company into the 21st Century. Cain Besse joined the family business to prepare to lead the company forward.

John Besse begins production at Northern Michigan Veneers, Inc. with twelve employees.
Greg Besse joins Besse Forest Products Group full time and continues to expand the global reach.
The John and Melissa Besse Foundation is inaugurated.
Cain Besse joins the Besse team and continues the family tradition of excellence.

1966

1983

2005

2013

• 1966

John Besse begins production at Northern Michigan Veneers, Inc. with twelve employees. NMV is veneer splicing plant located in Gladstone, MI

• 1979

Sales expand internationally to Asian markets

• 1997

Baraga Lumber Division is acquired. BLD is a hardwood sawmill located in Baraga, MI

• 1983

Greg Besse joins the family business after graduating from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor of Science in Wood & Fiber Utilization

• 1988

Wisconsin Veneer & Plywood is acquired. WVP is a rotary veneer mill, plywood manufacturer, and hardwood sawmill located in Mattoon, WI

• 1995

Besse Forest Products Group sells first FSC® certified products

• 1996

Birchwood Manufacturing Company is acquired. BMC is a rotary veneer mill located in Rice Lake, WI

• 2000

Goodman Veneer & Lumber Company is acquired. GVL is a rotary veneer mill, hardwood sawmill, and hardwood lumber drying concentration yard located in Goodman, WI

• 2001

Birchwood Manufacturing Company is 100% rebuilt to modernize production

Besse Lumber Company is acquired. BLC is a hardwood sawmill located in Ladysmith, WI

• 2005

Wisconsin Veneer & Plywood, Inc. receives major production renovation The John and Melissa Besse Foundation is inaugurated

• 2013

The sawmill at Goodman Veneer & Lumber Company is expanded

Cain Besse joins the family business after graduating with a Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola University Chicago, and Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in Finance and Economics from Northern Michigan University

In 1966, John D. Besse left the security and comfort of an executive position and took a bold risk to follow one of his life’s passions. He formed a veneer-splicing business with his wife, Melissa Besse. Together they built a remarkable enterprise known as Besse Forest Products Group. The business grew to a level of success that allowed the Besses to follow another life passion: philanthropic outreach. John and Melissa wanted to make meaningful contributions that would result in positive differences in peoples’ lives.

John Besse once stated, “Melissa and I feel fortunate that we had opportunities to give back to the communities in which we live and work.” Building from this conviction, the couple established the John and Melissa Besse Foundation in the year 2005. This multimillion dollar foundation serves to promote their charitable mission and carry on their philanthropy even after their time.

Melissa Besse passed away in 2011, followed by John in 2013. Their children and grandchildren continue their charitable work through the Foundation. Greg Besse now serves as the President of the Foundation and upholds the integrity of his parent’s legacy.