AWI e-briefs
A semimonthly news publication for Manufacturing & Supplier Members of the
Architectural Woodwork Institute
March 15, 2012
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Green Scene

LEEDŽ 2012 Feedback Request: Speak Up by March 20

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) recently invited public comment on LEED® 2012.  This third comment period closes on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 and we are soliciting your comments on this new proposed document as the wood credits will be changing.

If the wood credit criteria changes as a result of minimal comments, our members and industry will be faced with a new set of definitions and requirements for LEED® 2012.

Some of the proposed changes include:
  • The Material and Resource credits could be renamed and might be combined with elements of previous credits.
  • The proposed changes suggest that all new wood is to be "FSC or better.”  However, the term “or better” remains undefined in the proposed document.
  • A new requirement that would call for Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) to be used.
  • A provision to replace the 500 mile regional material credit with the new Core Based Statistical Area requirement, which would entail more detailed criteria over a smaller radius area.

The future of our industry’s LEED® requirements is in your hands.  Don’t miss this opportunity to let your voice be heard. 

Click here to “Dive into LEED 2012” and make comments on the proposed changes. Comments and feedback are encouraged and welcome from all.

Questions?  Please contact Rob Ziegelmeier, AWI's Sustainability Resources Representative, at

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Does LEED's Artificial Barriers Fail Responsible Forestry?

According to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), it has and continues to do so.

“The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) continues to put up artificial barriers in its latest draft of its LEED rating tool, shutting out 75 percent of North America's certified forests from the LEED credits that deal with ‘responsible extraction of raw materials.’ The third draft of LEED 2012, released on March 1, includes credits for certified wood that is [are] "FSC or better", SFI announced.

"This new language raises more issues than it resolves: Who will decide what is 'better than FSC' and on what basis?" said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI®).  For more insights from Ms. Abusow, click here.

SFI states, “Currently LEED only recognizes forests certified to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which account for about one quarter of North America's certified forests. The rest are certified to three independent standards in use across North America - SFI, Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and American Tree Farm System (ATFS), all of which are endorsed by the international Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).” 

Ms. Abusow said there is independent evidence that SFI standards are as effective as FSC standards, and exceed them in many areas – such as research, support for family forest owners, use of best management practices and the training of more than 130,000 loggers since 1995. SFI also said it accepts fiber from forests certified to CSA and ATFS, which is important to workers and resource communities throughout North America.

For background information, click here.  To comment on the LEED Rating System in the Third Public Comment Period, do it now.  The comment period is open until March 20, 2012.  At the end of the review period, USGBC members will vote on the final draft.

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"Green Talk" Webinar to Address Environmental Product Declarations

Don’t miss this free webinar on March 21, 2012 focusing on EPDs.  AWI Sustainability Resources Representative Rob Ziegelmeier will host the one-hour discussion that begins at 2:00 pm (EST).

EPD's are voluntarily declared standardized documents that have been third party verified on a products environmental attributes. EPD's will most likely be required in the LEED® programs possibly as early as LEED 2012. EPD's will address "Greenwashing" concerns by using scientifically verified facts. “This program is directed towards our Supplier Members but our Manufacturing Members will gain knowledge on what is coming,” Mr. Ziegelmeier said.

Click here to register.

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Business Tools

Cost of Doing Business Survey Launches March 15: It's Time to Participate!

The 2012 AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey is launching today, March 15. Each AWI company’s point of contact will receive an e-mail and a link with a username and password to participate.  The new Web-based survey will make participation easier, faster, more useful, and more secure for all participants.

Remember also, there is a full survey and CODBS “Lite” version this year.

Webinars for Participants

To help you participate in the survey, tap into the FREE Webinar on March 22, “How to Complete the CODB Survey.”  The webinar is open to all members.  Learn how to navigate the new online survey quickly and easily. Register here; open to all members.

Still Undecided about Participating?

We don’t want to start the survey without you! If you need to be convinced to participate, check out these free resources for reasons why you won’t want to miss this opportunity.

1.  Hear what commentator Dean Rummel of TMI Systems Design Corporation has to say.  He’ll tell you why the CODBS is vital for your business. Learn more here.

2.  Hear why you should care about the CODBS.  Host of the recorded webinar on February 1, 2012, Sebastien DesMarais, AWI Financial Management Committee Chair, explains why participating in the CODBS is a MUST if you want to gain control of your operating costs. Click here to access the free recorded webinar. 

The AWI Financial Management Committee is adding more education value to the CODBS.  Here are important dates and information to remember.  

Upcoming CODBS Webinars

June TBD
“Un-encrypting the CODB Survey Results” – FREE WEBINAR

Open to 2012 CODBS participants only.

June TBD
“Secrets of the Upper Quartile” – FREE WEBINAR, NEW FOR 2012
Open to 2012 CODBS participants only.

Note: webinar dates subject to change

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LinkedIn Now Connects 3,100 AWI Members

Get in on the conversations.  Join the AWI network. Some of the current topics being discussed are:

  •  New Woodwork Career Alliance LinkedIn Group
  • Laminating Seams – Opening Up?
  • QCP Custom or Premium Certification
  • LEED® Submittal “Threats”
  • Computer Use in Joinery/Cabinetmaking/Millwork
  • Frosted Glass Source?
  • Color Changes in White Oak
  • Plam/Melimine Cabinets and Post Laminating
  • Employment Opportunities – Several Job Openings
  • And much more...

Click into the forums anytime to find out what’s important among architectural woodworkers. Access LinkedIn here.  See what your peers are saying. The AWI network is growing. If you're not yet registered with LinkedIn, do it now to check out the current discussions.  It’s a free, useful networking tool among AWI members.

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Speakers Bureau

The Art & Skill of Promoting Woodwork through AWI's Speakers Bureau

Help AWI reach out to the design community to promote the use of architectural woodwork.  Elevate your profile in the design-build industry.  Position your business as an authority about woodwork.  Promote the professionalism of the architectural woodwork industry.  How?  Through the AWI Speakers Bureau.

The bureau is the arm of the Architectural Woodwork Institute that provides quality education to the design community in an ongoing effort to expose designers and architects to the powerful tools within the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS).

Already a member of the AWI Speakers Bureau?  Want to fine-tune your skills and presentation style?  Interested in taking your Speakers Bureau Credentials to the next level?  AWI Speakers Bureau Training is the answer. Attend AWI’s Speakers Bureau training, May 3-4 in Dallas, TX. Click here to register.

Not yet a member of the AWI Speakers Bureau?  Consider the benefits to your architectural woodwork business.  Find out more at

For more details about the AWI Speakers Bureau, look for the feature story in the March edition of AWI NewsBriefs, our monthly print newsletter.  The article begins on page 1.  The March issue will arrive in your mailbox in a few days.

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Make the Most of 30 Seconds: Attend Speakers Bureau Training!

As a speaker, you have 30 seconds to win your audience.  Your introduction could be the most important part of your presentation. 

Training will include an interactive component to take you through the process of creating an introduction that will capture your audience, making the information you share memorable.  You will be introduced to the Design Pro presentations and receive tips and suggestions for giving powerful presentations.  Learn about techniques for incorporating humor effectively into your presentation.

May 3 and 4, 2012

The Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport

Register here.

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Learning Forum

Register Early for AWI Webinars on CODBS, Sustainability, the AWS & QCP

Mark your calendar and plan to participate. Register early — space is limited.

February 1, 2012
One hour recorded Webinar
"Who Cares about the CODBS?"
Host: Sebastien DesMarais, AWI Financial Management Committee Chair

Savvy architectural woodworkers do! If you missed this webinar, check it out! Find out why you should care about the CODBS if you want to remain competitive, operate cost-efficiently, and raise your profit margins.
Click here to access the free recorded AWI webinar.

March 21, 2012
2:00 – 3:00 pm (EST)
"Green Talk"
Host: Rob Ziegelmeier, AWI Sustainability Resources Representative
Register here.

March 22, 2012 — Don't Miss It!
2:00 – 3:00 pm (EST)
"How to Complete the CODB Survey"
Presenter: Sebastien DesMarais, AWI Financial Management Committee Chair
Register here.

April 18, 2012 — Registration Opening Soon
2:00 - 3:00 pm (EST)
"QCP Talk"
Host: Joe Sorrelli, AWI Quality Certification Corporation President

May 16, 2012 – Save the Date!
2:00 – 3:00 pm (EST)
“AWS Talk”
Host: Randy Jensen, AWI Technical Committee Chair and AWI Representative to Joint Standards Committee

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AWI News

AWI Leadership Meeting Features Committee Meetings and More: Register Today!

The AWI Leadership Meeting and Speaker Bureau Training features two days of meetings for select AWI committees, task forces, Best Practice Groups, and the Board of Directors, May 3-4, 2012 at the Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport, Texas. 

AWI volunteers and members of these groups may register here.

The two-day event will also feature plant tours from 1:00 – 5:00 pm on May 3, followed by a reception at Stiles Machinery.

On May 4, attendees will breakfast with Leadership Speaker Colonel Denny Rea, USAF (ret), Senior Consultant and Project Manager for Adayana Government Group, a technology-based learning company.  Colonel Rea served as a fighter pilot for 30 years until 2006.  He completed his career with 3,500 fighter hours including 300 combat hours over Iraq and Bosnia.

To allow AWI ample preparation time, please register early.
The attached flyer contains the agenda of events and biographical information about Colonel Denny Rea.

Hotel reservations must be made by April 2 to receive the AWI block rate of $115. Click here to reserve your lodging.

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AWI Education Foundation

AWI's "Giving Arm" Makes a Difference. Will You?

The AWI Education Foundation (AWIEF) is making a difference in the lives of woodshop students as well as institutions dedicated to building a well-trained workforce for tomorrow.

With an ambitious goal of expanding scholarships in 2012, the AWIEF has invited 75 faculty members of post-secondary schools with commendable woodshop programs to submit the names of worthy students for the 2012 AWIEF Scholarship Award Program.

Contribution Opportunity

That means the AWIEF can use your contribution to expand the number of scholarship recipients in 2012.  To make a donation, send your tax deductible contribution to:

    AWI Education Foundation
    46179 Westlake Drive, Suite 120
    Potomac Falls, VA 20165-5874
    Attn: Barbara Wert

Making a Difference

What are some previous scholarship winners doing?  How has the AWIEF made a difference in their lives and helped woodworkers gain well-trained employees?

Read what Greg Larson, board member of the Woodwork Career Alliance and Director of the New England School of Architectural Woodworking in Easthampton, MA, says about previous scholarship winners.
“I keep in touch with the two past winners.  Both are working for great companies in the industry. One, Mark Rickey Woodworking, is an AWI member.  Both former students are very well loved by their employers.  I know both were very appreciative of the scholarship money and told me that it really helped them financially to offset the tuition.  
The first recipient, Ryan Williams, was one of the best students we've ever had; quite a natural talent.  He is working for Volz Clark and Associates (VCA) and is really doing well.  They love him there and hope he never leaves.  It's a very difficult shop to place our students in because they do high end furniture and cabinetry and look for very special people.  Another recipient, Marion Goodsell, is working for Mark Richey Woodworking in Newburyport, MA.  When I last I talked with them, they said Marion was doing really well.  She's the first student we've placed there and they're now looking at another student in the future.”

Perpetuating the Industry

Want to help perpetuate the architectural woodwork industry?  Consider these students and the need for placement in local businesses by making a tax deductible contribution to the AWIEF – the Giving Arm of AWI.  For more details about the AWIEF, visit

About the AWIEF
The AWI Education Foundation is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a Public Charity, Type I Supporting Organization. Among other things, this authorizes the AWIEF to accept contributions which are tax deductible.  The AWIEF is a 501(c)(3) public charity, nonprofit foundation supporting AWI.

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Member News

Veneer Tech Names Mike Bell as Judge for 2012 Craftsman's ChallengeTM

Entrants in the eighth annual Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge™ will be judged by three seasoned industry panelists.  The panelists will judge this international design competition that highlights achievement in the use of natural wood veneer products.

Panel of Judges

The trio for 2012 – each with a passion for hands-on woodworking – are Michael Bell, president-elect of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) and a Senior Manager with Allegheny Millwork, Lawrence, PA; midwesterner Tim Fixmer, member of the WoodLINKS USA Board of Directors and Publisher of CabinetMaker+FDM; and Woodbury, TN, studio furniture maker Alfred Sharp, current president of The Furniture Society, who concentrates primarily in 18th Century American styles and builds pieces merging traditional design and proportions with contemporary idioms and exotic woods.

The Competition

 The Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge rewards excellence in the use of veneer and wood products through cash awards and other recognition for the entire supply chain including craftsmen, distributors and distributor sales representatives, and also for student designers. The competition is co-sponsored this year by CabinetMaker+FDM.                       

Craftsman’s Challenge entries are accepted through June 1, 2012. Competition categories include Architectural Woodworking, Cabinetry, Furniture, Specialty Products, Store Fixtures, and Student Design. Entry materials are available online through and from Veneer Technologies sales representatives and distributors.

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. Category winners receive $1000 each. There is also an additional $1000 award to the grand prizewinner for early entry by March 31, 2012. Awards will be announced at IWF-Atlanta, August 22-25.
Veneer Technologies is located in Newport, NC, and specializes in natural face veneers, sheet veneer and edgebanding. The company also offers exotic hardwood lumber and reconstituted veneer products.  Inquiries can be made by telephoning 800-593-5601. 

Veneer Technologies has been an AWI Supplier Member since 1997.

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Sponsor Spotlight

AWI Level 4 Sponsor White River Honored

White River was selected for second time as “Brand of Preference for Mouldings” by Peninsula Publishing Readers.

The Peninsula Publishing Annual Brand Survey highlights products that homebuilders, purchasing agents, architects, interior designers and residential contractors with major buying preference most prefer.

The results are in for the 2011 Peninsula Publishing Building Products Brand Survey and White River is the winner of the Moulding category for a second year in a row.

View the survey winners here.

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Safety Matters

Have You Submitted Your Nomination for the 2012 Heartwood Award?

Created by the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) Insurance & Safety Committee, the Heartwood Award is presented to AWI member companies and suppliers for developing and implementing, in 2011, a product or process that introduces unique safety attributes to the woodworking discipline. Distinctive designs, practical applications and safety innovations are considered in determining a winner.

What does the winner receive? In addition to gaining instant recognition as a woodworking safety and innovation pioneer, the Heartwood Award winner will be invited to demonstrate their product or process to AWI members.

Nominate today by visiting

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Chapter News

AWI National & Oregon Chapter Team Up

The Wood Solutions Fair on March 13 in Portland presented an opportunity for AWI National and its Oregon Chapter to gain exposure.

AWI National hosted an information booth and the chapter’s Sean McConeghy of Commercial CabinetWorks presented a seminar on “Architectural Casework”.

“It was a great opportunity for education, networking and to learn more about AWI,” Chapter President Jack M. Ragan, III reported. 

The Wood Solutions Fair moved to Seattle on March 15.

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AWI National & Central PA Chapter Collaborate

With assistance from AWI National the AWI Central PA Chapter hosted an education program on March 1 titled, “Ten Commandments of Contract Language.” Chapter President Garry Astles found that collaborating with AWI National was easy and rewarding.

The AWI Education Outreach Program took flight with this learning program.  In fact, AWI National treated the Central PA Chapter meeting request for a speaker as a “trial run” for the new outreach program introduced in March.  (See the March edition of AWI NewsBriefs for the announcement on page 1.) AWI National provided the speaker and assisted with the marketing of the program both on a national and regional level.

The program featured AWI Speakers Bureau member and attorney Michael Davis who presented a comprehensive and lively seminar, “Ten Commandments of Contract Language.”  The combined marketing strategies attracted 35 attendees from four states. The program addressed one of the nettlesome issues with which the AWI Central PA Chapter members – and the industry – are confronted: troublesome relationships with General Contractors and their demanding payment terms. 

To learn the full story about how the collaborative effort began and played out, watch for the April edition of AWI NewsBriefs, AWI’s monthly print newsletter.  The newsletter will arrive in your mailbox in mid-April.

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Upcoming Chapter Events

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. To reach any of the chapter officers for more information, click here.

AWI Texas Chapter
When: March 21-23, 2012
What: Texas SkillsUSA Competition
Where: Corpus Christi, TX
Host: Imperial Mill

AWI Heart of America Chapter
When: April 13, 2012
What: Kansas SkillsUSA Competition, Pittsburg, KS
Chair: Bill Reynard, Allen Millwork, Wichita, KS
Judging: AWI Heart of America Chapter Members

AWI Chicago Chapter
When: April 19, 2012
What: Tour of Recently completed Architectural Millwork Projects followed by a Happy Hour
Where: Downtown Chicago

AWI Iowa-Nebraska Chapter
When: April 20, 2012
What: Chapter Meeting
Where: DMACC

AWI Washington Chapter

When: April 25, 2012 (6:00 – 8:00 pm)

What: Chapter Meeting
Where: Galliano’s Cucina, Seatac, WA

Registration: Click here 

AWI Ohio Valley Chapter
When: April 27, 2012
What: Meeting TBD
Tour / Social: Koetter Woodworking

AWI Texas Chapter
When: May 2-3, 2012
What: Networking Event
Where: Dallas, TX

AWI Central Pennsylvania Chapter
When: May 10, 2012 (12:30 – 3:00 pm)
What: Lunch, Tabletop Exhibits, Presentation
Program: "QCP & the Architectural Woodwork Standards"
Presenter: Joe Sorrelli, President, Quality Certification Program
Where: C. Ted Lick Wildwood Conference Center, Harrisburg, PA
Information: See attached
Questions: Garry A. Astles,; (p) 717-503-6295

AWI Heart of America Chapter
When: May 17, 2012 (4:00 pm)
What: Chapter Board Meeting
Host: Wood Systems, Tulsa, OK

AWI Washington Chapter
When: May 19, 2012 (12:00 pm – 4:00 pm)
What: Business Seminar
Where: Columbia Winery, Woodinville, WA
Registration: Click here

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. Contact Greg Bednar, AWI Chapter Development Services at

Members are encouraged to check chapter event listings in the most recent issue of AWI e-briefs, as well as with chapter officers and chapter Web sites for program changes. As plans become finalized, dates and presentations may change for chapter programs previously listed. This issue of AWI e-briefs contains the most current information available to AWI National.

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Next Issue of AWI e-briefs

When Will It be Published?

The next issue of AWI e-briefs will be published April 5, 2012.

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Upcoming Education
"Green Talk" Webinar

March 21, 2012
2:00 - 3:00 pm (EST)

Register here.

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The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) makes every effort to ensure that published information is accurate and current. Neither AWI, nor any content contributor, officer, or employee of AWI warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information published in AWI News-Briefs and/or AWI e-briefs, nor endorses any products, services or other information resources linked from AWI's editorial content and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Portions of the information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at their own risk.

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