A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members December 17, 2009
AWI News

AWI, Your Business Resource Helps You through These Challenging Times

Membership in AWI is important any time; but in a turbulent market, it should be indispensable. December is membership renewal time, and this year the AWI Board of Directors has authorized a one-time credit of $100 towards your 2010 dues for AWI Manufacturers and Suppliers.

The $100 credit is noted on your dues invoice in appreciation of your continued support in 2010.

All dues renewals are due by December 31, 2009. Make certain your membership does not lapse. Don’t miss out on valuable learning forums, business exposure and other news and information that can help you not only survive but also thrive in these challenging economic times. Your membership profile is just one valuable business-enhancing service that all members receive at no extra charge. The online Member directory and the 2010 AWI Membership Resource Directory put your corporate and industry profile out in front of thousands of potential customers. Only dues-paid members in good standing will have a listing in the 2010 directory which will be published early in 2010.

Don’t let your 2010 membership dues remittances or other payments to AWI become delayed. Members are reminded that the old remittance address in NC is no longer open. Instead, mail payments directly to AWI headquarters:

Architectural Woodwork Institute
Attn: Accounts Receivable
46179 Westlake Drive, Suite 120
Potomac Falls, VA 20165

See the attached for more details. Questions should be directed to AWI Office Manager Angie Fuller at afuller@awinet.org.
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Welcome New Members

Discover the new AWI members that have joined in the past two months.

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. AWI welcomes the following Manufacturing and Supplier Members to the AWI community.

MANUFACTURING
Albin Hengesbach Carpentry & Custom Cabinets, Inc., Westphalia, MI, www.ahccabinets.com
Apple Contractors, Houston, TX, www.applecontractors.net
Baird Brothers Sawmill, Inc., Canfield, OH, www.bairdbrothers.com
Commercial & Custom Cabinets, Inc., Tucker, GA, www.candc-cabinets.com
Contemporary Cabinets, Edmond, OK, www.con-cab.com
Culby Supply, LLC, Wise, VA
Custom Cabinet Shop, Inc., Greenwood, DE
Custom Retail Store Fixtures, Shreveport, LA
D & S Cabinet & Sinktop, Inc., Beltsville, MD, www.dandscabinet.com
Fine Finish, Inc., Waltham, MA
Huston Millwork, Grimes, IA
Jericho Woodworks, Sugar Land, TX, www.jericho-woodworks.com
Koetter Woodworking, Borden, IN, www.koetterwoodworking.com
Marinete Enterprises, Dundas, ON, Canada, www.marinete.com
Merlino, LLC, Streamwood, IL, www.MerlinoLLC.com
Mr. O's Custom Millwork & Store Fixtures, North Canton, OH, www.MrOsMillwork.com
Reesmar Sales and Millwork, Corporation, Hialeah, Fl, www.reesmar.com
Royal Custom Cabinets, Norcross, GA, www.royalcustomcabinets.com
Salem Wood Products, Inc., Salem, OR, www.salemwood.com
SCS Architectural Caseworks, Inc., Memphis, TN
Specialty Wood Manufacturing, Tacoma, WA, www.specialtywoodmfg.com
Swiss Woodcraft, Inc., Rittman, OH
TDS Custom Cabinets, Westerville, OH
Woodhaus, Carrollton, TX, www.woodhausinc.com
Wrightstown Millwork, Wrightstown, PA

SUPPLIERS
Fastcap, LLC, Bellingham, WA, www.fastcap.com
Lamin-Art, Schaumburg, IL, www.laminart.com

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Help AWI’s Growing Online Forum Reach Its Goal of 500 by Year End

Become a part of the growing online forum of AWI members who have signed up as an AWI LinkedIn participant. This support and discussion forum has exceeded the 400 member mark.

The Woodworking Solutions forum on LinkedIn managed by AWI offers opportunities for savvy members to ask and answer questions. Check out the forum, join (for FREE) today, and share with your woodworking colleagues. Go here to see more.

AWI Chief Learning Officer Greg Heuer has challenged AWI members who are LinkedIn to be part of the "101 Club." Recruit just one colleague in the woodworking industry to join the AWI LinkedIn Forum. The goal is 500 by the end of the year. Only two weeks remain to realize the goal.
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AWI Welcomes a Baby Boy to Its Family

Congratulations to AWI Director of Education Delivery Ilaria Buffalo on the birth of her first child, a "cute-as-can-be" baby boy.

Grady Brook Buffalo was born November 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm. The little fellow Grady weighed in at eight pounds, 20 inches at birth. Mom, dad and baby are doing fine as a family of three! Ilaria is on maternity leave until February 2, 2010.
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Learning Forum

AWI Professional Development Seminars to Open Registration in January

AWI is respected for its education programs that help members exceed in the business of woodworking. The upcoming series of sessions, April 29 through May 1, 2010, in Los Angeles offer "Powerful Programs for Profitable Results."

Check the AWI Web site, www.awinet.org, regularly in January to register for these business-building sessions. And, watch for delivery in your mailbox of the January issue of AWI NewsBriefs for tastes of what will be delivered at the sessions on project management and contracts. A series of articles in AWI NewsBriefs will provide valuable tips and information on the wide variety of business topics that will be on the program at the AWI Spring Professional Development Seminars.
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Dare, Dream, Discover at Executive Briefing Conference: Early Bird Registration through December 31

Stiles Machinery and AWI challenge AWI members to "Dare to Discover" at the 8th Executive Briefing Conference (EBC) in Dallas, TX, February 28 to March 2, 2010. A unique series of exclusive briefings designed for company decision makers, the 2010 EBC will provide information you can use today and tomorrow.

The EBC will address pending regulations (i.e., dust, OSHA); social media and its impact on our industry; cost savings through sustainability; and automation and software developments. Case studies will offer keen insight into business challenges and best practices. The EBC will look at Custom Cupboards: RFID and software integration and JB Cutting: an EPP Downstream licensed facility. Finally, plant tours include visits to Continental Cabinets (automated rough mill processing line) and Shioleno Industries (high volume laminating press).

On Sunday, February 28, an optional tour of the new Dallas Cowboy’s stadium is on the agenda along with networking opportunities and Art Turock’s opening keynote address.

Early Bird Registration – Save over 15%. Early bird registration fees are in effect up to December 31, 2009. The $995 registration fee includes shuttle service between the Omni hotel and the airport, hotel accommodations for Sunday and Monday night, keynote dinner and reception, all other meals, presentations, and plant tours.

The EBC will take place at the Omni Park West Hotel, located 10 minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

For program details and online registration, visit www.stilesmachinery.com/ebcSee the attached flyer also.

                       
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What is the Skinny on Lean?

Stay competitive by driving out waste. This economy allows for ZERO mistakes. Make your thin margins work for you. AWI is in the planning stages of a LEAN workshop dedicated to solutions for custom woodworkers. If YOU have a success story about LEAN in your plant, tell it to Greg Heuer.

This two-day, interactive workshop is scheduled to have two objectives:

1. To help attendees decide if implementing LEAN principles is right for their custom woodworking operation.
2. To give those who decide to implement LEAN for Woodworkers a checklist of steps they can use the following Monday to begin the process.

Most of us have been to LEAN seminars. We come away understanding that we need to "drive out waste" in our operations, but the examples given at the seminar were often unrelated to the custom woodworking world. This workshop is designed by LEAN woodworkers and presented by active LEAN woodworking professionals currently implementing LEAN principles. The two days will have a laser-like focus on the steps a woodworking firm needs to take to get LEAN.

This program is NOT an introduction to LEAN manufacturing. A pre-seminar reading list will be prepared for attendees who need a primer on LEAN. At the seminar we will dive in the deep end of the pool and start swimming for the Gold Medal in the first hour.

To get LEAN, mark your calendar for April 30-May 1, 2010. Watch for announcements about the AWI Professional Development Seminars in Los Angeles, CA.
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Business Tools

AWI “Award of Excellence” Program: The Marketing Edge

Gain honors and get noticed in the quarterly AWI "Award of Excellence" program. Submissions for the spring AOE honors program are being accepted until February 1, 2010.

Use an AOE award to market your excellence and gain a competitive advantage during these challenging times when others are seeking entry into your markets. All Manufacturing Members are eligible to participate. Gain exposure among the outstanding projects of AWI Manufacturing Members who are featured in Design Solutions Magazine, AWI’s official quarterly journal.

Visit awinet.org for submission forms. The deadline for submissions for the next quarterly (spring) AOE honors program is February 1, 2010. Benefits to AOE honorees include exposure in the online issue of the journal which is open for business 24/7, plus distribution to more than 25,000 industry professionals.

Pictured is one of the award-winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects featured in the summer AWI "Award of Excellence" quarterly competition. Junior’s landmark Brooklyn, NY restaurant features a bar top with copper for edging, glass tiles on the front, and solid surface counters fabricated by Herrick & White Ltd. of Cumberland, RI. Other views of this project, including the chevron table tops and a challenging canopy, can be seen in the summer issue of Design Solutions.

Photo Credit: Peter Paige Photography, Allendale, NJ


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Standards

Discover & Participate in Online Standards Discussions

The discussions surrounding the new Architectural Woodwork Standards are heating up. While it's an imperfect solution, AWI has started a set of Wiki pages to capture these discussions, share ideas, and offer support to both the construction and design community. 

The pages have a "notify me" tab which allows users to set certain pages or the whole Wiki to broadcast an e-mail anytime there is a change made. It's a useful way to stay up to date about an on-going discussion or technical point, according to AWI Chief Learning Officer Greg Heuer.

The Wiki also includes a hot link to an online area to submit suggestions for improvement to the Architectural Woodwork Standards directly to the AWI Technical Committee.

To be part of this virtual office, go to this URL: http://tinyurl.com/AWstandards.
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Speakers Bureau Column Launches in AWI NewsBriefs

AWI is seeking creators of presentations about the Architectural Woodwork Standards and it is encouraging presenters to "get out there" again in 2010 to explain the AWS and leverage it for business opportunities.

Watch for news in AWI NewsBriefs, AWI’s monthly print newsletter, which appeals for creators to help update AWI’s Design Pro Presentations for the design and woodwork communities as well as announcements about presentation resources available and soon to be launched.

The January issue of AWI NewsBriefs will be the first of the periodic resource columns.
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Green Scene

AWI's LEED Podcasts Are Slated for Updating! Tell Us What You Need

With over 5,000 visitors to the AWI series of 12 podcasts since their production in December 2007 featuring Margaret Fisher, AWI members are learning about the fundamentals of LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ of the U.S. Green Building Council. With the recent release of LEED Version 3, the time is ideal for AWI to review each podcast, update information that may be outdated, and expand upon the series now that many AWI members are involved in LEED projects and are confronted with questions.

Your input is critical for AWI to meet your needs as you wade through the complex process of LEED projects or are attempting to decide if you want to get involved in such projects. AWI members need to seize opportunities in the green movement, because "Wood IS Green™" and because industry forecasts point to continued growth of the green movement.

Fundamental questions for AWI to begin the review and revamp of the podcasts are:

1. What do you think is rock solid about the podcasts?
2. What should NOT be changed in the series?
3. What improvements should be made to the series?

Contact AWI Chief Learning Office Greg Heuer at gheuer@awinet.org with answers to these questions. He and AWI Sustainable Resources Representative Rob Ziegelmeier will take the next steps to follow-up to your input.

If you have experience with LEED projects and would like to volunteer for a Task Force on the LEED podcast project, offer your help via e-mail at gheuer@awinet.org.
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Green Estimating Made Easy – for General Contractors

According to promotion about the 2010 Edition of the Green Building Square Foot Costbook, it will give new insights into the indirect and administrative costs of LEED® certification, as well as the return on investment expected from implementation of green technologies. Will architectural woodworkers be at a disadvantage when general contractors use this industry resource?

If you are curious to learn more about the guide’s contents, click here for a preview of the book. The Green Building Square Foot Costbook is published and distributed by BNi Building News in cooperation with McGraw-Hill Construction Sweets.
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How “Green” Are You?

As a service to members, AWI will publish information about members’ environmental sensitivity and energy saving practices as well as their various "green" certification credentials.

Kerfkore Company, an AWI Supplier Member since 2003, has announced its Forest Stewardship Council Certification number SCS-COC-002720 for FSC Pure and FSC Mixed products. For more details visit http://kerfkore.com/index_files/Page1960.htm

Kerfkore’s Web site states it "is the manufacturer of a revolutionary new line of patented bendable substrates and lightweight panels that will change the way you feel about radius applications."

Founded in 1984, the company is headquartered in Brunswick, GA.

All members are invited to send information about your company’s certification and "green" business practices to AWI Director of Marketing Katie Allen at kallen@awinet.org.

NOTE: The information presented in the "Green Scene" section of AWI e-briefs should not be construed as legal or other professional advice or to represent the opinion of AWI and is presented for informational purposes only to represent balanced reporting of differing views as a service to members and subscribers.  AWI does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this material from industry and other sources. 
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Workforce

WCA Announces New Woodworker Contributor

Fetzer Architectural Woodwork of Salt Lake City, UT, is the FIRST individual woodwork manufacturing company ever to contribute to the 501(c)(3) Woodwork Career Alliance in support of the development of unified North American Skill Standards for woodworking professionals.

The Woodwork Manufacturing Skill Standards has an impressive track record in spite of the fact the work has only been going on for about two years. Observable, measurable skills for over 30 machines have been completed, and more than 30 more are in progress.

To learn more, and to find out how YOU can benefit, visit the Woodwork Career Alliance Web site, www.woodworkcareer.org.
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WCA Makes News on Wikispaces Blog

In a feature story in Wikispaces news, the Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) is cited as an example of effective use of Wikis to write and edit Skill Standards for testing and evaluating woodworking employees.

Read the Wikispaces blog and then jump over to the Woodwork Career Alliance Web site from link within in it, or click here
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Industry News

2010 Southeast Wood Design Awards Invites Nominations

WoodWorks Southeast is accepting nominations for eight wood design awards, which will be presented on February 16, 2009 at the Atlanta Wood Solutions Fair.

Categories include: Institutional Wood Design • Commercial Wood Design • Multi-family Wood Design • Interior Beauty of Wood • Green Building • Traditional Use of Wood • Wood behind the Walls • Engineering. 

To be eligible, designers, firms and/or projects must be based in North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia. Applications must be received by January 8, 2010.

There is no cost to nominate a project or individual for a WoodWorks Wood Design Award. Multiple submissions are encouraged. Click here for details and nomination forms.
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Construction Employment Down by 27,000 in November

In the construction industry job losses had averaged 117,000 per month during the six months ending in April and 63,000 per month from May through October. In November, the 27,000 construction job losses were concentrated among nonresidential specialty trade contractors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS Employment Situation Summary released on December 4 noted that the unemployment rate edged down to 10.0% in November. For the full report, click here.
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Vital Signs Improving for the Economy and Housing

There are a number of positive signs of recovery from a long, hard recession, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). NAHB bases its forecast on such indicators as GDP, industrial production, inventory reduction, and employment.

NAHB reports that the first-time home buyer tax credit is working, inventories of unsold homes are continuing to fall, and housing prices are showing some life. Multifamily construction continues to struggle, however, as it faces stiff competition "from single-family rental market and significant obstacles to const5ruction financing that began in 2008."

For details, see the December 10, 2009 edition of NAHB’s Eye on the Economy (free subscription).
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Federal Scene

Obama Administration Includes Business-Friendly Tax Reforms & Infrastructure Investment in Jobs Recovery Plan

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA) is recommending specific actions that will "responsibly encourage and accelerate the creation of jobs in the construction industry." As follow-up to President Obama’s job recovery plan announced on December 8, 2009. ASA's recommendations included...

* Make Permanent Small Business Expensing. While short of ASA’s goal of permanent, heightened small business expensing, the president’s proposal to extend this tax deduction would allow subcontractors to immediately write off up to $250,000 of qualified investments such as construction equipment, through 2010. 

* Extend Bonus Deprecation Through 2011. The president called for an extension of this tax provision that accelerates the rate at which businesses can deduct the cost of capital expenditures such as leasehold improvements. ASA urged an extension of this program through 2011. 

* Increase Infrastructure Investment. The president proposed new investments in infrastructure projects that include water, aviation, highway, transit and rail. ASA also recommended investments to expedite the repair and maintenance of federal government buildings.

* Increase Energy-Efficiency Tax Deduction. The president supports expanding the tax incentives for investing in renewable manufacturing facilities. ASA also recommended an increase from $1.80 to $3.00 per square foot in the current tax deduction for installing energy-efficient systems in commercial buildings. 

* Extend the Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility Program. The president called for "continued Treasury efforts to use the TARP to support small business lending." Extending TALF would provide financing to encourage investors to re-enter the commercial construction market.

As Congress debates the president’s jobs recovery plan, ASA will urge legislators to adopt these and other reforms recommended by ASA, such as making permanent the federal Build America Bonds program and the Qualified School Construction Bonds program. Contact ASA at www.asaonline.com for more information.
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IRS Announces 2010 Standard Mileage Rates

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued the 2010 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on January 1, 2010, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

* 50 cents per mile for business miles driven;
* 16.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes;
* 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for any vehicle used for hire or for more than four vehicles used simultaneously, according to the IRS.

The agency advises that taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

Revenue Procedure 2009-54 contains additional details regarding the standard mileage rates.
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Another Step for Formaldehyde Legislation

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has passed the Formaldehyde Standards for /Composite Wood Act, S. 1660 on December 11, 2009 Originally introduced by two Senators, Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), the legislation directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a national emission standard under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

As previously reported in the September 17, 2009 edition of AWI e-briefs, the Composite Panel Association is backing the legislation along with a range of supporters that include labor and health organizations.

According to the December 15th issue of ISW Online (free subscription), the "full Senate is expected to act on the bill in January." The measure has 18 co-sponsors.
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Save on 2009 Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reminds taxpayers that its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Information Center features a variety of recovery-related videos, podcasts, tax tips and answers to frequently-asked questions.  

Visit the ARRA Information Center at the IRS Web site. Find information for individual taxpayers and businesses.
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Chapter News

AWI Chapter President Bill Croghan Passes Away

AWI Missouri/Illinois Chapter President William (Bill) Croghan, Sr. (51) died on December 3, 2009. His companies, Boa Construction and Architectural Millwork of St. Louis (AMSL was founded in 1989) completed hundreds of custom homes and complex renovations and additions. Croghan and his companies were frequently featured in the St. Louis press "for their work with Habitat for Humanity, innovations with green homebuilding, and their use of technology in their projects," according to STLToday.com.

"He generously gave his time and talents: volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, competed in weightlifting competitions, coached his children's basketball teams, and was a Cub Scout leader," according to STLToday.com. He earned a business degree through Washington University's Executive MBA program in 2008. He is survived by his wife, Rhonda, and four children, ages 16 to 23. Memorial contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society.
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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: January 13, 2010
What: EDGEBANDERfest "Tolerating Edgebander Tolerances!"
Presenter: Ed "Edge" Moran, NA Product Manager, Biesse
Where: West Chicago, IL
Information: Click here
Registration: RSVP by Monday, January 4
Questions: Skip McFarland, skip.mcfarland@fmail.com  

AWI New Jersey & Central Pennsylvania Chapters
When: February 25, 2010 (12:00 noon – 3:30 pm)
What: "Strategies for Success in Our Changing Economy"
Presenter: Stephan W. Waltman, VP of Strategic Sales & Marketing, Stiles Machinery
Where: Radisson Hotel Valley Forge, King of Prussia, PA
Information: See attached
Questions: Garry Astles, President, Central PA Chapter; gastles@northwayind.com; John Gehman, President, New Jersey Chapter, jgehman1@verizon.net 

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
When: May 20, 2010
What "Growing Your Own: Investing in Your Most Valuable Asset," including an update on the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America, National Skill Standards, and WoodLINKS USA
Presenter: L. Duane Griffiths, Professor, Author, Manager of Educational Services, Stiles Machinery
Where: Wildwood Conference Center, Harrisburg, PA
Information: Program/Registration
Questions: Garry Astles, President, Central PA Chapter; gastles@northwayind.com 

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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Season's Greetings

The AWI staff, its Officers, and Board of Directors wish you a joyous and safe holiday season and a prosperous New Year. We thank every AWI member for their support in 2009 and look forward to our continuing relationship in 2010.

 
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Next Issue of E-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published January 7, 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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