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Monday Economic Report: November 21, 2016
In a week with little new data, the surprising upset in the general election dominated both headlines and financial market discussions. See more ...

Global Manufacturing Economic Update — Third Quarter
The third quarter NAM 2016 Manufacturers� Outlook Survey shows manufacturers continue to cope with policy headwinds. Read more ...


Woodworking Network
Ex-Herman Miller exec accused of stealing $1.8 million from office furniture maker

ZEELAND, Mich. - Former Herman Miller executive Jerry Lee Akers is facing felony charges that he bilked the office furniture manufacturer of $1.773 million over a five-year period for natural gas services that were never provided.

Jerry Akers (LinkedIn image)

According to court records and local news reports, Akers, the senior energy manager, worked with a co-conspirator to set up a false company which then contracted with Herman Miller to ostensibly supply natural gas to four of its locations. From June 2010 through July 2015 Herman Miller received and paid fraudulent invoices for gas sales and services not delivered.

Prosecutors allege Akers received cash payments from the co-conspirator for his part in the scheme. Akers also is being charged with conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud; the invoices were emailed and paid via regular mail. If convicted, Akers could face 20 years in prison.

Akers is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Dec. 20 for arraignment and change of plea hearing. According to WZZM13 and the Holland Sentinel, a reduced sentence plea agreement has been offered which would require Akers to plead guilty to the felony information, cooperate with investigators and pay restitution.

Akers' LinkedIn account indicates he has worked at Herman Miller since 2001. In a Dec. 1 statement from Herman Miller, the company referred to Akers as a former employee. It also stated, "Our internal audit organization has confirmed that Mr. Akers’ actions are not expected to have an adverse impact on the company’s reported results going forward."

"As this is an ongoing legal matter, Herman Miller will not provide additional comment at this time.”

Posted: 12/02/2016

Knoll acquires DatesWeiser Furniture

EAST GREENVILLE, Pa. - Office furniture giant Knoll Inc. has expanded its high-end contract furniture offerings with the acquisition of DatesWeiser Furniture Corp. Terms of the deal, announced Dec. 1, were not disclosed.

Founded in 1982, the Buffalo, NY-based DatesWeiser designs and manufactures contemporary wood conference and meeting room furniture. The company has approximately 60 employees, according to local media reports.

Knoll President and CEO Andrew Cogan said, "DatesWeiser plays an integral role in the design of inspiring high performance workplaces. Its sophisticated meeting and conference tables and credenzas set a standard for design, quality and technology integration.

"We look forward to adding the DatesWeiser products to the Knoll arsenal of 'ancillary' offerings," he added.

Inside DatesWeiser's New York plant. Photo: DatesWeiser

DatesWeiser will operate as an independent brand of Knoll, with co-founder Allan Weiser serving as president. "The team at Knoll has a very astute understanding of our brand and a commitment to our level of product and client engagement. Knoll is the ideal partner to accelerate our growth and build on our reputation for leading edge timeless design, craftsmanship, and exceptional service," Weiser said.

"Knoll's legendary heritage in workplace design, and the relationships that I have enjoyed with their management team over the years, make this a seamless cultural fit. I very much look forward to the years ahead," Weiser added.

This is the second acquisition by Knoll Inc. (NYSE: KNL) in the past two years. In  2014 the company acquired Chicago-based luxury design brand HOLLY HUNT. Its other brands include: Knoll Office, KnollStudio, KnollTextiles, KnollExtra, Spinneybeck | FilzFelt and Edelman Leather.

Knoll's net sales for the fiscal third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2016, were $292.1 million. The company posted a strong 2015, with net sales of $1.1 billion and a net income of $66 million. In 2015, Knoll operated more than 3.896 million square feet of facilities, including seven manufacturing plants, warehouses and sales offices.

Posted: 12/02/2016

Stiles invites attendees to rethink manufacturing at 2017 EBC event
Event to be held in downtown Detroit.

Posted: 12/01/2016

Yoder Lumber’s Mel Yoder to retire
He has been with the company for 52 years.

Posted: 12/01/2016

Woodworking Magazine for the Professional Woodworker | Woodshop News
New home sales down 1.9 percent in October

Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 1.9 percent in October from a downwardly revised September reading to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Posted: 11/30/2016

SNX offers anti-static edgeband cooling agent

xcel1130SNX Technologies introduced Xcel-Edge XE3, an anti-static cooling agent designed to help keep chips and sawdust from clinging to laminated panels when used with typical inline edgebander spraying systems.

Posted: 11/30/2016


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ANSI Update

The new ANSI standard O1.1-4 Safety Requirements for Shapers for the Woodworking Industry was published. WMMA members are entitled to receive one complimentary copy per company upon request. Email to request a copy. Copies can be purchased from the ANSI e-standard store.

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August 27, 2016

August 12, 2016
WMMA Member TR Herzog Named Among Top 40 Under 40 Wood Industry Superstars

July 28, 2016
WMMA Announces First Regional Meeting

May 9, 2016
2016 Board of Directors Announced

May 2, 2016
Chris Hacker Becomes WMMA President

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