Wood Industry 2011 Market Leaders
November 29, 2011 | 12:07 pm CST
Wood Industry 2011 Market Leaders

Wood Industry 2011 Market LeadersToday’s wood industry leaders are those who meet the economic and competitive challenges facing the wood products industry and maneuver them to their advantage. They find opportunities to not only grow their own businesses, but work for the betterment of the woodworking industry as a whole.

On the following pages you’ll read the stories behind this year’s playmakers, and how they helped steer their companies to prominence — and, through their actions and deeds, helped influence an entire marketplace.

These are your 2011 Market Leaders.

Franco Bianchi 
President & CEO
Haworth Inc.
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Chris Watson
COO, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. 
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Chairman, Ashley Furniture Industries Inc.
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Eric Wolff
President & CEO
The Stow Co.
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Jeff Pray 
President & CEO
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Karen Strauss 
Masco Cabinetry Group
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Roger Jones 
VP Global Logistics
Century Furniture Inc.
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Mark Clemens
VP Product Development, idX Corp.
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Previous Playmakers

This marks the third year Wood &  Wood Products has identified individuals that are making an impact —  not only at their own companies — but on the woodworking industry as a whole. In continued recognition of their efforts, the following is a listing of our previous Market Leaders.
    • Keith Atherholt, president, Lewis Lumber Products. Under his direction, the millwork/components producer defied economic challenges by increasing sales revenue and developing new products, while drilling down into operating costs.
    • Mark Bernhard, president, Bernhard Woodwork Ltd. With a lifetime of experience in the woodworking industry, Bernhard has guided the architectural woodwork giant to a new level of progress.
    • Steve Brewster, director of sustainability, Kimball Office. In addition to his work at the office furniture giant, Brewster has gained recognition as a speaker at numerous events on the topic of sustainable manufacturing.
    • Mike Carson, president, Closet Works Inc. Twelve years after founding his company, Carson was instrumental in launching The National Closet Group, an organization of independent companies in the home storage and organization industry.
    • Margaret Fisher, director of market development, Lange Bros. Woodwork Co.  A business advocate and author, Fisher has been a longtime speaker on behalf of the AWI on the topics of LEED, wood and carbon, and forest sustainability.
    • Steve Kincaid, president, Kincaid Furniture. Under Kincaid’s direction, the company looks to achieve its goal in becoming the leading solid wood furniture manufacturer/marketer.
    • Kevin Kuske, general wood manager, Steelcase Inc. Kuske was instrumental in helping the office furniture giant reinvent its Wood business and putting in place sustainability initiatives, for which the company has been recognized.
    • Pernille Lopez, president, IKEA North America. Since taking over as president, she has directed IKEA’s growth from a  small retailer to a nationally recognized home furnishings and accessories chain.
    • Bill LePage, vice president of operations, The Simple Furniture Co. LePage helped direct the RTA company’s efforts on sustainability, including the development of an eco-friendly RTA line of children’s furniture.
    • Mark Richey, president, Mark Richey Woodworking & Design. Richey’s success in the architectural millwork industry comes from his strong environmental initiatives as well as empowering employees.
    • Kevin Sauder, president and CEO, Sauder Woodworking. A strong advocate of environmental initiatives, the RTA giant produces almost 300 tons of wood waste daily, yet has not taken a load to the landfill in more than nine years.
    • Jim Sherbert, CEO, Bush Industries. Under Sherbert’s direction, Bush has diversified into new markets, developed new brands and introduced product lines, while putting in place strategies to increase enterprise value through sustainability.
    • Greg Stoner, president, MasterBrand Cabinets. Stoner parlayed his experience in large-scale manufacturing environments in positioning MasterBrand in its leadership role. He is also active in a number of industry organizations, including the KCMA.
    • Brian Walker, president and CEO, Herman Miller Inc. Despite a turbulent economy, Walker has led Herman Miller to be one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” according to Fortune magazine.
    • Bill Weaver, president and CEO, Canyon Creek Cabinet Co. Weaver took a small company on the verge of bankruptcy and built it into a major cabinet manufacturer, renown for its sustainability initiatives.
    • Jennifer Q. Williams, owner and president, St. Louis Closet Co. In 1991 Williams launched the first locally-owned closet company that installed custom organizing systems. She has also received recognition for her entrepreneurship.
    • Andy Wilzoch, owner and president, Premier Eurocase. With the goal of always moving forward and reinvesting in infrastructure, Wilzoch has propelled the company from a 1,000-square-foot shop, to its current size of 200,000 square feet.
    • Boe Young, VP of manufacturing, Impressions Marketing Group. Young has helped lead Impressions in its winning ventures, including multiple awarding of the  A.R.E.’s “Above and Beyond Award” for customer service and project execution.

Read about last year's Wood Industry Market Leaders>>

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