Investing in the Future

Dec Issue

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Those who know me well also know that the mention of wine gets my attention. No surprise then, that a Wall Street Journal article about how automation is assisting the wine industry overcome its labor issues, made me take notice. And it was especially interesting to me because of the striking parallel to the Hardwood industry.

According to the article titled “Vineyards Turn to Automation Amid Worker Shortage,” those vintners courageous enough to “take the robot plunge,” did so despite their concerns of cost, return on investment, and product/production quality. Legitimate concerns, certainly! Nonetheless, if they wanted to harvest their grapes on time, they needed to take action.

Their admirable ‘leap of faith’ reminded me of leadership expert Mark Sanborn’s words, “Success isn’t always about meeting your goals. It’s also about meeting your challenges.” Inspiring words, right? But how exactly do we do that?

Well from where I sit, relying on the “same old, same old” won’t get us ahead. But … following the example of those courageous winemakers; expanding our frame of reference and changing our MO – modus operandi – will. For them – and for us – success hinges upon embracing change, embracing technology, and looking to alternative processes to help accomplish today’s goals and tomorrow’s dreams.

HMA will be discussing this, and much more, at our 2022 National Conference and Expo set for March 23-25, at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Miramar Beach, Florida. All Hardwood industry stakeholders are invited to attend, and I encourage you to join us, that is if you are up to the challenge.

  • The event will feature speakers, workshops and panel discussions geared toward “Investing in the Future.” Receptions and other meal venues will offer opportunities for networking, idea exchanges and one-on-one relationship building. And an industry Expo, comprised of the latest and greatest, will offer products and solutions to put you on track for success. 
  • The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a 2,400-acre destination resort, located between the Gulf of Mexico and the Choctawhatchee Bay. It offers 4-Star accommodations, ultra-modern amenities, gourmet dining, four award winning golf courses, and countless adventures in or on emerald green water. It’s northwest Florida at its best. And it’s calling your name.

All of the Conference specifics – Registration, Agenda, Sponsorships, Expo – are available at Take a look, then mark your calendars and get your planning started. March will be here before we know it. 

By Linda Jovanovich

Executive Vice President, Hardwood Manufacturers Association, Pittsburgh, PA 412-244-0440 HMAMEMBERS.ORG

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