The celebration for 2016 Wood Industry 40 Under 40 took place the afternoon of Thursday, August 25 at IWF Atlanta with a VIP Tour of the IWF Challengers Award winners and select exhibitors on the floor. 40 Under 40 is an award program seeking the next generation of young people destined to make an impact on the wood products manufacturing industry in North America.

After a VIP tour, an awards reception was held by the event’s founding sponsor, the Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers of America (WMMA). WMMA is one of the organizations that owns and operates IWF.

The 40 Under 40 program finds movers and shakers already making their mark in all walks of wood products manufacture, as well as suppliers and educators. Winners were selected from a field of more than 135 nominations. The call for nominations was issued May 10 at the Wood Industry 40 Under 40 Awards channel at WoodworkingNetwork.com.

From there, the nominating took on a life of its own, as wood industry professionals placed their colleagues - and in some cases competitors - up for consideration. The nomination process was heavily shared on social media, a major connection point for next generation woodworking industries' incoming leaders.

The panel of six editors at Woodworking Network then reviewed the nominations, each balloting separately on a scale of 1-5, based on the nature of the nomination description, the impact these nominees were having on their business, their community, or the industry as a whole. When the scoring was tallied, these individuals rose to the top.

Also, see a slideshow with biographies on each of the winners.