Adam Rose takes a few moments from his hectic workday to answer questions posed by CWB concerning the key benefits and goals of the CMA. 

Adam Rose, president of the Cabinet Makers Assn.

Adam Rose got his start in woodworking in 1988, while studying Business at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.



Custom woodworking became his full-time profession when he joined his father, Tom Rose’s business, Creative Woodworking of Sterling, CO. He subsequently purchased the company from his father in 2000.



Today, in addition to running the three-man business that serves both residential and commercial clients, Rose is president of the Cabinet Makers Assn. His two-year term expires in July 2008.

He recently took a few moments from his hectic workday to answer questions posed by Custom Woodworking Business concerning the key benefits and goals of the CMA.

CWB: When did you join the CMA and why?

Adam Rose: My father joined in 1998. We knew and had great respect for some of the founding members. We wanted to know what the CMA was all about and how it might help a small custom shop like ours.

CWB: What is the biggest benefit that you have derived as a CMA member?

Rose: I have learned a lot from other shop owners through networking. The education I have received through talking with other shop owners, both attending and presenting educational seminars and attending shop tours has been a huge benefit. I am years ahead of where I would be if I had learned everything on my own.

CWB: Can you cite an example or two of things you have learned from networking that have helped you be a better woodworker or businessman?

Rose: For one thing, I have learned to view my suppliers as allies instead of adversaries. (Fellow CMA member) Charles Wilson is one guy who I have seen use his suppliers to learn about products available to the market. I used to think when a sales person came to my shop that I had to hurry and get them out the door because they were wasting my time. Now, I use them as another tool available to me, whether it be finding out about new products or finding about what other shops in my area are doing and how I might be able to benefit from working with them.

I was 29 when I bought my business from my father. I didn’t want to be looked at as a kid by my potential clients or by others in the industry such as other shop owners or salespeople. By surrounding myself with more seasoned contacts I have met through the CMA, I now have hundreds of years of experience at my fingertips, instead of just a few years. When I have a woodworking question come up, I have the opportunity to post a question on the CMA forum and get answers from people I know and trust or I can pick up the phone and call other members. The benefit of this versus posting on other public forums is that I know who is responding to my questions, and I value their opinions. This is not only true for woodworking questions, but also business related questions, marketing, employee issues, etc.

CWB: What are some of the other benefits you have gained through CMA membership?

Rose: I have met people from all over the world, many of them I consider good friends now. I have also become an out-source shop for others; I cut component parts for them.

CWB: What do you consider the biggest achievements of the CMA since you became president in 2006?

Rose: I am grateful to have helped continue the momentum we have been building for the last 10 years. I am also pleased that we have been able to build new relationships with industry partners such as the National Kitchen & Bath Assn. and Vance Publishing.

CWB: What goals have you set for the next year or two?

Rose: I want to see the CMA continue to grow in both membership and the benefits we offer our members. We are looking to have more regional events for the membership. Not every shop can attend trade shows on a regular basis. In many areas, there are no professional trade shows, especially in the central United States.

We are working with our Associate Members to put on events at member shops to continue the education and extend the networking benefits that are so valuable.

CWB: The CMA is celebrating its 10th anniversary next year. When you consider that milestone, what are you most grateful about? Are there any disappointments?

Rose: I am grateful for the personal relationships I have developed, and the professional growth I have achieved in my business. During my term as CMA president, I am happy that we have been able to both help struggling cabinetmakers become better business men and women, and help successful cabinetmakers improve as well. Just last weekend one of our member’s wives posted on our private forum a message thanking the CMA for helping her husband to improve his business. He is a younger man, and is relatively new to the business. I know just how he feels, because I’ve been there, too.

As far as disappointments, there aren’t many. I regret that we haven’t been able to do more, faster. As a board, we have lofty goals, but we are all volunteers with our own businesses to run, so occasionally things don’t happen as quickly as they could.

CWB: Where would you like to see the CMA 10 years from now?

Rose: I would like us to be a household name. I would like consumers and contractors to know who we are and what we are about. I would like people shopping for new cabinets to say, “Let’s make sure we get a CMA member shop to build our cabinets.”

I would also like to see cabinet shop owners even more eager to network with each other. Things have changed significantly in the business landscape over the CMA’s 10-year existence both because of and in spite of the CMA, but we have a long way to go.

CWB: Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

Rose: I would like to thank the all the previous CMA board members, and especially the past presidents for setting us up on the path to success. Jim McDermott, Brad Phelps, Keith Hill and Charles Wilson all were instrumental in getting the CMA where we are today. I would also like to thank our Associate Members and Industry Partners. Without their continued support we wouldn’t be where we are today.

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