A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members March 19, 2009

Input on Standards is Being Heard; Latest Revisions Need Review by Woodworkers

We ask members to review the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWI) book’s Revised (3-16-09) Section 10 Casework resulting from the meeting of the Joint Standards Committee (JSC) * on March 8-9, 2009. 

The AWI Technical Committee thanks all the AWI members who reviewed the first draft and submitted “Page 10” suggestion forms. The AWI Technical Committee reviewed each and brought these to the JSC meeting for discussion. 

Click here to access the Revised (3-16-09) Section 10 Casework document and the “Page 10” suggestion form to find out if the revisions are acceptable.  If you have not reviewed the document and submitted comments previously, this is your chance to do so.

Suggestions are due by close of business (DST) on Friday, March 27, 2009.  The AWI Technical Committee will review all “Page 10” submissions commenting on the Revised Section 10 Casework document for consideration at their meeting on March 29.

To access all sections drafted to date on the AWI Wiki, click here.

* The Joint Standards Committee is comprised of representatives from AWI, the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada and the Woodwork Institute.
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Learning Forum

Discounted Registration Ends March 20 for AWI Spring Professional Development Seminars

Get the price break on registration fees for AWI’s powerful, comprehensive specialty seminars.  The discounted fees end March 20, one week before full registration closes on March 27.  The specialized courses are complimented by free programs and the package gives you a good return on your investment during these highly competitive and financially challenging times.

Three sessions on the new Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) are scheduled during the full program of seminars, April 29 – May 2 at the Harris Conference Center in Charlotte, NC.  Seminar presenters have been involved in the drafting and reviewing of the new Standards with AWI’s two sister association partners. Don’t miss the opportunity to gain an understanding of the Standards’ new format and become comfortable navigating the revised sections.  Learn the differences between Quality Standards Illustrated (QSI) and AWS to better market your firm’s adherence to industry standards and set your business apart from the competition.

Add in another avenue for gaining a competitive edge and attend the two sessions about the AWI Quality Certification Program (QCP): “QCP 101: What Is It and What Is It Good for?” and the QCP Help Clinic. Join AWI Quality Certification Corporation Director Craig Elias as he tackles the basics of the QCP and learn how to maintain compliance and make accreditation work for you.  In the Help Clinic, the one-on-one question and answer session with Elias will get you the facts about applying, the accreditation process, and more. 

During the current economic slump, fine-tuned skills and knowledge can set your business apart from the competition.  Visit awinet.org to register for the AWI Spring Professional Development Seminars by March 27.
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Lean Thinking Workshops Offered in Four Virginia Locations

A series of workshops on “Lean Thinking” will be conducted by Virginia Tech in four locations in Virginia between March and May 2009.

The workshop is sponsored by the Virginia Cooperative Extension in conjunction with the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech and the Sloan Foundation Forest Industry Center at Virginia Tech.

Lean thinking is simply defined as a method of doing more with less in any business function. World-class companies have achieved significant cost savings, quality improvements, lead-time reductions, and profitability increases by employing lean thinking throughout their organization. Lean thinking offers benefits for any kind and size of business, administration, and non-profit organization.

Workshop Schedule
* March 24, 2009 - Northwest District of Virginia
* April 2, 2009 - Southwest District of Virginia
* May 7, 2009 - East District
* May 14, 2009 - Central District

The workshop will introduce business owners, managers, administrators, supervisors, and entrepreneurs to the principles and benefits of lean thinking. Using hands-on simulation, participants will experience the improvements possible through using “common sense” when organizing, scheduling, and operating business functions. Participants will also gain a basic understanding of lean thinking and will be guided to the next steps in assessing opportunities for businesses in implementing lean principles into their operations.

For more information on the Lean Thinking workshop series, visit www.woodscience.vt.edu/leanthinking/ or contact Urs Buehlmann, Virginia Cooperative Extension and Department of Wood Science and Forest Products at 540.231.9759, ubuehlm@vt.edu.

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Business Tools

Free Financial Management Resource from AWI

Where can you find a better resource available than the Annual AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey?  Nowhere.   Where can you get a FREE financial management resource for managing your business profitably anytime, especially during these uncertain economic times?  Only at AWI.  Where can you also get a chance to win $500 for participating in the 2009 CODBS?  Only at AWI.

Click here to download the survey input tool.  Complete the form and e-mail it to AWI’s confidential survey administrator at awi@inverra.com

To gain full benefit from the 2009 CODBS, submissions must be received by April 10, 2009.  All participants will be eligible to win the $500 gift card (American Express or Visa).

Benefits of Participation
Only participants will receive a complimentary copy of the full survey results this year
– a change from prior years. Put the 100-page performance report to work right away with the added benefits of participation: AWI industry-specific compensation e-calculator and custom financial dashboard pre-loaded with your company’s data. Improve operating efficiencies with the final report.

This year, the full survey results are more important than ever as a financial management tool for analyzing your company’s performance against the most profitable businesses in the architectural woodwork industry.
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Second Quarter AWI AOE Honors Submission Period Open Until May 15

Gain honors and get noticed in the quarterly AWI “Award of Excellence” program.  Use an AOE Award to your competitive advantage. All Manufacturing Members are eligible to participate.

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.  Visit awinet.org for submission forms and a 2009 AWI Media Planner – Rate Card 9. The deadline for submissions for the next quarterly (summer) AOE honors program is May 15, 2009. Benefits to AOE honorees include exposure in the online issue of the journal which is open for business 24/7.  (The winter 2009 issue is posted for viewing on the AWI Web site.)

Pictured is one of the award-winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects featured in the fall AWI “Award of Excellence” quarterly competition. The new home of the McIntire School of Business at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville opened last April with woodwork fabricated by Ilex Woodworking, Inc. of Baltimore, MD. The Dean’s suite, pictured here, features a circular wall of glass and wood doors and a ceiling lay-light. More views of this project can be seen on pages 28-35 of the fall issue of Design Solutions
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Tapping into Your Legacy Estimating Data

Some see legacy data, particularly estimating data, as a door for opening up new opportunities.  Estimating technology is not just a “productivity tool,” it is a knowledge management application.  Managing and tapping into historical data gives estimators leveraging opportunities. 

Find out what some suppliers say about legacy data, as reported in ConstrucTech (subscription required).

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Are You a Fearless Small Business Owner?

Particularly in uncertain times, it’s important to focus on what you do better than everyone.  Look at seven quick steps to become fearless.

Click here for business know-how.
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100 Ways to Cut Costs in a Sluggish Economy

It’s not just whether you cut costs, but how you cut costs that matters, says FMI Corporation.  The organization is offering 100 tips to generate thinking on possible new areas for cost reduction in tough times.

Check out the summary published in HousingZone (subscription required).
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AWI News

AWI Membership Survey Closes March 20 – Respond Today!

AWI Manufacturing Members have an opportunity to rank and rate AWI products, programs and publications. Don’t miss this opportunity to let your voice be heard in the Annual Manufacturing Membership Survey. Submit your comments by the close of the survey at midnight (DST), this Friday, March 20.  Share your views and become eligible to win one of (3) $100 gift cards.

Responses to this survey assist AWI’s Board of Directors in allocating resources and maintaining focus on members’ needs and interests.  The survey has been abbreviated to take less than 10 minutes of your time.  Tell us what you think!  Click here to participate. 
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Welcome to New Members

AWI welcomes 18 new members. 

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.


Ar-Case, Inc.
dba ARchitectural CASEworks of TX
San Antonio, TX

Aspen Fine Woodworks
Poulsbo, WA 

Bluewater Yachting Solutions, Inc.
Sarasota, FL 

Boswell Wasatch Mill 
Springville, UT  

Commercial Casework Industries, LLC
Buford, GA

Commercial Millwork Specialist, Inc.
Gulfport, MS  

Omnicraft Woodworking, LLC
Hackensack, NJ 

Southern Woodsmith
Pelham, AL


Decorators Supply Corporation

Chicago, IL 

Designer Building Solutions 
Denver, CO

CRJ Prefinish/CRJ Construction Corporation
Seattle, WA

Use the online Directory of AWI Manufacturing and Supplier Members at www.awinet.org for contact information and access to the Web sites of these and other AWI members.  The resource is open 24/7 for use in seeking manufacturers and suppliers of architectural woodwork.

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Professional Social Networking for Woodworkers

The Architectural Woodwork Institute professional social network group on LinkedIn has reached the 150 member mark today.

AWI staff professionals and woodworking professionals link with each other to create enterprise solutions and avoid re-inventing successful wood industry managerial and operational procedures. They support each other with “best practices” and innovation. They support woodwork standards for materials and workmanship and cooperative education in the business of woodwork manufacturing, finishing, and installation.

Join the social networking movement, and grow your business. Read current discussions and POST your questions and answers for the benefit of all members.
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The Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) Pilot Program Book of Skill Standards

The latest draft of the Skill Standards Pilot Book is now posted in PDF format for members to download, review, and comment. This 130-page, 8.2 MB file will be used by the Assessment Team at its meeting in Charlotte, NC.

You may download from the Skill Standards folder on the Dropbox, if you are subscribed; or you may download from the Wiki here: http://skillstandards.wikispaces.com/GuidedTour
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Safety Matters

Combustible Dust Explosion Inspections Seminar Slated for March 26

The North Aurora, Illinois Area Office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Illinois Safety Council will host a combustible dust explosion inspections seminar March 26 in Naperville, IL.

The seminar will offer instructions on OSHA standards relating to combustible dust and best practices to protect employees against dust explosions. To register, visit ilsafetycouncil.org.
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AWI Safety Awards Contest Opens April 2

What will you get from the AWI Annual Safety Awards Program?

Benefits! Value! Results!

Gain Recognition...
Market Safety...
Build Team Spirit...
Negotiate with Leverage

The AWI 2009 Safety Award Submission
Period Opens April 2.

Watch your e-mail for more information!


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Scaffolding Requirements – Avoid Citations, Penalties

Scaffolding (general requirements, construction 29 CFR 1926.451) was the most frequently cited standard in fiscal year 2008, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  OSHA offers a number of resources for maintaining compliance with the scaffolding standard and assuring a safe working environment.

It is also the standard for which OSHA proposed the second highest penalties. OSHA has resources to help employers and employees identify scaffolding hazards and solutions to those hazards. Visit OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Web page on scaffolding and publications page for more information.
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Green Scene

Sustainable Forestry Initiative® 101 Webinar

Mark your calendar for an April 24 webinar hosted by SFI to learn more about the forest certification program, labeling, marketing initiatives, and more.

SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow will lead the webinar and Q&A period on the basics of SFI.  Attending this live, online session will enable participants to explain the value of SFI to their customers and leverage the SFI brand into marketing plans.  The session is the first in a series of webinars to be offered by SFI in 2009.

The webinar is designed for sales teams and training coordinators.  For details, click here. RSVP to lisa.fox@sfiprogram.org by April 10, 2009 to participate.  The session will take place at 1:00 pm, EDT (GMT -04.00, New York).
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“Green” Resource Materials on New Interactive AWI Wiki

AWI is pooling member resources and knowledge for answers to questions about “being a green company” and taking advantage of the sustainability movement.

AWI members are invited to use the Wiki and contribute information to it to benefit all.  Visit  http://woodforall.wikispaces.com/.

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Proposed “LEED® for Retail” Rating System Up for Vote

“LEED for Retail: New Construction 2009” and “LEED for Retail: Commercial Interiors” are in the member balott period which ends on April 1.  The rating systems will cover materials and resources, among a range of components. 

More than 80 individual retailers worked with the U.S. Green Building Council to formulate the draft, according to a report on March 13 in GlobeSt.com

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Member News

Last Chance to Sign Up for LIGNA World Fair Excursion

March 20th is the last day to register for the international tour announced by Stiles Machinery in conjunction with the LIGNA World Fair for the Forestry and Wood Industries, 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.

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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Joseph E. Callender of Northway Industries Passes Away

Longtime industry benefactor Joseph E. Callender, 80, passed away February 25, 2009 following an extended illness.

For over one half of his adult life, “Joe” helped guide Northway Industries, Inc. to prominence as one of Central Pennsylvania’s premier manufacturers of wood components and contract manufacturing services to customers nationwide. He co-founded Northway in 1966 along with C. Kenneth Battram, as an alternative source for obtaining countertops and supplying them to Battram Company, Inc., a retail kitchen dealer and manufacturers’ representative for Wood-Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry.

Northway started small, but with the decision to expand it beyond countertops to other component parts for kitchen industry applications, growth was rapid.  Multiple physical expansions of the manufacturing facility eventually resulted in the 93,000 square feet of production space Northway utilizes today.

Mr. Callender served Northway first as Plant Manager, later as Executive Vice President and finally Secretary/Treasurer of the Board.  He also held the positions of Executive Vice President and Secretary of the Board at Battram Company, Inc. from 1973 to 1995.

Mr. Callender also displayed a remarkable civic consciousness, who, along with Battram, often directed a substantial portion of Northway’s profits back into the community as grants to non-profit organizations, regional career and technology schools, libraries and volunteer fire companies.
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SCM Group Announces Advanced Wood Division Educational Seminars

SCM Group-USA will host several educational Seminars May 12 -13, 2009, focusing on architectural millwork, doors, windows and stairs.

The two day event will feature sessions titled: Moulding Production: Work “Smarter” Not “Harder;”  How to Be Profitable in the Custom Moulding Business; CNC Door Manufacturing; CNC Stair Manufacturing; and CNC Architectural Millwork Manufacturing. The seminar is free to attend and will be held at the SCM Group-USA headquarters, outside of Atlanta, GA.

For more information, visit www.scmgroup-usa.com or call Marketing Coordinator Thomas Tuck at 1.800.292.1850.
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Entries Invited for 2009 Veneer Tech Craftsman's ChallengeTM Competition

Veneer Technologies of Newport, NC, is now accepting entries for the company’s fifth annual design competition, "Veneer Tech’s Craftsman’s Challenge™" .

The national competition highlights achievement in the use of natural veneer through cash awards and other recognition for wood veneer craftsmen, designers, distributors and distributor sales representatives. Any amount of natural veneer used in the end product from any source will qualify entries.  Each entrant may submit up to a total of three entries.

A cash award of $3000 will be made to the creator of the grand prize winning entry. The distributor of the veneer for the grand prize winning entry will receive $2000, and the corresponding distributor salesman will receive $1000. Winners of each of six categories (Cabinetry, Architectural Woodworking, Furniture, Specialty Products, Store Fixtures, and Student Design) receive $1000 each. There is also an additional $1000 award to the grand prizewinner for early entry by March 31, 2009. These prizes as well as other awards will be presented at AWFS® Vegas, July 15-18, 2009, in Las Vegas, NV. Entries are accepted through June 1, 2009.

This year's judges include fine furniture craftsman Paul Schurch of Santa Barbara, CA; Will Sampson, editor-in-chief of CabinetMaker Magazine; and Whitney Coombs, president of the AWI and of Ivan C. Dutterer, Inc..

All entries, and the winners in particular, receive valuable publicity throughout the year.Entry materials are available from Veneer Technologies' sales representatives, distributors, and through the Veneer Tech Web site at www.veneertech.com.

Enter at www.veneertech.com.

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Industry News

ANSI Approves Revised Standards for Particleboard and MDF

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has approved revised national voluntary standards for ANSI A208.1-2009 Particleboard and ANSI A208.2-2009 MDF for Interior Applications. 

Sponsored by the Composite Panel Association (CPA), the standards include new grades as well as harmonization with the formaldehyde emission ceilings and other requirements recently enacted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). 

“After a multi-year initiative, these standards were approved using consensus procedures of due process, openness and balanced participation of interested stakeholders.  More than 120 organizations were invited to participate in the revision process, including panel producers, customers, government, academia and research institutions,” said Gary Heroux, CPA’s Vice President of Product Acceptance.

The revised standards are now available in the publications section of CPA’s Web site. For more information, visit www.pbmdf.com or call toll free 1.866.426.6767.
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National Legislative Fly-In Lands during Stimulus Bill Vote

Thirteen AWFS® members and association officers participated in the Second Annual Woodworking Equipment and Wood Processing (WEWP) Public Policy Fly-In to Washington, DC, meeting with congressional representatives from California, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Utah, North Carolina and Oregon.

Contingents from the Woodwork Machinery Industry Association (WMIA) and Wood Machinery Manufacturers Association (WMMA) also attended. 

The whirlwind of meetings included an AWFS Public Policy Committee meeting; a WMMA sponsored luncheon featuring their legislative analyst, John Satagaj; a Wood Industry Leadership (WILF) meeting and a dinner featuring Emily Stover DeRocco, president of The Manufacturing Institute and senior vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers. The Senate was voting on the Stimulus Bill at the time, allowing AWFS members to discuss the industry’s needs in a very timely fashion. 

The group also learned that The Manufacturing Institute is embarking on a three-part strategy to raise awareness about modern manufacturing, hopefully generating far more favorable government policies and spurring greater interest in manufacturing careers.  

TMI’s program will include:
* A communications and advertising awareness campaign utilizing print, radio and television designed to change public attitudes about manufacturing;
* New research initiatives designed to dispel outmoded notions of manufacturing to educate government on the new, high-tech realities of our industry;
* Among young Americans, making manufacturing careers a priority by 2010 through a campaign called “Dream It. Do It.”

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New Public TV Series, Wood Works, Is Launched

The National Architectural Report announces the development of a television series about information on the very latest topics concerning the architectural industry. “Wood Works” features practical solutions and the important issues facing consumers and professionals.

The National Architectural Report is part of a privately-owned and operated television production company and series that is on the leading edge of documentary television industry.  The series is distributed to Public TV across the country and is hosted by former 20/20 anchor Mr. Hugh Downs. 

For more information, visit www.nationalarchitecturalreport.com.
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Federal Scene

New Law Extends Net Operating Loss Carryback for Small Businesses

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on March 16 that small businesses with deductions exceeding their income in 2008 can use a new net operating loss tax provision to get a refund of taxes paid in prior years.

To accommodate the change in tax law, the IRS also updated the instructions for two key forms – Forms 1045 and 1139 – which small businesses can use to make use of the special carryback provision for tax year 2008. These forms are used to accelerate the payment of refunds.

The new provision, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, enables small businesses with a net operating loss (NOL) in 2008 to elect to offset this loss against income earned in up to five prior years. Typically, an NOL can be carried back for only two years. The IRS released legal guidance today in Revenue Procedure 2009-19 outlining specific details.  Some taxpayers must make the election to use this special carryback by April 17, 2009.

For full details about the tax consequences of the carryback provision, click here.  In addition, Frequently Asked Questions have been posted on the IRS.gov Web site.  Small businesses that file Form 1040 can also call 1.800.829.1040 with NOL questions.  Corporations can contact 1.800-829.4933 with NOL questions.
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Possible Eco-Labeling Law under Discussion

According to two industry reports, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is working on legislation to clarify the confusing environmental product labels.  If introduced into Congress, the measure could require identification of the environmental impact of a product during its entire life cycle.

For more details, click here (subscription required).
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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 New Mexico, West Texas, Carolinas, Missouri/Illinois, Wisconsin, and Central Pennsylvania 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 New Mexico Chapter and Sherwin Williams
When: March 20, 2009
What: "Touch Up Solutions" Seminar
Where: Casework Technologies, Albuquerque, NM
Information: Click here for details
Questions: Shelly Hardwood at sharwood@acie.com

AWI West Texas Chapter
When: April 1, 2009
What: West Texas Chapter Meeting & LEED/FSC Program
Presenter: Margaret Fisher, Saunders Wood Specialties
Information: Contact chapter officers.

AWI Carolinas Chapter
When: April 2 & 21, 2009
What: SkillsUSA Events
Information: Contact chapter officers.

AWI Missouri/Illinois Chapter
When: April 8, 2009
What: Train the Trainer Program
Presenter: AWI Chapter Liaison Greg Bednar
Information: Contact chapter officers.

AWI Wisconsin Chapter
When: April 22, 2009 (12:30 – 4:00 pm)
What: General Meeting and Board Meeting, Wisconsin SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking Competition
Where: Clarion Suites Central, Madison; (contest) Alliant Energy Center, Madison
Information & Details: Click here.
RSVP: By April 17 to Steve Finnessy – phone: 262.623.8782

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
When: May 18, 2009 (12:30 pm)
What:  Harrisburg Capital Campus Building Tour, LEED® Update & Presentation, HACC Midtown Trade and Technology Center
Presenters: Bill Sutton II, LEED AP; Garry Astles, Central PA Chapter President; Bill Thompson, Dean of BHET at HACC
Where: 1426 N. 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA
Information & Registration: Click here.
Questions: Garry Astles at gastles@northwayind.com

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 April 2, 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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