Steve Mashl, WCMA President, owner Valley Custom Door
Steve Mashl, WCMA President, owner Valley Custom Door

Welcome to 2018, a year that will continue to feature significant changes in how we do business throughout this fast-paced, ever-changing environment. From the increased workloads, to the often hard-to-find employees that make our business great, we find ourselves continuing to automate our plants to increase production and better serve our customers. Keeping up with technology is imperative to success and adapting to technological developments is a must for continued growth in the industry.

The WCMA Board of Directors closed out a busy 2017 year with a Strategic Planning Session held on Nov. 6 and 7.  The purpose of this meeting was to discuss and identify the priorities of our association over the next few years. Four focused goals to benefit our members were identified and will be the basis for upcoming meetings to enhance the membership experience. These goals are as follows:

Create a clearinghouse of information, a go-to site for educational items, events, and useful information pertaining to the wood processing business.

Hold regional one-day events. It was agreed that the association will add one-day programs featuring new, innovative processes and products in a regional setting. This will give members and non-members in a specific area the opportunity to take only one day out of the office, and see new installations of equipment, as well as network with other members

Develop a strong social media presence. Currently, the association has little presence and we feel this is necessary for the next generation.

Recruit new members and increase member retention.

Featured Goal: Membership is still on the forefront of the WCMA as it takes members, new and current, to continue to make this a successful association.  We need all members to participate in the recruitment process and help build our membership levels, including the next generation of skilled woodworkers. 

We recently returned from our second WCMA European Tour in March which was held in Germany. The excursion started in Frankfurt and led to several other astonishing cities, including Heidelberg, Grunmettstetter, Wiesenbronn, Creuzburg and Aschaffenburg. We viewed many highly automated factories engaging in panel and wood processing, along with tours of the Homag factory and Pollmeier sawmills. The combination of the plant tours, networking with other members, and taking the time to see how other businesses operate was incredible. This will certainly help our attending members make those tough decisions with their company’s future growth in the technology and manufacturing sectors. We cannot thank Homag and Pollmeier enough for their hospitality and time spent with us on the tours.

WCMA will be on display at IWF in Atlanta again this year. The show is projected to be larger in size than in previous years, which bodes well for the wood industry’s strong comeback since the economic collapse. IWF will showcase some of the newest and greatest machines and products from across the world. If you have never attended IWF, I would highly suggest you consider making the trip to Atlanta; it will be well worth your time.

WCMA will hold its 2018 Fall Conference & Plant Tour Event in Wausau, Wisconsin, from Oct. 8 through 10. We have already secured visits to Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork, Menzner Lumber & Supply Co., Weather Shield Window, Counter-Form, Wausau Homes, Kretz Lumber and North Central Technical School. The keynote speaker will be Guy Bucey, speaking on “How to Motivate Today’s Workforce by Aligning and Resetting Your Company and Its Culture.” On Tuesday, Brad Cairns from the Center for Lean Learning will address the group with a talk on “Kick-ass Lean.”

On behalf of myself, Amy, and all members of the Board of Directors and executive members, thank you for your membership and support. We promise to keep evolving to serve you better. 

For information on WCMA, visit WCMA.com.

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