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CMA rolls out certification program at IWF

The Cabinet Makers Association will offer its full professional certification program at IWF 2012 in Atlanta.

The Cabinet Makers Assocation will offers its full certification program at IWF 2012, but it also holds regional learning opportunities throughout the year.

Formally announced last year at the AWFS fair in Las Vegas, the program helps shop owners acquire business and machinery-related skills. “The concept of the program is that it gives woodworkers the chance to get into a formal educational setting that teaches how to run an ethical, profitable and sustainable business,” CMA executive director David Grulke says.

Grulke says that after the CMA board looked at the woodworking industry as a whole, it found little credentialing was offered on the business management side compared to other industries. The program includes a series of seminars to help woodworkers learn skills at their own pace that they might be lacking.

“There are a lot of people out there that claim to be master woodworkers, but that title is self-proclaimed. There’s no organization that has such a designation, so we’re taking that one on. Now they can be third-party-proclaimed as master custom woodworkers or cabinetmakers.”

Individuals can register for the seminars at IWF or online at The seminars include “Finance and Insurance,” presented by Greg Crabtree, CEO of Crabtree, Rowe & Berger; “Commercial Insurance 101,” presented by Mike Russell, national account executive with Association Risk Management Services of Federated Insurance, and “Wood 101,” presented by Gene Wengert, president of The Wood Doctor’s RX.

“These are the three really good classes we’re highlighting. Mike Russell is going to discuss how an insurer looks at a business and what a business owner can do to help with the cost of business insurance. Greg Crabtree is a CPA and he understands how to run a business as an entrepreneur, so he’ll talk about how to set up finances so there’s a growth strategy, which is something a lot of people don’t think about because they’re concerned with making payroll.”

The CMA also holds regional programs throughout the year. Standard and master certification can be obtained. Standard certification covers basic business management, machinery use, design, finishing and other shop skill. Master topics include CNC machinery, CAD/CAM software, marketing, lean manufacturing, and more.

The seminars are open to all and CMA members get a discount. For information, visit

This article originally appeared in the August 2012 issue.

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