WMIA presented its 2013 Wooden Globe Awards at this year's Woodworking Industry Conference held in Tempe, AZ. The recipients were: Innovator of the Year, Kotter Woodworking, Inc., Borden, IN; Commitment to Excellence through Technology, Stanley Furniture, Robbinsville, NC; and Educator of the Year, North Salem High School, Salem, OR.

Innovator of the Year

WMIA presents its Innovator of the Year award to a company that produces a unique and innovative wood-based product or uses an innovative process to produce a wood-based product using high technology machinery supplied by one or more WMIA member companies. This year's recipient, Koetter Woodworking, Inc. was nominated by WMIA member Hoosier Woodworking Machinery, Inc. Jerry and Brian Koetter accepted the award.

Koetter Woodworking created and updated: EnvisionIT; a profile library and architectural design program. EnvisionIT has a variety of features to assist with the creation of unique architectural designs for residential or commercial millwork projects. It also provides the ability to access the complete Koetter Woodworking library of stock and custom profiles.

In response to the the recession, Koetter Woodworking implemented a new business strategy. They cut inventories and reduced labor, while shortening lead times on orders. Koetter did this by reorganizing from the time they received orders (EnvisionIT), to manufacturing products (purchased new machines that were quick-change, automated, with less labor), to ensuring orders were shipped correctly. In 2012, Koetter committed money (software and machinery) and time (training and re-educating their team members) to make this happen.

Koetter Woodworking, Inc has moved all manufacturing back to their main facility in Borden, Indiana. This enabled team members to work more closely together and reduce lead times by half.

As a one-stop source for mouldings, doors, stair parts, custom millwork, wood flooring, and more, Koetter Woodworking services cabinet and furniture manufacturers, architectural millwork distributors, lumber yards, and wood flooring distributors. Working together with a variety of distribution chains, Koetter Woodworking is able to provide the entire millwork package for both residential and commercial building projects.

Commitment to Excellence Through Technology

Stanley Furniture of Robbinsville, NC received the Commitment to Excellence Through Technology Award. Bob Harold accepted the award at the Woodworking Industry Conference.

In 2010, Stanley Furniture made a bold decision to buck the trend of our times, and bring production of a furniture line back to our shores. A challenge that seems insurmountable for multiple reasons to a multitude of industries. This is why Doucet Machineries Inc. and Weinig USA jointly agreed on a company whom we felt was a bright example of a Commitment to Excellence through Technology. Because how else can you combat those challenges without a commitment to an excellent product and the technology to produce that product.

Stanley Furniture is known throughout the industry for products of traditional construction, with superior quality. Their goal was to successfully bring the Young America line of furniture back to U.S. shores. Their challenges included reducing costs while guaranteeing the same quality for which they are known. Stanley made multiple technology investments to give this dream a chance -- new packaging systems, finishing solutions, material handling projects, advanced rough milling solutions. They did not refuse to dream big to achieve their success.

With these investments, Stanley Furniture now proving products "Made in the USA" can be successful and profitable.

WMIA's Commitment to Excellence in Technology award is presented to a company whose continued investments in  high technology machinery provide the necessary competitive advantage to compete successfully in today’s global market.

Educator of the Year

Dean Mattson, the Cabinet & Woods Manufacturing teacher at North Salem High School, accepted the Educator of the Year award on behalf of the school. North Salem High is embarking on an amazing collaborative effort, using a STEM and CTE Model, between cabinet manufacturing, mathematics, engineering and the business community. Students are learning Lean Manufacturing which prepares them to be highly qualified workers in manufacturing upon graduation. They are receiving nationally recognized industry certification. Industry and the business community have donated more than $650,000 to the program. Another business partner has extended an offer to hire every qualified senior from the Cabinet Manufacturing Program at a living wage.

Math curriculum is being written to incorporate wood topics and woods machines to help capture the attention of students learning mathematics. In addition, students will be using cabinet modeling software and commercial sized CNC machines to learn math and job skills that will make them career-ready right out of high school. Collaboration is also occurring with the engineering program to incorporate the use of the Cabinet Manufacturing CNC machines as part of its Project Lead the Way curriculum.

The result of this effort has been very positive for students. Click here to read a detailed article about the program.

WMIA's Educator of the Year award is presented to an educational institution or company with a structured curriculum tailored to training individuals for careers in the woodworking industry. The curriculum must include hands-on training on high technology machinery supplied by one or more WMIA member companies. The curriculum must extend beyond training individuals for a single company.

WMIA is an association of companies whose primary business is providing the North American market with the latest woodworking technology, equipment, computer software and distribution service channels available globally. The association maintains a website at www.wmia.org. For more information, contact WMIA Headquarters, 27 Main St., Suite 1, New Milford, CT 06776. Phone: 860-350-9642, Fax: 860-354-0677, E-mail: info@wmia.org.

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