McManus Timber Co. of Winnfield, La. is the 2020 Timber Harvesting Logging Business of the Year, named by Timber Harvesting magazine in its September-October 2020 issue. McManus Timber Co. is the 23rd logging operation to win this prestigious national award, which began in 1998, and the first logging company from Louisiana. The award honors contractors who operate top-notch logging companies in the woods, make an impact in their communities and work to build a better forest products industry.
Owners Tony and Liz McManus have been leaders in the Winnfield community their entire lives, and McManus Timber has been one of the largest employers in Winn Parish over the years—with 30 currently on the payroll. The McManuses say one of the keys to their success over the years is the combined work ethic among the four family members—Tony and Liz, and their daughter Toni and her husband Josh McAllister. Toni broke it down for Timber Harvesting like this, “For everything to work right with McManus Timber Co., I am more concerned about my families and taking care of them and them being happy on the jobs, being appreciated and respected. Josh is straightforward, this is how the job works; my dad brings another element. It’s a perfect balance. Unlike where it is just one person’s business, it’s a like a family, so we all feel like we’re family.”
The company operates three logging crews and runs 11 log hauling trucks. Many employees have been with the McManuses for years, including a saw man with 37 years on the job and the trucking foreman with 25. Working primarily with Weyerhaeuser, the crews plan ahead for typically wet winter work, and all operations are fully compliant with state and federal environmental regulations.
A big part of the Timber Harvesting Logging Business of the Year Award is loggers who take the time to give back to the industry and work to create better relationships among the industry, landowners and the public. Politically active, the McManus family has long served the logging community in Louisiana: Tony McManus helped start the Louisiana Loggers Self-Insured Fund 25 years ago, and remains active today, serving as Vice Chair; while daughter Toni is the Executive Director of the Louisiana Loggers Association. Josh McAllister is President of the LLA’s PAC, and serves as the Police Jury President for Winn Parish.
For the McManuses, focusing on family first has led to success in the woods, leadership roles in the community and a better working environment for all Louisiana loggers.
Founded in 1952, Timber Harvesting is America’s only national logging magazine. Timber Harvesting is part of Hatton-Brown Publishers, the forest products industry’s leading publishing, media and event company.
COVER STORY – 2020 Timber Harvesting Logging Business of the Year–
WINNFIELD, La. – In 1983, Tony and Liz McManus, alongside Tony’s father, borrowed $35,000 and started a logging job with just their family and one other – a log cutter who ran the chain saw, Robert Nichols, whose son ultimately became one of McManus’ best friends. The families have remained close to this day because that’s the kind of guy McManus, 62, is: He hires you in 1983 and remains your life-long friend. He doesn’t see employees as anything other than family. He says part of that is because when he first started the company, he ran the job himself and really didn’t have any help – it was just Tony and Liz. “We had to depend on each other,” McManus says of the early years. “I’m so thankful to her.” It was just family, so once McManus Timber got big enough to add on, those employees became the McManus Timber family.