The all-new Custom Woodworking Conference will be anchored by a half-day strategic planning session focused on how to grow a custom woodworking business with an eye on cashing in.

The program is scheduled for the morning of Thursday, March 19. It will shine a spotlight on how custom woodworkers can start building equity in their business today with an ultimate sale or succession in mind. The conference, specially formulated for custom woodworking business owners, is organized by the Cabinet Makers Assn. and Custom Woodworking Business magazine. It is being co-located with the fifth annual Closets & Home Organization Conference & Expo at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center.

Learn from the Experts

Among the speakers is a pair of professional woodworkers featured separately in the pages of CWB. Each has first-hand experience of operating and selling manufacturing companies.

The opening speaker is Richard Oedel, Fine Furniture Master based in Boston, who was profiled in the November 2008 issue. He will present, “Managing Growth & Building Equity in Your Custom Woodworking Business.” Oedel’s presentation will detail the skills necessary to handle the growth and management of a company effectively and how to plan for the future, especially in the current challenging economic climate.

The other speaker is Jeff Ebel, president of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Architectural Woodwork Institute, who authored a two-part series on “Selling Your Business” in the May and June 2008 issues of CWB.

Ebel’s topic, “Passing the Torch: Selling Your Business,” will investigate ways to minimize the pain and surprises when selling a business. This includes planning an exit strategy, creating a buy/sell agreement and valuing a business.

Sandwiched between these two presentations is “The Power of Branding,” by Dave Grulke, president of Big Dave’s Service.

The two-day Custom Woodworking Conference, which runs March 19-20, will also include sessions on product pricing, wood finishing, marketing and more.

The Closets Expo, March 19-20 will feature approximately 20,000 net square feet of woodworking machinery, hardware and components. Included is a Cabinet Product Pavilion and three other specialty products pavilions.

Bring a Friend & Save

Huge savings are in store for companies sending multiple representatives to the fifth annual Closets & Home Organization Conference or Custom Woodworking Conference.

Companies registering multiple representatives for the Closets Conference, March 18-20, can save $250 for each employee registered subsequent to the first full-priced attendee. Similarly, companies registering multiple employees for the all-new Custom Woodworking Conference, March 19-20, stand to save $150 for each additional sign up.

The deadline for this super-saver offer is March 4. Learn more at, including:

• Multiple discount options for full and partial conference registration

• Full schedules, conference presentation summaries and speaker biographies

• Updated Closets Expo exhibitor list

• Hotel reservation information

• Video highlighting 2008 Closets Conference & Expo

The Custom Woodworking and Closets conferences feature a faculty of experts in their field.

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