World Millwork Alliance (WMA) has announced the impending retirement of its president and CEO, Rosalie Leone. Leone, who has been with the organization for 27 years, will retire on December 31, 2024.

Leone’s connection to the construction industry and trades dates back to childhood.

“I was raised around the building industry and carpentry trades growing up,” she once told [DWM]. “My grandfather used to put me in his lap when he was working on plans … I’ve always been around it—all of my life.”

Rosalie Leone

She is credited for helping to evolve WMA into a “healthy and thriving association,” officials said. Her contributions have played a pivotal role in shaping its success and culture, they add, including as it underwent transformation—rebranding from the National Sash & Door Jobbers Association to the Association of Millwork Distributors, and finally WMA. Her leadership has been described as “insightful” and “profound.”

“Her proactive role in expanding WMA’s mission, leading initiatives, and forming strategic alliances underscores her commitment to both the growth of the millwork industry and the service provided to association members,” officials wrote in a formal announcement. Leone said she intends to leave WMA with a solid foundation and in a state of readiness to navigate and prosper in future endeavors.

“It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve the WMA leadership and its members,” Leone said. Over the years, she led WMA’s establishment as an accredited ANSI standards development organization, one that’s recognized by the ICC and industry certification agencies. She also led the development of millwork education courses, embracing modern formats and technology to support skilled labor, and worked to connect and support women in the millwork industry through the creation of its first social media network and a Women in Millwork Roundtables series.

“It’s about bringing women together to support other women in our industry,” Leone once told [DWM]. “The time for these roundtables was never enough … this was their own time, to relate to other women in the industry at all levels.”

Officials said that over the decades Leone meticulously planned and executed meetings, conferences, plant tours, and annual conventions, uniting the millwork industry and creating countless memorable experiences for attendees. As she prepares to retire from her role, WMA’s board chair, Jon Bayer, acknowledged her “indispensable efforts that have not only shaped WMA but also steered its course to the current heights of success.”

The executive board will conduct a thorough search for her successor, aiming to “select a leader who will further enhance WMA’s exceptional qualities, uphold its fundamental principles, and sustain the organization’s ongoing growth,” officials said. Throughout the transition period, she will continue her responsibilities as the selection process unfolds.

“The board of directors extends its heartfelt gratitude to Rosalie Leone for her outstanding service and unwavering passion for WMA and its members, leaving behind an exceptional legacy for the organization to build upon,” WMA officials wrote.

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