Since 2009, Woodworking Network has paid tribute to market leaders in the wood products industry that have made an impact — not only at their own companies, but also on the industry as a whole. Represented are persons from all segments of the secondary woodworking industry, including: residential furniture, contract/office furniture, cabinets, closets/home storage, store fixture, architectural woodwork, window and door, and wood components.
Meet the 2016 Wood Industry Market Leaders. This elite group of woodworking professionals are thriving as they meet the competitive and economic challenges facing North American businesses – a fact highlighted by the number of firms included in this year’s FDMC 300 listing of the wood industries' largest firms.
A fortuitous meeting started Farooq Kathwari on the path to becoming the chairman, president and CEO of Ethan Allen Interiors – and turned the Kashmir-born man into a true American success story. Under Kathwari’s leadership, Ethan Allen has become a top producer of residential furnishings, with nine manufacturing facilities, including six U.S. production facilities and a sawmill, plus plants in Mexico and Honduras.
Paul Wellborn's initiatives have driven the multi-million dollar Wellborn Cabinet company to even greater success. Under his guidance, the company has transitioned to selling products through authorized dealers, expanded the number of styles and products. “Our cabinets are ‘Crafted by People Who Care,’” he added.
Teamwork: It’s what drives not only Stevens Industries President Todd Wegman, but is the very essence of the employee-owned, multi-million dollar panel laminator, commercial casework and millwork manufacturer, and private label manufacturer. Under his leadership, he has created at Stevens a culture that drives entrepreneurialism.
Opportunity led Sylvain Garneau to join Groupe Lacasse. A passion for woodworking is what has kept him there. Under Garneau’s leadership, Groupe Lacasse has continued to be proactive with regards to productivity, diversification and in particular, creativity. It has been recognized for its achievements, including several “Best of NeoCon” awards.
A key figure in the success of Decore-ative Specialties has been the leadership of Jack Lansford, Jr. in the expansion of its products and capabilities, which in turn has influenced the custom cabinet market.
Good organization has been key to Bob Lewis’ success. As president and CEO of Closet & Storage Concepts and More Space Place, he has guided the multi-million dollar operation to a leadership position in the home organization industry.
Have fun, make money and build business. It’s been a winning mantra for Rick Thaler, president of OGB Architectural Millwork, as he brings the New Mexico-based firm to new levels of success.
Providing jobs to give the homeless a “hand up, not a handout,” has been a driving force behind the success and renown of Lamon Luther, a custom woodworking firm founded by Brian Preston.
An entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to work with end customers lured Joe Lonardo into the custom closets industry. He quickly put his business savvy to use, launching Bella Systems closet franchises.