Forest for the Trees

CKCA’s article from March/April 2019 Edition of Woodworking Canada Magazine


Forest for the Trees


Sandra Wood, CMP

Executive “Dot-Connector”


We’ve all heard that saying “can’t see the forest for the trees” and at some point in our jobs, likely fallen into that situation or know someone who has.  Sometimes it’s just a reminder that at the end of the day, we’re all human.


Time crunched

With so much going on all the time in both our professional and personal lives, we dedicate less and less time to pausing and investing time in reading, learning and discovering what tools and information are out there that could help make our lives easier. We get to the point where we move from one fire to another and just getting through the day is all we have the energy for.

The wood sector is busy and kitchen cabinet manufacturing is certainly no exception. Pressures of producing product on time, quoting, HR, machinery, technology and marketing are part of a very long list of to do’s in most companies.  On top of that, companies need to keep up with the latest trends, new products, new processes etc. all of which can strengthen their business, but take precious time that is hard to find.

When speaking with manufacturers, at the core of that giant to do list is always a passion for wood, a passion for the industry and a grounded approach to business that to other industry sectors may not work, but it works here.


Connecting the dots

CKCA interacts with manufacturers across Canada and gives us a chance to hear the stories, learn about the issues, hear about new trends and build connections.  I often think my title shouldn’t be Executive Director, it should be “Executive Dot-Connector”.  One of the most gratifying tasks in my day is hearing how CKCA created an opportunity for a member to make a connection or get access to a tool or an idea that will help them in their business. It’s those stories that tell us we’re on track and we’re making a difference, sometimes quietly, but it is happening.


The conversation

When looking at the challenges of the industry and trying to find ways to help, it’s easy to think that we have to create the solutions. But in reality, often the solutions already exists, it’s just we don’t know about them because we’re so busy dealing with the challenges. We get caught in that forest and trees trap. This has come up in discussions at committee meetings where a member will share information on something and other committee members benefit from the new found information. It doesn’t just happen at committee meetings, it happens in conversations when members get in touch with us and it certainly happens at CKCA events and that’s why engaging with CKCA and making the time to come to a CKCA event is so worthwhile. Because apart from the program, the plant tours, the speakers, it’s the networking and dot-connecting that goes on. Those connections are incredibly valuable and there are many business success stories that have come from “a conversation”.


Everyone benefits

CKCA is working hard this year to get at the stories to find out what the pain points are, what the successes look like and how this association can connect you to the right information, advice and best practices to help your business thrive.  We’re building up our website to house relevant news and advice from experts, we’ll be running more industry surveys this year to bring the industry strategic data, we’re creating more opportunities to connect. We will keep reaching out to our industry through our newsletters, articles and other channels and we’ll keep delivering great events that are on topic and value.  All of this because we know that by connecting the dots and making sure the conversations are had – everyone wins.

CKCA is an association that serves a very busy industry sector and everyone is pressed for time. A successful association is one that knows its members, understands their needs and delivers a toolbox of resources to help.  We invite you to engage with us so we can help you.  Our door is always open and we are committed to helping you see the forest and the trees!


Dot-connecting opportunities include:

Call us – 613-493-5858 or Email:


Attending one of our upcoming events:

National Forum – April 25-27, 2019 (Calgary, AB)

Spring Regional – June 10 – 11, 2019 (London/Chatham, ON)

Fall Regional – Sept. 23 – 24, 2019 (Dartmouth, NS)

Or come and visit our booth at Woodworking West and WMS this fall




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