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Machinery groups to meet at one convention.



WIC to serve as common ground for the U.S. woodworking machinery industry

American woodworking machinery manufacturers, importers and distributors will hold their first official joint convention when they gather together for the inaugural Woodworking Industry Conference. The event is scheduled for April 1-5, 1992 at the Hyatt Grand Champions Resort in Indian Wells, Calif.

The three groups include the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America, the Woodworking Machinery Importers Assn. and the Woodworking Machinery Distributors Assn. Participation is open to members of the three associations and to non-member companies as space permits.

A decade ago the WMMA and WMIA were locked in a bitter struggle over the control and site selection of the International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair. Eventually the two groups negotiated a compromise, and along with the American Furniture Manufacturers Assn., now sponsor IWF every two years in Atlanta.

The IWF alliance aside, the WMMA and WMIA have largely maintained competitive agendas, promoting the virtues of American and foreign woodworking machinery respectively to U.S. wood products manufacturers. The two groups have also held separate annual meetings.

The WIC supplants what would have been the 15th Annual Joint Industry Convention of the WMMA and WMDA. The WMIA has canceled its annual meeting that it had scheduled for Nov. 1-4 in Key West, Fla.

The creation of the WIC is further indication that the once diametrically-opposed WMMA and WMIA are closer together. In recent years, the line separating the two groups has blurred as some WMMA members have begun selling imported equipment. In addition, several WMIA members are also members of the WMDA and represent American-made woodworking equipment in their geographical regions.

"The first WIC is a step in the right direction," said WMMA president Ray Vold. "Our board wanted to form a more comprehensive meeting and have a true industry conference."

"Issues like product liability, safety and education are too important," said George Force, president of the WMIA. "Instead of addressing these issues in a fragmented manner, the WIC will allow us to speak with one voice."
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Title Annotation:woodworking machinery; Woodworking Industry Conference
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Date:Sep 1, 1991
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