||WILL KNECHT, PRESIDENT, WENDELL AUGUST
Will Knecht is the President of Wendell August, America's oldest and largest forge, producing hand-wrought ornamental giftware in aluminum and other metals since 1923. As president of a multimillion-dollar company, Will Knecht has extensive, hands-on experience in the crucial aspects of a successful business including manufacturing, distribution, retail, sales, marketing, information technology and finance. On March 2010, two days after receiving its largest order ever, a fire destroyed millions of dollars in equipment and materials, their offices and their flagship store. Instead of ceding to the devastation, Wendell August Forge upped its workforce, struck distribution deals with 600 stores nationwide and broke ground on a new facility. While Will Knecht credits divine intervention and a supportive staff and community for his company's revival, he said rising from the ashes challenged him to take Wendell August Forge higher than it had ever been before. Will earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business from Wake Forest University and served as student body president there from 1987-88. Married to Jennifer, Will and his wife have three children: Jared, Cameron and Claire. Will's outside interests include the Bible, teaching Sunday school, exercising, reading and watching movies. He also has an intense love for products made in the USA (like those from Wendell August!) and champions keeping jobs in America as well as carrying out the tradition of handcrafted excellence.
Tuesday December 4 • General Session