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WMMA honors James E. Laster with Baldwin Award of Excellence

James E. Laster, executive vice president of Newman/Whitney in Greensboro, N.C., received the 2010 Ralph B. Baldwin Award of Excellence from the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America.

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The annual award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the woodworking industry, WMMA, its companies and their community.

"Our winner this year is a giant in our industry," said Peter Perez, president of Carter Products Co, at the May 4 award presentation. "Jim Laster has served WMMA in a variety of capacities: committee chair, treasurer, vice president and president. He always has been a willing member of any task force group assembled to address an issue. At his company, he has earned a reputation as a leader."

Laster is currently on the WMMA's board of directors. He is also involved in developing woodworking machinery safety standards as vice chair of the Accredited Standards Committee O1, a volunteer group that works in accordance with the consensus committee method described by the American National Standards Institute.

"Jim exemplifies the leadership characteristics embodied in the Baldwin Award. He is incredibly devoted to our association and our industry. I have been privileged to work closely with our honoree for the past 15 years," added Perez.

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