Give It Up for the
WOOD 100

By Rich Christianson


It's that time of the year again, the time when we accelerate our search for the North American industry's most successful, fastest-growing woodworking companies to be featured in Wood & Wood Products WOOD 100.

The 12th Annual WOOD 100 will be published in the September issue of Wood & Wood Products and be prominently featured in perpetuity on Industrial Strength Woodworking - (As a matter of fact, WOOD 100 Reports from

1996 to 2000

 are archived on ISWonline.)

Since the WOOD 100 was established in 1990, the business achievements of more than 330 companies have been recognized in this exclusive annual report of fast-growing firms. Most of them have been ranked and profiled in the WOOD 100 on multiple occasions.

Why Do They Do It?
The WOOD 100 is a unique report that pays homage to a wide array of manufacturing categories and an extreme range of company sizes. For example, last year's WOOD 100 Report, for example, included manufacturers of custom and stock cabinetry, solid surface countertops, home and office furniture, architectural woodworking, store fixtures, wood components, closet systems, picture frames and more. Companies ranged in size from D&L Custom Interiors, which posted sales of $110,000 in 1998, to Masterbrand Cabinets, $495 million in 1998 sales.

Each year, many people who apply for the WOOD 100 are left out because they decline to divulge their company's annual sales figures. What's more, they generally can't understand why so many of their peers are less guarded about their numbers.

Some of the reasons companies seek inclusion in the WOOD 100 are revealed in a survey sent out to the 2000 WOOD 100 class. Here's a sampling of their responses:

* "The WOOD 100 is good, positive exposure for our company. We will promote it in our literature kits and on our Web site." - Kevin Voit, Elipticon Wood Products (No. 35)

* "Our employees are excited and pleased to share in this recognition. Our customers appreciate our success and feel comfortable with this validation of their decision to do business with us." - Kim Farley, Dave's Artisan Woodcrafters (No. 46)

* "Being in the WOOD 100 is something tangible my customers can pick up and see that I'll be around for a long while." - Michael Beasley, American Regional Woodworks (No. 44)

* "The WOOD 100 raised one vendor's opinion of our potential which led to more favorable terms on a new purchase." - Al Kommel, Craig Frames Inc. (No. 26)

* "We wanted to see how we compared with our peers as well as share our experience. As a result, most employees feel they are working for a company that tries to stay on the leading edge and continues to grow." - Ed Barbosa, Barbosa Cabinets (No. 27)

* "(The WOOD 100) gives our company a more professional and impressive appearance for showing to potential clients." - Derek Centorbi, Centorbi Custom Cabinetry Inc. (No. 58)

* We use it as a recruitment tool to attract candidates. It shows them that we are a growing company with stable employment. - Allan Wainwright, A&K Millwork Ltd. (No. 14)

Sign Up Today
A qualification form is available on Industrial Strength Woodworking.

The return deadline for qualification forms is Monday, August 6.

Ergo Victory Does Not Free Manufacturers of Responsibility
"Although federal regulations that would have required nearly all employers to implement detailed ergonomics programs and subjected them to fines and penalties for violations recently were repealed by President Bush, that doesn't mean that employers in the furniture manufacturing industry can afford to forget all about ergonomics."

So begins a brochure promoting a pair of "Ergonomic Practical Solutions Workshops" held at the tail end of last month by the American Furniture Manufacturers Assn. The programs were brought to my attention by AFMA Executive Vice President Doug Brackett, in response to the April Editor's Page in which I noted the AFMA's cancellation of four one-day "Ergonomic Preparation Workshops."

"Yes, it's true we canceled the scheduled workshops because they were targeted to meet the ill-conceived proposals issued under the Clinton Administration," Brackett wrote. "As the enclosed brochure indicates, we have not walked away from the ergonomics issue in any way. We have simply changed focus in view of the changes resulting from canceling the proposed standard.

"Ergonomics will continue to be a focus for the AFMA and more other responsible industries. I would appreciate your correcting the erroneous impression that we no longer believe ergonomics education is a priority."

I think that should do it.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.