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WDMA Fall 2020 Virtual Conference - October 27, 2020


Tuesday, October 27
12:00pm - 5:00pm (ET - Eastern Time)

12:00 - 1:10pm ET
Welcome & Opening Remarks

Bob Lewis, WDMA Chair, Masonite International
Michael O’Brien, WDMA President & CEO

Opening Keynote: Resilient Leadership: Responding Constructively to [Involuntary] Change
Risa Mish, Professor, Cornell University S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management

The philosopher Heraclitus famously (and correctly) said, “Change is the Only Constant”. The constancy and regularity of change does not, however, always make change easy to manage. This is particularly so when change happens, not through any choice we have made for ourselves, but, rather, through (1) decisions made by others and imposed upon us (such as new/increased performance targets, changed strategic priorities, role/task assignment changes, project scope changes, etc.); or (2) external phenomena that are mostly outside of our direct control, such as a pandemic, regulatory changes, etc.

This session is designed to help attendees better understand the sources of resilience, and to equip them with a practical set of tools that they can use when confronted with involuntary change and other challenges. Participants leave with a specific action plan for raising their personal “Resilience Set-Point” so that they can sustain positive morale and productivity even in the face of involuntary change and unanticipated adversity or setbacks, and so that they are well positioned to help those whom they lead/support do the same.
1:20-2:20 pm ET
2021 Residential & Remodeling Market Outlook
Ali Wolf, Chief Economist, Meyers Research

This session will review the economic and building landscape as we enter the final quarter of 2020 and will provide a forecast for 2021 and beyond for new residential construction and remodeling. The session will also look at economic fundamentals, housing market strengths and weaknesses, and insights about consumer demand.
2:30-3:30 pm ET
Contractor Insights: Project and Channel Behaviors Throughout COVID-19
Brad Farnsworth, President, The Farnsworth Group

In this session, the attendees will gain insight into contractor attitudes and project behaviors as we head into 2021 with a review of the proprietary Quarterly Contractor Index and COVID Tracker results by The Farnsworth Group. Attendees will understand contactors’ biggest challenges in today’s environment and what they anticipate in the coming months. This session will also provide insight into shifts in channel behavior among the pros and what may be driving these shifts to help Manufacturers and Suppliers better understand the changing needs of professional customers.

3:40-4:40 pm ET
For the Greater Good:
Promoting Respect and Equity Inside and Outside Your Organization
Kendall Wright, President, Entelechy Training and Development, Inc.

Recent events across the country have trained a bright spotlight on issues related to racial injustice. The repercussions and reverberations of these events are experienced on three levels – intrapersonal, interpersonal, and institutional. It would be easy to assume that such challenges only exist in the greater society, but that would be a grossly inaccurate assumption. Organizations are microcosms of the greater society. What happens outside your organization also manifests, to varying degrees, inside your organization. Undoubtedly, it is in the best interest of every leadership team to have an understanding and appreciation for the often misunderstood human dynamics that are at play in these challenging scenarios. This session will explore:
  • Basic Neuroscience of Unconscious Bias
  • Concept of Corporate/Community Citizenship
  • Intentions of Diversity – Equity – Inclusion Initiatives
  • The Leader’s Role in Cultural Stewardship
  • Dynamics of the Dysfunction Itinerary
  • Strategies To Promote Respect And Equity In Your Company And Community
4:40-4:45 pm ET
Wrap-Up & Closing Remarks
Michael O’Brien, WDMA President & CEO


  • Risa Mish, Professor, Cornell University S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management

    Risa Mish is a Professor of the Practice of Management at Cornell University’s S.C. Johnson
    Graduate School of Management, where she developed and teaches the MBA and Executive
    MBA Core courses in Critical and Strategic Thinking, and the Executive MBA elective course
    in Building Leadership Influence. She served as the Founding Faculty Director of the
    Johnson Leadership Fellows program from 2007-2019.

    Prof. Mish is the winner of numerous teaching awards, including the Apple Teaching
    Award, given by the MBA graduating class to honor a faculty member who exemplifies
    “outstanding leadership and enduring educational excellence”; the Executive MBA Globe
    Award for Teaching Excellence, given to a faculty member by the graduating class on the
    basis of “enduring educational influence in motivating students to achieve and excel”; the
    Executive MBA Star Award for Teaching Excellence, given by the graduating class to honor
    a faculty member “whose exceptional performance made the most significant contribution
    to the student learning experience”; and the Stephen Russell’61 Distinguished Teaching
    Award, given by the MBA 5th Reunion Class to a faculty member “whose teaching and
    example have continued to influence graduates five years into their post-MBA careers.”

    Prof Mish is an honors graduate of Cornell University and Cornell Law School, was
    admitted to practice law in New York and before the U.S. Supreme Court, and now runs her
    own leadership training firm through which she has conducted workshops and served as a
    keynote speaker for companies such as ABC News, Accenture, Amazon, Consumer Reports,
    KPMG, Kraft-Heinz, Lincoln Financial, and PepsiCo, and for trade associations such as the
    American Assoc. of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Rehab, Assoc. of Professional Researchers
    for Advancement, Clinical Laboratory Managers Assoc., Legal Marketing Assoc., National
    Assoc. of Medical Staffing Services, National Assoc. of Landscape Professionals, National
    Assoc. of Orthopaedic Nurses, National Institute of Pension Advisors, Network of Executive
    Women, Print Services & Distribution Assoc., United Fresh, and United Soybean Board.

  • Ali Wolf, Chief Economist, Meyers Research

    Ali Wolf is the Chief Economist for Meyers Research. As head of the Economics Department, Ali manages and analyzes the content for Zonda, provides data analytics, runs special research projects, and does presentations across the country on topics spanning both the housing market and the wider economy. Ali has focused a lot of her career on understanding prior recessions and led the charge on ‘Millennials discussing Millennials’ in the homebuilding space.

    Prior to joining the Meyers team, Ali worked for another consultancy firm and was a researcher for both the Canadian and UK Parliaments. Ali holds a Bachelor’s Degree from The Ohio State University in Economics and a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics in Real Estate Economics and Finance.

  • Bradley T. Farnsworth

    Brad Farnsworth is President of The Farnsworth Group, Inc., a research-based consulting firm which focuses on serving the information needs of companies in the home improvement, residential building and commercial construction industry.

    Prior to launching The Farnsworth Group, Mr. Farnsworth served as Vice President of Marketing and Director of Research for the National Retail Hardware Association (NRHA). While at NRHA, he was instrumental in establishing The Home Improvement Research Institute, an organization founded by the chief officers of publicly held companies to track market trends. He subsequently was selected to serve as the Institute’s Executive Director.

    Mr. Farnsworth has held a Vice President’s position with Management Horizons, the market research and consulting division of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    His expertise includes category management, store positioning, market segmentation analysis and hybrid market concept development. His list of over 200 clients includes retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, financial investment groups and trade associations.

    Mr. Farnsworth received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Marketing and Finance from the University of Oklahoma.

  • Kendall Wright, President, Entelechy Training and Development, Inc.

    Kendall C. Wright is a leadership dynamics expert, keynote speaker, coach, and president of Entelechy Training and Development, Inc. Wright has spent decades on platforms around the world, educating, empowering, and equipping leaders to excel in the most challenging aspect of their roles – the human dynamic. Wright’s expertise has benefited a broad spectrum of organizations from the sprawling multinational to the struggling “Ma and Pa” shop. His life experiences, education, and career helped to inform the philosophy, principles, and practices he uses to enhance the leadership awareness and effectiveness of his clients.

    As a former educator, executive, and tank commander in the U.S. Army, Wright has lived both sides of the leadership equation. He has amassed a track record of successfully guiding other leaders through the often perplexing and volatile dynamics of leading in today’s hyperactive, hyper-connected, and hyper-dynamic global marketplace.

    Wright is heralded as an expert communicator and coach. His foundational axiom is, “What you ignore becomes more. What you tolerate will soon take over. What you challenge will change.” His philosophy inspires action and cultivates the results leaders seek.

October 27, 2020
Tue 12:00 PM EDT

Duration 5H 0M

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