Profiles of Wood Industry 40 Under 40 Class of 2017
June 21, 2017 | 10:46 am CDT
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Andrew Hibbs President, Wood Inc.

The 40 Under 40 nomination by an associate, for Andrew Hibbs, Wood Inc., based in Edmonton, Alberta, describes why he is a winner:
 
"In my 10+ years working within the wood manufacturing industry, in both yacht interiors and kitchens/residential millwork in Australia and Canada, I have not come across a supervisor or boss/mentor that has the innovative capacity and ability to quickly and effectively think on his toes the way Andrew does. In an industry like ours where there is a large mix of old school and new, at a considerably young age, Andrew has the maturity and technical knowledge and understanding of his craft well beyond his years. Andrew has strong confidence in his own abilities and those of his employees that enables him to make important decisions that have proved successful in the continuing expansion of our company.
 
"His wide array of skills doesn't just stop at design and building. He also excels at sales and business development. His constant improvements to our internal computing systems have proven extremely effective in training new staff our company procedures and monitoring the process of a build from start to finish.
 
"Above all of these examples, the reason I am nominating Andrew is because he is an industry leader. Not afraid to invest in himself and company to improve infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities with top of the line machinery upgrades way beyond that of your average manufacturer. 
 
"Andrew stays above trends with his sharp eye and constant thirst for improvement. A perfect example of this is his creation of Kitch (https://www.mykitch.ca/). Kitch, a sister company of our larger kitchen manufacturer Wood Inc, is an innovative new company offering something unique to a niche market."
 
Hibbs formed  Wood Inc. by himself over 10 years ago at the age of 23. In that time, he has forged a reputation for the company product said to be second to none in his city. He has accomplished the relatively rare circumstance in which customers are prepared to wait for his availability. Nevertheless, Andrew uses his talents to effectively shuffle scheduling to constantly keep clients happy and informed and in turn its reputation at its peak.
 
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Greg Pilotti, Greg Pilotti Furniture Makers

Greg is 27 years old and is currently running a very successful custom furniture and cabinetry business that he built from the ground up. Greg is a true entrepreneur. He had a vision of running his own furniture shop, creating timeless pieces of furniture using the finest techniques and materials, and has made it come to fruition. He studied under master craftsman at Thaddeus Stevens School of Technology, in Pennsylvania. With his degree and knowledge, he added historically inspired designs to produce heirloom quality furniture. 
Greg is also a volunteer firefighter and has been since he was a teenager. I believe that his training in volunteer services, has instilled in him a desire to be the best. He has a commitment to excellence that is rarely seen in someone so young. He also suddenly lost his father a few years ago. The impact from that devastation led to a desire to provide for and take care of his remaining family. He truly stepped up to the plate and did what was needed to ensure his family would be financially secure. He learned that life is short and not promised, so if you have a dream, you better chase it. Determined. Thoughtful. Committed. He has a sign hanging in his shop that reads: "Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won't, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't."
 
 

 

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Amanda Gearey, LEED AP, Thomas Tiley Artisans Guild

Based in Naples, Florida, Amanda is a design engineer for Thomas Riley Artisans' Guild, (www.thomasriley.net) one of the leaders in high-end, custom cabinetry and millwork fabrication in the country. Amanda routinely works on designs for multi-million dollar single family residences. She excels in architectural design and has a complex understanding of hardware, joinery techniques, wood properties and overall integration of mixed materials. In a world mostly dominated by men, Amanda has been able to carve out her own niche and a company of 70 plus employees is highly dependent upon the work that she produces. Amanda has allowed the design and engineering department of Thomas Riley Artisans' Guild to grow and expand its offering as she introduced a high level of photorealistic rendering to the design and sales process. She has also been able to project manage multi-million dollar cabinetry and millwork packages, always exceeding expectations.

 
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Jens Schulz, CEO, Leuco Tool Corporation

With U.S. operations based in Villa Rica, Georgia,  Leuco is one of the world's largest supplier of carbide and diamond-tipped machine tools for wood and plastic processing. Jens came to the U.S. from Denmark at the age of 18 to pursue the opportunities America had to offer. He came with a belief that if you are willing to work hard, you can accomplish anything. Just 13 years ago he joined Leuco as an accountant and quickly moved to being the Controller. His motto of working hard then catapulted him to become the CFO and now he is CEO and President. He now officially calls the U.S. home as last November he became a citizen of the United States.  

Recently, Jens created an employee-driven campaign, called "Engage," that allows employees to communicate ideas, allows for creativity in the workplace and builds teams to execute a better workflow across all departments. Teams meet monthly to keep their eye on the vision of being the best tooling provider in the world and they get to speak into the process of how that happens. Jens has an open ear and door to his employees and Engage gives it strategic purpose. Since joining Leuco Jens has helped grow Leuco to 7 state-of-the-art facilities and over 100 employees. Jens cares deeply about community and goes above and beyond to support local sports, schools, and non-profit organizations. His drive and ambition to continue to bring jobs and business to the United States is ever-present in all that he does.  Our Engage program has brought a high moral to our employees. Jens believes that what gets celebrated, gets repeated and through Engage we've been able to see better process, higher goal setting, and a great camaraderie at Leuco.

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Brandon Koetter, President, NorthTech Machine

Based in Borden, Indiana, NorthTech Machine has a fine pedigree for heavy duty industrial machinery for solid wood manufacturing. Likewise, it's president has a pedigree, with a familiar family name that is highly regarded for its progressive adaptation of technology to lumber milling and wood products production. Striking out on his own in March 2017, Brandon has played on his strengths as a technology integrator to provide a valuable service to the industry - selling not just machines, but solutions. 

Before NorthTech Machine, Brandon was for eight years Director of Continuous Improvement at Koetter Woodworking, leading the company's lean and Six Sigma implementation, and developing profiles of return on investment to help prioritize implementation of capital expenditures. He also had six years at Koetter Woodworking as director of primary operations and maintenance. He has his degree from Purdue in Organizational Leadership and Supervision. 

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Sara Johnson, Product Design & Development, Stevens Industries

Based in Teutopolis, Illinois, employee-owned Stevens Industries is the largest commercial casework manufacturer in U.S. (Number 66 on the FDMC 300 list), with more than 500 employees, and Sara handles design and product development. She is currently focused on improving the efficiency and accuracy of Stevens Industries millwork department by creating parametric, pre-engineered die wall products and streamlining the millwork process flow from quote through production
"Design, to me, is much more about problem-solving than aesthetics, and it can be applied to processes just as well as physical products," says Sara. "To arrive at the best solution possible, I believe that diversity of thought is extremely important. If you bring together people from the same background, with the same skill set and the same interests, odds are you'll get the same ideas, time and time again. Creative solutions, on the other hand, come not just from creative thinkers, but also from a collaboration between people who bring different experiences to the table, or who may see an issue from different vantage points."
Sara attended McKendree University study Art and Mathematics, and holds a Masters in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis. Outside of work she plays tennis, and does painting, graphic design, and tattoo design.  
 
 
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Reid Anderson, Anderson Studio, Seattle

Reid Anderson tells his own story best:

My work is a part of me. Some people might be confused by the eclectic genre of styles I try to cultivate in my work. I am all parts that I create, from traditional and elegant to bold and modern. Every line and color is calculated, for lack of better words there is a method to this madness.

When questioned as to the reason for the diverse collection that spans my portfolio I must attribute most of that to my upbringing. Being raised in the rural midwest, there was a focus on the functionality of objects, but an awe for the glamour of the loud decisions found throughout the art world. After experiencing the tip of the iceberg that is life, I am allowing myself to create what I think is inspirational and awe inspiring without losing the romance of the practicality in a piece.

Each object I create is designed and constructed to be able to stand as an heirloom piece. The idea of furniture that is passed down from generation to generation is rooted in who I am. I’m attempting to bring that level of craftsmanship to your great grandchildren and beyond.

What’s in my portfolio?

The Classical work was an experiment on simply being able to create the pieces. The challenge of making something structurally correctly for the sake of learning. The Modern work is more the direction I am heading in. Most are/were experiments to find my own aesthetic. The current work is the new lines I am trying to create from start to finish, the painted modern line, and the Torus line.

During this interview I share an honest account of how I began crafting furniture, the financial challenges of being a full-time independent artist, and my future plans to design and build a new chair with my father.

https://soundcloud.com/user593029706/reid-podcast-10 

 

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Brad Bolte, Vonmod Ltd.

"Architect by training. Digital fabricator by calling," says Brad Bolte, "I am currently part of the team at Vonmod in Denver," where his nominators describe him as someone who "came out of a garage in Maryland, and enlightened us to all of the the amazing ways that digital technology could take our woodworking and fabrication business to new heights. He worked feverishly to assemble our plant, cultivate and care for clients, never turning down a job for fear of failure, and never taking opportunity for granted. In essence and in his words he taught us the "awesomeness" of digital fabrication! They had set up a ShopBot. I talked to him in our store one day and quickly realized that he was that guy. We started our CNC division with Brad from the bottom up. He was unstoppable using every free minute to conceive, model, cut and cut again to perfection. He has a voracious appetite for all things CAD and CAM and would rather create amazing products than just about anything else with a work ethic from another time. Rare for a 30 something." 

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Chad Barker, Barker Cabinets

Based in Tualatin, Oregon, Chad Barker is passionate about growing business, and has created a new approach to selling components, producing cabinetry parts and marketing them directly to consumers. Within the past few years, Barker has tripled the size of the company’s facility, doubled its workforce, and established Barker Modern, a new line of custom cabinetry for do-it-yourselfers in search of modern flare.  

“Every day my goal is to accomplish one task after another and the combination of those tasks is what sets the company apart,” says Barker, who believes in meeting small goals that ultimately lead to major accomplishments. “Eventually, you look back and five years have gone by, and you can see that you’re in a different spot than when you started." Chad also readily adopts technology for cabinetry, designing them through Cabinet Vision. His energy and skill extends to creating customers by educating them through detailed, clear videos on how to specify and install cabinet doors.
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Amanda Groebner, Boss of Everything, TimeWorn Wood

Based in Atwater, Minnesota, Amanda Groebner operates TimeWorn Wood, with a specialty creating tables from reclaimed wood. Working with her business partner - and spouse - Jared Groebner, Amanda is the main contact for sales, product questions, billing, shipping, advertising and, well, almost everything. She attended Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design with an emphasis in Historic Restoration. Her enthusiasm for barns started at a young age as she spent many hours playing in the barn’s hay mow at her family’s farm – which is where the company is now located. Serving residential and expanding into commercial furniture and millwork, TimeWorn wood has also diversifid into wall and ceiling boards, tabletop and bases. 

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Whitney Bowers Pyle, VP and COO at JGBowers, Inc./Advanced Cabinet Systems

Based in Marion, Indiana, Advanced Cabinet Systems has been manufacturing plastic laminate casework since 1983, selling its casework through a dealer network throughout the United States. Owned and operated by building and construction firm JGBowers, Inc., it is a family business with multiple subsidiaries. The company also manufactures retail store fixtures, including turnkey store interiors for companies like Verizon, fabricating and shipping dozens of retail interiors around the country, also supplying floor plan layout, feature and focus displays, and cashwraps.

In 2015, Advanced Cabinet Systems announced a $1.5 million expansion of its manufacturing operation, doubling its plant space as it relocated to a 100,000 square-foot facility located Marion. The expansion of the company’s manufacturing footprint was accompanied by installation of a new Weeke BHX vertical machining center, one of the keys to automating its operations to meet growing demand from K-12 schools, hospitals and retail stores across the country for its products.

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Tyler Bell, VP Sales & Marketing, Bellmont Cabinets

Based in Sumner, Washington, Tyler has helped lead the growth of the company from the depth of the recession to a five-fold increase in sales. Tyler has been a driving force in building Bellmont Cabinet Company into a world class, national, leading all frameless cabinet company operating at a greater than $60 million pace.

Tyler has taken ownership of that position and beyond since the great recession. In that time he has played a very active role in growing our business by a multiple of five. Tyler is very forward thinking and has established Bellmont as an industry leader in modern and innovative products. Before the recession Tyler was working as a dealer rep for Bellmont, then known as Pacific Crest Industries. At the bottom of the recession the company was forced let most of top level executives go. Tyler stepped into the role of national sales manager and rebuilt the entire rep organization. He has personally grown with the company, which in the past five years has doubled pre-recession revenues, and has grown five times from the bottom. He has a very good grasp of where the market is trending with the millennial generation.

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Jon Wenger, CEO, Genesis Products

Wood laminate manufacturing juggernaut Genesis Products rides the crest of booming RV production, and a growing cabinet component business. Jon Wenger, a hands-on CEO, is guiding the team that is building that growth.  

On the supply side, Genesis Products broke ground in March 2017 on a new 200,000 square-foot facility in Goshen, Indiana, a $10 million facility will house production across 17-acres. “This new facility is the largest expansion that we’ve ever done,” says Wenger.

Jon is leading Genesis Products by focusing on its workforce, and he hopes to drive the industry to better address the challenge of bringing workers into this dynamic field.

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Carly Boudreau, President, Coriander Design

40 Under 40 winner Carly Boudreau is president of Coriander Designs, a family-run office furniture and casegood manufacturer out of Woodinville, Washington. For over 35 years, the company's business model has been fully focused on sustainability and on manufacturing all of its products here in the United States.

After taking over Coriander in 2009, Carly has brought her own skills to the company, as well as maintaining the values set forth by her father. With a keen eye for timeless design and an understanding of contemporary demands, Carly's success has only just begun.  Carly is providing thought-leadership to the wood manufacturing industry, participating in a WMIA panel of younger executives during the Wood Industry Conference in April 2017.
 

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Marty Berman, Owner, Amber Millwork Ltd.

Amber Millwork is based in Kelowna, British Columbia. Marty grew up in his family's stair plant in St. Catharines Ontario, learning about millwork at a very young age. He then studied Woodworking Technology at Conestoga College and upon graduating he became a CAD designer for an architectural wood window and door manufacturer. After spending a number of years in the door and hardware business, Marty moved on to selling Lumber and Building materials across Canada. He then spent a couple of years working as a site supervisor for a high end custom home builder in the Okanagan before opening Amber Millwork Ltd.

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Dustin Giffin, President, Giffin Interior & Fixture

40 Under 40 winner Dustin Giffin won in 2016 and was nominated again and won for 2017. At age 30 Dustin leads one of the larger custom architectural woodworking firms. He has identified and overseen implementation of a lean initiative, ERP software and many other essential business practices that are not common in our industry. He has created an entirely new structure and culture in a business that is much older than he is. He is completely engaged in every aspect of the business both within our company as well as with outside influences. He was recently appointed to the board of directors of the AWI, likely the youngest board member in AWI's history. He has returned the team and family atmosphere to the business that had dwindled over the years and particularly after the recession. He runs the business as a best-in-class manufacturing firm not just a creator of sawdust. His involvement with outside organizations is allowing him to share his business skills with others to help raise the entire industry.

 
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Kurt Ainsworth, Co-founder, Marucci Sports

In a short period, Marucci Sports, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. has seized a large share of the baseball bat market from industry leader Louisville Slugger. As of last season, over 40 percent of Major League Baseball players were using Marucci bats.
 
And now, with the February 2017 acquisition of Victus, an emerging company that designs bats with knobs tapered like an axe handle, Marucci projects the majority of players will swing its lumber in 2017. 
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Adam Schneider, CEO, ConceptWorks

Adam is president, design engineer, and CEO at ConceptWorks, Inc. At 23 years old, Adam began his management career at ConceptWorks, Inc. in 2004. At that time, the company had 12 full-time employees.    The recession of 2008-09 cut the company down to just 7 staff members. Adam’s efforts in customer diversification, strategic hiring, and lean manufacturing have aided in tremendous company growth. Today ConceptWorks employs 40 individuals who focus on custom, point-of-purchase displays and unique architectural millwork. In 2014, Schneider led the acquisition of another business, Mekco Manufacturing (specializing in custom fiberglass structures). Adam led a plant expansion in 2015, whereby ConceptWorks nearly doubled its manufacturing space. Schneider has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Milwaukee School of Engineering and a master’s degree in Business Management from Lakeland University. Adam is very much a hands-on CEO, who believes that the company’s staff and culture are its greatest assets.
 
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Nick Schiffer, NS Builders

"Nick is fast becoming recognized as a leader in the industry.  He speaks at conferences (Executive Briefing Conference, the JLC Live) at social media marketing and how to revitalize wood manufacturing Nick is a forward thinking woodworker who is changing the face of the woodworking industry.  
  • www.masslive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2017/03/feel_like_youre_part_of_flip_t.html
  • www.instagram.com/nsbuilders/?hl=en
  • www.masslive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2017/03/feel_like_youre_part_of_flip_t.html"
Nick is a forward thinking woodworker who is changing the face of the woodworking industry.  He's a successful business owner, social media marketing guru, Fine Woodworking columnist, and is fast becoming a spokesperson on marketing in the industry.
 

 

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Elias Cortez, Jr., President, Golden Casework

Elias Cortez, Jr., founded Golden Casework, Dolton, Caifornia. "My father taught me all about the woodwork industry from a young age. He taught me everything, like how to maintain a clean shop, how to fabricate, how to install, how to draw up a whole $140,000 project." Cortez opened up his own business in three years ago, and then, in 2016, "Due to heavy demand of work, I decided to optimize my shop and I invested in CNC machinery and software to boost my production line. I would be lying if I said I was not scared."

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Chris Dolbow, Director of Marketing, Stiles Machinery, Inc.

Since his appointment as marketing director, Chris Dolbow has charted a fresh new course for Stiles Machinery, Inc.. The Grand Rapids, Michigan, firm, a unit of Homag and division of Dürr, is the largest supplier of wood manufacturing technology in the U.S. Heavily rooted in the woodworking industry traditions, Stiles is a highly engaged supplier in its marketplace - supporting education and advancement of the industry overall. 

But a rich history can also constrain risk-taking, which is necessary for technological advancement and in the case of marketing, and for keeping pace with shifting modes of communication with buyers. New ways of reaching customers and prospects are needed as well to convey the increasingly complex story that accompanies the latest innovations such as Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. Chris is successfully steering Stiles into contemporary media, navigating artfully but decisively as he keeps Stiles market messaging and presentation fresh and relevant, but firmly rooted in its own rich history, and that of the wood manufacturing industry overall. 

Chris also launched an initiative to rescue ancient giants of the forest, leading Stiles employees to help Archangel Ancient Trees to propagate old growth trees before they die. 

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Bryan Koelling, President, Lockdowel, Inc.

Bryan Koelling was a 27-year-old surfer with a passion for the ocean, and that inspired him to create glue-less fastening. “I wanted to insert and remove my surfboard fin, without glue or hardware, so the board could be easily transported from one beach to the other,” he says. Bryan, Lockdowel co-founder and president, along with his team, have dramatically reduced manufacturing and assembly times by eliminating glue and case clamping, reducing woodworkers costs and increasing competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers against foreign markets. Bryan has shown amazing creativity and vision to manufacture, design, expand and refine the new Lockdowel EClip hardware line to produce even more benefits to the woodworking community.

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Bobby Lewis, Founder, Perspective Approach

Bobby Lewis likes to say he is a serious goofball who has served as the CEO and/or owner of several multi-million dollar companies. Growing up in the cabinet industry and sanding panels with his dad taught him a strong work ethic and the value of leading by example. After using the talents of the employees to turn Lewis Cabinet Specialties, Inc. into a very successful business, he worked with his brothers in the creation of Allmoxy.com, a software company that connects businesses with sales. Bobby just launched Perspective Approach, Ogen, Utah, a company specializing in educating owners on the difference between his generation and all previous, and equipping them with the tools to forge a culture that delivers profits. "I’ve taken a lifetime of woodworking know-how at Lewis Cabinets, coupled it with years of research and military training, and added my take on it all to create a powerful workforce that outperforms every one of the competitors.  And yes, they are almost exclusively Millennials. 

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Paul Losavio, Americas Marketing Manager, Vero Software

Based in Tusaloosa, Alabama, Paul has Paul has been a concerned voice for the woodworking industry, advocating for education, and for greater attention to the importance of technology training and development in the industry among established businesses - he sees wood lagging behind peer markets that are using CNC technology. Paul has routinely supported the Woodwork Career Alliance with web-based fundraisers that raise awareness and money at the same time. The Woodwork Career Alliance has benefited from Paul's efforts with funding for teacher education and student scholarships for its valuable industry certification schemes. Awareness of WCA has grown right along with it. 

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Jeff Onsrud, Director, Sales & Business Development, C.R. Onsrud 

Jeff led a team of software engineers at C.R. Onsrud to create Osync, a revolutionary software created to monitor maintenance, technical and production data for C.R. Onsrud CNC machines. This is the next step in proactive technical support and service in addition to production and manufacturing mapping.  This software, created by Jeff, has allowed C.R. Onsrud customers to improve their router uptime and better understand how to best utilize their CNCs to increase production, and allow C.R. Onsrud to better understand when, why and how issues occur on its CNCs to prevent them. Not stopping there, Jeff donned Star Wars regalia to turn home base into the Troutman Sector, and defeat clone G-code infiltrators

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Emily Vella, Director of Marketing, Atlantic Plywood

Emily is an incredible resource to Atlantic Plywood. As the Director of Marketing, Emily is a driving force behind the company and its increasing sales, constantly finding ways to reach customers, showcase new products and vendors as well as championing Social Media and other marketing avenues. Emily has a huge impact. She is constantly making sure that our Social Media outlets are current, our monthly newsletters are informative and our customers are getting the best information they can get. She also has created custom sample material for individual customers going above and beyond to give customers the best service. Emily is one of the main reasons that Atlantic Plywood stands out among a sea of distributors in the area. She has recently worked to re-vamp our website, create a new line card and keep Atlantic Plywood always current for our customers in an industry that is constantly moving.
 
 

 

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Andy Turner, VP Sales, Weinig USA 

Andy came to his VP role at Weinig USA with more than 16 years of progressively responsible industry experience. He has a wealth of knowledge in technical sales and sales management earlier. If you created a list of the customers that would call Andy a resource to their business, that list would be several hundred names long, if not thousands. A native of North Carolina and he and his family live near Charlotte. 

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Jim Hamilton, Woodworker & Publisher, Stumpynubs.com

James is an amazing woodworker and videographer. He has hundreds if not thousands of video tutorials on his website and YouTube. Viewers have learned a lot from him, continuously educated and entertained by his programs. His impact is great, based on his subscribers and commenters.  He is constantly innovating new techniques.
 
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Mike Prom, Fusion 360 Product Manager, Autodesk

The Dalai Lama of CAD Based near Portland, Oregon, Mike is an avid woodworking craftsman. His nominator, Brian Grabski, a 40 Under 40 winner in 2016, notes, "Mike and I, both 34, have been collaborating on our best projects for over the last 10 years. He's been the driving force behind our ability to push CNC machining to the next level for our shop and for the industry. He is a product engineer, and the work he's done for us has been used to improve the software so it performs better especially for the woodworking community.  My favorite example is how one of our data sets was used to give people the option to choose between fractional dimension and decimals when they produce drawings."

 

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Joe Patrovich, Director Engineering, Modworxx

Joe is the director of pre-construction and engineering at Modworxx, a New York-based architectural millwork company with an expanding portfolio of work across the commercial and retail markets. He has provided thoughtful insights into the industry trends, and shared these as an authoritative voice, and thought leader.  The company's extraordinary work is now also a guide to other firms; and they provide a role model on how to market architectural millwork services. 

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Laura Zahn, CEO, Allied Woodshop

Laura is a Los Angeles based furniture maker. She is a graduate of the fine furniture program at College of the Redwoods in Northern California. True to the school’s philosophy, Laura aims to combine sensitivity toward her material with personal expression in her work. She strives for fine craftsmanship. 

Laura uses machines as a starting point in her process, but she focuses on the handwork that makes each piece a unique, heirloom-quality item. High energy, innovative founder of a woodworking collective in Los Angeles. Providing workspace for aspiring professionals as well as offering classes and training to amateurs and pros. All this while crafting her own designs of custom furniture. A creative, self-reliant spirit inspires Laura to persevere where others might give up. He is pragmatic, self-reliant, and creative, and recently took her new baby, Lena Elizabeth, for her first trip to Angel City Lumber.
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David Clark, Owner,  Kartwheel Craftsmanship 

Kartwheel, Austin, Texas, offers a range of services from finish carpentry, custom millwork, one off furniture, general contracting, steel fabrication, and custom art installations. Recently visited by Vice, and a provocative Jack Daniel's Sled project, David operates his business seriously but grounded in a spirit of craft integrity. 

"We are a team that is dedicated to quality and delivering the details within budget and on time. With a collective 35 years of experience, we know how to answer design problems with innovative solutions. Our work is known for balancing down-to-earth materials with clean proportions and anchoring playful ideas with uncompromising quality and disciplined craftsmanship. Despite the hours and sweat, we put into each one-of-a-kind design, we believe nothing is too precious to kick back and put your feet on. Life is meant to be lived and our creations are meant to be lived in."

Photo By Alison Narro

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Chip Wade, founder, Wade Works Creative

Atlanta, rose to fame rose to fame on TV home remodeling shows, including Ellen DeGeneris' Design Challenge. Now he is launching a business applying leading-edge, immersive 3D renderings to present designs, and sell projects to clients. "Design in a virtual environment is affecting the entire remodeling design industry," says Wade. At the Columbia Forest Products PureBond conference, Chip showed new high definition rendering technologies that he says can give an edge to small shops in competing with bigger, more established businesses.

"This is an interactive, user-driven environment, a digital setting gives clients enough information in order to buy from their computer with complete confidence in what they will be getting," says Chip.  

 

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Taylor Young, Sales Manager, Kebony USA 

Recently joining the St. Clair, Michigan-based Kebony USA, Taylor is responsible for managing Kebony’s sales channel on the West Coast and Texas, including relationships with architects, designers and specifiers in the architecture/design and landscape architecture industries, and retail lumber dealers . “Taylor’s success in working with the architectural community will be integral to Kebony as we continue our expansion in the North American market,” says Andy Hehl, his manager. “He has a great sense of design for both indoor and outdoor environments, which is of great benefit to us.”

Young comes to Kebony from high-end restoration millwork supplier Delta Millworks, Austin, Texas, where he designed and implemented a new sales approach with a focus on architectural specification. At Delta, he was personally responsible for increasing sales more than 50 percent year-over-year from 2014 through 2016.

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Thomas Tuck III, Regional Manager, CR Onsrud

Formerly with Casadei & Busellato, and before that SCM Group North America, those were hi day jobs. In an even greater measure, Thomas was the first face of the woodworking industry to jump in with both feet to help advanced industry education and promote career outreach to his generation. Thomas appeared in the first AWFS "New Faces of Manufacturing" poster. He made his presence known to the wood industry when he competed in the AWFS Fresh Wood student woodworking competition as a high schooler, back in 2001. Tuck then went on to major in Furniture Studies at Appalachian State University, intern with AWFS.org, and began his career as Marketing Coordinator for SCM Group. “Young people should be looking at the wood industry as a career choice," he says. "There is a lot of opportunity to grow professionally as many boomers are retiring from the industry.” His career stops are punctuated with donations to industry education efforts, including WoodLinks. Thomas was instrumental in steering that career training effort through its merger into what is now the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee.

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Jonathan Adams, CEO, Innergy

Based in Punta Gorda, Florida, Jonathan began working in the architectural woodworking industry when he was 12. What was supposed to be a three-week stint for a single project turned into an every summer, every holiday and many Saturdays.

"During these early years, I performed many of the jobs that no one else wanted to do. I delivered cabinets, installed, laminated, built cabinets, ran machines, etc. At the time, I didn't enjoy the work, but looking back, it was an invaluable learning experience."

After graduating high school, he began working full-time at Adams Group and worked full-time and took a full-time university schedule to get a Bachelor's degree in Information Systems Management.

"I began leveraging my passion in technology with my passion in woodworking." Progressing up the ranks at Adams Group from a Project Engineer, to Systems Administrator to COO, he was able to significantly grow revenues and the bottom line. Taking his experience and coupling it with an extremely talented software development team, Innergy is building the next-generation ERP system that drives the complete business process for woodworking shops." 

Jonathan has also been continuously involved in supported wood industry education efforts, through WoodLINKS which evolved to become the Woodwork Career Alliance Education effort.

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Jessica Webber, Webber Coleman Woodworks

Jessica is the only designer in the Athens, Madison and Lake Oconee areas to earn the designation of Associate Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer through the National Kitchen and Bath Association. An AKBD certification requires a comprehensive academic examination, continuing education and professional recommendations. Jessica was named to Professional Remodeler's 40 under 40 class of 2014 and the 2016 Coverings Rockstars. Growing up, Jessica helped her parents when they built or remodeled several personal homes and rental properties. When she decided not to pursue a college degree, she turned her part-time job at her family's business, The Cabinet Man into full-time work. In 2011, The Cabinet Man merged with Coleman Cabinets to form Webber Coleman Woodworks. Jessica handles all of the design, administrative, marketing and web details and is a great asset when working with women. She thrives on creating unique designs, satisfying the client, managing a seamless project, staying on or ahead of schedule and creating lasting relationships.When not working, Jessica can be found playing tennis or traveling.

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Chad Pulkkinen, CEO, Windham Millwork, Inc.

At 33, Chad is now the third generation CEO of Windham Millwork and a driving force for the industry and for the 60-year-old architectural woodworking company based here in Maine. Housed in a 65,000 sq. ft. facility with over 90 employees, under Chad's leadership Windham has broadened its geographical reach by establishing relationships with high profile decision makers in various industries, helping diversify the customer base.  

Chad has established two companies in his new role as CEO, Windham Innovations and Made4Heroes. Windham Innovations is a signage division of Windham Millwork that allows WMI to offer additional services to their retail and commercial clients. Made4Heroes is a product based company that sells flag displays, shadow boxes and coin displays to the military, retail shops and eCommerce platforms all around the country. Chad is heavily involved in helping the community whenever possible and has donated sales/resources and time to the Travis Mills Foundation (Travis is a quadruple amputee that has built a retreat to help wounded veterans).

Windham Millwork with Chad's leadership has donated to this retreat, base/window sills/casings. Windham Millwork has had some of its biggest sales years since Chad has taken a leadership role, and is growing and strengthening because of his efforts in diversifying and relationship building.

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Marcus Waterworth, Waterworth's Woodshop

Waterworth's Woodshop based in rural Viking, Minnesota has been providing custom cabinetry, countertops, and built-in furniture since 1991. Learning woodworking from his father and master woodworker, Tim Waterworth, since the age of 7, Marcus has become a key component to what is now a thriving business.

Since Marcus and Tim have teamed up to run the company it has gone from a one man operation to having over 20 employees with there work now being showcased all throughout the Midwest. Products from Waterworths Woodshop vary from custom cabinetry  and furniture for multi million dollar homes to efficiency style cabinets for apartment units. Customers find there way to there rural showroom (Located over 10 miles from the nearest town of Viking pop. 123) from all over the Midwest. Marcus is motivated by a need to provide there work to everyone who aspires to have it and to prove that you do not have to be a huge operation to provide high end cabinetry and woodworking to large volumes of people. 

 

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David Kremer, Kremer Design

David is an award-winning woodworker and furniture maker in Denver, Colorado. Upon completing a degree in business, he discovered his true passion was in woodworking. This inspired a return to Germany, his birthplace, in 2008, to work in his uncle's woodworking shop and study furniture making. He completed a Masters (Meister) of Woodworking in Wiesbaden, Germany in 2013. Kremer’s work fuses engineering and art, producing not only creative forms and shapes, but intricate, functional designs. Living in Europe left a clear impression on his style and influenced his craftsmanship with lessons of quality, efficiency and precision. His clean aesthetic along with a respect for traditional building techniques allows him to mix modern with classic, and simple with complex. Kremer's work pushes beyond style to accomplish purposeful design.

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Dan Sanderson, Catalyst Consulting

Dan graduated from Pittsburg State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Wood Product Manufacturing. He grew up in Kansas City and, prior to College, had no experience with Woodworking or Wood Manufacturing Equipment. He attributes his success to an outstanding program at Pitt State and several people that have been generous enough to share their knowledge. "I have been very fortunate to be around some great mentors," says Dan. "Without them, I can’t imagine where I would be today." Dan is returning the favor at AWFS Fair by orchestrating an auction for a high end toolchest to fund the MiLL, a new national wood industry training center.
 
Now the owner of Catalyst Consulting, Dan represents the company by driving change in his customers’ businesses. He has worked with numerous companies to assist with everything from software and machinery implementations to small refinements of processes. Catalyst is able to assist with nearly all aspects of a Wood Manufacturing Business. They have experience with Estimating, Drafting and Programming (Engineering), Project Management, Manufacturing, and Office and Plant Management. “As someone familiar with all parts of a business, I can inform customers and help them plan and adapt,” Dan says.
 
Catalyst also represents Advantage Machinery and Biesse America in an effort to assist customers through machine purchases. For any service or product that Catalyst is unable to provide, they can recommend and coordinate with several specialty vendors/service providers that have been proven themselves exceptional in their area.
 
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Stiles Machinery is sponsor for the Wood Industry 40 Under 40 Awards, Class of 2017. 

Here are the Wood Industry 40 Under 40 award winners: disrupters, innovators, rebels, those who have broken the rules or worked out of the box to make our industry - or the world - a better place.
Woodworking Network and Stiles Machinery, sponsor of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2017, will honor next generation of industry leaders at the awards event during the Leadership Reception, 5:30 p.m.. on July 18 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the evening before the AWFS Fair woodworking show opens.
Nominee Last Name Place of Work Location  
Jonathan Adams INNERGY Punta Gorda FL
Kurt Ainsworth Marucci Sports Baton Rouge LA
Reid Anderson Anderson Studio Seattle WA
Chad Barker Barker Cabinets Tualatin OR
Tyler Bell Bellmont Cabinet Company Sumner WA
Marty Berman Amber Millwork Ltd Kelowna BC
Brad Bolte Vonmod Denver CO
Carly Boudreau Coriander Designs Woodinville WA
David Clark Kartwheel Austin TX
Elias Cortez Golden Casework Dolton CA
Chris Dolbow Stiles Machinery Grand Rapids MI
Amanda Gearey Thomas Riley Artisans' Guild Naples  FL
Dustin Giffin Giffin Interior & Fixture, Inc. Oakdale PA
Amanda Groebner TimeWorn Wood Atwater MN
James Hamilton Stumpy Nubs  Detroit MI
Andrew Hibbs Wood Inc/Kitch Components Inc Edmonton AB
Sara Johnson Stevens Industries Teutopolis IL
Bryan Koelling Lockdowel Fremont CA
Brandon Koetter NorthTech Machine, LLC Borden IN
David Kremer Kremer Design Lakewood CO
Bobby  Lewis Perspective Approach Ogden UT
Paul Losavio Cabinet Vision Tuscaloosa AL
Jeff Onsrud CR Onsrud Inc Troutman NC
Joe Patrovich ModWorxx New York NY
Greg Pilotti Greg Pilotti Furniture Makers Parkesburg PA
Mike Prom Autodesk  Mill Valley CA
Chad Pulkkinen Windham Millwork, Inc Windham ME
Whitney Bowers Pyle Advanced Cabinet Systems Marion IN
Dan Sanderson Catalyst Consulting Grimes IA
Nick Schiffer NS Builders Boston MA
Adam Schneider ConceptWorks Elkhart Lake WI
Jens Schulz Leuco Tool Corporation Villa Rica GA
Thomas Tuck C.R. Onsrud Troutman NC
Andy Turner Weinig USA Mooresville NC
Emily Vella Atlantic Plywood Woburn MA
Chip Wade Wade Works Creative Atlanta GA
Marcus Waterworth Waterworths Woodshop Viking MN
Jessica Webber Webber Coleman Woodworks Watkinsville GA
Jon Wenger Genesis Products Inc. Elkhart IN
Taylor Young Kebony USA St. Clair MI
Laura Zahn Allied Woodshop Los Angeles CA

 

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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.