SAWFS’ Education Director Nancy Fister has received the 2012 Los Angeles County Industrial and Technology Education Association (LACITEA) Industry Person of the Year Award for her efforts towards industry education and career and technical education advocacy. The honor was bestowed at LACITEA’s annual banquet and awards ceremony on Saturday, May 19. Nancy was presented with a plaque, a certificate and a binder with nearly twenty letters of support from members of industry.
In the ten years that Nancy has been at AWFS, she has grown the College of Woodworking Knowledge (CWWK) educational program at the AWFS Fair to the most recognized and respected of its type in our industry, offering high-quality speakers and popular seminars on topics of interest to the many facets of the woodworking industry. As an example of her dedication, she studied and received her LEED certification in order to expand her knowledge of sustainable practice topics and she continually adds new seminars and tracks for specific groups like woodworking educators and small shops with less than ten employees. AWFS Board member Philip Martin states that “Nancy has the passion and knowledge to bring the right educational programs and speakers to this event which continues to grow year after year. These seminars would not be well received and attended without her vision and hard work.”
Outside of the AWFS Fair, Nancy developed the WoodIndustryEd.org educational database resource website and oversees the growth of the Fresh Wood student competition and the AWFS scholarship programs. She serves on committees and advisory groups such as Cerritos College and works with groups like WoodLINKS, Woodwork Career Alliance and SkillsUSA in the efforts to align skill standards.
She is currently researching ways to support woodworking teachers within California (and ultimately nationally) by offering resources and training events. Her message that “the woodworking industry needs skilled workers” shows in all that she does for AWFS and the industry. Phil Stevenson of AWFI concurs: “There is no one who has helped to deliver this message to our industry that does it better than Nancy.”
Prior to her current role at AWFS, Nancy attended College of the Redwoods in northern California, where she received a Certificate of Completion in the 9-month intensive Fine Woodworking Program. Following this training, she studied at the Cerritos College Wood Manufacturing Technology Department and later worked as their program coordinator where she implemented a CNC technology and programming grant, planned events and led activities to promote the program.
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