Get to know the new consumer at Leadership Forum
According to Willis CEO and President, Mike Hetherman, there are two very distinct types of consumers: the NEO and the Traditional.

ATLANTA, GA -- According to Mike Hetherman there are two very distinct types of  consumers:  the NEO and the Traditional.  In his August 21 presentation, Understand the new consumer at Woodworking Network's Leadership Forum, Hetherman will discuss how the two different consumers are powering our economy. Hetherman is the president, owner and CEO of Willis - a North American distributor of building materials based in Burlington, Ontario with offices in the Western United States..  "This presentation will uncover why targeting one consumer type versus the other will drastically change your sales, marketing and pricing strategies forever," said Hetherman. He delivered the presentation at the recent KBIS show in Orlando in January, 2018.

According to Hetherman the presentation will address who spends the most, most frequently.  You'll also find out more about their values, attitudes and, ultimately, buying behavior and communication preference.  Most importantly, you’ll learn how to quickly connect with your customer, close jobs faster, work less and maximize your profits.

Hetherman is a "fellow" in the Quantum Shift™ program at the Richard Ivey School of Business where he participates in a rigorous developmental experience. Quantum Shift™ challenges 40 of Canada's most promising entrepreneurs to improve their leadership style, inspire their business partners and maximize their growth opportunies.

Mike and his wife, Cathy, share their time between their two homes: one in Mississauga, Ontario and the other in Palm Springs, California.

The Woodworking Network Leadership Forum is sponsored by JB Cutting

Woodworking Network Leadership Forum Schedule
August 21, 2018 -- Georgia World Congress Center

9:00 AM  – 10:00 AM - Keynote: Leadership by Design
Keith Morgan will discuss the importance of professional design in all aspects of your business including design, manufacturing, and marketing.   According to Morgan, it is essential to integrate a solid design professional or professionals within your front office operations. The organization must have individuals who have experience in the interior design industry but also be able to take on and understand construction techniques at the shop floor level.
Keith Morgan, founder of Bespoke, caters to an elite international clientele, emphasizing elegant custom design and spectacular craftsmanship. Not only has Bespoke won multiple Craftsman’s Challenge awards, but also Morgan has earned a reputation for his marketing prowess in the highly competitive world of luxury consumers.
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM - Building Bigger, Taller and Stronger with Wood: How Mass Timber is Rolling out in the U.S.
Products such as cross laminated timber, popular in Europe for more than 20 years, are now making their way into North America in a serious way, with manufacturers in Oregon, Washington, Montana and Alabama coming onstream and innovative new timber buildings appearing in many of our cities.
Iain Macdonald, Associate Director of the TallWood Design Institute
In this presentation, Iain Macdonald, Associate Director of the TallWood Design Institute, will describe mass timber and how it is changing the way America builds. He will cover manufacturing, technical barriers and how they are being overcome, expectations for market growth, and what it means for providers of non-structural wood products.
11:00 AM - Noon - A Unique Technology, in a Unique Part, for a Unique Industry
Each item is unique, and in woodworking, this is even truer than any other industry. But how could we identify the unique history of each unique part? And how can we use that information to help measure quality, control process flows, and improve inventory accuracy?
Henry Nisiobincki, RFID Program Manager, American Woodmark Corporation
Using integrated RFID technology to create a unique identity for each piece, American Woodmark Corporation has seen continuous benefit and value.  Henry Nisiobincki will show how a simple low-cost addition to each piece can be the solution for endless cost-savings, as well as the platform for

Noon - 1:00 PM - Networking Lunch
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM - Nanotechnology: Small to the World, Big to the Industry
There's an unprecedented multidisciplinary convergence of scientists dedicated to the study of a world so small, we can't see it - even with a light microscope. That world is the field of nanotechnology, the realm of atoms and nanostructures.
Mike Hetherman, President, CEO and Owner of Willis
Nanotechnology is so new, no one is really sure what will come of it. What we do know is that nanotechnology is making its way into the world of building materials. Join us for an intriguing session which will outline the basics of nanotechnology and how it’s being used to revolutionize our industry.
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM - The Business Case for Diversity
Diversity is quite possibly the best source of innovation and creativity in our industry, according to Whitney Pyle who is also a Woodworking Network Class of 2017 40 under 40 winner. Whitney will discuss her career path through the industry as a female.
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM - Understand the New Consumer
This presentation will unearth two very distinct types of consumers – the NEO and the Traditional – and how they are powering our economy.  Discover why targeting one versus the other will drastically change your sales, marketing and pricing strategies forever. You’ll learn who spends the most, most frequently, and find out more about their values, attitudes and, ultimately, buying behavior and communication preference.  Most importantly, you’ll learn how to quickly connect with your customer, close jobs faster, work less and maximize your profits.
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM - 40 under 40 leadership panel:
Woodworking Network’s 40 under 40 award recognizes those individuals that have made a difference in their careers, their companies, their communities and to the industry.  Benchmarks include productivity, profitability, social good, innovation, peer inspiration, product development and organizational leadership.
This illustrious panel, made up of members of the Class of 2018 and alumni, will address their leadership journey and offer insights  into the future of the industry.

Immediately following the symposia and Leadership Forum, all participants will be invited to attend the Woodworking Network 40 under 40 reception, which recognizes the Class of 2018 and alumni.


Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Profile picture for user Harry Urban
About the author
Harry Urban

Harry Urban is the retired publisher of the Woodworking Network. Urban spent more than 30 years working in business-to-business publishing, trade shows, and conferences. He has travelled extensively throughout North America and overseas visiting and reporting on major manufacturing facilities and trade shows. In retirement, he's still following the woodworking industry, but he plans to do a lot more fishing.