Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) co-sponsors the 2nd Annual Custom Cabinet Conf. at
Closets Expo with CWB magazine. Above, a winning entry by Mark Welling, Ipswich (MA)
Cabinetry, in CMA’s 2010 competition. (Photo: Brian Vandenbrink Photography.). 

The Custom Cabinet Conference returns for its second year, co-located with the 7th Closets Conference & Expo, with dozens of exhibitors, all running Feb. 23-25, 2011 at the Charlotte, NC Convention Center. A free daily technology focused show-floor event, Wood Tech Summit, on integrated woodworking technology, debuts this year.

Co-sponsored by the Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) and Custom Woodworking Business, the Custom Cabinet Conference sessions on Feb. 24-25 leverage parallel concerns among closets firms — now called “home storage solutions specialists,” reflecting their services beyond the bedroom closet, such as pantries, crafts rooms, home offices and garages.

“We’re delighted to provide educational seminars and workshops through the CMA Speaker’s Bureau,” said Dave Grulke, executive director of the CMA. “Our member’s expertise and willingness to share will be exhibited in an informational and entertaining seminar and workshop series, and we’re bound to have some fun along the way.” Brand new this year is an accreditation program that sees all Custom Cabinet Conference seminars eligible for CMA Continuing Education Credits (CEU) at the rate of one CEU per classroom hour.

One- or two-day Custom Cabinet Conference registrants are also welcome to attend any Closets Conference events on those days, as well as the Closets Expo. (A three-day Closets Conference registration grants admission to all Custom Cabinet Conference sessions.) Details and registration are at

Thursday, Feb. 24
8:00 am - 9:15 am
Working with Designers & Architects

Presenter: Joe Knobbe Senior Project Manager, Exclusive Woodworking and President, Cabinet Makers Association
Finding the right members to collaborate within the design community can be daunting. This seminar will delve into identifying designers, and how to work with them once you find them.

9:30 am - 10:45 am
Moving from Residential to Commercial Woodwork
Presenter: Rick Thaler President, OGB Architectural Millwork
Transitioning from residential to commercial work is a common step in growing a woodworking business, a step many cabient shops have taken since the recession. But commercial work plays by different rules, with pitfalls residential cabinetmakers may not anticipate. This session will include a focus on marketing, submittals, project management, billing, installation

2:30 pm - 4:45 pm
The Art of Pricing Profitably
Presenter: Sean Benetin
, Founder and President, Millwork & More LLC
Understanding your expenses and how to price your work is the most critical, but most misunderstood aspect of almost every company in our industry. This in-depth seminar, which includes free pricing software and hands-on training, teaches everything you will need to understand how much your company costs to run, how to price work and how to make a profit on every single project you bid from now on. To get the most from the session, participants should compile some business expense information in advance and bring a laptop.
You will learn how to:
• Find hidden labor/overhead expenses
• Put asset depreciation into hourly rates
• Calculate Owner/Operator Value
• Find your “true” hourly rate
• Develop a profitable pricing program

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Peer2Peer Roundtable

Each roundtable will be facilitated by a member of the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals and the Cabinet Makers Association.
Table topics include:
• Maximizing Showroom Success
• Motivating Employees
• Advertising & Marketing Strategies
• Techology for Growth
• Discovering Niche Markets
•Working with Professional Partners
• What’s Your Problem?

Friday, Feb. 25
8:00 am - 9:15 am
Hiring, Firing, Motivating Employees
Presenter: Scott Boschetti
President, America’s Woodworker Inc.
Prepare yourself and your company for the complexities of managing employees. Creating and maintaining a winning team starts with good leadership, and a good leader is prepared to handle the obstacles they may face. learn about needed skills such as evaluating your firm’s workforce needs, effective interviewing, and selecting the best candidate. Create “Teachable Systems” to help your company grow. Give employees the information and tools they need to perform. Shape a management style and a work environment to keep employees motivated.

9:30 am - 10:45 am
Making Dollars & Sense from Ad Expenses
Presenter: Dave Grulke
Executive Director, Cabinet Makers Association
Learn the role of advertising, how it impacts sales, and about making the appropriate ad buys to drive profitable business. Traditional and modern media advertising will be covered.
You will learn:
• Where to advertise
• True costs of bringing in a sales lead
• Evaluating potential audiences
• Stretching ad budgets

Find out how more online, including how to register, at and at

  2011 Closets Conference Schedule
(Featuring the Custom Cabinet Conference & Wood Tech Summit) 

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Closets Conference
Welcome & Overview
Rich Christianson, CLOSETS magazine
Jeff Klein, ACSP President

9:00 am – 10:15 am: Keynote Address
Bill Fotsch, The Great Game of Business

10:30 am – 11:45 am: Reinventing Your
Closets Business in the New World
Jim Mathis, Jim Mathis & Associates

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm: Peer2Peer Lunch

1:45 pm – 3:00 pm: Breakout Sessions
A. Open Book Management
B. Lean Manufacturing
C. Small Business/Big Marketing
D. Showrooms and Sales Management

3:15 pm – 4:30 pm: Repeat sessions
5:00 pm – 7:30 pm: Top Shelf and Pioneer
Award Presentations & Industry Networking

8:00 am – 9:15 am: Breakout Session
A. Reinventing Your Closet Business
B. Business Dashboard/ Metrics Management
C. The Value of Outsourcing
D. 14 Steps of the Sale
• E. Working with Designers & Architects
• F. Moving from Residential to Commercial

• 9:30 am - 10:45 am: Breakout Sessions

10:00 am – 5:00 pm:
CLOSET EXPO Exhibit Hall Open
* 1:30 pm Wood Tech Summit - NexGen
• 2:30 pm - 4:45 pm: Pricing for Profits
• 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: Peer2Peer
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm: ACSP Reception

8:00 am – 9:15 am: Breakout Sessions
A. How to Leverage Content Creation

B. Principles of Effective Manufacturing
C. Becoming a Million-Dollar Salesperson
• D. Hiring, Firing, Motivating Employees
• E. Making Dollars & Sense from Ads–

• 9:00 am – 3:00 pm:
CLOSET EXPO Exhibit Hall Open
• 9:30 am – 10:45 am: Breakout Sessions

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Closing General
Laurel Didier – Market Research
Joe Knobbe – Closing Remarks
Jeff Klein – Closing Remarks
* 1:30 pm Wood Tech Summit — Software
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Industry Plant Tour

Free Panel Sessions: 1:30 pm daily on the
Wood Tech Summit stage at Closets Expo.

CLOSET EXPO Exhibitors*

20-20 Technologies Inc.
Advanced Storage Distribution
Amertop Inc.
Architectural Glass Effects
Association of Closet and Storage
Better Vacuum Cups
BHK of America
Capella Hardware Company
CCF Industries
CLOSETS Magazine
Columbia Forest Products
CompX Timberline
Decore-ative Specialties
Doug Mockett & Company, Inc.
Drawer Connection, Inc.
Eveready Hardware
Flakeboard Company Ltd.
Fulterer USA, Inc.
Funder America, Inc.
Garage Gator
Garage Vac

Gemini Coatings Inc.
Giles & Kendall
Grass America
H+H System, Inc.
JB Cutting Inc.
Jowat Corporation
KCD Software
Kustom Material Laminators
Murphy Bed International
Northern Contours
October Company, Inc.
C.R. Onsrud
Osborne Wood Products
Patrick Industries
Planit Solutions
Quinko Tech
Rev-A-Shelf Inc.
Roseburg Forest Products
Sidelines, Inc.
Stiles Machinery
Stor-X Organizing Systems
Tafisa Canada
U.S. Customized Finishes LLC
UNEEDA Enterprises
(*list current as of 12/21/2010)


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