A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members June 4, 2009

Save the Date! October 7-10, 2009 – the 2009 Annual AWI Convention – Your Knowledge and Networking Forum. Program and full details are coming to your mailbox in mid-June. Register early and save. Online registration at www.awinet.org opens June 15! Check out the special limited-time special discount for registration below.


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AWI News

Spring Design Solutions Ready for Viewing on AWI Web Site

The spring issue of AWI’s quarterly journal, Design Solutions, is available for viewing online, 24/7, on the AWI Web Site.

Check out the outstanding work that AWI Manufacturing Members are doing as winners of the Award of Excellence honorees. To submit your work as a candidate, click here.
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Workforce

Validation Trials Reveal Observable, Measurable, Useful Skill Standards

Results from the first validation trials for the first-ever skill standards on 30 of the most-used and basic woodworking tools are positive and definitive. The Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) identified 35 companies to participate in field trials prior to the official release of the WCA Skill Standards for Woodwork Machinery, slated for July 2009.

Eighteen of the 35 companies said they would like to participate in the first group of evaluators, in April. "We will certainly work with all 35 as we evaluate each group of skill standards in the months ahead," said Greg Heuer, WCA Secretary. "This is the first 30 of about 150 woodworking tools and machines that we will include in a total body of work before launching a certification program in 2013. It’s a great start and we have to keep in mind the size and complexity of the entire woodworking industry," he said.

"We are pleased with how well and how quickly the first evaluations of our skill standards have gone," said Scott Nelson, WCA President. "We asked the managers and first-line supervisors to work with the standards and observations of worker safety, approach and performance in any of the skills standards areas that matched the equipment and levels of practice normally done in their factory, plant or shop."

"Overall, the results are still coming in and tell us we hit the target and accurately anticipated the highest needs of woodworkers and their employers," Heuer commented. "We got a lot of specific feedback that tells us in the WCA that the instructions were clear, skill standards are observable and measurable, plus we found some areas in the way we wrote the standards that still need more explanation."

Formed in 2006 and funded by a grant from the USDA Forest Service and industry partners, such as the AWI, the WCA has committed to completely covering the field of woodworking and the entire range of performance needed for working with approximately 150 tools and machines used in woodworking jobs. The WCA wants to hear from more woodworking professionals willing to work on the next set of skill standards. Authors (skill standards writers) are needed to contribute their knowledge of how they have worked and have conducted assessments of other woodworkers. Please contact Greg Heuer, gheuer@umich.edu, 434.361.2634, on ways you can become involved and share your expertise for the Woodwork Skills Standards Project at www.woodworkcareer.org.


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Safety Matters

Make Safety “Priority One” During AWI Safety Week

Don’t let AWI Safety Week, June 1-5, end without making a stronger commitment for a safe shop!   Daily e-mails are being sent and Web updates are being posted for all AWI members this week. They include important safety tips and resources, which will also be available at www.awinet.org in the "Members Only" section under "Safety." 

Also, don’t miss the CNA Webinar on "Slips and Falls Solutions" which repeats on June 5.


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CNA Risk Control’s Webinars on “Slips & Falls Solutions”

Dust and trimmings, such as wood or plastic laminate, can create slippery walkways. Plan to attend the next free Webinars offering insight into prevention and response to slips and falls through walking surface design and maintenance in a woodworking shop. The next Webinar takes place on June 5 free of charge for AWI members.

The one-hour session, which begins at 2:00 pm EST, features Shari Falkenburg, CNA Risk Control Consulting Director.

For details and access instructions about the Friday, June 5th Webinar, click here. This Webinar is a repeat of the same session conducted on June 1.


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Business Tools

Find New Solutions to Business Challenges

Could successful noncompetitive peers help you reach troubling decisions about your business? Would hearing how other architectural woodworkers handle the same daily challenges as you have help you to find fresh solutions?

Contact AWI Marketing Director Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org, if you are interested in exploring this opportunity. In the midst of a slump in construction, joining an AWI Best Practices Group could be one of the best investments you could make.


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Quarterly AWI AOE Honors Submission Period Open Until August 1

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.

Get noticed among the outstanding projects of AWI Manufacturing Members who are featured in Design Solutions Magazine, AWI’s official quarterly journal. Maximize opportunities for business. Visit awinet.org for submission forms. The deadline for submissions for the next quarterly (fall) AOE honors program is August 1, 2009. Benefits to AOE honorees include exposure in the online issue of the journal which is open for business 24/7.

Pictured is one of the award-winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects featured in the winter AWI "Award of Excellence" quarterly competition. The Grand DelMar Resort in San Diego features beautiful woodwork by Montbleau and Associates, Inc. of San Diego. The intricate pinwheel, checkerboard and diamond patterns are featured on the ceilings throughout the resort, as well as in the grand lobby area. More views of this project can be seen in the winter issue of Design Solutions.

Photo credit: Karyn Millet, Santa Monica, CA


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Learning Forum

$100 Discount for First 25 AWI Convention Registrants!

Register early for the 57th AWI Annual Convention, October 7-10, held in "Old Town" Alexandria, Virginia and save in two ways. Find out how to save really BIG on registration fees.

The first 25 AWI Manufacturing Member delegates who register for the full-price convention package to the 2009 AWI Annual Convention will receive a $100 discount off the fee. Hurry, be among the first to register for the outstanding program of events. The Ultimate Knowledge and Networking Forum awaits you.

Visit www.awinet.org on June 15, 2009 when registration opens. Check out the full program of events online AND in the AWI convention brochure coming your way this month. Watch for tips monthly in AWI NewsBriefs where presenters at the AWI Convention share practical business tips to help you not only survive in these turbulent economic times but also surpass expectations.


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AWI Sponsors Dynamic Workshops at AWFS

Plan to attend three AWI-sponsored workshops at AWFS®VEGAS for information about LEED®, the Architectural Woodwork Standards, and Money Matters. Be there! Make sure to stop by the AWI booth #1651.

Understanding LEED
Wednesday, July 15, 9:30 – 11:30 am
Margaret Fisher, Saunders Wood Specialties
Sponsored by AWI

Understanding the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program is becoming more and more critical for custom woodworking businesses. Margaret will acquaint you with LEED, Green Design and its potential benefits to wood products manufacturers. She will discuss the LEED credits that pertain to wood materials and the documentation required, as well as inform attendees about certified wood and the implications of Chain of Custody. She will give a comparison of building materials and define Life Cycle Assessment. This session will help you determine if your business is a good candidate for LEED project participation and what would be required, how it would change your processes, and how it can grow your business.

Introducing the New Architectural Woodwork Standards
Friday, July 17, 3:30 – 5:00 pm
Mike Bell, Kentucky Millwork, Rob Gustafson, Woodwork Institute, Jim Taylor, Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada
Sponsored by AWI, WI and AWMAC

Learn about this new, collaborative effort of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI), the Woodwork Institute (WI) and the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC). Just published in 2009, these standards replace the previous ones of the individual organizations. The speakers will "get under the hood" to point out the changes in format and talk about the new features of this historic joint standards. Attendees will learn of the numbering for easy indexing and compliance; how to navigate through the standards to find specific criteria; and how to distinguish between economy, custom and premium grade in machining, assembly and installation of architectural woodwork. Attendees all receive a complimentary copy of the new standards!

Money Matters: Finance for Non-Financial Managers
Saturday, July 18, 8:00 – 11:00 am
Scott Nelson, Central Plains Millwork, Bruce Spitz, Classic Millwork & Products, Inc.
Sponsored by AWI

Get ready for the fastest three hours of your business life. This abridged, intermediate level, AWI Education Module covers: The Experts on your Team, Understanding Income Statements for Woodworking Companies, Making Use of the Balance sheet as a Management Tool, Practical Money Management (Costing, Estimating Comparisons), Cash Flow (different from profit and very important), How to Talk with your Accountant and Banker about your Business and the AWI Cost of Doing Business Report. Using a case study, Scott and Bruce tell you how to calculate wood manufacturing costs using your own numbers. You will take away a set of study sheets and know how to use them to create a realistic picture of your company's financial health, and as a bonus, determine, "Can I buy a truck?"

AWI members receive a 10% discount on all AWFS education programs. The discount code (which is used for programs only, not general registration) is AW8285. Visit www.awfsfair.org  to register.


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Green Scene

“Green” Certification – How “Green” Are You?

As AWI receives information about companies that have various "green" certification credentials, we will publish the information as a service to members. Send your information to AWI Director of Marketing Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org.

ABET LAMINATI, a leading manufacturer of high pressure laminates, has been welcomed into the GREENGUARD Certification Programsm.  This certification demonstrates ABET's commitment to indoor air quality by meeting the standards of this rigorous third-party testing program for low-emitting materials and products.  The GREENGUARD Certification Program is administered by GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI), an industry-independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to improve public health and quality of life by helping manufacturers build better and safer products.

For further information call 1.800.228.2238 or 201.541.0700, fax 201.541.0701. Visit www.abetlaminati.com. Abet Laminati has been an AWI Supplier Member since 2002.

DeLeers Millwork was recently approved as being capable of providing architectural woodwork that meets the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) "Chain of Custody" requirements. This certification allows DeLeers Millwork to offer products made from materials whose origins may be traced to well-managed, FSC Certified forests.

DeLeers Millwork participated in an audit conducted by Scientific Certification Systems in which the company demonstrated its ability to track materials throughout the company’s production processes. All incoming materials which are purchased from FSC certified sources are carefully identified, and remain separated from other materials within DeLeers’ production facility. The subsequent finished woodwork products may retain FSC certification and be delivered to the company’s customers with documentation noting that the source of the required materials has been responsibly managed to FSC forestry standards.

DeLeers Millwork is a manufacturer of premium quality architectural woodwork. The firm is certified by the Architectural Woodwork Institute’s Quality Certification Corporation, and is the recipient of four "Awards of Excellence". DeLeers Millwork is located in Green Bay, WI, and services General Contractors throughout the Midwest. The company’s FSC certificate is identified as SCS-COC-002084. DeLeers has been an AWI Manufacturing Member since 1990. Visit www.deleersmillwork.com.

Hollywood Woodwork, Inc. has been granted a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) "Chain of Custody" certificate as a manufacturer of architectural woodwork. The company is also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the developers of the LEED® Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System™.

Located in Hollywood, Florida, the company has been an AWI Manufacturing Member since 1981. Visit www.hollywoodwoodwork.com for more information.


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Hardwood Forestry Fund Receives National Arbor Day Foundation Award

Tree planters and conservation-minded organizations from around the United States were honored at the 37th Annual National Arbor Day Awards banquet for their work inspiring people to plant and celebrate trees. The Hardwood Forestry Fund, a Reston, VA, based non-profit tree planting and educational foundation, received one of four 2009 Arbor Day Foundation project awards.

The Hardwood Forestry Fund was selected because it serves as a model of sustainability in forest management, following best tree-care practices as it creates partnerships with natural resource organizations, universities, extension agencies and forest product companies to establish and sustain hardwood forests. This partnership has sponsored more than 220 unique projects in 26 states to plant and manage trees in our nation’s forests. So far, the Hardwood Forestry Fund is responsible for planting and managing more than 3.7 million trees.

The Hardwood Forestry Fund establishes sustainable forests on public land for future generations’ natural resource needs. For more information about tree planting and forest management projects sponsored in the United States, visit www.hardwoodforestryfund.org or call 703.503.1155.


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GBCI Begins Testing for New LEED® Credentials

On May 29, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) began testing candidates who wish to pursue the new LEED Green Associate credential or the new LEED Accredited Professional (AP) Operations and Maintenance (O+M) credential.  

The LEED Green Associate credential is intended for individuals seeking to propel their professional journey into the green building industry. It represents the demonstrable knowledge and skills needed in the allied professions and non-technical fields of practice related to green design, construction and operations.  It is also the first step for professionals if they later choose to become a LEED AP.

For more information related to the exam structure, eligibility requirements and maintenance programs for these credentials, visit www.gbci.org.  

GBCI was created to administer certification and credentialing programs related to green building practice and to ensure that the LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) program continues to be developed in accordance with best practices for credentialing programs. To underscore this commitment, GBCI is undergoing the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation process for personnel certification agencies complying with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standard 17024.


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Industry News

April Construction Slips 1%

The value of new construction starts fell 1% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $386.6 billion, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. 

The loss of momentum was due to a slower pace for public works construction, which had been lifted in March by the start of several large pipeline and rail projects.  At the same time, nonresidential building in April picked up the pace after the very weak activity reported during the prior two months, and residential building was helped by improvement for single family housing.

April’s data lowered the Dodge Index to 82 (2000=100), after the March reading of 83.  The level of contracting as shown by the Dodge Index witnessed a steady retreat from mid-2008 through February, to be followed by a gain in March and then April’s slight setback. 

"The pattern of construction starts over the past two months suggests a transition from extended declines to more of an up-and-down pattern, which generally takes place when a bottom gets established," stated Robert A. Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw-Hill Construction.  "This process of establishing a bottom is still in its early stages, and will be affected by how different construction sectors perform in coming months.  The impact from the stimulus bill on public works construction is just beginning to emerge, with this sector expected to see more strength as 2009 proceeds.  Single family housing remains at a very low volume, but the worst of its correction appears to have passed.  For nonresidential building, there’s been the occasional display of resilience by such institutional structure types as healthcare facilities and public buildings, but the downward trend for the commercial structure types is still very much underway."

For more information, visit www.construction.com (subscription required).


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AWFS Tells Why You Can’t Afford to Miss the AWFS® Fair!

Slated for July 15-18, 2009, in Las Vegas, the AWFS®Fair offers multiple opportunities to obtain information on the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Ruling.

Register for CARB Information and Updates

Friday, July 17, 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. 
CARB Information and Updates...a Free Industry Briefing!  With Jim Aguila of CARB and Chris Leffel of SierraPine. Also, announcement of the new Architectural Woodwork Standards and the Woodwork Career Alliance’s release of the new Skill Standards. 

Friday, July 17, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. and Saturday, July 18, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Jim Aguila and Chris Leffel host the Green Desk, a 2009 Special Show Feature.  (See info below.)

Saturday, July 18, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Implementing the CARB Rule seminar, with Jim Aguila, CARB, John Bradfield, Composite Panel Association and Denise VanValkenburg, MASCO Retail Group.  Go to www.awfsfair.org to register. AWI members receive a 10% discount on any education seminar in which they enroll. Use the College of Woodworking Knowledge (CWWK) code for AWI members – AW8285 – while registering for educational seminars. 

 Get "Green" Info at the GREEN DESK and CWWK Seminars
Ongoing throughout the show, the Green Desk is a free, walk-up counter where you can ask questions about environmental and sustainability issues pertinent to your business and products.  An amazing group of experts will be hosting at various times to assist you.  Click here for the schedule.

A full track of seminars is available to help you navigate "Going Green."  Click here to see the offerings. 

Check Out the smartSHOP
The smartSHOP is a fully operational cabinet shop on the exhibit floor that will showcase "Simplicity in Automation for the Small Shop."

For additional information, go to www.awfsfair.org.
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Architecture Billings Index Points to Possible Economic Improvement

Unfavorable business conditions remain, but inquiries by potential clients continue to grow, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported.

After an eight-point jump in March, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) fell less than a full point in April. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.

AIA reported the April ABI rating was 42.8, down from the 43.7 mark in March. This was the first time since August and September 2008 that the index was above 40 for consecutive months, but the score still indicates an overall decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 56.8.

"The most encouraging part of this news is that this is the second month with very strong inquiries for new projects. A growing number of architecture firms report potential projects arising from federal stimulus funds," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. "Still, too many architects are continuing to report difficult conditions to feel confident that the economic landscape for the construction industry will improve very quickly. What these figures mean is that we could be seeing things turn around over a period of several months."

Key April ABI highlights:
* Regional averages: northeast (47.1), south (45.0), midwest (40.1), west (39.2);
* Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (44.2), institutional (43.2), multi-family residential (43.2), commercial / industrial (41.7);
* Project inquiries index: 56.8.
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Member News

Eggers Industries Celebrates 125th Anniversary – Congratulations!

Eggers Industries, an AWI Manufacturing Member since 1958, is celebrating 125 years in business. Read all about the company’s remarkable history.

Click here for "The History of Eggers Industries." The company has been privately held since its inception in 1884. Eggers’ history is one that covers three centuries and numerous economic and business conditions, including both World Wars, the Great Depression, and the credit crisis of the 1980s.

The company has three divisions in northeast Wisconsin. It produces a range of products for premier commercial projects which are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and contribute points to the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™. Visit Eggers Industries at www.eggersindustries.com.


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Standards

Understanding & Marketing AWS: Upcoming Presentations

As the upcoming release of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) nears, members of AWI Speakers Bureau, AWI chapters, staff and others will be making presentations to architectural woodworkers, architects, designers and the contractors about the differences between the AWI Quality Standards Illustrated and AWS.  Watch for news of special presentations in your area.  The AWS is jointly produced by AWI, the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) and the Woodwork Institute.

AWI Virginia Chapter
When: June 30, 2009 (11:00 am - 2:00 pm)
What: Presentation on new Architectural Woodwork Standards and Working Buffet Lunch
Presenter: AWI Past President Joe Sorelli
Where: Alexandria, VA
Information: Jim Hamilton, Jr., jhamiltonjr@winchesterwoodworking.com

AIA Chicago Chapter
When: October 15, 2009
What: "The New Architectural Woodwork Standards"
Greg Bednar will highlight the benefits of referencing this definitive reference source for quality architectural woodwork.  Experience a chapter-by-chapter review and learn how to best use this valuable tool.  Find what you need fast by learning time saving tips to ensure your woodwork projects look their best. This program is AIA accredited and does have CEU Credits available.
Presenter: Greg Bednar, AWI Director of Chapter Development Services
Questions: gbednar@awinet.org

ALA / CSI Chicago Architectural Conference
When: October 20, 2009 (1:15 – 2:45 pm)
What: “The New North American Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS)." 
Where: Drury Lane Conference Center, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook, IL 60181
Questions: gbednar@awinet.org
ALA is the Association of Licensed Architects and CSI is the Construction Specification Institute.
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Federal Scene

New Push for Immigration Reform Underway

Get ready for another round of intense debate over immigration policy starting this summer, warns the American Subcontractors Association (ASA).

"Powerful voices in the U.S. Congress and the Obama administration — indeed, the president himself — are laying the groundwork for the debate," ASA says.

"On May 20, 2009, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., chairman of the Immigration, Refugees and Border Security Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced plans for a series of hearings titled, ‘The Road to Immigration Reform in 2009: Clearing the Hurdles.’" The hearings are expected to begin this summer. As for the White House, President Obama has invited lawmakers to the White House on June 8, 2009, to discuss immigration reform.


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Chapter News

Notable Activities

AWI chapters are involved in workforce and other industry issues on many levels. Check out recent noteworthy activities, including chapter anniversaries.

The AWI Carolinas Chapter has incorporated a video into their very interesting Web Site. Check out the video feed at  www.awicarolinas.org.  It will take a little time to load, but then scroll down and click on "NC Skills on Fox Channel 8." 

Members of the AWI Central PA Chapter and the U.S. Green Building Council local affiliate toured the new Greenworks Building in Harrisburg, PA, the Harrisburg Career and Technology Center in May. The attendees heard from their AWI President on LEED®, present and future, and heard from the Dean of the Career Center, Bill Thompson, on their plans to introduce courses on Green Building within their construction management portfolio. Host William Sutton, LEED AP, of Wohlsen Construction, explained LEED New Construction, and also LEED Core and Shell to the attendees.
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Upcoming Chapter Events

What’s happening in your local AWI chapters and 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.

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: June 11, 2009
What: Golf Outing
Where: St. Andrews Golf Course, Chicago, IL
Information: Contact Chapter Officers


AWI Minnesota Chapter
When: June 18, 2009
What: Golf Outing, Dinner & Awards
Where: Manitou Ridge Golf Course, White Bear Lake, MN
Information: Click here for details, including fees and sign-up sheet
Questions: Scott Neubauer, scott.neubauer@jaeckledistributors.com

AWI Texas Chapter
When: June 18-19, 2009
What: June 18 - Golf Outing and/or Skeet Shoot; June 19 "How to Grow a Business in Tough Economic Times" Roundtable (8:00 am – 11:30 am); plus Mexican Fiesta
Roundtable: Discussing buying habits, tracking customer satisfaction, instilling confidence in your employees in a soft market, and more. Find out why you should attend by clicking here.
Moderator: Steve Waltman, Stiles Machinery
Where: San Antonio River Walk and other venues
Registration: By June 5, 2009. Program, hotel and registration details attached.
Information: Christi Duncan; texasawi@earthlink.net

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
When: July 17, 2009 (tee time - 8:30 am)
What: Golf Outing
Where: Legendary Run, Cincinnati, OH
Registration: Details attached; RSVP form attached, send to tracy@louisvillelumber.com.
Information: Ron Simmons, Chapter President, 502.459.8710

AWI Wisconsin Chapter
When: August 6, 2009 (8:30 am – 7:00 pm)
What: 2009 Wood Industry Golf Outing & Dinner
Where: Cold Water Canyon Golf Course, Wisconsin Dells, WI
Information: Click here for details about the golf outing, dinner fees, accommodations and registration.
Registration: $110 by June 26; $125 June 27
Proceeds: A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Wisconsin Wood Manufacturing Technology Student Scholarships.

AWI Florida Chapter
When: August 28-29, 2009
What: August 28 – Golf; August 29 -Officer Changeover Meeting & Program on LEED®/FSC (Tentative)
Information: Contact Chapter Officers

All chapters are encouraged to plan their events early to allow for ample promotion of your activities in this section of AWI e-briefs as well as through other avenues.  Also, if your chapter is involved in local and regional SkillsUSA competitions, advise AWI.  Contact Greg Bednar, AWI Chapter Development Services at gbednar@awinet.org.

 
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published June 18, 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.

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