Wood Pro IL presenter to tell how he uses Lean strategies to fatten profits
Gregory Paolini owner Gregory Paolini Design

Custom woodworker Gregory Paolini will present “Lean Strategies to Improve Profitability” at the Wood Pro Conference. 

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – Gregory Paolini will discuss how custom wood shops, not just large production facilities, can profit from implementing Lean strategies and continuous improvement initiatives at the Wood Pro Illinois Conference. His presentation, “Lean Strategies to Improve Profitability,” will take place April 17 at the Schaumburg Convention Center.

Paolini is owner of Gregory Paolini Designs LLC (GPD) nestled in the Smoky Mountains in Canton, N.C. While Paolini is a big proponent of the Arts and Crafts philosophy, he also embraces technology as evidenced by his company’s use of a nested-based CNC router. GPD melds Old World craftsmanship and new advanced machinery to manufacture luxury cabinetry and millwork.

At the Wood Pro Illinois Conference, Paolini will share some of the real-world Lean tools and strategies his custom cabinet shop has implemented that has helped GDP be more reduce waste, improve workflow, enhance quality, and ultimately, be more profitable.

Some of the items to be covered include:

  • An overview of Lean tools and concepts used in small to medium custom woodshops, and sifting the academic concepts from the pragmatic ones, and what works best at GPD.
  • Exploring the various Lean concepts that Paolini has implemented, the problems they have solved, and the way these tools have saved time and expenses, thus increasing profit.
  • A virtual tour of GPD, seeing the actual Lean concepts in place, and seeing how they work throughout a typical day at GPD.
  • A good understanding of concepts such as Kaizen, Kanban, Andon, Theory of Constraints, and Kamishibai, as well as how to implement right away at no cost.

Paolini’s Lean presentation is one of several sessions slated for the Wood Pro Conference, co-sponsored by the Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) and FDMC magazine. Paolini is a long-time member of the association and was recently reelected to the CMA Board of Directors.

Other sessions on the Wood Pro Conference docket include:

Opening Keynote: The Psychology of Business – The Edge of Successful Business Owners, presented by Daniel Eisenbarth, Results Coach and Business Results Trainer of Robbins Research International

Negotiating Contracts, presented by Lois Snyder, owner/president, Periwinklers, and Randy Niewind, owner, Randy's Cabinets and Woodworks

Transitioning Your Business, presented by Ken Kumph, founder and owner of Premier Builders
Wood Pro Conference attendees will also participate in a tour of Inspired Closets Chicago showroom, followed by the Welcome reception sponsored by the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals, Elektra and Richelieu.

The Wood Pro Conference will run concurrent with the Closets Conference. The full-day conference precedes the Closets Expo and Wood Pro Expo Illinois, April 18 and 19.

View the full schedule of the three-day event.  

2024 Closets Conference & Expo
Wood Pro Expo Illinois

About the Closets Conference & Expo and Wood Pro Expo Illinois
The annual Closets Conference & Expo (CCE) is the only national event for all closet and home storage professionals. The 2024 edition is co-located with Wood Pro Expo Illinois (WPE), a regional marketplace for woodworking professionals. The events are organized by Closets & Organized Storage and FDMC magazines respectively. Each is a distinct media brand of Woodworking Network. The twin-bill event is scheduled for April 17-19, 2024, at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill.

2024 Closets Expo and Wood Pro Expo Illinois Exhibitor Prospectus


Reserve a Booth


CCE and WPE each kick off with a separate full-day conference on April 17, co-sponsored by the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals and Cabinet Makers Association respectively. The two-day co-located expo, April 18-19, features woodworking machinery, supplies, and components. Additional educational programming is offered on each day of the expo. Tours of local manufacturing plants and the popular Top Shelf Design Awards networking reception are also key features of the event. View current program schedule.

For information about exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities, contact Laurel Didier, exhibit sales. For all other inquiries, contact Kim Lebel, show manager. 

More Woodworking Network events
Wood Pro Expo Lancaster, Oct. 24-25, 2024, Spooky Nook Sports/Warehouse at the Nook, Manheim, Pa.

Salon Industriel du Bois Ouvré (SIBO), Oct. 24-26, 2024, Centrexpo Cogeco, Drummondville, Quebec.

Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo (WMS), Nov. 12-14, 2025, Toronto Congress Centre, Toronto, Ontario. 


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About the author
Rich Christianson | President/Owner/C-Level

Rich Christianson is the owner of Richson Media LLC, a Chicago-based communications firm focused on the industrial woodworking sector. Rich is the former long-time editorial director and associate publisher of Woodworking Network. During his nearly 35-year career, Rich has toured more than 250 woodworking operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has written extensively on woodworking technology, design and supply trends. He has also directed and promoted dozens of woodworking trade shows, conferences and seminars including the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo, Canada’s largest woodworking show.