The Woodworking Network Leadership Forum will examine business, technology and material trends that will impact the design and production of cabinetry, furniture and interior millwork in the next decade. Here are speakers in order of the presentation schedule. 

Joe Wheeler, Professor of Architecture + Design, Virginia Tech University -

Joseph Wheeler is a Professor of Architecture at Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design. He pursues professional research in environmental and sustainable design and assumes leadership positions in the implementation of design theory and ideas. In pedagogy, he believes that there is a distinct advantage to the exposure of students to the direct making of Architecture and therefore is involved in many multidisciplinary full-scale research projects. As co-director of School of Architecture + Design’s Center for Design Research, he has led multiple interdisciplinary projects which include the 2005, 2009 and 2010 Solar Decathlon house projects, the latter of which won first place overall in international competition in Madrid, Spain. Other research includes projects related to industrialized processes, modular construction and energy efficiency. Wheeler has also led exhibitions for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) at the Javits Convention Center in New York, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, Italy and the Cologne Furniture Fair in Germany. Recent awards include a national design honor award from the AIA, the NCARB Prize for creative collaboration between the academy and the profession, the Virginia Society AIA Research Prize, and the Xcaliber University Prize for Excellence in Outreach. Other contributions include testimony before Congress regarding national energy issues. 

 

Valerie Johnson, President & CEO, DR Johnson Lumber

Valerie Johnson is a fifth generation Oregonian and a second generation co-owner and President of the company her parents founded in 1951, D.R. Johnson, in Riddle, Ore. Valerie has worked in numerous capacities in the wood products industry, first selling lumber and glulam beams for over a decade for the family company and then continuing in lumber sales. From the late 1980’s throughout the 90’s, Valerie worked alongside thousands of grassroots Oregonians and Americans making impassioned appeals to Congress and federal land management agencies to make better decisions that would balance environmental protections and the economies of rural communities. Valerie serves on the Board of Advisors for the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, the Board of Directors of the American Forest Resource Council, the Oregon Forest Industry Council, and the Western Resources Legal Center, the nation’s first legal education program training law students to advocate for natural resource industries. She is the proud mother of Katherine, a College of Forestry student at Oregon State University.

Iain MacDonald, Associate Director, TallWood Design Institute, Oregon State University 

The TallWood Design Institute is the nation’s only research collaborative that focuses exclusively on the advancement of structural wood products.  It conducts the research needed for widespread adoption of mass timber building technology in the U.S. The Institute is a partnership between Oregon State University and the University of Oregon, bringing together the strengths of OSU's College of Forestry and College of Engineering, and the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Before that Iain was Managing Director of the University of British Columbia's Center for Advanced Wood Processing, Canada's national industry training and technical consulting center for the wood products manufacturing industry sector. CAWP also carries out international development projects to build capacity and foster the growth of forestry-based SMEs throughout the world.

Mick Peters

Mick Peters is CEO of Applied Automation. 

 

Stephanie Richards, Design Manager, Schattdecor, Inc. North America

Stephanie is Design Manager for Schattdecor, Inc. North America and a consultant special-izing in the decorative surfaces industry. As a trend researcher for Schattdecor, she analyzes global design and color trends for commercial and residential markets to provide sales tools and resources to educate and elevate the décor industry. 

 

Dan Keller, President, RCS Millwork, Des Moines, Iowa

Dan Keller has been in the architectural millwork industry for 34-years. Over the last 20-years, Dan has served as President of RCS Millwork. He’s been instrumental in leading RCS from 5-employees to over 100-employees today. With production and warehouse facilities in Des Moines, IA and Kansas City, KS, RCS is one of the largest providers of AWI Premium grade certified products in the Midwest. Dan is dedicated to empowering his team and transforming their culture. 

Marc Sanderson is President & Owner of Wilkie Sanderson

Marc Sanderson is President & Owner of Wilkie Sanderson, a custom manufacturer of architectural millwork. Wilkie Sanderson has been creating unique wood products since 1975, when former owners founded its predecessor company. In 1997, Walter Wilkie and Marc Sanderson purchased the company and began a gradual shift in focus to serve the commercial market exclusively through the Wilkie Sanderson brand. Today, the firm is the largest custom AWI member company in MN, with 87 skilled workers. Marc Sanderson has been a frequent education session presenter at AWI seminars, workshops and conventions for many years.  In addition to Wilkie Sanderson, Marc is a product advisor to INNERGY, an ERP software firm devoted to driving the complete business process of custom woodworking shops. 

Don Kuser, General Manager, North American Plywood Corporation
 

Don Kuser is the General Manager of North American Plywood Corporation. Since 1948 North American Plywood Corporation (NAPC) has been importing panel products from around the world.  In 2003 NAPC started panel processing under Don’s supervision and has grown into a full-service component processing unit. Cutting, Laminating, Routing, Edge Banding, UV Coating, UV Edge Coating, and now high quality digital printing. Don and his team are pioneering the process of digital printing and digital staining direct to substrate. The DesignPly® process removes needless steps and saves time, money, and natural resources. The designs and applications are only limited to your imagination.

 
 
Taylor Young, Western Regional Sales Manager, North America Kebony

Kebony’s US headquarters, located in St. Clair, Michigan, Hehl manages a team of sales reps on the East and West Coasts. He has extensive knowledge of treated wood products, having previously managed Biewer Lumber’s large-scale plant in Lansing, Michigan. Developed in Norway, Kebony technology is an environmentally friendly, patented process, which enhances the properties of sustainable softwood with a bio-based liquid.

Moderator: Bill Esler, Woodworking Network - 
Bill manages conference programs for Woodworking Network at WoodPro Expo, Cabinets & Closets Expo, Canada's Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo, and at other venues including IWF and AWFS. Bill spent the first 10 years of his career in industrial print manufacturing operations, and the past 30 years in business-to-business media. He chairs the Woodworking Career Alliance Education Committee.