Woodworking in America 2008 Conference, Berea, KY

Last week I got to attend the "first" annual (I hope) "Woodworking in America" Conference sponsored by Popular Woodworking Magazine and held in Berea, KY.  Click on the image below to see the conference website and details.


Probably, many of you were there, or have already read a lot about the show, so I will not go into any great detail other than to say it was "FANTASTIC".   If you can go next year.  DO IT!

The presenters, vendors and the attendees were some of the nicest people that you will meet, and it was a rare occasion to spend time with people that are even crazier about this stuff than I am.  A veritable army (or maybe  feeding frenzy) of hand tool nuts.

Someone mentioned that the conference organizers might be considering doing either a bigger show next year, or several around the country.  My vote would be for them to do several smaller shows (no bigger than this year and charge more if they need to) around the country, if those are the two options.  One of the best things about the conference was that it was a manageable size and attendees got to interact personally with many of the presenters and vendors.  A larger show would make that harder.   Also, the hands-on sessions (that everyone wanted) were hard enough to get into as it was.

I know that the organizers need to balance this with the economics of the conference, and I will likely attend again either way.  But I like the conference smaller and am willing to pay a higher entrance fee for it.

It was great to meet many of you last week in person and I hope to see you at the show again next year!

About mattsanf

Matt Sanfilippo is the Chief Partnership Officer (CPO) for the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Co-Director of its Engineering Research Accelerator. In this role, Matt coordinates and enables strategic and sponsored research opportunities across the college, and stewards the development of proposals for major research opportunities along strategic themes. Additionally, he enables collaboration among the college's research institute/center executive directors, and industrial and government relations personnel in the pursuit of opportunities with industry, federal and state governments. Before becoming CPO for the College, Matt was the Senior Executive Director for Research Initiatives, the Executive Director of CMU's SII (Smart Infrastructure Institute) and ICES (Institute for Complex Engineered Systems), and Associate Director of PITA (Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance) and RAMP (Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania). Before CMU, Matt was Managing Director of Applied Technology for Michael Baker Corporation, an engineering and energy services firm. Matt managed Baker's technology division including Geographic Information System (GIS), software and web development, multimedia, virtual reality, visualization, Global Positioning System (GPS), mapping and surveying services. Before joining Baker, Matt was an Innovation Director for Redleaf Group, a Venture Capital/Operating Company focused on information security, supply chain and mobility solutions. While at Redleaf, Matt managed technical due diligence for seed-stage investments and coordinated relationships between Redleaf and their partner companies. Prior to Redleaf, Matt was CIO of GZA GeoEnvironmental Technologies, an infrastructure engineering firm, and operations manager for their Internet start-up that focused on web-technologies for health and safety and manufacturing metrics. Matt is on the board of Larson Design Group (LDG), past Chairman of the Board for the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, current board member of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF), current Vice President of the Sewickley Heights Gun Club (SHGC) and former member of the Information Sciences and Technology Advisory Board for the Pennsylvania State University Beaver. Matt is also former Vice President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association of Internet Professionals and former Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Baker Combined Charity of Pennsylvania.

Posted on November 20, 2008, in Woodworking. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’m envious. I wanted to go, but my vacation was all spoken for 😦

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