Machinery association's merger plan takes next step

The expected merger of the Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers of America (WMMA) and the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association (WMIA) took another step toward a final vote with a town hall meeting on Oct. 12. 

The Zoom meeting outlined the two association’s plans for the proposed union of around 200 members that will be voted on Oct. 22 at 1 p.m., and, if approved, will become effective on Jan. 1, 2024. 
At that time, the newly formed association, with members totaling around 200 members, will be known as the Wood Industry Association.

Allen Eden, president of the Original Saw Company and past chair of the WMMA said that combining the two organizations will bring more “horsepower” and help coordinate efforts to advance the wood industry in Washington and throughout North America. “By combining the strengths and expertise of both organizations, we aim to create a unified front that will maximize efficiency, enhance resources, and foster greater collaboration within our industry,” he said.

WIA will be the sole owner of IWF moving forward. The IWF staff will remain in Atlanta and continue to run and operate all aspects of the IWF show. Next year’s show will be held August 6-9 at the Georgia World Congress Center –Atlanta, Georgia. A management committee comprised of member companies (currently 6 individuals) will continue to liaise with the IWF staff team and manage the show.

The Wood Industry Conference will continue as an annual event. The 2024 Wood Industry Conference is scheduled for April 9-11, at the Vinoy Renaissance, St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The AWFS Fair is not part of the merger. At the AWFS 2023 in Las Vegas, there was a discussion that the Association of Woodworking Furnishing Suppliers and the AWFS Fair might be part of any merger plans, but that was clarified during the Town Hall meeting. Eden said that the AWFS association will continue it has and any member of the newly formed WIA group will make individual decisions as to whether to participate in the next AWFS Fair scheduled for 2025.

AT the AWFS Fair some of the smaller members were concerned that a merger might provide too much power in the hands of a few, larger companies. When asked about this type of concern, the committee members said that a nominating to help select will association leadership will be made up of 8 individuals who other than the Past Chair and this first term, cannot simultaneously be a Director.

2024-2025 Nominating CommitteeTerms effective January 1, 2024

  • Current Past Chair: Allen Eden, The Original Saw Company (2 year)
  • Jeff Hatch, Pillar Machine (2 year)
  • Pascal Doucet, DoucetInc. (2 year)
  • Scott Masse, Masse Sales (2 year)
  • Jack Ragan, MachineryMax, Inc. (1 year)
  • Paul Wilmes, Mereen-Johnson LLC (1 year)
  • Rick Braun, Machine Solutions (1 year)
  • Mark Craig, SCM (1 year)

The association will be managed by the Stringfellow Management Group (SMG), the company that has been managing WMMA for the past 11 years will manage the merged association. Fred Stringfellow will serve as CEO.


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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).