A bi-monthly news publication for AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members January 21, 2010
AWI News

Additional Corporate Sponsors for 2010

This month, more AWI members have signed up for annual sponsorship. Welcome back to additional Annual AWI Sponsors whose support will help to fund AWI activities all year long: Veneer Tech, Delmac and Sherwin-Williams. For 2010, AWI also welcomes another new annual corporate sponsor – Valspar.

Click on the logos of all of the sponsors at right for access to their Web sites. Consider supporting them the next time a need arises for their products and services. Their annual sponsorships help to fund association programs and services that benefit all AWI members.

The list at right includes confirmed sponsors as of January 15, 2010.
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New AWI Members

AWI welcomed another 14 new members. Learn who they are and how to contact them.

Appalachian Cabinets
, Inc., Deep Gap, NC
Carolina Woodworks & Laminates, Inc., Monroe, NC
Cartwright Wood Products, LLC, Spring, TX, www.cartwrightwoodproducts.com
Doorland 2000, Woodbridge, ON, Canada, www.doorlandgroup.com
Havelock AHI WLL, Manama, Bahrain
Kabinets By Kinsey, Inc., Tampa, FL
Merrill Woodworking & Design, Rigby, ID, www.merrillwoodworking.com
Scanga Woodworking Corporation, Cold Spring, NY, www.scanga.com
Sheridan Manufacturing of Ohio, LLC, dba James Parritt & Associates, Swanton, OH
TCS Industries, Inc., Alamo, TX
Vigilant, Incorporated, Dover, NH, www.vigilantinc.com
WJ Bergin Cabinetry, Orlando, FL, www.wjbergin.com  

Greater Value Hardwood Consultants
, La Crosse, WI, www.moulderblank.com
Paragon Enterprises, Inc., Knoxville, TN, www.millworkcadcam.com 

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.
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Learning Forum

Registration Now Open for AWI Professional Development Seminars

Don’t miss AWI’s "Powerful Programs for Profitable Results" at the upcoming series of sessions, April 29 through May 1, 2010, during AWI’s Spring Professional Development Seminars in Marina Del Rey, CA. Check the AWI Web site for information about the sessions. And, watch your mailbox for delivery of the February issue of AWI NewsBriefs around February 15. You’ll find practical information to put to use immediately in our series by seminar presenters.

"The Estimate: Excellent Road Map or Pathway to Disaster?"
By AWI Past President 2002-2003) Scott Nelson, Central Plains Millwork

"Simple, Visual, Practical" (on LEAN Manufacturing)
By Anthony Wood, Fetzer Architectural Woodwork 

The series of articles about the learning forums at the AWI Spring Professional Development Seminars will continue through March in AWI NewsBriefs, the association’s monthly print newsletter. The content in NewBriefs is a sampling of what you will learn at the AWI Spring Professional Development Seminars. Gain valuable tips and information on a wide variety of business topics on the program and in AWI NewsBriefs.
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AutoCAD for Woodworkers

Cabinet & millwork shops all go through pretty much the same process for most projects. First you spend time bidding the project and then if your number is good the project is awarded to you. Next, it’s time for the engineering department to take all that information and provide a submittal of shop drawings that represent what you're providing on the project. AutoCAD has become an indispensable tool for many woodworkers to not only provide shop drawings but machining info as well. Find out what Tim Schramm of Hardline Corporation has to say about AutoCAD.

AutoCAD has changed quite a bit over the years and the hardest thing to keep up with is what's new and how it can help you. If you’re like most people in this industry, you're so busy making submissions and releasing drawings to production you don't have time to learn anything new. But, there's usually some really neat things in the new releases that will help you save time and produce drawings quicker.

Our goal for the "AutoCAD for Woodworkers" seminar is to introduce some of these features, some new and some not so new. We will cover issues like dynamic blocks – e.g. why have 20 blocks of a product with different sizes when you can have one block with options. How about making objects in your drawings parametric using the new geometric and dimensional constraints? Now you can make sure those lines stay parallel or the door styles stay equal. We will touch base on many other new features in AutoCAD 2010 and offer some useful tips and tricks. Most of these features will allow you to simplify all those necessary but tedious drafting tasks you do over and over again.

When the seminar is complete attendees will walk away with a working knowledge of features in AutoCAD that they can implement in their day- to-day drafting. So if you plan on attending the 2010 Spring Professional Seminar in Los Angeles, CA and you're an experienced AutoCAD user, sign up for the "AutoCAD for Woodworkers" one-day seminar on April 29, 2010. Click here to register.

Here more from Tim Schramm, the seminar leader, on April 29 or contact him at the Hardline Corporation, www.hardlinecorp.com.

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Risk Transfer through Contract Language

Contract clauses can shift liability from owners, designers, and prime contractors onto subcontractors where none exists or, at the very least, create the appearance or exposure to liability. Michael Davis, Esq., Construction Group of Chamberlain Hrdlicka, recommends five cardinal rules to avoid risk transfer via contract language.

Cardinal Rule Number One:
Always Bid Conditioned upon the AIA-A401 or "Other Mutually Agreeable Terms and Conditions"
This accomplishes two important goals. First, it greatly reduces the ability of a general contractor from forcing you to sign his contract or not get paid. Second, and just as important, it establishes a point of strength for all future negotiations, including change orders, scheduling, and claims.

Cardinal Rule Number Two:
Never Sign without Reading and Understanding!
This may seem like an obvious thing to do but, in my experience, many subcontractors do not fully and completely read their agreements.

Cardinal Rule Number Three:
Attempt to Negotiate Changes to the Contract 
At the minimum, some general contractors will agree to make some changes. You will never know unless you try.

Cardinal Rule Number Four:
Make a Priority List of "Must Have" and "Would Like to Have" Changes 
This approach will get you thinking about what is very important, if not critical, to a successful project.

Cardinal Rule Number Five:
Conduct a Risk/Benefit Analysis
If you are unsuccessful at negotiating changes to the contract in certain key provisions, what is your potential exposure to liability or losses on the job versus the maximum potential for profit.

Michael Davis is a Shareholder in the Construction Group of Chamberlain Hrdlicka, a 125+ lawyer firm.  He represents a wide variety of trade contractors, including a number of casework and millwork companies throughout the country.  Contact him at michael.davis@chamberlainlaw.com

To understand the reasoning behind Mr. Davis’ Five Cardinal Rules, read the January issue of AWI NewsBriefs. For more in-depth information, attend the seminar, "Contracts: The Profits Are in the Details," April 29, 2010, during the AWI Spring Professional Development Seminars in Marina Del Rey, CA. To register, click here.
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Dare, Dream, Discover at Executive Briefing Conference

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. AWI members receive a discount on registration. 

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. 

The 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. AWI members receive a $50 discount off the registration fee. Enter "AWI" in the promo code box when you register.

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/ebc. See the attached flyer also.


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Business Tools

Annual AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey (CODBS) Launches February 1

What does AWI Manufacturing Member Marc Sanderson of Wilkie Sanderson say about the value of the annual CODB survey and report to architectural woodworkers? He explains how the 2010 AWI survey, which launches on February 1, is used to maintain the company’s profitability. All CODBS participants will be entered in a drawing for a $500 gift card.

Business will never be the same, according to Alan Beaulieu, senior analyst, economist and principal with the Institute for Trend Research. Therefore, the benchmarks for business costs in 2009 will be critical for your business strategies down the road.

Here’s a sampling of what Marc Sanderson said to NewsBriefs editors for the February issue:

Sanderson premises his remarks by saying "all numbers require a comparison.  For example, knowing that one's organization is profitable is comforting.  However, knowing that one's organization is 3 to 4x more profitable than the industry average is empowering. How the industry averages look in 2009 will be interesting," he says, "because of the downturn in the economy." 

The company spends time and effort training the organization about the AWI CODBS performance metrics.  "Metrics and comparisons only owned and reviewed at the ownership level is a waste of the CODBS.  The organization needs to know if we are winning or losing and the COBDS Report helps us keep score," Sanderson emphasizes.

Having gone through an aggressive material management effort involving raw materials, work in process and finished goods, Sanderson establishes targets for their efforts based on data from the CODBS Report. "Our company’s goal is to be best in class," Sanderson says. To realize that goal, they examine what the architectural woodwork industry as well as other industries is doing. "We examine the numbers for direction to go from point A to B and do better than the competition," Sanderson says. Company executives incorporate WS data into their own management systems and plot it graphically with the CODBS industry averages. "Using the CODBS benchmarks, we also look at our accounts receivables, payables and inventory. We analyze our average profitability and see if we are winning or losing the game," Sanderson advises.

Watch for the February issue of AWI NewsBriefs for more of Sanderson’s insights about the value of the CODBS to EVERY AWI Manufacturing Member regardless of business size. 

AWI members are reminded that only participating AWI Manufacturing Members will receive a complimentary copy of the full report in 2010. Non-participants will receive an Executive Summary only and the opportunity to purchase the report.
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AWI “Award of Excellence” Program: The Marketing Edge

Gain honors and get noticed in the quarterly AWI "Award of Excellence" (AOE) program. Submissions for the spring AOE honors program are being accepted until February 1, 2010. The deadline is approaching rapidly. 

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.

Photo Credit: Michael O’Callahan, San Anselmo, CA

Pictured is one of the award-winning AWI Manufacturing Member projects featured in the fall AWI "Award of Excellence" quarterly competition. Westmark Products, Inc. of Tacoma, WA fabricated the difficult cabinetry for the Skagit Valley Hospital Expansion in Mount Vernon, WA. Shown here is a wood and laminate nurses’ station. Other views of this project can be seen in the
fall issue of Design Solutions.

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Discover & Participate in Online Standards Discussions

The discussions surrounding the Architectural Woodwork Standards introduced in August 2009 have been 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 communities. 

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 ongoing 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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Understanding & Marketing AWS: Upcoming Presentations

With the release of the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS), members of the AWI Speakers Bureau, AWI chapters, staff and others are/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.

AWI New England Chapter
When: January 28, 2010 (12:00 noon – 4:30 pm)
What: "How to Use the New Architectural Woodwork Standards for Woodworkers" & Plant Tour of Keiver-Williard Lumber Facility
Presenter: Woody Vaughn
Where: Program & Lunch – Newburyport Elks #909, Newburyport, MA
Registration & Information: See attached
Questions: Chapter Executive Director Tye Waller, tyewaller@msn.com; 617.444.8774 (p) 

AWI & CSI Central PA Chapters
When: March 17, 2010
What: AWS & AWI Quality Certification Program
Presenter: Craig Elias, AWI Quality Certification Corporation Director
Where: Raddison Penn Harris, Camp Hill, PA
Information: Garry Astles, gastles@northwayind.com, 717.503.6295 (p) 

The AWS is jointly produced by AWI, the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) and the Woodwork Institute.
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Speakers Bureau Calls for Creators: What’s Your Specialty?

AWI is calling for creators to help it develop strong presentations on each of the 12 sections of the Architectural Woodwork Standards. Leverage your knowledge. 

All of AWI’s Design Pro Presentations for architects must be revised to reflect the AWS. AWI is developing several two-four member task force groups, each of which will review one section of the AWS and identify teaching points from that section.

What’s your specialty? Help AWI develop strong presentations on each AWS section. As a presentation creator, you will gain first-hand knowledge about the AWS to leverage your company with prospective customers. And, your expertise will be helpful to the entire architectural woodwork industry, thereby helping to promote the professionalism of the woodworkers.

No travel is required to participate in a task force. All the work will be accomplished online and with conference calls. Greg Heuer, AWI’s Chief Learning Officer, will guide each task force through the project. Please contact Greg at gheuer@awinet.org

For more information, see the January issue of AWI NewsBriefs. Watch the "Speakers Bureau" column both in NewsBriefs and here in AWI e-briefs for new and update presentation tools and other resources coming your way.
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Green Scene

Half of Non-Residential Buildings Will be Green by 2015, Study Says

Growth of green buildings will rise to nearly one-half of all non-residential buildings in five years, according to a new study released by Good Energies, Inc. 

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® standards were used in the study to define the qualifications of a green building. For more information, visit The Wall Street Journal blog (free subscription) posted on January 6, 2010.
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Sustainable Forestry Initiative Launches Updated Standard

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Inc., a third-party forest certification program, has released a new updated certification standard.

Some of the revisions in the SFI 2010-2014 Standard cover illegal logging, fiber sourcing, logger training, certified loggers, international labor laws, best management practices, biodiversity, and biotechnology. 

For more details visit SFI Web site. More than 180 million acres (73 million hectares) are certified to the SFI forest management standard across North America, making it the largest single standard in the world.
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Industry News

Housing Market Shows Improvement, but Recovery is Slow

"The worst is over," according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), but this is not to say that the economy and the housing market will perform at healthy levels. NAHB predicts that each will gain strength throughout 2010, but at a slower pace "than is characteristic for the early stages of recovery." 

NAHB reports that housing production should rebound and multifamily housing should stabilize and improve in 2010, according to NAHB’s Eye on the Economy on January 8, 2010. Click here for more details (free subscription).
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IWF Moves Forward with 700 Exhibitors

IWF 2010 will be held August 25-28, 2010 at the Georgia World Congress in Atlanta, GA with 700 contracted exhibitors. Buyer interest, IWF reports, is strong. 

IWF conducted an electronic attendance interest survey on December 14 to previous attendees of the 2006 and 2008 Fairs. The results were a positive indicator for IWF 2010, as 28.26% indicated they would "definitely attend"; 38.46% indicated they were "very likely to attend"; and 23.41% responded they were "somewhat likely" to attend IWF 2010.

"It’s difficult out there and we understand the challenges everyone is facing as the whole industry looks for ways to move from treading water to heading upstream. The fact is we have 700 companies that are making a strong statement by deciding to invest their marketing dollars in IWF 2010 to reach their potential buyers and we will do everything we can to ensure they do," said Riccardo Azzoni, IWF 2010 Chairman and President of Atlantic Machinery Corporation, based in New Millford, CT 

IWF will conduct 21 sessions at the 2010 Technical Conference and five conference tracks such as; Business Management, Production Strategy, Manufacturing Techniques, Green/Environmental and Non-Wood bases sessions. IWF will also feature industry specific half day and full-day educational symposiums. 

The International Woodworking Machinery & Furniture Supply Fair-U.S.A. ® – IWF 2010 – will take place Wednesday - Saturday, August 25-28, 2010 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, and is owned and sponsored by American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA), Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America (WMMA), Woodworking Machinery Industry Association (WMIA). For more information about the International Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Supply Fair-USA®, go online to www.iwfatlanta.com, e-mail iwf@iwfatlanta.com or call 404.693.8333.
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Federal Scene

Good News from IRS – Streamlined, Simplified Notices to Taxpayers

On January 11, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) unveiled its first redesigned notices that are part of an on-going effort to improve the way it corresponds with taxpayers. Nine new notices are among the first to be reviewed and revised for clarity, effectiveness and efficiency.

The nine notices will feature the new design format beginning in January. These notices account for approximately two million pieces of correspondence with individuals, businesses and exempt organizations. A revised web page is available at www.irs.gov/notices.

The new format includes a plain language explanation of the nature of the correspondence, clearly states what action the taxpayer must take and presents a consistent, clean design. The new format also guides taxpayers to appropriate pages on www.IRS.gov where they can find accurate and relevant information quickly and easily.

By reducing the potential for confusion, these notices will improve the taxpayers’ ability to get problems resolved quickly, and improve overall compliance.

The IRS also announced this important work will be made a permanent part of the IRS through a new office to oversee improvements to taxpayer correspondence. The new office, called Office of Taxpayer Correspondence, will be directed by Jodi Patterson, who led the initial effort.
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COBRA Subsidy Eligibility Period Extended Through February

Workers who lose their jobs during January and February may qualify for a 65% subsidy on their COBRA health insurance premiums, and these newly-eligible individuals, along with those already receiving the subsidy, can now receive it for up to 15 months, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

For more details about the subsidy, employer requirements and more, visit irs.gov.
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Chapter News

Homer Lathrop Passes Away

Former AWI Chicago Chapter President (September 2008 - February 2009) Homer R. Lathrop, III (66) passed away peacefully on January 12, 2010 at his home in Fox River Grove, IL. He had previously served as chapter vice president from 2007-2008. Mr. Lathrop was employed with Cain Millwork or Rochelle, IL. He served with honor as a U.S. military veteran.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, Attn: Donor Services, 7020 AC Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville, FL 32256-6938. AWI members who wish to share their thoughts and memories of Mr. Lathrop for his family may visit http://obits.davenportfamily.com and sign the guestbook.
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2010 AWI Chapter D.R.I.V.E. Challenge Launched

They are off and running for the prestigious AWI "Distinguished Chapter 2010" designation and for the coveted "Chapter of the Year" Honors. Competition is strong, with the AWI West Texas Chapter coming in first with their basic annual report for 2010. On the tail of West Texas, chapters in Arizona, Chicago, Great Lakes, and Iowa / Nebraska have met the January 31st deadline for reports at press time.

If your chapter does as well by January 31, 2010, you can earn points. You might even catch up with these five chapters, which will put you in good position to earn "Chapter in Good Standing" status for 2010. Don’t delay!

If you have questions about your chapter’s status, contact AWI Chapter Development Director Greg Bednar at gbednar@awinet.org. Good luck to all. Keep up the good work.
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Other Chapter Developments

The AWI Great Lakes Chapter is promoting its updated Web site, www.awigreatlakes.com, in its newsletter released on January 19, 2010. Check out the site – it’s good looking and informative. In the southwest, the AWI Texas Chapter announced a new Web site address – www.texasawi.org

Send news of your chapter’s developments to AWI Chapter Development Director Greg Bednar at gbednar@awinet.org.
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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 Arizona Chapter
When: February 2, 2010 (11:30 am – 1:00 pm)
What: "Green Finishing Solutions"
Where Thornwood Furniture, Phoenix, AZ
Presenter: Tony Varda
Information & Registration: Carlos Castillo, ccastillo@stilesmachinery.com, 310.418.6680 (cell) 

AWI Iowa/Nebraska Chapter
When: February 5, 2010
What: Winter Social, Kansas City
Information: Contact Chapter Officers

AWI Florida Chapter
When: February 11, 2010
What: Chapter Meeting and Program on "Veneers"
Presenter: Jeff Vaida
Where: Fort Meyers, FL
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
When: February 12, 2010
What: "High Performance Quoting – Koetter Woodworking Tour"
Where: Borden, IN
Information: Chapter President Greg Hublar, hublar@flexwood.com  

AWI Great Lakes Chapter 
When: February 17, 2010
What Chapter Meeting & Board of Directors Meeting
Where: JB Cutting
Information: Contact Chapter Officers  

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 Chicago Chapter
When: March 10, 2010
What: "LEED® & Sustainability"
Presenter: Margaret Fisher
Information: Contact Chapter Officers  

AWI Texas Chapter
When: March 21, 2010
What: "You Landed a LEED® Certified Project...What Next?"
Where: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Information: Contact Chapter Officers  

AWI New England Chapter
When: March 24, 2010
What: Chapter Meeting and Presentation by Bill Mahens of Archer Corporation; Freeley & Driscoll
Where: Boston, MA
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

AWI Iowa/Nebraska Chapter
When: April 23, 2010
What: Chapter Meeting
Information: Contact Chapter Officers 

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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Next Issue of AWI e-briefs

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published February 4, 2010.

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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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