SBCA Staff Spotlight: Jess Lohse

Framing News, Industry News,

Originally Published by: SBCA Magazine — June 11, 2024
SBCA appreciates your input; please email us if you have any comments or corrections to this article.

Jess Lohse

Jess Lohse is SBCA’s Executive Director and has been in this role since 2020. Known for his great leadership, abundant industry knowledge, tenacity, collaborative and strategic approach, and support to this industry and SBCA, Jess is integral to the association. As executive director, Jess spends a lot of his time connecting with people in the industry, sharing and acting as the voice of the benefits of structural building components, and ensuring that the association is aligning with its strategic plan, mission, and purpose.  

Having grown up in the industry with his dad and family, Jess’s experience with components is extensive. His family owned a lumberyard and also built trusses; he was always fascinated by the machinery and cutting. Jess watched his dad design trusses over the years, from using a calculator and some notes to designing on the computer. Jess started young in the lumberyard, eventually working his way up over the years from sorting plates to delivery to forklift operations to working in construction and at the lumberyard with his grandfather.  

While in college, Jess used his free time to learn how to design trusses and also took designer classes. His dad would send him plans and he would create drawings for him from afar. Learning this added to his love of construction. After completing graduate school, with drive and entrepreneurial hunger, Jess started his own business. He created a business plan, secured financing, found land, and subsequently started Rocky Mountain Truss with his dad in 2006, in Stevensville, MT. With the downturn occurring just a couple years later, they made the decision to relocate the company from Stevensville to Havre, MT, and later closed up shop.  

During the time of Rocky Mountain Truss, Jess became involved with SBCA and has been involved with SBCA for about 16 years; he also started the first SBCA Montana chapter, where he served as president. He grew in the association, learning at every meeting and creating connections across the industry. Eventually, he served as SBCA President in 2015, the Montana Chapter representative to the SBCA Board and as an executive committee member, in addition to chairing Marketing committee and serving on numerous other committees including BCMC. In 2018, Jess was honored with the SBCA Hall of Fame award and in 2016, Jess received the SBCA Industry Leadership Award. 

There are many things that Jess looks forward to with SBCA, including BCMC and the association’s continued work on its strategic plan. Jess is a critical part to ensuring that SBCA is moving in the right direction and staying aligned with its plan, all in an effort to benefit CMs, framers, and suppliers within our industry, and get the word of SBCA and the benefits of structural building components out there. Jess is impressed with the number of projects SBCA works on, including its work with the Innovative Housing Showcase, Framing the American Dream, and the new Learning Management System; “We have some really smart people in the right spots to drive these forward,” says Jess. “There is a lot to be excited about in the near-term and the long-term. The future is bright, and we are driving this industry and the awareness of it along in interesting, innovative, and collaborative ways.”  

“Jess has contributed significantly to the association's growth and played a key role in our transition to self-management. This started with recruiting and hiring highly skilled team members and empowering them, says Jeff Taake, SBCA President and VP of Manufacturing and Commercial Sales, Regional Manager, with Mead Lumber. “We are excited about Jess's future contributions to the industry and the association, and we anticipate continued growth due to his leadership and the efforts of his excellent staff.” 

”I've known Jess since he got involved with SBCA as a component manufacturer and it was pretty clear from day one that he was going to make a big impact on our association,” says Molly Butz, SBCA Managing Director. “Little did I know he would quickly become the youngest President SBCA has ever elected or that he would eventually be our Executive Director. Jess brings so much diverse experience to the table, and it's been a great pleasure to work along side him. He challenges the status quo and he pushes us as an industry to think bigger and better each and every day. I am personally thankful for the learning and growth I've experienced working with him and I am grateful for the ongoing expertise and judgment he leads with daily.” 

Jess earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Information Systems and Finance Management and his MBA from the University of Montana. Jess, his wife, Elizabeth, and son Judge, reside in Havre, MT, where Jess volunteers as a coach for Judge’s little league team. Outside of work, Jess is an avid DIY-er, always working on something around the house and is planning an addition to his family’s home next year. You can often find Jess coaching his son’s baseball team, grilling, or making bratwurst with his dad, aunt, uncle, and grandfather. Jess loves basketball and in college wanted to pursue a career as a college basketball coach. Jess can be reached at