Opportunities to share information and learn from each other are among the key benefits for CMA members.

Tours of member shops are a popular activity for CMA members. While many such events are held in conjunction with major tradeshows, this photo shows a smaller regional event hosted by the Chicago-area company Exclusive Woodworking. CMA member Joe Knobbe, (pointing), a project manager for the company, recently took a group through his Chicago-area manufacturing facility and showroom.

One of the greatest benefits to Cabinet Makers Assn. member companies is the information and camaraderie gleaned from networking and education opportunities provided by the association. Every year, CMA offers numerous venues for members to gather and share information. In person, there are roundtable meetings at regional and national tradeshows, as well as smaller regional events that include visits to member showrooms, plant tours and networking dinners that are well attended and popular.

Members also exchange information and engage in mutual problem-solving via the active online members-only forum on the association’s Web site, www.cabinetmakers.org. The site has been updated with a clean, contemporary look and easy-to-navigate pages. Every day, members “meet” online and garner valuable advice and tips about running their businesses more effectively.

Most recently, the CMA initiated a live chatroom feature to its Web site, which quickly took off. Usually in the evening, members rendezvous via their computers for lively real-time discussions on hot topics, obtaining quick feedback about daily challenges or bantering about lighthearted news.

The Web site also has a complete member listing and a “find a supplier” feature for consumers, to direct them to a CMA member shop in their area. Overall, the Web site is a key component of CMA membership, garnering roughly a quarter million hits and more than 8,000 page views each week.

Another benefit — members receive free copies of Profiles magazine, a quarterly publication that features association news, discussions of new member programs and what is happening in the industry-at-large. There also are case histories about successful cabinet shops and management tips.

For a complete listing of upcoming member events and a description of benefits, visit the association’s Web site, www.cabinetmakers.org.

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