Since 1978, the Woodworking Machinery In- dustry Association (WMIA) has served as the recognized voice of importers and distribu- tors of woodworking machinery and ancillary equipment in North America. WMIA’s mission is
to provide a platform for its members to network and
present the best global technology, services, and information to the wood products marketplace.
WMIA Chairman of the Board David Rakauskas,
executive vice president of Colonial Saw Co., dis-cusses the association’s activities and how they
benefit North America’s woodworking industry.
Woodworking Network: What is WMIA’s
role in the woodworking industry?
Rakauskas: Since our association was founded
nearly 40 years ago, we have been providing a venue
for importers and distributors of woodworking machinery to network and share best practices, as well as
serving as a vital communications link between suppliers and manufacturers of wood products in North
America. The most visible role that we play is our co-ownership of the IWF show, along with our partners
at the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America
(WMMA). As the premier tradeshow for the woodworking industry in North America, we take great pride
in providing a venue for manufacturers to see and experience the latest technology, as well as educational
opportunities, which can help them be more profitable.
WWN: What value does investing in upgraded
machinery and technology provide manufacturers?
Rakauskas: The whole woodworking industry
is going through an exciting period of growth right
now; but this growth brings new pressures that
most manufacturers are struggling to deal with.
Many wood product manufacturers are extremely
busy right now, but margins are still not where they
would like them to be. So how do you deal with
a situation where you see increasing margin pressure AND volume pressure? The only answer is
through increased efficiency. Companies that make
investments in the latest technology, especially in
production equipment, are the ones that will be in
the best position to deal with the current stresses
in the marketplace; and also make the best adaptations to whatever challenges the future holds.
WWN: What is WMIA’s Wooden Globe Awards
program, and how can recipients of these awards
serve as role models to advance the industry?
Rakauskas: The Wooden Globe Awards recognize companies who made sound investments in
technology, which resulted in increased production,
innovation, and a stronger bottom line. By investing
in their businesses, these owners offer a good example of how to succeed in the competitive woodworking market. The Wooden Globe Awards also
recognize achievements in education, which is vital
to the future of our industry. (See page 6.)
WWN: What are some of the other programs
WMIA offers to benefit the woodworking industry?
Rakauskas: One of WMIA’s greatest responsi-
bilities is to help ensure the future viability of the
industry. When you ask owners of woodworking
companies what their biggest challenges are, most
say, “I just can’t find enough good people!” To try
and influence more young people to see a career in
the woodworking industry as an attractive choice,
WMIA’s Educational Foundation provides scholar-
ships – to date, we’ve provided nearly $380,000
to students at over 60 colleges. It is our hope that
by doing this, we are encouraging young people to
pursue higher degrees, as well as careers, in wood-
working and related fields. (See page 4.)
WMIA is also proud to sponsor the Wood-
working Technology Industry Institute (WTII) Boot
Camp, held twice a year at Pittsburg State Uni-
versity in Kansas. This program has proven tre-
mendously valuable in helping to give an overview
of wood processing, perfect for new salespeople,
technicians, and executives. (See page 5.)
Finally, WMIA’s has been working with the Inter-
national Organization on Standardization (ISO) and
the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), to
harmonize international standards for woodworking
machinery. This type of initiative is not as visible to
most manufacturers, or even to our own member-
ship, but we feel that it is vital for the future of our
industry as a whole. The WMIA established and
funds the U.S. Technical Advisory Group, which is
the voice for the U.S. on the ISO committee. So we
now have the ability to participate in and influence
the development of standards at a global level and
make sure that the needs of the U.S. marketplace
are represented internationally.
WMIA: A CONDUIT FOR WOOD
WMIA SERVES AS THE VITAL LINK BETWEEN THE SUPPLIER COMMUNITY
AND WOOD PRODUCTS MANUFACTURERS, SUPPORTING TECHNOLOGICAL
ADVANCEMENTS AND EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS.
3 Why you should join
4 Building a workforce
5 Camp helps managers
boot up their skills
6 Wooden Globe Awards
10 WMIA Members
WMIA Chairman of the Board
Larry Hoffer Heather Jolley Jeff Linder