A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members February 5, 2009
Business Tools

AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey Launch Coming Soon

During these uncertain times, the CODBS is one of the best resources available from AWI for Manufacturing Members to manage their business profitably in the year ahead.

Keep profits coming in the door. Use the final report from the 2009 AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey to fine-tune operating procedures and maximize profits.

You will receive and AWI e-mail on Friday, February 6, containing the link to the survey.  The survey period ends April 1.  Results should be available by June 1.

Reminder: To receive the full report from the survey results in 2009, you must participate in the survey; otherwise non-participants will only receive an Executive Summary. As in the past all participating AWI Manufacturing Members will receive the full report from the survey as well as electronic tools to put to work immediately.

What AWI Members Say about Participating

"The Cost of Doing Business (CODB) will provide you the necessary ‘benchmarks’ for you to compare your company to other AWI members. Effective benchmarks can help you in your bidding process and also in assessing your company’s efficiency versus your fellow woodworkers. How does my cost of labor, materials, overhead, installation, selling and administration costs compare with my competitors? For the first time, the CODB will directly compare your cost of materials and labor against your plant process sales; it will compare your cost of non-plant processed materials against your non-plant process sales. It will do the same with the cost vs. sales your in-house installation and your outsourced installation."

 R – Revenue

 C – Cost

 P – Profitability (R-C=P)

Plant Processed Sales

Raw Materials
Plant Labor
Plant Overhead

Gross Profit on Plant Process Sales

Non-Plant Processed Sales

Non-Plant Processed

Gross Profit on Non-Plant Process Sales

In-house Installation Sales

Installation Materials
Installation Labor
Installation Overhead

Gross Profit on In-house Installation Sales

Contracted Installation Sales

Contracted Installation Costs

Gross Profit on Contracted Installation Sales

"Utilization of this format will prove to be an invaluable tool to manage your cost of doing business and will provide you important information throughout those difficult economic conditions."

Yves Des Marais
(AWI President – 1994-1995)
Hollywood Woodwork, Inc.

Check out the February issue of AWI NewsBriefs for more good reasons why participating in the CODB survey is important for your business. Your copy of NewsBriefs will arrive in your mailbox on/around February 16.

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First Quarter AWI AOE Honors Submission Period Closes February 15

Gain honors in the quarterly AWI "Award of Excellence" program. The outstanding projects of AWI Manufacturing Members who are featured in Design Solutions Magazine, AWI’s official quarterly journal, get noticed.

Maximize opportunities for business. All AWI Manufacturing Members are eligible to participate in this quarterly AWI program. Visit the AWI Web site for submission forms and a 2009 AWI Media Planner – Rate Card 9. The deadline for submissions for the next quarterly (spring) AOE honors program is February 15, 2009. Benefits to AOE honorees include exposure in the online issue of the journal which is open for business 24/7. (The fall issue is now posted for viewing on the AWI Web site. Click here for online access.)

Pictured here is one of the award-winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects featured in the fall AWI "Award of Excellence" quarterly competition. The architectural woodwork fabricated and installed by Imperial Mill & Fixtures, Inc. of Corpus Christi, TX, along with the fixtures, comprised over one-third of the overall budget for the M. Penner Retail Store renovation.  More views of this project can be seen on page 20 of the fall issue of Design Solutions here.

Photo Credit: Jud Haggard, Bellaire, TX

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Post-Traumatic Layoff Syndrome

When employees are let go, the workers left behind feel the loss of talent and team relationships with their former colleagues. How does leadership address this funk or malaise that can set in?

Click here to learn more, from an article on January 21st in DallasNews.com (subscription required).

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Learning Forum

Be the Best ...Estimator and Project Manager...You Can Be

AWI offers the best resource on the market for enhancing your knowledge and skills where expertise can make a difference between profit and loss. Fundamentals and Advanced courses for Estimating and Project Management are among the lineup of seminars scheduled for April 29 – May 2, in Charlotte, NC. What will you learn?

Project Management....As the principal organizational specialist on the woodwork team, the project manager is confronted with tight schedules, change orders, resource availability, equipment glitches, conflicts and communication difficulties, while assuring that the job proceeds according to the specifications and the contract. It’s a challenge! This intense one-day program helps NEW and emerging Project Managers build a solid foundation for a successful career. You can immediately put to work the best practices, skills and techniques gained in this course. Start using the handout materials – forms, templates, and tracking mechanisms – when you get back to the job. Interact with participants to form a network of PM consultants who share – and successfully meet – the same challenges.

Estimating...Take the guesswork out of your estimates. This basic program lays the groundwork for calculating true anticipated cost and factoring in all of the variables. Gain the knowledge and tools to determine and exceed your "break even" for maximum profits as you learn how to put the AWI Cost Book to work. Gain assurance, knowing you can turn down unprofitable work and negotiate your margins with confidence.

To learn more about these and all other courses offered, visit awinet.org. Registration is open now!

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WERC to Host Hardwood Components Workshop

The U.S. Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) will host a two-day workshop, “Remaining Competitive in Hardwood Components Production,” April 20-21 in Princeton, WV.  The workshop is designed for anyone interested in manufacturing hardwood components, supplying lumber, or buying components.

Hardwood industry managers will assess the current market situation, learn about opportunities, compare their efforts with others in the industry, and discuss issues with industry experts. Sessions will address certified lumber/components, customer expectations, and export markets and certification, and more.

The workshop is sponsored by WERC and the Virginia Tech Department of Wood Science and Forest Products in conjunction with the National Hardwood Lumber Association, Wood Component Manufacturers Association, and Wood Digest Magazine. 

With a focus on the current economic situation, the workshop will explore opportunities to produce certified (green) hardwood components and discuss lean manufacturing. Leading industry experts will also discuss issues important to the hardwood industry, and workshop participants will visit an award-winning lean component manufacturing facility.

For more information about the workshop, visit http://www.woodscience.vt.edu/woodcomponents/ and click on the Short Courses tab, or call Urs Buehlmann of Virginia Tech extension at 540.231.9759.  You may download a brochure about the program, view the agenda, and get information about accommodations.  Registration will open soon.
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Dont Wait Until Its Too Late to Comment

Now is the time to comment on sections of the NEW Architectural Woodwork Standards that will combine North American woodwork standards into one unified document. The proof files for all sections except 10 are now posted for download, review, and comment. It is critical to the success of these Standards that AWI members comment NOW before they are published.

To access the Standards, visit http://awiedu.wikispaces.com/AWSreviewcopies.  Forward this link to everyone you know, woodworker and design professional alike.

If you have not already done so, follow the instructions on the page to obtain a password. Those who have received passwords previously can use the same one. There has been no change.
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AWI News

Show Off Your Membership with AWI Plaque Date Strip

On February 2, AWI sent all members who renewed their 2009 membership a renewal packet letter, member certificate, and date strip for their plaque. Keep your membership current.

Watch the mail for your information. If you have any questions about the status of your membership, contact AWI Membership Coordinator Cassey Gibson at cgibson@awinet.org.  Membership can be renewed online at www.awinet.org.

AWI ended 2008 with excellent growth: 1175 Manufacturing Members and 243 Supplier Members.
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Welcome to New Members

AWI welcomes 18 new members. Find out who they are.

As a benefit of their membership in AWI, Web site addresses are provided for those members that reported them on their membership application.  All AWI members may be accessed via the online AWI Member Directory at www.awinet.org or by calling the association’s headquarters offices at 571.323.3636.


Architectural Materials, LLC
Las Vegas, NV 

Blake Clotia
Wichita, KS

Chadwick Designs, Ltd.
Fort Wayne, IN

CME Caseworks
Fairview, PA 

Columbine Kitchen and Bath
Castle Rock, CO

Custom Craft, LLC
Sumner, WA

Exact Millworks, LLC
Fort Lauderdale, FL

JFV Designs, Inc.
Orlando, FL

L&L Group, Inc.
Indianapolis, IN

Martin Woodworks
Metairie, LA

Progressive Cabinets of Ocala
Ocala, FL

Right Choice, LLC
Denver, CO 

Smokey Hill Woodcrafters/Legacy Design Group
Hays, KS

TMJ Wood Products Company
Savage, MN

Wausau Cabinet & Design, LLC 
Wausau, WI

Woodworkers of Denver, Inc.
Denver, CO 


A.M.I. National Corporation
Thornton, CO 

Holzkraft Custom Wood Doors
Barrington, IL
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Heuer Preps 8th Graders for Work World

On Friday, February 6, 2009, twenty-five 8th Graders will get a look at their future. AWI's Greg Heuer is one of six professionals invited by Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) to speak to young people about to plan their high school course path for entering the real world of work.

As a part of the national State Scholars Initiative, the state of Virginia is in the second year of the "Commonwealth Scholars" program. Rising high schoolers are encouraged to earn this award by taking a more rigorous course of study than the “general diploma” even if they are NOT thinking about going to a four-year college.

In a one-hour program, Heuer, explores how much more a skilled person earns, and how they set themselves up to qualify for those few skilled positions in each company. Using a presentation prepared by PVCC, each class is taken on a quick journey through life after high school. Each student is asked how he or she will spend their income, followed by a graphic demonstration of how fast a paycheck disappears into taxes, insurance, rent, food, car payments, phone bills, heat, lights, water, and clothing.

The students are encouraged to ask about the work world, and the opportunities in advanced woodwork manufacturing, finishing, and installation.

For more information on this program, and to see if it is available in your state, click here.

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Safety Matters

Dont Miss the CNA February Webinar - Combustible Dust

On February 6th and 9th CNA, AWI's safety insurance partner, and AWI invite members to participate in the safety related webinar: Combustible Dust - Learn tips for controlling fires and keep dust under control.

The webinar is designed for shop employees and is available at no cost to AWI members. 
Each session will be offered twice to accommodate schedules and work shifts. 
Below are the participant instructions for each date.  We hope you can join us!

Session 1: Combustible Dust
Friday, February 06, 2009
2:00 pm EST
Duration: 60 Minutes
Step 1: Dial the Conference Access Number:   (212) 457-9845 | (866) 439-4712
Step 2: Enter your Participant PIN Code followed by the # key:   189137#
Step 3: You will be placed on musical hold until the Event begins
Step 4: To join the Web Conference click this link: https://www.anywhereconference.com/?Conference=122374043&PIN=228303
Step 5: Enter your Name
Step 6: Click Go

Or Join the Web Conference Manually
Step 1: To join the Web Conference log into: https://www.anywhereconference.com/
Step 2: Enter the Web Login Reference:  122374043
Step 3: Enter the PIN Code:   228303
Step 4: Enter your Name
Step 5: Click Go

Session 2: Combustible Dust
Monday, February 09, 2009

2:00 pm EST
Duration: 60 Minutes

Step 1: Dial the Conference Access Number:  212.401.6760 | 866.551.3680
Step 2: Enter your Participant PIN Code followed by the # key:  2234046#
Step 3: You will be placed on musical hold until the Event begins
Step 4: To join the Web Conference click this link:
Step 5: Enter your Name
Step 6: Click Go
Or Join the Web Conference Manually
Step 1: To join the Web Conference log into: https://www.anywhereconference.com/
Step 2: Enter the Web Login Reference: 130241306
Step 3: Enter the PIN Code: 2706733
Step 4: Enter your Name
Step 5: Click Go

If the PIN code is not dialed or is dialed incorrectly, you will be automatically transferred to our Customer Service department who will be able to place you into the conference. The Customer Service team can be reached at any time during your conference call simply by pressing *0 on your telephone keypad.

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OSHA Publishes Proposed Rule to Revise Procedures for Fit Testing Respirators

Protection Standard for determining the effectiveness of facemasks. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the January 21st Federal Register.

OSHA is proposing to add two PortaCount® quantitative fit-testing protocols to its Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134); the proposed protocols would apply to employers in general industry and the construction industry. The first of the two proposed protocols consists of the eight fit-testing exercises described in Part I.A.14 of Appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard, except each exercise would last 30 seconds instead of the currently required 60 seconds.\1\ The second proposed protocol would eliminate two of the eight fit-testing exercises, and each of the remaining six exercises would last 40 seconds; in addition, this proposed protocol would increase the current minimum pass-fail fit-testing criterion from a fit factor of 100 to 200 for half masks, and from 500 to 1,000 for full facepieces.

Comments are due by March 23, 2009
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Green Scene

SFI Invites Comments on Draft SFI 2010-2014 Standard

The independent Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) Inc. is inviting comments until March 2 on the draft SFI® 2010-2014 Standard, which is posted at www.sfiprogram.org.  As part of its public review, the non-profit forest certification program also will host seven workshops across North America.  To comment and learn more...

February 18 in Sacramento, CA
February 19 in Vancouver, British Columbia
March 3 in Minneapolis, MN
March 26 in Charleston, SC
April 2 in Little Rock, AR
April 7 in Portland, ME
April 16 in Montreal, Quebec

SFI third-party certification supports responsible forestry practices across North America through a standard based on principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and forests with exceptional conservation value. To be certified, forest operations must be audited against the current SFI Standard, which is enhanced through an open public process every five years. This is the third full review – it began in June 2008 and will lead to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard, which takes effect on January 1, 2010.

“The changes proposed in the draft SFI 2010-2014 Standard reflect views we received during an initial 60-day public review process last summer – we invited 2,000 individuals and organizations to comment on the SFI 2005-2009 Standard and publicized the process to reach even more people,” said SFI Inc. President and CEO Kathy Abusow.

The revised draft standard also aims to strengthen the unique SFI fiber sourcing requirements, which address the fact that only 10% of the world’s forests are certified.

The draft standard isposted on the SFI Web site (www.sfiprogram.org) and written comments will be accepted through an online survey for 30 days.  Individuals who want to register to attend a workshop can also find more information and register online at this site.

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Hot Topic of the Month Is Glowing Green!

AWI is repeating its new feature, “We Want to Know,” which first appeared in the January issue of NewsBriefs, AWI’s monthly print newsletter, and the January 22nd edition of e-briefs, our bi-monthly e-letter.  Take a minute to answer our question for January and February AND check out responses to date.

“We Want to Know” is designed to elicit information – tips, suggestions, best practices – from AWI members about various issues that affect the business of woodworking. The first question in the “Hot Topic” series focuses on being green. 

What steps has your business taken to become a “green” company and has going “green” improved your bottom line?

To respond to this question and view responses received, go to www.awinet.org and click on the links under “We Want to Know” on the front page. We hope you’ll participate in this informal “survey” of members about hot topics.

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Industry News

Letter to the Editor from AWFS

See what the Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers® (AWFS®) has to say about the upcoming AWFS® Fair, the strong educational program being planned for AWFS®Vegas, July 15-18, 2009, and its efforts on behalf of the woodworking community.

Click here to access its letter to the Editor.
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New Construction Starts in December Retreat 5%; Non-Residential Building Up Slightly

New construction starts in December dropped 5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $427.4 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies.  For the full year 2008, total construction starts were down 15% to $542.8 billion, marking the second straight year of reduced contracting after the 7% decline reported for 2007. 

Excluding residential building, new construction starts for 2008 were up a modest 2%, a decelerating rate of growth for the non-housing project types following gains of 7% in 2007 and 21% in 2006.

Nonresidential building in December grew 2% to $208.7 billion (annual rate).  Growth occurred in December for:

  • Healthcare facilities which climbed 21% 
  • Educational building rose 4%
  • Modest growth was posted by offices, up 5%; and hotels, up 6%

For more details, visit Dodge Construction.com (subscription required).
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Member News

Last Call for LIGNA World Fair Excursion

AWI members are reminded that registration closes on February 15 for the international tour announced by Stiles Machinery in conjunction with the LIGNA World Fair for the Forestry and Wood Industries which will be held May 18-22, 2009 in Hanover, Germany. 

Stiles Machinery and AWI are offering an all-inclusive tour package with airfare, ground transportation, accommodations, meals, translators, LIGNA registration fees, and much more for the low price of $2,995 per person.  With all the business challenges and opportunities in the marketplace, experiences such as this tour can help you stay ahead of the game.

Registration is limited to 30 and will close on February 15.  Click here for full details and to register.  Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please contact Lorraine Bush at 616.698.7500 or at lbush@stilesmachinery.com.

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Microvellum Donates New Possibilities

Last December, Theodore Roosevelt High School’s (THRS) WoodLINKS cabinetry students in Kent, OH, were given a Christmas present from national sponsor, Microvellum.  All cabinetry level students received a t-shirt and mechanical pencil to keep as well a $100,000 cabinet design and manufacturing software package to learn on for producing both community and personal projects. The partnership between Microvellum and Theodore Roosevelt is one of 57 nationwide.

THRS Cabinetry I and II students wear their new Microvellum shirts and hold a banner that will hang in their lab.
Photo credit: Troy Spear

As of December 2008, less than halfway through the school year, THRS Cabinetry II level students had designed and are currently manufacturing a custom bookcase for the TRHS Choirs to use for storing and organizing their music folders. “Local partners, Sal and John Volpe of Volpe Millwork, gave me some suggestions about how they would build this project, so the students and I took their advice and away we went,” AutoCAD & CAM Instructor Troy Spear said.

Currently, the full capability of this software is being underutilized, Spear lamented. The WoodLINKS program does not have a CNC router so students are using the Altendorf WA-8 from Edward B. Mueller and Shop Solutions of Stiles Machinery to process the panel stock. Considering the price of a quality industry duty machine, which Spear considers a must to train students on, it is no wonder the program doesn’t have a router. “It will really be awesome when students will take a project from the design phase with Microvellum all the way through nesting, G code generation, machining and finally assembly using CNC technology.” Spear said. 

“Our Board of Education has meetings at each school building throughout the year and our building principal has requested that the board members take a tour through the WoodLINKS Cabinetry Lab to see just what these students are working on,” he said. At least one student of Spear’s has an entrepreneurial bone in him as he builds custom speaker boxes. “With the advantage of having the understanding of designing with computer software like Microvellum and the Altendorf, let alone the potential of a CNC router,” Spear said, “it might be tough to make this particular student go home at night.” He understands that it just might take a hook like that for a student to really grab hold of this powerful tool and learn it to make himself more marketable to both local partners and those abroad.


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Saunders Wood Specialties Names Business of the Year

Saunders Wood Specialties in Park Falls, WI, was recently honored at the annual PFACDC (Park Falls Area Community Development Corporation) gala as the recipient of the 2009 Business of the Year Award.  At the event, PFACDC Administrator Frank Kempf told presenters and other state officials how Saunders’ growth and achievements in business have benefited the area economically for the past 32 years.

Administrator Frank Kempf cited Saunders’ growth from 10,000 square feet to the current 50,000 square feet, providing skilled jobs and benefits for 60 employees, maintaining consistent production in manufacturing progress and quality product, and frequently investing in new machinery and technology.  “It’s another great day in Park Falls,” said PFACDC President Sam Pritzl as he thanked Saunders President Dan Tuohy for being a great contributor to the community as he acknowledged Saunders as “the hidden treasure, tucked away behind the pulp yard and seen by few.” He praised the company’s integrity built on customer service and quality product.”

Saunders Wood Specialties presses approximately 1.3 million square feet of custom panels annually. You can visit the company’s Web site at www.saunderswood.com
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Federal Scene

Compromises Sought on Economic Stimulus Bill

It’s no surprise that some things don’t change...partisanship in the U.S. Congress.  As of press time, the jury is still out on just how much funding will be allocated to create jobs and stimulate the economy. Included in the infrastructure funding is money for building and renovating schools.  Several resources will give you up to date news.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) has established a Web page, Rebuild America’s Future, as a resource about the latest economic stimulus activity on Capitol Hill as well as an avenue for contacting Members of Congress. AGC’s chief economist estimated that “every $1 billion invested in infrastructure projects would create over 28,500 new direct and indirect jobs.”  AGS, the American Subcontractors Association, and other construction coalition partners, are urging Congress to include buildings, in addition to roads and bridges, in the definition of infrastructure.  For Stimulus Bill updates and to add your voice to petitions to Congress, visit the AGC Web site.

The package passed by the House of Representatives drew qualified support from AIA, which expressed hope for progress.  AIA also raises questions about how “ready-to-go” building is defined.  Another issue, AIA said, is the ability of government contracting agents to handle a heavy load of projects in the pipeline.

In the February 4th edition of Architectural Record, the American Institute of Architects published news of their members’ views on the stimulus package.  Learn more.

Another resource, the Center for American Progress, has an interactive map showing nationwide recovery funding allocations.  Check it out at americanprogress.org.
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E-Verify Regulation Effective Date Delayed to May 2009

The immigration saga continues about if and when the federal government will require employers to validate the legal status of employees using the E-Verify system, whose success rate is disputed. 

As reported previously in e-briefs (most recently in the December 4, 2008 edition), the courts have held up implementation of the regulation, which had been scheduled to take effect January 15, 2009.  Now the delay extends to May 21, 2009.  A Federal Register notice published on January 30, notes that “contractors and subcontractors who enter into covered agreements with the federal government need not enroll for now in E-Verify,” according to Mondaq (free subscription). And so, the saga continues.
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Chapter News

Upcoming Chapter Events

What’s happening in local architectural woodwork communities? Learn about the upcoming events sponsored by AWI Chicago, Missouri / Illinois, Florida, Ohio Valley, Carolinas, and West Texas Chapters.

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.

AWI Chicago Chapter
Thursday, February 12, 2009 (5:30 pm – dinner and panel discussion)
Program:  "The New Architectural Woodwork Standards and What it means to AWI Manufacturing and Supplier Members"
Panelists: Greg Bednar, AWI; Joe Binder, Chicagoland Finishing Materials; Tom Gleason, Gleason Woodwork; Paul Kelly, Barsanti Woodwork Corporation
Where: Diplomat West, Elmhurst, IL
Information: Details and registration, awichicago.org
Contact: Homer Lathrop, Chicago Chapter President, homerlathrop@sbcglobal.com

AWI Missouri / Illinois Chapter
When: February 12, 2009 (4:00 – 6:00 pm)
Program: Chapter Meeting & QSI Section Presentation by Good’s Millwork
Where: Duff’s Restaurant, St. Louis, MO
Information: Laurie Fromm, laurie@classicwoodworkinginc.com, phone – 314.544.0121

AWI Florida Chapter
When: February 20, 2009
Program: Winter Plant Tour and Board of Directors Meeting
Where: TBA
Information: Phone – 813.977.6683

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
February 22, 2009
Program: LEED®/Sustainability
Presenter: Margaret Fisher, LEED authority and Market Development Manager at Saunders Wood Specialties
Where: TBA
Information: For key chapter contacts visit awinet.org

AWI Carolinas Chapter
When: February 27, 2009 (all day)
What: 40th Anniversary AWI Carolinas Chapter Gala (including meeting, tour of Childress Vineyards, RCR Museum and Race Shop and dinner)
Where: Holiday Inn Express at the Vineyards, Lexington, NC
Information: Kristine Cox, kcox@awicarolinas.org

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: March 11, 2009 (5:30 pm)
What: Dinner Meeting with Featured Speaker and Hafele Showroom Open House
Where: 154 W. Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL
Information: Homer Lathrop, Chicago Chapter President, homerlathrop@sbcglobal.com

AWI West Texas Chapter
When: March 16-17, 2009
What: LEED®/Sustainability
Presenter: Margaret Fisher, LEED authority and Market Development Manager at Saunders Wood Specialties
Where: TBA
Information: For key chapter contacts visit awinet.org

AWI chapters are encouraged to plan their events early to allow for ample promotion of your event in this section of e-briefs as well as through other avenues. Alert Greg Bednar, AWI Chapter Development Services, about your upcoming events via e-mail at gbednar@awinet.org.


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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published February 19, 2009

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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 Spring Professional
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April 28 – May 2, 2009
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