Just as rubbing in oil or wax brings up the luster and grain in wood, burnishing your professional credentials helps raise your profile with customers, and raises the luster of our industry as well.

Burnishing its green credentials to a very high gloss is The Refinishing Touch, the Alpharetta, GA-based finishing firm that takes on massive room furnishing renovation projects (think Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas). Its 50-employee headquarters coordinates the activities of certified wood refinishing professionals around the country.

The Refinishing Touch just completed the first phase of a large-scale wall unit modification project at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA, the first Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) project to be carried out at the University. The Refinishing Touch used LEED-approved finishes on the project, working on-site with non-toxic, low-VOC lacquers.

Inventive Offerings
Particularly inventive offerings by The Refinishing Touch include TV armoire modification and remanufacture for reuse with widescreen television sets, and furniture refinishing with its patent-pending coatings that it says are odorless, non-toxic, inflammable, and 100 percent environmentally safe. The Refinishing Touch keeps a running total of its projects, now at 2.5 million rooms of furniture, which has saved the equivalent of 7.5 million trees from being sent to landfills.

Such positive public positioning for woodworking was also on view at last month’s green wood manufacturing conference, “Dollar’s and Sense of Going Green.” We heard Lange Bros. Woodwork marketing director Margaret Fisher present the case for hardwood products’ especially green role in “sequestering carbon.” In this view, trees pull CO2 from the air; then woodworkers help the environment by creating lasting furnishings that keep that carbon in use as wood, not air pollution. (Wood is about 50 percent carbon by weight.) Fisher is a highly motivating and a compelling presenter. Her public presentation spoke well of where the wood manufacturing industry is moving.

The Cabinet Makers Association’s February Custom Cabinet Conference in Charlotte was also a great place to learn, to see peers and to socialize, reports CMA executive director, Dave Grulke. And it was the inaugural scene for CMA’s Continuing Education Unit program. (The event, co-sponsored by Custom Woodworking Business, is held at Closets Expo.)

The very first CMA CEUs were awarded to attendees at the conference sessions there. And several dozen conference attendees took advantage of the offer. Those CEUs will apply towards certifications that CMA will be offering later this year. (CMA is at cabinetmakers.org)

Full details of the program will be announced at AWFS this July in Las Vegas, but the step toward certifying this educational effort, along with well-established and respected programs at AWI, BIFMA, NKBA and LEED, among other industry groups, will further enhance perceptions of the woodworking profession.

Custom Woodworking Business was proud to co-sponsor the CMA event. And we look forward to always being there to advance the woodworking industry.

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