Chairman of the Board’s Message – January 2018

dave new picLooking Back and Looking Ahead

Happy New Year! I hope that 2018 has been good to you so far, and hope all early indications point to a successful year ahead.

The past year was an exciting one for WMIA and our industry. Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • We’re Growing: WMIA added 24 new members, including some who are already bringing fresh ideas and talent to our committees.
  • The 2017 Woodworking Industry Conference (WIC) in Palm Springs was another of the strongest conferences we’ve held in years, despite having to switch locations at the last minute because of the ZIKA crisis in Puerto Rico.
  • Working with the IWF Management Committee representatives, we are now able to offer to WMIA Distributor members benefits relative to the Qualified Distributor Program at the IWF show, including free registration for all employees, access to hotel reservations when they opened to exhibitors, and five free guest passes per company.
  • On the education front, WMIA’s Educational Foundation awarded nearly $30,000 in scholarships to students interested in furthering their education in the woodworking industry, bringing the lifetime total of financial support to nearly $380,000 in scholarships. The WMIA-sponsored WTII Boot Camp, run by Pittsburg State University, continues to be well-attended and well-received.
  • The Association convened a one-day, face-to-face Distributor Forum in Chicago in October, to discuss issues of importance to distributors, as well as brainstorming with WMIA leadership and staff on how the Association can continue to increase member value for this segment of members. Nineteen Distributor members participated in this event.
  • WMIA’s Board of Directors met in November to review and revise the Association’s strategic plan, to develop a roadmap which will guide the Association and its work into the future.

2018 marks WMIA’s 40th anniversary year. As we celebrate this milestone, WMIA’s Board and staff are committed to ensuring that WMIA remains a strong and vibrant association that delivers value to all of its members. With that goal in mind, here are some of the exciting things on the horizon:

  • All indications point to another tremendously successful IWF Show in Atlanta, August 22-25, 2018. The IWF Management Committee, along with the IWF staff, have been hard at work ensuring the show is a robust, vibrant one.
  • Maui, Hawaii will host WIC 2018, May 1-4, 2018, and it promises to be another dynamic, valuable conference, full of opportunities for business development, networking, and education. Our hotel room block is filling fast, so make your reservations to join us!!
  • We’ll be partnering with Pittsburg State University on a boot camp program geared at training service technicians within your companies, as well as providing sales or other training programs for you and your teams.
  • WMIA is working with AWI, AWFS, CMA, WMMA, and other industry associations as part of a collaborative effort aimed at improving the perception of our industry, with the goal of bringing more people and talent into the woodworking industry and closing our skills gap.
  • We’ll be launching our revamped com website, and using it as one of the centerpieces of a comprehensive marketing campaign geared at promoting the importance of investing in new equipment and technology to your customers.
  • Our ANSI Committee and the U.S./ISO TAG will continue its important work advocating for safety guidelines for woodworking machinery, and our National Affairs Task Force will continue lending its voice to advocate for issues vital to the future of our industry, such as closing the skills gap.

Our members are the key component of WMIA’s continued success. Membership renewal notices were mailed in early December; if you’ve not already renewed your membership, please keep in mind that the early renewal discount expires January 31. All 2018 memberships must be paid by March 19 to be eligible for the discounted member rate on your IWF booth space and any additional returning exhibitor promotional allowance, as well as take advantage of Qualified Distributor program benefits.

WMIA is your organization, and we are stronger because of you. As always, I encourage you to share with us your feedback on particular things you value about your membership, if there are things you’d like to see WMIA explore, or if you have any questions or concerns. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Larry Hoffer, WMIA’s president, at or 571-279-8341, or me, at or 781-585-4364.


Here’s to a fantastic 2018!

Dave Sig



Dave Rakauskas
WMIA Chairman of the Board

Post Series: WMIA newsletter