#YoungWoodPro 2024 winner named
Young Wood Pro winner 2024

Ethan Roe, left, director of sales for Grizzly Industrial, congratulates Joel Keener for winning the 2024 #YoungWoodPro contest. Also shown is Dylan Schudie, who spearheads Grizzly’s new Business Advantage program for professional woodworkers.

With clean lines and fine craftsmanship, a Mid-Century Modern Credenza won over judges to give a young woodworker from Pennsylvania the top prize in the 2024 #YoungWoodPro contest.

Joel Keener, 24, a graduating student at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Pennsylvania who is just about to embark on his professional woodworking career, created the piece. It combines an elegant liquor cabinet with a record player. Keener used solid domestic cherry wood and Makore veneer to make the piece, which is also accented with brass hardware and knife hinges.

Keener accepted the award in person at a reception held during the Wood Pro Expo and Closets Conference in Schaumburg, Illinois, April 18.

Joel Keener credenza
Joel Keener’s Mid-Century Modern Credenza Bar combines a liquor cabinet with a record player and captured the top prize in the 2024 #YoungWoodPro contest.

Matt Buell, an award-winning custom furniture craftsman who is the host of the #YoungWoodPro program, congratulated Keener. Buell said Keener’s work and presentation of it for the contest exemplified the lessons Buell has been trying to share in the program to promote a higher level of professionalism among young career woodworkers.

The contest and yearlong education program has been sponsored for the last two years by Grizzly Industrial. As part of their sponsorship, Grizzly donated a Grizzly G0899 10-inch, 2HP professional grade table saw with a retail value of $1,825 to add to the $500 cash prize Keener won. Grizzly also paid to fly Keener from Pennsylvania to Illinois for the award ceremony.

Joel Keener credenza closed
The winning credenza is made of solid domestic cherry wood and Makore veneer and features brass hardware and knife hinges.

Woodworking Network will feature  Keener in an upcoming article in FDMC magazine, and with an interview on the Woodworking Network Podcast.

Ethan Roe, director of sales for Grizzly, said the company’s support of the #YoungWoodPro program is an important part of new initiatives the company is making to enhance services to schools and professional woodworkers, investing in the future of the industry.

Look for a full feature on Joel Keener coming in next month’s issue of FDMC.  To see a video of all the contest finalists, go to youtu.be/WVlK38HcSRU


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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 editorial director of Woodworking Network and 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.