Bluewater Wood Alliance is searching for a talented outgoing BWA Program Manager.

Bluewater Wood Alliance is growing and now needs a talented outgoing BWA Program Manager. Reports to: BWA Executive Director

Working in collaboration with the BWA Executive Director (ED) and the BWA Program Administrator (PA)

Required Skills: Exceptional communication skills (oral, written, presentation, and social), ability to develop relationships with key stakeholders and industry members, proficient using Microsoft office (word, excel, power point, and other platforms), Ability to work independently and self-managed. Knowledge and education in the wood processing industry an asset. Use of car and ability to travel in southwestern Ontario region. Ability to take initiative and problem solve. Education and experience in the wood industry an asset, but not necessary.

Areas of Responsibility:

1. Member Engagement/Retention: In strategic collaboration with the ED

  •  Regular member visits and contact to maintain member engagement with BWA activities
  • Learn member needs, trends, ideas, and opportunities to drive BWA events and activities
  • Communicate above needs and trends to ED and PA to create and drive BWA programming and projects
  • Track the above data on companies and BWA activities above using shared tools and processes
  • Utilize website and social media to engage BWA members in collaboration with ED and PA
  • Participate in member events as deemed necessary in collaboration with the ED

2. BWA Membership Development

  • Marketing and sales of new BWA memberships, with emphasis on Manufacturing members
  • Tracking of new member lead development and follow-up
  • Relationship development with potential members
  • Follow-up to attend BWA quarterly events

3. BWA Event Facilitation

  • Organize, Host and Facilitate BWA events as required in collaboration with ED and PA
  • Tracking of member attendance and activity using established processes

4. Communication

  • Posting of news articles on events and activities and updates to website and social media
  • Development of reports and tracking of member activities and data as required
  • Regular communication with BWA members, ED, PA
  • Bi-weekly reports on PM activity
  • Relationship building with key partners

5. BWA Project Management- in collaboration with ED

  •  Management of BWA projects as required
  •  Tracking of milestones and activities and requirements
  •  Facilitation of BWA member participation
  •  Work with ED in proposal application data as required

Since this is a new position with the BWA, other duties will evolve as the position expands with the demands of the cluster

If you are interested in applying for this position, send resumes with cover letter to:

BWA Quarterly Networking Event in Burlington Extends Reach!

As the BWA continues to attract new members from across southwestern Ontario, it is important to extend the reach of our events. When the BWA first started in 2010 with 7 companies at the table in Grey/Bruce, in 2011 they incorporated as a not-for profit and officially launched as a cluster organization based on the cluster model in Upper Austria.  At that time, the quarterly events were held in Walkerton, Ontario.

As time progressed and the BWA began to boost their activity to include plant tours and training, manufacturers began to flock to the BWA as a resource for the wood industry. Soon companies from Kitchener, the GTA, Niagara,  and Chatham-Kent, and many points in between, were reaching out to the BWA to join the ranks of manufacturers in the cluster. The same is said for associate members in the supply chain that also add expertise and support the manufacturers. It became necessary to rotate our networking events to locations reflecting the greater cluster region of SWO. For this we leveraged our stakeholder relationships with post secondary institutions who support our workforce development. Now, the June quarterly event remains in Walkerton (our roots!), September is hosted by Conestoga College in Kitchener, March is hosted by Humber College in the GTA. That left our November event an opportunity to reach closer to our southern member communities toward Niagara, hence our Nov 22 event held in Burlington recently! This event was attended by approximately 50 people representing the value-added wood industry in SWO. Companies new to the BWA in the region who wanted to learn more didn’t have to travel far!

The event started with a BWA update of current projects, upcoming events and initiatives. This was followed by a presentation on Management Liability and Risk by BWA member Chris Cameron of Magnes. This included topics such as cyber risk, and wrongful dismissal. Lots of Q&A and good information for the members. This was followed by a presentation on Ownership Thinking by Marc Lacoursier of The Achievement Group. Since most members struggle with employee engagement and retention, this was a topic well received with good discussion. Incentive programs and other strategies to enhance employee engagement continue to elude most companies. The BWA will engage this topic again in the future. Finally, last but not least, SRED (Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit) continues to raise itself as a topic for many companies who are new to the process and opprtunity it presents. Since the BWA continues to attract new members, it makes sense that this is a topic that needs to be revisited on a regular basis. Ryan Scodeller of Xurbo provided an informative review of the opportunity and the method of capturing information to develop a claim. Xurbo is now a preferred provider of SRED for the BWA members. For those members wanting more information on SRED, please contact the BWA.

Lots going on right now with the BWA! Watch for updates soon on our plant tours and training events scheduled for January and February! If you are not a member of the BWA but would like to learn more, please contact BWA Executive Director Mike Baker:

Bluewater Wood Alliance expands reach, influence | Woodworking Canada

Bluewater Wood Alliance Featured in Woodworking Canada!
November 24, 2017

The Bluewater Wood Alliance continues to grow its membership and its reach. What started out as just a handful of like-minded wood product manufacturers and suppliers…. click here to read article.

Toyota Plant Tour – November 15th

Toyota Plant Tour – October 26th

Spaces still available for the November 15th – 2 pm Toyota Plant Tour.
Book Now!


As you know, the Bluewater Wood Alliance has been facilitating export development for its members in collaboration with its government partners.

The High Point Market in High Point, NC is the largest furnishings trade show in North America: Click to visit site.
The next market is April 14-18, and a fall market Oct 14-18.

We are currently calling out to interested companies to participate in this project. Costs are subsidized to allow our members to access this important US marketplace.

If you are interested in more information please contact:

Mike Baker
BWA Executive Director


BWA Has Another Hit Meeting Event at Conestoga College for 60 Companies!

Having the Ontario Centre for Wood Processing at Conestoga College host the BWA Quarterly Networking Event seems a perfect fit! They are the largest post secondary wood processing program in Ontario. We all know how important our workforce development is for our industry. When wood product manufacturers get together there for a day of learning and networking, the atmosphere just feels right!

Consultations with BWA members have indicted two big themes (among many others) that they have in common: they want to reduce their costs and waste, and increase their sales. Very simple you would think. But the implications run deep into how we manage our companies, our processes, and our people.

To approach the Lean Manufacturing theme to reduce costs and waste, it is necessary to look at the lean principles in the Toyota Production System that are a benchmark for all industries. Looking further, we need to apply them to the wood industry.

No better way to do that, than to engage a collaborative presentation by two experts in the field: Sepp Gmeiner of Lignum Consulting, and Brad Cairns of the Centre for Lean Learning. Although these two experts may compete with one another, they rose to the occasion to work together for the benefit of our members. This true to the cluster model the BWA adapted from Austria: collaboration for the betterment of the industry as a whole, despite competition!

Sepp provided a thorough introduction of lean principles and how they can be applied to wood production, with good visuals and examples people could understand. Brad Cairns followed up with examples of implementation of lean projects with videos and concrete examples and results of what can happen when employees become engaged and a part of the process. One big take-away was the use of video in real time of what is happening in your shop before and after a project. The two together were a “dynamic duo” and we look forward to working further with both Sepp and Brad as they help transform our businesses to the next level.

On the sales and marketing front, Andrew Wall of Sandler Training provided an informative and interactive session on how we manage the right approach to sales development and the people we have working for us. This is a very complex system that, similar to production, requires disciplined processes to be followed consistently in order to achieve results. Andrew provided many examples and take-aways for members as we re-evaluated our current practices and considered the opportunity of developing discipline behind our sales strategies.

These two themes: Lean Manufacturing and Sales and Marketing, will be the centerpiece of a new series of learning and training coming up in the new year provided by the BWA. Stay tuned for the events coming up in the calendar in 2018.

In addition, Sadoon Mohiuddin of Canmade  explained the new anti-tipping by-laws (F2057 and F3096) Government of Canada is implementing for the home furniture industry. He brought in a sample of Vokes Furniture for the demonstration that was well received.

Finally, a rich networking opportunity took place over breaks and following the event at Edelweiss Tavern in Kitchener!

Mark your calendars for the upcoming tours of Toyota Canada Oct 26 and Nov 15, but you must register to obtain a spot, and be a member of the BWA!

For more information on the BWA and events like this contact BWA Executive Director, Mike Baker at

Global Buyers Mission 2017

The Bluewater Wood Alliance recently attended the Global Buyers Mission, hosted by BC Wood at Whistler, BC. Two BWA members: Provincial Plank and Creative Woods Unlimited attended with booth space in collaboration the Ontario Wood group of MNRF. BWA Executive Director Mike Baker also attended to participate in the Canada Wood Board meeting, and learn more about the partnership opportunities with other Canadian wood associations and the opportunities the Global Buyers Mission present for other BWA members.

The Global Buyers Mission is a strategically facilitated gathering of qualified buyers of wood products from all over the world including Belgium, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.

This is an extremely well organized event, with BWA members receiving orders immediately following the show.

You can learn more about it here:

If you are interested in more information on the BWA and collaborative opportunities such as the Global Buyers Mission, please contact BWA Executive Director Mike Baker: