Azzoni named WMIA executive VP

Following an extensive search, the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association (WMIA) selected Riccardo Azzoni to serve as the association's executive vice president. In his role as WMIA's chief staff officer, he will be responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the organization, working with the group's board of directors and implementing the strategies and programs they develop.

Through his company, Atlantic Machinery Corp., Azzoni has a long history with WMIA. He first became a member of the organization in 1986. Shortly thereafter, he became involved in WMIA's volunteer leadership, serving on the board of directors, chairing several committees, holding officer positions and, from 1997-99, serving as WMIA's president.

"l aim to bring a different style of management to WMIA, not just as an administrative asset, but one born of my almost 30 years of hands-on experience in the woodworking machinery industry," Azzoni says. "By creating new ways to communicate to customers the importance of the latest, most efficient technology our members bring to the North American market and beyond, WMIA wants to teach lean manufacturing, cost cutting solutions, manufacturing techniques and labor saving initiatives that will benefit all woodworking manufacturers, so they can become more efficient and more profitable, especially in this very competitive environment."

During Azzoni's time on the WMIA board, he was instrumental in founding Woodlinks USA -- an educational partnership between the woodworking industry and woodworking educators designed to bring new talent into the field. He was also elected as a WMIA representative to the Intemational Woodworking Fair's (lWF) board of directors in 1998. As part of the IWF board, he helped build a highly successful trade show. In December 2008, he was nominated as chairman of IWF 2010 and he still serves on the board today.

"WMIA conducted an extensive search to fill this position and we're excited to have Riccardo on board," says WMIA President David Rothwell. "His industry experience brings a new dimension to WMIA's staff. He will be uniquely able to relate to our members since he has first-hand knowledge of the challenges they face."

"l'm very much looking forward to working with Riccardo," adds John Henderson, WMIAs incoming president. "He brings more than 20 years of leadership skills and industry experience to this position and should be instrumental in helping WMIA grow."

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.


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