John Henderson


John Henderson of the John Henderson & Company of Las Vegas is the recently elected President of the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association (WMIA). Henderson has been honored with a huge responsibility which was earlier entrusted to David Rothwell.

During his two year term Henderson has to address some decisive issues and adapt to the new trends. While sharing his recent experiences the WMIA President elaborates on issues pertaining to the association, industry and its paraphernalia.


 
woodandpaneleurope How do you feel after being the President at the WMIA?
  John Henderson : After four months as President of WMIA, I must tell you it’s been a lot of work and very rewarding. I have been involved with the association for over twenty years, and have worked my way up the leadership ladder, serving in many different capacities. In fact, I’ll be headed to Savannah, Georgia next week for our annual fall board meeting.
 
woodandpaneleurope What are coming next from you?
  John Henderson : Our association is planning several new projects for the next two years including social media, membership campaign and educational scholarships. We are also involved with the major show in Atlanta- IWF2012. We are working with other like associations and planning the BIG Woodworking Industry Conference for April of 2012. Our chairpersons for the different committees are very excited and eager for the coming year’s activities
 
woodandpaneleurope Why WMIA’s visibility in the international platforms is lesser than the other organizations?
  John Henderson : I’m not sure that the visibility in the international platforms for WMIA is all that different than others like us. As President of WMIA, I have been invited for the first time to be at the Dubai International Wood & Wood Machinery Show in April of 2012 to represent our association.
 
woodandpaneleurope How was AWFS?
  John Henderson : As a distributor member of the WMIA AWFS was a great success this year for me. Our company sales were some of the best results we have seen in years. I spent time in our association booth, interacting with exhibiting members about their expectations. We have a room for improvement but in this economy we were very happy with our performance.
 
woodandpaneleurope Why not more wood industry fairs in USA?
  John Henderson : We talk about our industry here in the states, the housing market slump is affecting the overall commercial market sum. The idea of “more” industry fairs is not on the horizon right now. I think sometimes “less” is better.
 
woodandpaneleurope According to you the biggest challenge for the industry at this moment.
  John Henderson : I think depending on the business (distributor/importer) one challenge might be a glut of used machines in the market and the customers now thinking they can establish the price for technology. For me challenge, in this scenario is to re-train the customers into investing in new machines. Many of our importer member companies are helping us with exciting new technology in products with excellent price to compete with the used market. Another challenge is equipment finance, which is not easy; most cancelled orders are due to this.
 
woodandpaneleurope What about the environment credentials? Are they too strict for the industry to conform to?
  John Henderson : Yes we have strict environmental credentials for our industry especially in certain parts of our country. We sure need them but in some cases the government has over stepped the line. In my opinion it’s just not a level playing field.
 
woodandpaneleurope Your view on the tax reform requirements.
  John Henderson : Tax reform requirements! In my opinion there are some that are great, some are due to expire. I trust our president will make the right choices that affect our industry, remember next year is an election year!!
 
woodandpaneleurope What’s your take on the social media boom?
  John Henderson : The social media boom is huge. I’m even getting involved at my tender age(?). We have some younger members who have helped us launch into this arena. It will be very exciting, and it’s a must to attract new members, to engage more students to apply for our scholarships, and let our entire membership stay in the know. During the AWFS show we had our first trial run with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. I look forward to the boom
 
woodandpaneleurope Is WMIA keen on participating in it?
  John Henderson : I think our association like many others waited (maybe a little too long) to get involved, but yes we will participate more in the social media activity. It’s a tough sale sometimes but in my case I can’t promote and sell high end technology machinery, and take the order with a #2 pencil. Many of the customers are using social media we just sold a specialty table saw to a shop owner who saw the demo on youtube, it’s here to stay and as we say you can run but you can’t hide from it!
 
woodandpaneleurope Where do you see the American wood industry after two years?
  John Henderson : The American wood industry in two years? If I could predict that I could get out of machinery sales! This is a great industry to be involved in. We’re strong, resilient, determined. I think we will be fine, ok even. It’ll be a tough road for sure after losing some members.

This country won’t give up, we will start building soon, real soon I hope and we stand ready to make sure they succeed.

 

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