A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members November 5, 2007
Association News

AWI Adds New Benefit to “Award of Excellence” Program

AWI Manufacturing Members gain even more corporate exposure in the AWI “Award of Excellence” program, making a great program sizzle with public relations potential for participants.

Not only are the winning projects of AWI “Award of Excellence” honorees seen by nearly 25,000 architect and design professional subscribers to Design Solutions magazine, but they are accompanied by a brief profile of the AWI Manufacturing Member whose beautiful project is featured.  A Company Profile under a heading “At a Glance” highlights key elements about their firm, including services, specialties, and more. This new benefit of the “Award of Excellence” program was introduced in the fall 2007 issue of Design Solutions.

Become one of the honorees!
If you are an AWI Manufacturing Member and you are seeking business exposure as an avenue for obtaining potential new customers, explore the AWI “Award of Excellence” program.

Like other auspicious honorees featured in the summer 2007 edition of Design Solutions, AWI Manufacturing Member Siewert Cabinet & Fixture Manufacturing of Minneapolis, MN (featured below), enjoyed the media exposure that inclusion in the journal brings.  

Don’t miss the next deadline for submissions for the winter AWI “Award of Excellence” Program on December 1, 2007.  All AWI Manufacturing Members are eligible to apply.  You too can have your outstanding project showcased to architects and design professionals who may be searching for your kind of expertise and creativity.  Click here for details and submission forms.

Pictured here is one of four winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects in the quarterly AWI “Award of Excellence” competition – the Periscope marketing agency’s offices in Minneapolis, whose millwork was provided by Siewert Cabinet & Fixture Manufacturing.  The ceiling grid system is fabricated of Douglas Fir.

Photo Credit: Rick Siewert & Jason Martin, Minneapolis, MN

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Put Your Best Corporate Foot Forward on New AWI Web Site

Managing your firm’s corporate image in your official listing on AWI’s Web site is now easy 24/7, 365 days a year.

AWI’s new Web site, www.awinet.org, allows members to update their records with the click of a mouse in the “Members Only” section. Keep your records current to reflect the scope and specialties of your business for visitors seeking architectural woodworkers and suppliers for their next projects. Record changes will now immediately impact member listings in the online Membership Directory.
Here’s what you need to do to update your record:

You must log into the site using the user name and password provided to you by AWI. If you do not know your user name, please click on the “Contact Us” link to reach an AWI staff member. Once you log in you can either click on your name in the top right hand corner of the page or choose “Membership Management” at the bottom of the left menu. Edit your contact information on the “Member” page.  If you are the primary contact for your company you can also edit your company’s information in the “Organizations” page. Each page contains tabs; be sure to click on each to verify or edit your information. Click on the blue “save” button to save your information each time you make a change.

The information in your company’s profile will be used for the 2008 Membership Resource Directory and the AWI Web site “Member Search.”  Keep your company’s information accurate online and put your best corporate foot forward.

Contact AWI at 571.323.3636 or info@awinet.org, if you have any questions.

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Industry News

AF&PA Meets Criticism Head on with Report of Industry’s Proven Environmental Record and Stewardship

The forest products industry is committed to stewardship and renewability – that is the message that AF&PA is sending to the Environmental Paper Network (EPN), a group that has issued a report criticizing the industry's environmental record.
The EPN report details what it calls the "devastating effects" of the papermaking process, particularly at mill facilities. 

In response, AF&PA has compiled a 14-page report documenting the U.S. paper industry’s excellent record of stewardship and renewability. In particular,

  • the industry has fostered and increased forest health 
  • increased paper recycling 
  • dramatically improved energy efficiency, and
  • reduced air emissions and water discharges.

In almost every way imaginable, the AF&PA report says “the industry’s environmental performance has improved over the past two decades.”  Click here to check out the facts presented in the report.
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Corey B. Brinkema Named as President of FSC-US

As of November 5, 2007, the Forest Stewardship Council-US (FSC-US) has a new president, Corey B. Brinkema.  FSC is a leading developer of standards for the certification of sustainable, well-managed forests.

Brinkema was previously Executive Director of the Green Institute in Minneapolis, MN.  He also served as principal and founder of Trillium Planning & Development, specializing in industrial ecology and eco-industrial development. He succeeds Roger C. Dower who vacated the position of President of FSC-US in the winter of 2007 for a position with the Johnson Foundation in Racine, WI.

In other news, the FSC was rated recently as “the most effective certification system for achieving sustainable forest management in Canada,” according to new research conducted by Montreal-based management consultants ÉEM Inc. and released this month. For details about the comparison of FSC with other certification systems, visit the FSC Web site.

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Regulatory Issues

Fed Steps in as Consumer Confidence, Home Prices, Dollar Dip Further

They did it again...The Federal Reserve cut interest rates on October 31 to protect the overall economy from dips in housing prices.  This time, the Fed cut the federal fund rate one quarter of a percentage point to 4.5%.  This is the rate at which banks loan funds to each other.

According to The Washington Post, “the lower rates are likely to result in lower borrowing costs for holders of credit cards, adjustable rate mortgages and student and auto loans.”  Businesses should also benefit as costs of expansions lessen.  What happens next? Click here. (The Washington Post, 10/31/07, free subscription)

It remains to be seen what actual effects the Fed’s action will have on consumer confidence, home prices, and the value of the dollar, which the National Association of Manufacturers recently reported as in a big slump.

On October 31, The Financial Times (subscription required) carried news that consumer confidence dipped to a two-year low while the prices of homes in big cities sunk their lowest in 16 years.  The dollar has dipped to its lowest value in 11 years against the Euro and some other currencies. On October 30 in New York, one Euro fetched $1.4436, The Wall Street Journal said.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) applauded the Fed’s action. “At a time when the housing and financial sectors are under duress, the Fed made the right decision to lower borrowing costs. This will bolster consumer confidence, keep the economy on a positive track and help the housing market begin to recover next year,” an NAHB official said.
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Census Bureau Has Economic Data About All Industries – Time to Participate

There are a lot of interesting facts from the last Economic Census available about our industry at business.census.gov.  

Examples there illustrate how the data are used by local businesses for marketing and planning, as well as by government agencies and researchers. Check out data for Sector 31-33 Manufacturing. You’ll find information for wood window, door, and other millwork manufacturing as well as other wood products.

t’s also time to participate in the census which is conducted every five years.  Watch for the 2007 Economic Census forms and supply the information needed by February 12, 2008.

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Green Scene

Do Builders See Green?

Find out what home builders think about green, and what they perceive as its effect on their business. These and other questions were explored in a Green Building Survey conducted recently by Professional Builder.

“You can’t build green until you know what it is,” an analysis of the survey report says.  Green certification is what constitutes a “green” building, according to 46% of the builders who responded; a percentage of green building materials constitutes a “green” building according to (41%) of other respondents.  For insights into the minds of builders, click here.
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Professional Development

The Woodwork Career Alliance Receives Tax Exempt Status

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has granted the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America (WCA) with tax exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions to the Alliance are tax deductible.  WCA is also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts in support of our Skill Standards work.

Contributions to the WCA will enable it to fulfill its financial obligation to the USDA Forest Service whose $92,000 grant to AWI is contingent upon matching funds contributed by the wood industry for the “Wood Manufacturing Skills Standards, Evaluations & Credentials” project.

Questions about contributions should be directed via e-mail to WCA Secretary Greg Heuer.
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Money Matters: Finance Workshop for Non-financial Managers

"It's always best when woodworkers teach woodworkers," says Mike Bell, Chairman of the AWI Education Committee.

"We are looking for hidden talent," he goes on, "to help script and teach our new Money Matters four-hour workshop." Mike would like ALL AWI Manufacturing Members who have an interest in developing this new course to contact Greg Heuer, AWI Director of Training and Member Services, via e-mail. Tell him how you can help create another great educational program for AWI members today.
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How to Use the AWI Cost of Doing Business Report

AWI Past President Scott Nelson has worked up a new four-hour workshop for AWI Manufacturing Members on how to get the MOST out of the annual AWI Cost of Doing Business Report.

"We need testimonials and examples from members on how they make use of the report," Scott said. "Using those real-life examples from coast-to-coast will encourage seminar attendees to share their experiences," he continued. Help beef up our COBD workshop. E-mail your tips and success stories to Greg Heuer, Director of Training and Member Services. 
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Member News

Biesse's Second Quarter Results Reflect Double-Digit Growth

Biesse S.p.A., the global manufacturer of wood, glass and stone fabrication equipment and parent company of Charlotte, NC-based Biesse America and Intermac America, recently released second quarter results reflecting significant growth in revenue and net profits over last year. Of its three business divisions, Wood continues to be Biesse’s mainstay, accounting for over 75% of sales. For more information, visit www.biesseamerica.com.  Biesse America has been a Supplier Member of AWI since 1995.
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In the Chapters

Chapter Events Ahead

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities?  Check out the informative AWI chapter programs sponsored in your area. Tap into your local AWI chapter for vital information that can help your business grow and put you in touch with fellow AWI architectural woodworkers and suppliers.  See what the AWI Great Lakes and Central Pennsylvania Chapters are planning.

AWI Great Lakes Chapter
When: Thursday, November 8, 2007
What: Three Seminars:  1) QS 8005 Veneer Solutions; 2) QS 8006 Finishing; 3) Woodworking Contributions to “Green” Building Projects. Click here for program details.
Presenters: Matt Gaglio, Mod Interiors; Frank Moceri, Madiera Woodworking, Inc.; Chuck Cady, Strata Design, Inc. – all chapter leaders
Were:  Midwest Expo, DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, MI
More Information:  Programs are targeted to architects, design professionals, contractors and woodworkers. Click here for details about the expo.  Click here for registration.

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
Thursday, November 15, 2007 (all day)
What:  Lean Manufacturing Program (with PowerPoint presentations, discussion, and interaction on the implementation of Lean manufacturing with area woodworking companies); Tabletop exhibits featuring Supplier Members
Presenter: Mike Rothmeier, Simple Solutions
Where: Wildwood Conference Center, Harrisburg, PA
Registration:  $75 for members
More Information:  Click here for program & registration details. 
Questions: Chapter President Garry Astles at gastles@northwayind.com.
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Safety Matters

Drugs or Alcohol Contribute Heavily to All Work Accidents

Thirty-eight percent to 50% of all work accidents involve drugs or alcohol, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). And, some states offer insurance incentives for implementation of substance abuse programs.

CNA, AWI’s safety insurance partner, has prepared a questionnaire for members to explore the effectiveness of their substance abuse programs based on state laws. Check out “Drug Free Workplace,” an insert enclosed in your October mail pack along with AWI NewsBriefs, the association’s monthly newsletter.

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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published November 15, 2007. 
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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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AWI Workshop at
“Build Boston”
”Wood & Its Correct Use
in Interiors”
Workshop #B62
November 14, 2007
Boston, MA
4:00 – 5:30 PM
Click here for details.

Winter AWI Professional
Development Seminars

Education Program
February 20-23, 2008

Build Business

Lunch-n-Learn Programs
Chapter Presentations

Design Pro
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design professionals.
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Ilaria Fekeza
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AWI - AIA Form B 2007