National Woods Board names Conger executive director

Amanda Conger has been named executive director of the National Woods Board.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The National Woods Board (NWB) has named Amanda Conger executive director, effective July 1. This is a new position for the recently established 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Conger has a wide range of industry experience and is also the executive director of the Cabinet Makers Association and the Association of Closet & Storage Professionals. She has been serving on the NWB as secretary/treasurer since its inception.

The mission of the NWB is to replicate and proliferate the successful model implemented by the Colorado Springs-based Manufacturing Industry Learning Lab, known as The MiLL, on a national level. The organization was founded to make the industry-supported education that was built for The MiLL accessible and scalable to students regardless of the location or population of their district.

At the MiLL, highly qualified instructors provide high school students with hands-on experience and training on the latest tools and manufacturing equipment, including CNC technology. These instructors use a curriculum that ensures students are learning skills and concepts that can be directly applied to modern wood manufacturing companies. Upon completion of the coursework and training, students will have the skills and industry-recognized credentials needed to obtain internships or employment.

The effective strategy of the MiLL, and one NWB seeks to expand, is to establish a mutually beneficial relationship between industry and education. The MiLL is owned and operated by Widefield School District No. 3 (WSD3), and the program’s materials and supplies are provided by industry partners, at no cost to the school district or the students. The work that has been done already at The MiLL has opened opportunities for students in the Colorado education system for years to come. In continued cooperation with WSD3, the NWB will benefit future CTE students nationwide based on further collaboration between industry and education.

The majority of the NWB’s board of directors are individuals who helped get The MiLL to where it is today. Serving on the board are: Chairman Thomas Allott (supplier), Brian Donahue (supplier), Dean Mattson (educator), Jason Howell (supplier), John LeTourneau (executive coach), Kelly Victor-Burke (manufacturer), Molly Turner (educator), Rob Roszell (media), Scott Robinson (manufacturer), Shane Skalla (educator), Tim Fixmer (media), and Tim Kistler (educator).

NWB at AWFS Fair
NWB will be at AWFS Fair in Las Vegas July 25-28 in booth #3581 in the West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. To learn more, the chairman Thomas Allott will be presenting on the AWFS Fair Live Show Floor Stage, booth #4780, on Tuesday, July 25 at 12:30 pm. His presentation, “Taking Success to the Next Level – An Introduction to the National Woods Board” is free to all AWFS Fair attendees and exhibitors. No additional session registration is required. Thomas’s presentation will also serve as a press conference and will be followed by a Q&A.

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About the author
Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at [email protected]