A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members January 5, 2006
Association News

Change Your Contact List for AWI Staff – New Phone Numbers

The recent relocation of AWI Headquarters offices from Reston, VA to Potomac Falls, VA necessitated a change in the association’s phone and fax numbers, as well as mailing address.  Please make sure that all pertinent personnel and departments in your company have this updated information, effective Jan. 1, 2006:

New Address: 

    Architectural Woodwork Institute
    46179 Westlake Drive, Suite 120
    Potomac Falls, VA  20165

Main Phone: 571.323.3636

Main Fax: 571.323.3630

For direct dial numbers for all staff members, click here.  Forward this information to others in your office and print out a copy for handy reference and quick access. 
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New AWI Sponsors for 2006 Support You and AWI

AWI is pleased to announce that six AWI Supplier Members – Stiles, Pollmeier, ISEC, VeneerTech, M. L. Campbell and the Weinig Group – have signed up as 2006 Corporate Sponsors.  AWI encourages all association members to support these sponsors whenever a need arises for their services.  Their generous support of AWI helps to fund programs that benefit the entire membership. 

Visit each company by clicking on their logos at right.

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Nominating Committee Extends Application Deadline

The AWI Nominating Committee is still seeking applicants for positions on the AWI Development Council and Board of Directors for terms commencing for 2006-2007.  Deadline for expressing interest as a candidate for a seat on one of these bodies has been extended to Jan. 9, 2006.

Get Involved.  Find out how you will benefit from volunteerism by sharing your skills and experience to advance your industry.  For qualification and other information, contact AWI Executive VP Judy Durham at 571.323.3630 (new fax number).   AWI needs you!
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Two Resources for Maximizing Your AWI Membership Benefits

Renewal of your membership is important for many reasons...to help you grow your business, improve your bottom line, promote your professionalism, expand business opportunities and much more.

On Jan. 31, 2006, the deadline for inclusion in the 2006 Membership Resource Directory, you’ll find one of the important reasons for being a member of AWI.  This ultimate “Who’s Who in Architectural Woodwork” lists key contact information about member companies which is consulted throughout the year by over 3,000 architectural woodworkers, suppliers, architects and design professionals.  All members whose dues are paid for 2006 will be listed in the directory.

All dues paid members also will receive a copy of the NEW AWI Safety Solutions software.  This added benefit of membership will be sent to all members upon remittance of 2006 AWI membership dues.  Safety Pays and this software resource tells you how.

Need more reasons for renewing your membership?  Click here to learn more.

 
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Professional Development

AWILL CATE Week Offers Clues for Quality Throughout Your Business

Your AWI Lifelong Learning Team has planned a totally new educational program that let’s you focus on the profit potential in the office side of your business.  And, quality is one aspect that is key to your reputation and profitability. 

Plan to register now while early-bird fees are available for AWILL Career & Technology Education Week, Feb. 22-25, 2006 in Charlotte, NC at the Harris Conference Center.  The program is packed with hard-hitting sessions, including “Managing Quality: How Do the Masters Do It?”; Fundamentals and Advanced sessions on Project Management and Estimating; Contracts; Quality Certification Program; Plant Scheduling, and more.   CATE Week also includes software demonstrations for more efficient project management and estimating. 

Early-bird fees of only $159 per person per day for AWI members and $280 per person per day for prospective members, are available through Jan. 27, 2006.  Sign up now.  Download your registration format at   http://homepage.mac.com/gheuer212/AWILL/FileSharing12.html, or visit www.awinet.org/events/seminarsr.html, or call Kimberly Hayes at 434.975.0191.  Watch for your January AWI mail packet for full details about CATE Week.

Don’t miss this new educational opportunity offered by the AWILL Team!

And for new AWI members who joined AWI in 2005, your “Free Seminar Certificate” is good for $500 worth of educational programming delivered by AWI.  CATE Week presents a unique opportunity to take advantage of your one-time “new member benefit” offer.
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Home Builders Association Offers Tips on Estimating Workflow

Gain insights into the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) take on estimating workflow and its importance for a successful bottom line.  A recent article entitled “A Solid Estimating Workflow Can Improve Your Bottom Line” in Nation’s Building News includes a series of questions for determining “your current estimating strengths, areas that could use some help and potential new factors that may warrant exploration.”

Take the “test” and see how you rate.  With answers in hand, NAHB offers ideas for developing your own estimating workflow based on a number of topics. To learn more, visit http://www.nbnnews.com/NBN/issues/2005-12-12/Business+Management/2.html.
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Industry News

Fresh Wood Volume 2, New Photographic Art Book

Enjoy the creative designs and intricate craftsmanship that inspired thousands at this year’s AWFS® Fair.  Fresh Wood Volume 2 is a stunning hard-cover photographic book that features the 58 award-winning furniture projects from high school and college students at the AWFS®Fair 2005 Student Design Contest.

Fresh Wood Volume 2 includes over 240 photos revealing intricate joinery, hidden details and eloquent figures in wood.  The book includes comments by students that provide insight on the design challenges and innovative techniques, while the serene beauty of the Las Vegas desert provides a stunning backdrop for the new designs. 
 
Give a gift that keeps on giving by ordering customized quantities for give away to your customers and others. To order the $45.00 art book on-line, visit www.freshwood2005.com. For orders of 10 or more, you can customize the cover with your company logo. Check into quantity orders and customization and more details at http://www.mitrapublishing.com/coprgifts.html.
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ASA Offers Subcontractors Tips for Avoiding 'Death by Waiver' With New CD-ROM

The Foundation of the American Subcontractors Association (FASA) has released a new resource for subcontractors who want to learn how to avoid the risks associated with waivers and releases routinely encountered in construction contracts and project documents. Tips and strategies for handling such potentially problematic language, as presented during ASA's distance learning program, "Avoiding Death by Waiver," are now available on CD-ROM.

The CD-ROM contains a full recording of the original "Avoiding Death by Waiver" program, which was conducted as an interactive Web-based seminar, or "webinar." David Hendrick, Esq., of Hendrick, Phillips, Salzman & Flatt, Atlanta, GA, presented the original program on Oct. 11, 2005.

"Avoiding Death by Waiver" is available to members of ASA for $65, and to nonmembers for $95. The CD-ROM may be purchased through the Contractors' Knowledge Depot. Order securely on the Web at www.contractorsknowledgenetwork.org or call toll-free 1.888.374.3133.

The ASA Building for Profit Internet Learning Series: "Contract Dos, Don't's and Maybes" features interactive webinars led by a variety of legal and other business advisors. ASA's distance learning topics are based on ASA's Stand Up! campaign. This educational and advocacy campaign, launched on July 1, 2004, "aims to empower subcontractors and suppliers by disseminating ASA's collective knowledge of negotiating skills and tips throughout the construction industry." Registration for ASA's distance learning programs is available on the Web at www.asaonline.com.

The FASA Contractors' Knowledge Depot is an online "bookstore" of digitized educational products designed for construction subcontractors and specialty trade contractors.
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In the Chapters

AWI Spring Conference to Include Chapter Leadership Training

Start building your future chapter leaders.  Make a date to gain training for any chapter member, current leader or future leader.  AWI’s Chapter Training Program will be held on Friday, Apr. 7 during the AWI Spring Leadership Conference, Apr. 5-8, 2006 in Sterling, VA.

This conference presents an ideal opportunity to enhance the skills of current leadership and plan for succession of leadership in your chapter to make it the best it can be.  Strong and effective leadership is essential for success.

Consider sponsoring the attendance of possible future leaders for your chapter.  Contact Teresa McCain at 571.323.3622 to make arrangements.

And, don’t miss the full program of events, Apr. 5-8, 2006.  The AWI Spring Leadership Conference will include a keynote speaker and workshops on leadership issues.  Plus, interesting Plant Tours of architectural woodworker shops in Maryland and Virginia will be offered.  Stay tuned for more details. 

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Chapter Events Ahead

Check out the upcoming education programs hosted by chapters in your area...New Jersey and Chicago.

AWI New Jersey Chapter
When:
Jan. 10, 2006
Program: "Making QCP Work for You"
Where: Hillier Group Office, Princeton, NJ
Speaker: Randy Estabrook, AWI Director of QCP
Contact: John Hogan – call 732.356.7310 or e-mail jjestim@optonline.net

AWI Chicago Chapter (with CSI)
When:
Jan. 24, 2006
Program: 5:00, Tabletop Displays, 5:30, Dinner; 6:30, “Lessons Learned: Architectural Woodwork” – a discussion of problems and their solutions
Where: The Union League Club, Chicago, IL
Contact: 630.325.3634 or e-mail dheidlerawi@comcast.net
Deadline for Reservations: Jan. 13, 2006

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Regulatory Issues

Treasury and IRS Issue Guidance Clarifying New Legislation Providing Hurricane Katrina Victims Access to Their Retirement

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2005-92, which provides guidance relating to the application of two provisions of the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 (KETRA) for Hurricane Katrina victims and employer-sponsored retirement plans and IRAs.

Under one provision of KETRA, individuals who live in one of the four states affected by Hurricane Katrina and who suffered an economic loss as a result of that hurricane receive favorable tax treatment with respect to distributions from eligible retirement plans that are qualified Hurricane Katrina distributions, called "Katrina distributions."

A Katrina distribution is not subject to the 10% additional tax applicable to early distributions from a retirement plan (25% in the case of a Simple IRA), is generally includible in income over a 3-year period, and -- to the extent the distribution is eligible for tax-free rollover treatment and is contributed to an eligible retirement plan (recontributed) within a 3-year period -- will not be includible in income at all.

Another provision of KETRA increases the allowable plan loan amount from an employer-sponsored retirement plan and provides for a suspension of payments for plan loans outstanding on or after Aug. 25, 2005 that are made to Katrina victims.

This notice provides guidance for plan sponsors, service providers, and participants, as well as IRA owners, who choose to use the valuable benefits provided under these two KETRA provisions.
For more information, visit the IRS web site.
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IRS Simplifies Tax Filing Requirements for Small Employers

The Internal Revenue Service has issued temporary and proposed regulations that will significantly reduce tax filing burden for nearly 950,000 small business owners. Beginning January 1, 2006, certain employment tax filers will be able to file the new Form 944 (Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return) once a year rather than filing Form 941 (Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return) four times a year. 

The new Form 944 will reduce burden on eligible small employers who file quarterly returns with little or no employment tax due. Most employers who file Form 944 will be able to make a single payment with their annual return. 

Eligible employers are those with estimated annual employment tax liability of $1,000 or less.  The IRS will begin mailing notification letters between Feb. 1 and Feb. 15, 2006 to eligible small employers for calendar year 2006. Employers who do not receive a letter and believe they are eligible to file the new Form 944 can call the IRS at 1.800.829.0115 to find out if they qualify. Taxpayers should contact the IRS by Apr. 1, 2006.

New employers who expect to owe $1,000 or less in total annual employment tax (approximately $4,000 or less in annual wages) also are eligible to file Form 944.  These employers can indicate their estimated tax amount when applying for their EIN (Employer’s Identification Number) on Form SS-4. The IRS will notify the employer to file either Form 944 or Form 941 in the same notice indicating the taxpayer’s new EIN.

”This is just one more burden reduction step the IRS is taking to make it easier for small business employers to comply with the tax laws. Replacing four quarterly forms with one annual form is a significant benefit for small business taxpayers, “said the IRS’ Small Business/Self Employee Commissioner Kevin M. Brown.
The new Form 944 and instructions will be available on the IRS Web site at IRS.gov by Jan. 31, 2006.    
The proposed regulations are open to public comment for 90 days after publication. A public hearing on the regulations has been scheduled for April 26, 2006 at 10 a.m.

More information is available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/reg-148568-04.pdf   – Proposed Regulation (Reg. 148568-04) and at  http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/td9239.pdf  – Temporary Regulation (TD 9239).

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Safety Matters

Humor in the Workplace – Healthy No-Cost Medicine

Incorporating humor into the workplace has been a trend as firms like General Electric, AT&T, Kodak and IBM . . . even the Internal Revenue Service . . . have hired humor consultants to inject some laughter into their respective workplaces.  John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, made a million dollars last year helping businesses “lighten up.”

Health studies have concluded that the old adage “laughter is the best medicine” is more than an old wives tale . . . it actually is a fact!  According to Dr. Humor, Professor Stu Robertshaw of the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, a good hearty laugh “. . . will lower the blood pressure below normal resting rates for forty-five (45) minutes.”   In addition, “. . . laughing exercises the lungs, increases oxygen in the bloodstream and stimulates production of endorphins, the brain’s built-in painkiller.” 

Your AWI Insurance and Safety/Loss Control Committee offers some tips for injecting humor into your workplace.  Watch for the Safety Solutions ToolBox Talk coming in your AWI January mail pack.
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Next Issue of AWI e-briefs

The next edition of AWI e-briefs will be published on Jan. 19, 2006.
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Founded in 1953, AWI is a nonprofit organization representing over 3,500 manufacturers, suppliers, and design professionals in the architectural woodwork industry.

AWI Mission:
The authoritative resource for excellence in architectural woodwork.

Copyright Architectural Woodwork Institute www.awinet.org


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UPCOMING EVENTS
 

 

AWILL Winter CATE
Feb. 22-25, 2006
Charlotte, NC

AWI Spring Leadership Conference
Apr. 5-8, 2006
Sterling, VA

AWILL Summer CATE
Jun. 20-24, 2006