Savannah Pictures
Savannah Pictures

90th WPMA Annual Meeting - A SUCCESS...

October 16-17, 2019

Perry Lane Hotel
Savannah, Georgia


Your Board of Directors, Michelle and I would like to thank everyone who took the time out of their busy schedule to join us in Savannah, Georgia for our 90th annual meeting.  Our primary goal for the meeting was to help everyone network with potentially new and profitable customers.  We truly hope that this objective was met in such a beautiful and friendly city.

Everyone is still talking about the job that David Harper did in his presentation and the ability to ask the panel of "real millennials" pointed and honest questions.  This was extremely beneficial.

We are very happy that the weather cooperated on Wednesday evening, as our rooftop cocktail reception was beautiful and gave us an opportunity to see what Savannah is all about.

Our tours on Thursday were very informative and eye opening.  We are happy to report that no one was run over by a truck in the port.  We would also like to thank Laura Lee Bocade from Dirtt Environmental for opening up her facility and sharing how they have worked very hard to develop such as strong company culture for their employees.  Lunch there with their employees was great.

We appreciate the job that Al Wright did to give us an educational tour of Gulfstream, especially with the circumstances that occurred with the company that week.

The weather was perfect for our "Mystery Night" event on Thursday evening.  Everyone enjoyed our reception in Telfair Square, and we heard that the horse drawn carriage rides were educational and fun for everyone.  It was nice to cap off the meeting with a nice dinner at historic Vic's on the River.  

We hope that everyone left Savannah with a true flavor of what the city is all about.

We would like to thank everyone who sent pictures to include in the collage that appears in this newsletter.  Let’s hope they will encourage members to attend that have not been to a meeting before.

We would like to thank Ed Spal of Centennial Woods, LLC for donating the money he won in the 50 / 50 raffle in order to help send additional at-risk youth to the Fishing Academy in memory of Al Bibeau.  Ed’s generosity will allow the WPMA to send 7 children to camp.  This is an increase of three children from what we are normally able to do. 

Thank you again, Ed, for helping.  Everyone appreciates your kind gesture.

Please plan your schedules to join us October 7-8, 2020 in Portland, Maine.

The results of the challenges and solutions also appear in the January newsletter.  We hope the solutions have proven to be beneficial to you and your company.


Please find the Slate of Officers and Directors who have graciously agreed to serve on the Board of Directors to help guide the WPMA.

A motion was made to approve the Slate by Simon Varney of Wells Wood Turning & Finishing and was seconded by Maggie Helck of Four Corners, LLC.  The motion passed.

Thanks to all Officers and Directors for agreeing to serve and guide the WPMA.


Chris Moore, President                       Graf Brothers

Sandra Ann Bean, Vice President      Champeau, J. M.

Terry Gross, Treasurer                        Brown Wood, Inc.

John Lentine, Assistant Treasurer       Boyce Highlands, Inc.

Philip Bibeau, Executive Director      WPMA



Bob Chase, Jr.                                     Quabbin Timber, Inc.

Scott Ferland                                      Maine Woods Company

John Mauro                                         Stiles Machinery

George Melnyk, Jr.                             Premier Millwork & Lumber

Peter Puttmann                                   Atlas Dowel & Wood Products Company

Mike Schulke                                      Tigerton Lumber Company

Tom Slater                                           Keiver-Willard Lumber Corporation

Simon Varney                                     Wells Wood Turning & Finishing

Arie Vink                                            Holland Bar Stool


You Board of Directors and Executive Director would like to thank Mike McNulty of Cambio Plywood for his input and years of dedicated service to the association.  Mike has been a great supporter and we appreciate all he and his company has done for the members.

We look forward to Mike returning to the Board in 2021.

                                              MEETING VOUCHER WINNERS

There are so many positive networking opportunities that occur during the association’s annual meeting that the Board of Directors has authorized the awarding of $250 towards a future meeting in order to encourage a company that did not attend to join us or to thank a company that was in attendance with the hope that they will return again.

The following companies won vouchers towards a future meeting:

Members Not in Attendance

Highland Millshop, Topeka, KS

Members in Attendance

PLM Insurance Company, Philadelphia, PA

Rockwood Door & Millwork, Millersburg, OH

S & W Cabinets, Chaffee, MO


First Place – Brenda Lillard, DL Machinery

Second Place – Erin Bryant, H. Arnold Wood Turning, Inc.

Third Place – Kraig Coxon, Pennwood Products, Inc.

                                    RESULTS FROM WPMA MEMBER SURVEY

Your Board of Directors would like to thank all members who contributed to the WPMA member survey on Recruiting and Retaining Younger Workers.  These results were presented during the annual meeting in Savannah, Georgia, and members in attendance had a great opportunity to ask questions and share positive examples of things they have initiated in their business to be successful.

The top states that responses were received from in order of number were:

Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Maine and New York.

The two top responses to annual revenue were:

$1-2 million and $10 million +

The two top responses to the question how many years have you personally worked in manufacturing were:

26+ years and 16-25 years

The responses to the question which of your company's roles are hardest to fill were:

Entry level shop help, machine operator, and sales professionals

The responses to the question how do younger workers learn of job opportunities at your company were:

Word of mouth, social media, and newspapers

The responses to the question where are you finding quality management candidates with experience were:

Internal promotions and hiring away from competitors

The two primary responses to the question how confident are you that developing in your younger, less experienced employees the skills and knowledge needed to address the challenges they'll face in the future were:

Less confident and confident

The responses to the question what are the top 3 skills your younger, less experienced employees must develop to address the challenges they will face in the future were:

1. Work ethic, self-management, punctuality, and motivation

2. Learning, problem-solving, product knowledge, and desire to learn

3. Interpersonal skills, communication, and teamwork

The responses to the question what are you specifically doing to retain younger workers were:

Training and development

Salary increases

Regular feedback


The responses to the question what types of benefits included in your employment offer (other than salary) have been the most appreciated and effective by younger workers were:

Vacation time, time off, PTO

Health benefits

The responses to the question what types of benefits included in your employment offer (other than salary) have been most appreciated and effective by younger workers were:


a. Lunches / meals together

b. Serving the community

c. Wellness programs, gym membership

d. Classes, training, industry trips

e. Employee recognition luncheons, programs

f. Music piped in the mill

g. Investing in their future

h. Having a purpose higher than the work itself

i. Sense of feeling relevant

j. Culture, meaningful work, inclusion in decision making

k. Knowing how their work impacts the company, and how their company helps solve their customer’s

l.  Recognition and upward mobility

m. Creating a company culture that promotes community and team recognition

n. Flexibility (flexible hours / work schedule)

We truly appreciate the work that David and Laura Lee did in putting together the panel of '"real millennials" which members had a chance to interact with and to ask some very pointed questions.



2019 Annual Meeting Sponsors
2019 Annual Meeting Sponsors