Powerful learning on tap at 2019 AWFS Symposia
May 7, 2019 | 12:26 pm CDT
Where can you get a full day’s intensive training tailored right to your business needs and at the same time be primed for the biggest industry trade show of the year? The AWFS Symposia presented by CCI Media and Woodworking Network are just that kind of opportunity. 
Four symposia are offered, each in an intense, daylong format giving you unparalleled access to industry experts and thought leaders. This year’s program covers Finishing, CNC Technology, Closets, and Leadership. Each of the symposia go from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 16 and include a networking lunch. Here’s a closer look at each of them.
Closets Symposium
Moderated by Closets & Organized Storage magazine’s editor, Michaelle Bradford, the Closets Symposium is a must-attend event for closet and garage businesses, closet designers, and builders and remodelers. Learn latest design trends, sales and marketing techniques.
The program opens with Storage Designs & Trends for the Home, moderated by Bradford. Greg Price, founder of Gap Supply, will talk about Lighting: Trends and Opportunities.
Eric Marshall, Kitchen and Closets by DEA Remodeling, will offer essential information in a talk on How to Close the Sale and Increase Profits. ACSP President Wendy Scott, Boutique Closets & Cabinetry, will offer Simple Solutions to Typical Design Challenges.
Thomas Laville, Laville Closets, will share tips on How to Set Up a Closet Manufacturing Shop. 
Patty Miller, Boutique Closets & Cabinetry will share her experience working with builders and interior designers and will offer tips on how to get your products into model homes.
Laurel Didier, Publisher of Closets & Organized Storage, will present detailed data and exclusive survey information from a 2019 State of the Industry study.
Finishing Symposium
Moderated by FDMC and Woodworking Network editor Karl Forth, the full-day finishing symposium will look at a variety of new and emerging finishing technologies and best practices. Finishing system organization, performance measurement and problem solving are addressed. The Finishing Symposium is sponsored by Milesi, Superfici, and Burkle.
Phil Stevenson of AWFI will discuss establishing a finishing system, setting up finishing standards, performance measurements and developing training. 
Jason Chiu of the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing, University of British Columbia, will speak about problem solving in wood finishing and new developments in surface preparation, including sanding.
D.C. Clark of Clark Deco is a finishing expert and consultant who will describe his experiences as a distributor visiting shops and recommendations.
Become familiar with newer types of finishing chemistry as David Jackson of Gemini Coatings discusses finishes that many shops may not have adopted, such as polyester, two-component polyurethane and some UV finishes.
Learn about new ways to conduct remote maintenance and improve productivity from Superfici’s Gloria Valtorta, business unit manager, surface treatment, and Michael Anderson, finishing solutions consultant. Marcello Vitale of Milesi will talk about Italian wood finish technologies, Block Chain Addition technology, soft touch coatings, and natural look coatings.
The last session of the day will end with a question and answer period in which attendees will be able to ask any speaker a question or describe a problem they are having in their finishing operation. 
CNC Technology Symposium
Moderated by FDMC editor, Will Sampson, The CNC Technology Symposium features presentations designed to appeal to all levels of users and sizes of operations, and there will be ample opportunity for questions and answers to make sure you get the information you need. The program is co-sponsored by RSA and Castaly.
The program begins with an overview of CNC from desktops to high-volume production presented by Ted Hall, founder of Shopbot. Jason Dingess of Quis Machinery follows up with a presentation full of tips for buying a new CNC and working with your distributor to get the most out of your machine.
Understanding CNC requires keeping up with new technology, and Cesare Magnani of Biesse will explain the ins and outs of Industry 4.0 and how the latest technological revolution affects CNC manufacturing.
You can’t get the most out of your CNC without efficiently processing what goes in and out of it, so James Swanson from Stiles/Homag will discuss modern material handling for CNC. Paul Roza of Benz will talk about how aggregates can expand the capabilities of your CNC.
Michael Cassell of Holz-Her will talk about all the different kinds of CNC machines available in the marketplace today and how to match the kind of machine to your operation. There will also be expert advice on matching tooling to what you produce with your CNC.
Co-sponsor RSA will present how data management can improve the bottom line of your CNC operation, and co-sponsor Castaly will present some things to think about before buying your first or next CNC machine.
Woodworking Network Under 40 Leadership Conference
Inspired by Woodworking Network’s 40 Under 40 program, the Under 40 Leadership Conference is aimed at current and future woodworking industry leaders and any executive who wants to get up to speed with the latest in technology, management and marketing in today’s fast changing business environment.  Sponsored by Hexagon and Timber Products, the program is moderated by Harry Urban, publisher of Woodworking Network.
Guy Bucey, Director of Operations for Inova LLC, will offer a keynote on how Leadership Matters. Bucey is a decorated Marine who served two deployments in Iraq and now operates a rapidly growing custom cabinetry company that embraces lean manufacturing.
Georg Frey, president of Lignum Consulting, will discuss how The Connected Factory will transform the woodworking and furniture industries as it will all other industries.
In a panel on digital marketing and the new consumer -- Hear from three young pros at the top of their game on all aspects of digital marketing and social media.  Panelists include Jeff Finney, Principal, Ultimate Cabinet Components; David Biggs, Digital Media Manager, Woodworking Network; and Ezra Drissman, marketing specialist.
Other topics on tap include workforce strategies, new manufacturing technology, and a panel from Woodworking Network’s 40 Under 40 award recipients.

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About the author
William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editor of FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.