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New CMA executive director takes the helm

Jim McDermott is back for his second term as executive director of the Cabinet Makers Association. The founding board member succeeds Dave Grulke, who’s moving on after five years at the helm.

Jim McDermott

McDermott, the CMA’s executive director from 2007-2009, owned a shop in New York and resides in Irvine, Calif. He’s spent most of the last five years sailing in the Caribbean, but says he’s ready to be fully involved in the woodworking industry.

The CMA is a professional organization for small shops to network and share their experiences.

“I’ve been involved with the CMA since Day One and, on a personal level, I want to see it succeed,” McDermott says. “The board of directors and I are interested in improving our member services, to accomplish more of what the association was originally started for, which was to have regional networking meetings and education sessions, where members or potential members can get together and network and share information and go to seminars and shop tours.”

The goal is to have four annual regional events, lasting two or three days, with two in the spring and two in the fall. Planning has started for events in the Chicago and New York City areas this fall.

“Cabinetmakers are basically introverts,” McDermott says. “They tend to be very independent and they’re not very great at networking, so we’re trying to get them out to learn by making personal connections with people willing to share information about how they run their businesses. Going to forums and talking to people on the Internet is great, but when you meet them face to face you become friends.

“[Another] goal is to increase membership. We are a very influential association in the industry and we feel that with more shops becoming members we can not only improve their lives, but improve the industry as a whole.”

McDermott adds that Grulke laid the foundation for the organization’s new direction.

“Dave has done a tremendous job in five years as executive director. The CMA’s financial condition is very good due to Dave’s work,” McDermott says.

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This article originally appeared in the June 2015 issue.

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