Newly freed Kurdistan turns to a U.S. firm to provide “presidential podiums.”


These custom-built lecterns feature nearly anything a “presidential” speaker could want.

When the President of the newly recognized Kurdish Autonomous region in Iraq needed a presidential podium, Executive Wood Products of Sullivan, MO, was called on to deliver custom-built full-pedestal lecterns suitable for the dignity of the newly created high office.

Available in cherry, mahogany, oak, walnut and more, with compound angles, leather arms and fabric-covered tops, these units feature nearly anything a “presidential” speaker would want, including: hidden pop-up-on-demand light, clock and microphone, an mp3 player docking station, drop-down surface for a laptop computer and built-in rechargeable battery-powered sound system.

This type of stand is actually considered a lectern for speakers to stand behind, but they are commonly known as podiums (defined as a raised platform). Whatever they are called, the Iraqi officials were so pleased with the product that they ordered two more. However, reflecting the unsettled realities of the situation, the newer units were customized to be bulletproof.

This success led to the company’s latest project, a “Lift” podium in beech for the Kingdom of Bahrain, featuring hand carvings and inlaid gold palm leaves, and a transformer so that electronic equipment will work on European standard 220V systems.

The unique “Lift” feature was engineered by company president Paul Alexander in response to the numerous requests they received for adjustable height ability. Using proprietary “Float” technology with eight moving parts, Alexander devised a way for the unit to smoothly and silently rise from 34-1/2 inches to 50 inches with the flip of a switch. This allows a speaker of any height to feel comfortable while making a presentation, Alexander says.

Founded in Alexander’s basement in 1982, Executive Wood Products now employs 15 associates and occupies a facility of nearly one acre under one roof. The company offers a wide range of custom furniture in addition to its unique podiums.

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