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Market leaders: recognizing the achievements of playmakers in the wood products industry.

Woodworking Network identifies those that have made an impact--at their companies and on the industry. Listed below are our past Market Leader honorees (titles/jobs at time of listing). WoodworkingNetwork.com/MarketLeaders

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KEITH ATHERHOLT (2010)

President, Lewis Lumber Products

In addition to his work on behalf of the industry, under Atherholt the millwork/components producer increased sales, profits and products, while reducing operating costs.

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NEIL BALTER (2013)

Founder, Organizers Direct

Prior to founding Organizers Direct in 1995, Balter founded California Closets, the nation's largest home organization franchise.

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BILL BARTON (2012)

President & CEO, California Closets

Barton has helped home organization giant California Closets grow even larger and more innovative, often looking outside the industry for new ideas.

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JOHN BASSETT III (2012)

Chairman, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co.

Under Bassett's leadership, the company has become the largest domestic producer of wood adult bedroom furniture. Bassett is also recognized for his leadership role in the fight against low-cost imports.

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TROY BEDNARZ (2014)

Owner, Lakeside Cabinets and Woodworking

Under Bednarz, the custom firm has not only improved its production capabilities, but also racked up impressive sales growth.

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DEBRA BEHRING (2015)

President, JB Cutting

While expanding the component firm's capabilities, Behring was also instrumental in creating the order entry software, helped design the catalog/marketing strategy, and worked to instill a philosophy for customer service.

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MARK BERNHARD (2009)

President, Bernhard Woodwork Ltd.

With a lifetime of experience in the industry, Bernhard has guided the architectural woodwork giant to new levels.

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FRANCO BIANCHI 2011)

President & CEO, Haworth Inc.

Under Bianchi's leadership, Haworth has grown in brand recognition, offering integrated and innovative products for the contract furniture market.

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TONY BOUR (2015)

CEO, Showplace Wood Products

No stranger to the cabinet industry, Tony Bour has started three highly successful firms during his 49 years in the marketplace: Decora Cabinets and Starmark Inc., now divisions of Fortune Brands, and Showplace Wood Products.

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STEVE BREWSTER (2010)

Director of Sustainability, Kimball Office

In addition to his work at Kimball, Brewster has gained recognition as a speaker on sustainable manufacturing.

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MIKE CARSON (2009)

President, Closet Works Inc.

Carson was instrumental in launching The National Closet Group, the first association for the home storage and organization industry.

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MARK CLEMENS (2011)

VP Product Development, idX Corp.

In addition to his efforts at idX, Clemens has worked to improve the industry and is active in the AWI.

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MARGARET FISHER (2010)

Director Market Development, Lange Bros. Woodwork

A business advocate and author, Fisher has been a speaker on behalf of the AWI on the topics of LEED, wood and carbon, and forest sustainability.

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KENT GILCHRIST (2013)

President, Fremont Interiors

Gilchrist's dedication to both his firm and the architectural industry as a whole has resulted in significant growth for both.

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BOB GRONLUND (2012)

Chairman a CEO, Wood-Mode Inc.

Under Gronlund's leadership, Wood-Mode has become one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of custom and semi-custom cabinetry.

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ROGER JONES (2011)

VP Global Logistics, Century Furniture

Jones helped increase international work and develop the infrastructure to support Century's Lacey Act implementation.

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STEVE KINCAID (2010)

President, Kincaid Furniture

Under Kincaid's direction, the company has become a leader in solid wood residential furniture.

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PETER KLEINSCHMIDT (2013)

President, CEO a Chairman, Stiles Machinery

One of the founders of the WMIA, Kleinschmidt's ability to look at the big picture also helped Stiles grow into what's perhaps the largest woodworking machinery distributor in the U.S.

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EDMUND 'BUD' KLIPA (2012)

GM Wood Division, Steelcase Inc.

Klipa has helped steer Steelcase's Wood division's offerings to meet the changing work modes and trends, and building a stronger global product portfolio through sustainable manufacturing.

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KEVIN KUSKE (2009)

General Wood Manager, Steelcase Inc.

Kuske helped Steelcase reinvent its Wood business and put in place sustainability initiatives at the office furniture giant.

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SKIP LABELLA (2014)

President, Closet America

Under LaBella's direction, Closet America has grown significantly and has distinguished itself through its technology innovations, products and service.

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BASTIEN LAROUCHE (2013)

President, CEO a Founder, Ro-Bois-Tic

Laroucbe's innovative approach to manufacturing led to North America's first lights-out woodworking plant.

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BILL LEPAGE (2009)

VP Operations, The Simple Furniture Co.

LePage helped direct the RTA company's sustainability efforts, Including an eco-friendly line of children's furniture.

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JOELONARDO (2015)

Founders CEO, Bella Systems

In the seven years since founding the closet company, Lonardo has already opened three franchises along the East Coast, with more in the works.

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PERNILLE LOPEZ(2009)

President, IKEA North America

Lopez helped direct IKEA's growth from a small retailer to a nationally recognized home furnishings and accessories chain.

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MATTLUNDAHL (2012)

COO, Meyer a Lundahl Manufacturing Co.

A "crusader" for the architectural Industry as well as his own firm, Lundahl has helped grow Meyer 6 Lundahl Into a premier specialty contractor In the Southwest.

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CHRISTINE MARVIN(2012)

Dir. of Marketing, Marvin Windows & Doors

Marvin's contributions have helped ensure the fenestration giant remains innovative, and continues its long history of industry-first achievements.

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DON MEAD (2015)

President, The Gunlocke Co.

Mead helped grow the contract furniture firm out of the recession and continue its legacy of quality, design and sustainable manufacturing. Founded in 1902, Gunlocke is renown for its Oval Office chairs.

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HANKMENKE JR (2013)

President & CEO, 0FS Brands Inc.

Menke has helped the office furniture maker remain at the top level through product innovation, value and service. Menke Is also a recognized leader for his industry and community efforts.

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GENE PONDER (2013)

Founder, Master Woodcraft Cabinetry

A recognized entrepreneur, Ponder founded Republic Industries before launching the successful Master Woodcraft cabinet manufacturing firm.

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JEFF PRAY (2011)

President a CEO, PIN

Under his direction, the store fixture maker continues to grow and gain recognition. PIN has won numerous awards for its service, product designs as well as innovative use of technology.

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MARK RICHEY(2009)

President, Mark Richey Woodworking

Richey's success comes from his strong environmental initiatives, as well as empowering employees.

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KEVIN SAUDER (2009)

President a CEO, Sauder Woodworking

As president a CEO, Sauder has helped drive the RTA giant's strong environmental initiatives: the company produces almost 300 tons of wood waste daily, yet has not taken a load to the landfill in more than nine years.

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JIM SHERBERT (2010)

CEO, Bush Industries

Under Sherbert's direction, Bush has diversified into new markets and developed new brands and product lines, while putting In place strategies to increase enterprise value through sustainability.

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ERIC SMITH (2012)

President & CEO, Panel Processing Inc.

Under Smith's leadership, Panel Processing has grown to be the largest panel fabricator in the nation, offering a variety of manufacturing capabilities.

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STEVE STEPHENS (2014)

VP, Marketing a Business Development, acpi Cabinets

Stephens dedication and research skills have helped the cabinet firm develop new markets and opportunities for its products.

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GREG STONER (2010)

President, MasterBrand Cabinets

Stoner parlayed his experience In large-scale manufacturing environments to help position MasterBrand In its leadership role in the cabinet Industry.

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KAREN STRAUSS (2011)

President, Masco Cabinetry Group

Under her direction, Masco consolidated the retail and cabinet divisions into one streamlined organizational structure.

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BOB TIMBERLAKE (2012)

Chairman, Bob Timberlake Inc.

Timberlake's innovative approach to design and marketing a branded furniture line helped turn around the furniture industry.

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KENT UNTERMANN (2014)

Owner, The Art Source

A true entrepreneur, Untermann owns and Is actively involved in a number of diverse businesses, including wood products manufacturing firms and franchises.

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BRIAN WALKER (2010)

President and CEO, Herman Miller Inc.

Walker has led contract furniture giant Herman Miller to be one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For," according to Fortune magazine.

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RICHARD WALZ (2014)

President, WalzCraft

Under Walz's leadership, the wood components firm has grown from a small shop to more than 250 employees, and Is positioned for even greater success in the future.

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RON WANEK (2011)

Chairman, Ashley Furniture Industries Inc.

A self-made millionaire and one of the richest Americans, Wanek has led the residential furniture company to becoming the largest in the nation, and be among the first to both source and sell around the world.

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CHRIS WATSON (2011)

COO, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp.

In addition to his work on behalf of the industry, Watson has led the wood components firm In strategic initiatives, including resizing of operations and lean manufacturing.

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BILL WEAVER (2009)

President 5 CEO, Canyon Creek Cabinet Co.

Weaver took a small company on the verge of bankruptcy and built It into a major cabinet manufacturer, renowned for its sustainability initiatives.

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JENNIFER Q. WILLIAMS (2010)

Owner a President, St. Louis Closet Co.

In 1991 Williams launched the first locally-owned closet firm that installed custom organizing systems.

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ANDY WILZOCH (2009)

Owner a President, Premier EuroCase

With the goal of always moving forward and reinvesting in Infrastructure, Wilzoch propelled the firm from a 1,000-square-foot shop into one of the largest panel processors, as well as a casegoods and components maker.

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ERIC WOLFF (2011)

President a CEO, The Stow Co.

Under his direction, Stow has become one of the premier, sustainable manufacturers of home organization products.

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MEL YODER (2015)

CEO, Yoder Lumber

For more than 50 years, Yoder has worked tirelessly to grow and promote not only his own company, but the hardwood dimension and millwork industry as a whole.

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BOE YOUNG (2010)

VP of Manufacturing, Impressions Marketing Group

Young has helped lead Impressions in its winning ventures, including multiple awarding of the A.R.E.'s "Above and Beyond Award for customer service and project execution.
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Title Annotation:Lists: Wood Industry
Comment:Market leaders: recognizing the achievements of playmakers in the wood products industry.(Lists: Wood Industry)
Publication:Woodworking Network
Date:Dec 1, 2015
Words:1644
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