CMA speakers and plant tours set for March 2020 conference
November 20, 2019 | 9:13 am CST

The Cabinet Makers Association has announced the agenda for their 2020 national conference, which will be held March 4-6 in St. Charles, Illinois, at the Q Center.

The conference theme is 2020 Vision: A Clear View of the Woodworking Industry and the agenda focuses on the three sight lines of driving a car: looking in the rearview mirror to see where we have been, checking the blind spot to see what’s happening around us, and shifting gears to accelerate forward.

For each sight line, there are two presentations. Hindsight (looking in the rearview mirror): Christian Zorio and Trevor Cox will share how they implement data-driven decision making at Mission Bell; Lean consultant Eric Ciampoli will help you see your processes more clearly utilizing an interactive demonstration.

Peripheral Vision (checking the blind spot to see what’s happening around us): Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, the assistant vice president for forecasting and analysis of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), will provide an update on the overall U.S. economy, the U.S. housing market, and a NAHB forecast. Alex Genov, the head of customer research at Zappos, will introduce a new mindset about how companies approach understanding the people whose lives they affect.

Looking Ahead (shifting gears to accelerate forward): David Biggs from Woodworking Network will provide an overview of Extended Reality (XR) and the applications for our industry. Industry consultant Tom Grandy will give insights into how to be wildly successful in any economy. Guy Bucey of Inova will kick off the conference with his keynote address about how it is important to “Stay in Your Lane” to be an effective leader.

In the closing keynote address, Dominic Rubino will provide attendees with a strategic road map to take their business to the next level.

The agenda also includes tours of Chicago-area companies Plus Closets and Bernhard Woodwork. These operations offer two different manufacturing perspectives, which will be discussed as a group after the tours conclude. In addition, there will be an XR showcase during Thursday evening’s reception, which features vendors displaying their interactive products for attendees to experience for themselves.

The conference starts on Wednesday, March 4 with a welcome reception starting at 6 p.m., and concludes by
4:30 pm on Friday, March 6. You do not have to be a CMA member to attend this event, but the registration fee for non-members does include a one-year “trial” membership. For more information and to register, visit

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About the author
Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at