Message from the Ontario President

The Value of Association 

It has been a distinct honor to be elected President of the Ontario Chapter.  Many thanks to Peter Gallagher for his leadership of the chapter over the past three years and to the Board who under Peter’s leadership and Jeff Clermont before him has helped the Association turn the corner on many challenges that we were faced with coming out of the 2008 recession.  Through all of their hard work we are stronger now than we have been in long time.

All of this has allowed me to begin to build on my goal to strengthen the Association through education and participation.

In June we launched the first event of a new and ongoing regional education seminar (Continuing Education Unit) program.  This initiative is designed to bring members together to learn about key business topics while giving the opportunity to network and build relationships that we hope will help to facilitate future collaboration and networks, that will help to strengthen everyone’s individual business and the industry over all.  We will continue to grow on the sold out success of the first event and move these regionally throughout the province to make participation as easy as possible for all members.

The first event was a half day Hardwood Plywood and Veneer workshop held at Columbia Forest Products’ Kitchener facility.  Member companies from the GTA, KW, Hamilton and Windsor regions participated, learning about the manufacturing and grading process of one of our most frequently used and misunderstood inputs, hardwood plywood and veneer.  

Thank you to all who participated!  Look for details coming on a fall seminar in the GTA shortly.

We would be very happy to receive your input on future topics that would be of interest to you, please consider forwarding these to Laurie.

June also saw the Annual National AGM and Conference.  This is always a fun and exciting event with plenty of time to network with manufacturers and associates from across Canada and from our partner association the Woodwork Institute in the United States.  I would encourage all members to attend, the few days spent is refreshing and valuable.  

At the Presidents Meeting it became very clear that the challenges that face our industry here in Ontario are the same across the Country.  The main topic of discussion was the growing shortage of labour and we have agreed to work together on a National Strategy to help build labour pool.  

Next year’s event will be the National Association’s 50th Anniversary hosted in Victoria BC.  This would be an ideal opportunity to become involved leading up to the Ontario 2020 National AGM and Conference.

The value of this association lays not in the work it does for you, it is in the work we all do for it.  Our members are selected based on their exceptional performance and are viewed by the industry as leaders.   Member participation and collaboration and the constant practice of the values of AWMAC will continue to create a level of expectation that only our members can achieve.  Creating value for what you do and moving your companies above the commoditized competitors into trusted partner status that helps to achieve great success.

Ian Christie, AWMAC Ontario Chapter President