ATLANTA, GA --  "Leaders have to work hard to create an environment where everyone understands that dissent and disagreement are good," according to Whitney Pyle, V.P. and COO of Advanced Cabinet Systems. Pyle will discuss the positive aspects of having a diverse workplace in her presentation, The Business Case for Diversity, August 21 at the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum preceding IWF. The presentation marks a return to the speaker's podium for Pyle on behalf of the Woodworking Network.  She was the keynote presenter at the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo March 27 in Pasadena.

 Pyle said it is okay to have disagreements and they should be celebrated. "However, it is imperative that disagreement and dissent are professional and respectful, she said.

"If your organization consists of a homogenous group that doesn't encourage dissent or disagreement you are likely wasting time, resources, and money. Homogenous social groups are more cohesive than diverse social groups," said Pyle.
"There is no place for violence, insults, or uncivilized behavior. But there is also no room and no place for a bunch of yes people who constantly agree with everything everyone else always says or does. That’s a complete waste of time, resources, and money."
Pyle, who is also a Woodworking Network Class of 2017 40 under 40 honoree will discuss her career path through the industry as a female. "The construction and woodworking industries as a whole lack diversity," said Pyle.  She said many times when she attended industry events people would presume she was just somebody's spouse.

The 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 future innovation.
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.

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