Wood Industry Market Leaders 2009-2013
November 4, 2014 | 10:13 pm CST

This marks the sixth year Wood Products has identified those that have made an impact — at their own companies and on the industry as a whole. Along with the 2014 wood industry Market Leaders, we recognize past honorees (titles/jobs at date of recognition).

Keith Atherholt (2010)
President, Lewis Lumber Products
Under Atherholt, the millwork/components producer increased sales and products, while reducing operating costs.

Neil Balter (2013)
Founder, Organizers Direct
Prior to founding Organizers Direct in 1995, Balter founded California Closets, the nation’s largest home organization franchise.

Bill Barton (2012)
President & CEO, California Closets
Barton has helped home organization giant California Closets grow even larger and more innovative, often looking outside the industry for new ideas.

John Bassett III (2012)
Chairman, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co.
Under Bassett, the company is the largest domestic producer of wood adult bedroom furniture. Bassett is also recognized for his leadership role in the fight against low-cost imports.

Mark Bernhard (2009)
President, Bernhard Woodwork Ltd.
With a lifetime of experience in the industry, Bernhard has guided the architectural woodwork giant to new levels.

Franco Bianchi (2011)
President & CEO, Haworth Inc.
Under Bianchi’s leadership, Haworth has stayed the course, offering integrated and innovative products for the contract furniture market.

Steve Brewster (2010)
Director of Sustainability, Kimball Office
In addition to his work at Kimball, Brewster has gained recognition as a speaker on sustainable manufacturing.

Mike Carson (2009)
President, Closet Works Inc.
Carson was instrumental in launching The National Closet Group, a group for the home storage and organization industry.

Mark Clemens (2011)
VP Product Development, idX Corp.
In addition to his efforts at idX, Clemens works to improve the industry and is active in the AWI.

Margaret Fisher (2010)
Director Market Dev., Lange Bros. Woodwork
A business advocate and author, Fisher has been a speaker on behalf of the AWI on the topics of LEED, wood and carbon, and forest sustainability.

Kent Gilchrist (2013)
President, Fremont Interiors
Gilchrist’s dedication to both his firm and the architectural industry as a whole has resulted in significant growth for both.

Bob Gronlund (2012)
Chairman & CEO, Wood-Mode Inc.
Under Gronlund’s leadership, Wood-Mode has become one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of custom and semi-custom cabinetry.

Roger Jones (2011)
VP Global Logistics, Century Furniture
Jones helped increase international work and develop the infrastructure to support Century’s Lacey Act implementation.

Steve Kincaid (2010)
President, Kincaid Furniture
Under Kincaid’s direction, the company looks to become the leading solid wood furniture manufacturer/marketer.

Peter Kleinschmidt (2013)
President, CEO & Chairman, Stiles Machinery
One of the founders of the WMIA, Kleinschmidt’s ability to look at the big picture also helped Stiles grow into perhaps the largest woodworking machinery distributor in the U.S.

Edmund ‘Bud’ Klipa (2012)
GM Wood Division, Steelcase Inc.
Klipa has helped steer Steelcase’s Wood division’s offerings to meet the changing work modes and trends, building a stronger global product portfolio through sustainable manufacturing.

Kevin Kuske (2009)
General Wood Manager, Steelcase Inc.
Kuske helped Steelcase reinvent its Wood business and put in place sustainability initiatives at the office furniture giant.

Bastien Larouche (2013)
President, CEO & Founder, Ro-Bois-Tic
Larouche’s innovative approach to manufacturing led to North America’s first lights-out woodworking plant.

Bill LePage (2009)
VP Operations, The Simple Furniture Co.
LePage helped direct the RTA company’s sustainability efforts, including an eco-friendly line of children’s furniture..

Pernille Lopez (2009)
President, IKEA North America
Lopez helped direct IKEA’s growth from a small retailer to nationally recognized home furnishings and accessories chain.

Matt Lundahl (2012)
COO, Meyer & Lundahl Manufacturing Co.
A “crusader” for the architectural industry as well as his own firm, Lundahl has helped grow Meyer & Lundahl into a premier specialty contractor in the Southwest.

Christine Marvin (2012)
Dir. of Marketing, Marvin Windows & Doors
Marvin’s contributions have helped esnsure the fenestration giant remains innovative, and continues its long history of industry-first achievements.

Hank Menke Jr (2013)
President & CEO, OFS Brands Inc.
Menke has helped the office furniture maker remain at the top level through product innovation, value and service. Menke is also a recognized leader for his industry and community efforts.

Gene Ponder (2013)
Founder, Master WoodCraft Cabinetry
A recognized entrepreneur, Ponder founded Republic Industries before launching the successful Master WoodCraft.

Jeff Pray (2011)
President & CEO, PIN
Under his direction, the store fixture maker continues to grow and gain recognition. PIN has won awards for its service, product designs as well as innovative use of technology.

Mark Richey (2009)
President, Mark Richey Woodworking
Richey’s promotes strong environmental initiatives, as well as empowering employees.

Kevin Sauder (2009)
President & CEO, Sauder Woodworking
As president and CEO, Sauder has helped drive the RTA giant's strong environmental initiatives: the company produces almost 300 tons of wood waste daily, yet has not taken a load to the landfill in more than nine years.

Jim Sherbert (2010)
CEO, Bush Industries
Under Sherbert’s direction, Bush has diversified into new markets and developed new brands and product lines, while putting in place strategies to increase enterprise value through sustainability.

Eric Smith (2012)
President & CEO, Panel Processing Inc.
Under Smith’s leadership, Panel Processing has grown to be the largest panel fabricator in the nation, offering a variety of manufacturing capabilities.

Greg Stoner (2010)
President, MasterBrand Cabinets
Stoner parlayed his experience in large-scale manufacturing environments to position MasterBrand in its leadership role.

Karen Strauss (2011)
President, Masco Cabinetry Group
Under her direction, Masco consolidated the retail and cabinet divisions into one streamlined organizational structure.

Bob Timberlake (2012)
Chairman, Bob Timberlake Inc.
Timberlake’s innovative approach to design and marketing a branded furniture line helped turn around the furniture industry in the 1990s.

Brian Walker (2010)
President and CEO, Herman Miller Inc.
Walker has led Herman Miller to be one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” according to Fortune magazine.

Ron Wanek (2011)
Chairman, Ashley Furniture Industries Inc.
A self-made millionaire and one of the richest Americans, Wanek has led the residential furniture company to becoming the largest in the nation, and be among the first to both source and sell around the world.

Chris Watson (2011)
COO, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp.
In addition to his work in improving the industry, Watson has led wood components firm in strategic initiatives, including resizing of operations and lean manufacturing.

Bill Weaver (2009)
President & CEO, Canyon CreekCabinet Co.
Weaver took a small company on the verge of bankruptcy and built it into a major cabinet manufacturer, renowned for its sustainability initiatives.

Jennifer Q. Williams (2010)
Owner & President, St. Louis Closet Co.
In 1991 Williams launched the first locally-owned closet firm that installed custom organizing systems.

Andy Wilzoch (2009)
Owner & President, Premier EuroCase
With the goal of always moving forward and reinvesting in infrastructure, Wilzoch has propelled the company from a 1,000-square-foot shop into one of the largest panel processors, as well as a casegoods and components manufacturer.

Eric Wolff (2011)
President & CEO, The Stow Co.
Under his direction, Stow has become one of the premier, sustainable manufacturer of home organization products.

Boe Young (2010)
Vice President of Manufacturing, Impressions Marketing Group
Young has helped lead Impressions in its winning ventures, including multiple awarding of the A.R.E.’s “Above and Beyond Award” for customer service and project execution.

Nominate a Market Leader
Established by Wood Products magazine, this exclusive program recognizes individuals who have made an impact, not only at their own woodworking firm, but also within their market segments.
Submit Your Nominees


With the goal of always moving forward and reinvesting in infrastructure, Wilzoch has propelled the company from a 1,000-square-foot shop into one of the largest panel processors, as well as a casegoods and components manufacturer.

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