AWI e-briefs
A semimonthly news publication for Manufacturing & Supplier Members of the
Architectural Woodwork Institute
April 8, 2021
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This Month

Dates to Remember in April

  • April 9 – Join us for the Friday Family Gathering at 3:00 pm (ET) to hear Dr. Chris Kuehl of Armada Corporate Intelligence discuss some good news about the economy. Learn, share, discuss, network…get informed and connect by tapping into this complimentary AWI membership benefit.

  • April 30 – AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey remains open for submissions through April 30!  AWI President Sebastien DesMarais issues a call to action.  Learn more here about the new features and why 2021 is an important year to participate!  

  • All Month – The April 2021 edition of AWI’s monthly print newsletter, NewsBriefs, is now online.  Read about the new AWI/SMA Stair Standard.  Heed two Calls to Action: CoDBS and SkillsUSA, and  more here.

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AWI Events

AWI Spring Leadership Conference Features Powerful Agenda

With two options for participating in the 2021 AWI Spring Leadership Conference, April 11-13 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, AWI has devised another way for more members to benefit from this education and networking program.  The hybrid conference will be in-person AND virtual. 

The conference is packed with Keynote Speakers, Insight Sessions, an Industry Topics Panel, a virtual Plant Tour and a Feature Presenter.  The full program of events is offered at huge discounted rates for members, and is designed specifically for woodworkers and suppliers among the AWI family. 


  • INNERGY Workshop – “Is Your Workload Meeting HOT or NOT?”
    (In person only)
    Presenter: Marc Sanderson, Wilkie Sanderson and INNERGY

  • Opening Keynote
    Presenter: Dr. Nick Bontis, Leading Strategy and Management Expert

  • Insight Session I – “Big Data”
    Presenter: Scott Cruickshank, Director, Software Solutions, Stiles Machinery

  • Insight Session II
    Larry Musil, Architectural Sales Manager, M. Bohlke Veneer Corp. and Nike Bohlke, President of Manufacturing, M. Bohlke Veneer Corp.

  • Panel Discussions:

    CoDBS -- Sebastien DesMarais, Hollywood Woodwork and AWI President

    LEAN – Erik Fetzer, Fetzer’s Incorporated

    Local Chapters – Liz Ingebrigtsen Sprovieri’s Custom Counters

    Project Management – Bob Krejci, Riverside Architectural Millwork and Mike Coticchio, Siteline Interior Carpentry, Inc

    Software – Dustin Giffin, Giffin Interior & Fixture, Inc.

    – Rosa Cheney, Rosa D Cheney, AIA, PLLC

    Testing Reports
    – Cory Bittner, TMI Systems Corporation

  • Virtual Shop Tour – GlenRieder

  • Feature Presenter
    Dee Ann Turner, Communicator, Consultant, Coach

  • Closing Keynote – “Communication During Chaos”
    Pete Smith, President, SmithImpact

Check out the agenda, speaker highlights, and registration information here. Virtual attendance registration is still available.

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Friday Family Gathering: A New Economic Mood, This Friday at 3:00 pm

Do you want to hear an upbeat economic outlook for a change?

We are thrilled to bring back Dr. Chris Kuehl, a Managing Director of Armada Corporate Intelligence. He provides forecasts and strategic guidance for a wide variety of corporate clients around the world and is excited to share some new economic updates and recovery after the nightmare of 2020.  

Friday, April 9, 3:00 pm ET
Register Here!

If you missed the gatherings in the First Quarter of 2021, you will find the recordings on the Family Gatherings page in the Members Only section of

Recent Family Gatherings in March

  • March 5 – The Standards are Here
  • March 12 – MORE about the Standards
  • March 19 – Sneak Peek at Spring Leadership Conference
  • March 26 – Updates and Insights

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Three AWI Seminars Scheduled for May

AWI is pleased to announce that four core education programs will be offered starting this month and continuing through the spring.  Virtual Education Outreach Programs offer added benefits that in-person seminars do not, such as cost savings for your relevant personnel who will not incur travel and accommodation expenses.  That means more relevant staff members can attend, share insights afterwards and support each other on the job.


Advanced Estimating (Virtual)
May 10-12

Think big picture and create solutions to impact desired areas and reinforce strengths. Join us for a great opportunity to enhance perspective, knowledge and skills of your Estimating Team!

Speakers: Luke Remmert, Remmert & Company; John VanErem, USA Millwork; and Greg Rawlings, INNERGY

Registration open now!
Information / Registration  

Project Management (Virtual)
May 17-20

Acquire tools that allow you to find balance between Contractor, Architect, Resources and Manpower. Become the most knowledgeable person about your project.

Speakers:  Bob Krejci, Riverside Construction Services, Inc.; John Maffett, Coastal Millworks, Inc.; Craig Johnson, (Retired) Siewert Cabinet & Fixture; Randy Lange, Lange Bros. Woodwork Co, Inc.

Registration open now!
Information / Registration

Contracts (Virtual)

May 24-25

Contracts, we all sign them, and they have potential to have great effects on our businesses. Wouldn’t you agree it is important to understand them? Better yet, what if you learned tips and gained knowledge to make a contract more favorable for you.

Speaker:  Sandy Sandberg, Granite Mills

Registration open now!
Information / Registration  

AWI offers these learning opportunities to support members’ needs for continuing education – whether for novice staff or as refreshers for veteran staff.  The costs are set at reasonable rates as a service to members, and discounts are nearly 50% off the price for nonmembers. Plus, there are Member Group Rates!

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AWI News

April NewsBriefs: Stair Standard Approved, CoDBS Opens, and More

Read the April edition of AWI’s monthly print newsletter NewsBriefs online NOW.  A printed copy should have arrived in your company mailbox last week.  Click here to read the following articles:

  • “ANSI Approves AWI / SMA Stair Standard” —This collaborative initiative resulted in approval of ANSI AWI SMA 0643-2021--Wood Stair, Handrail, and Guard Systems Standard.  Learn more about the scope of the standard.
  • “2020 Impacts 2021 CoDBS” — Read about AWI President Sebastien DesMarais’s Call to Action in the cover story.
  • “Calling All Volunteers” — AWI SkillsUSA Committee Chair is seeking volunteers for the VIRTUAL SkillsUSA National Leadership Skills Championship Conference.  See page 2 to learn how you can help.
  • “Monarch Metal Expands Westward” —The Partner Spotlight introduces members to the firm’s expansion and upgraded service.  See page 4.

Read these articles and more in the April edition of NewsBriefs, AWI’s monthly print newsletter which is online NOW. 

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AWI Welcomes New Members


Circle C Millwork, Inc.
San Antonio, TX

Coastline Cabinetry & Custom Millwork, LLC
Fort Myers, FL

Custom Wood Products
Saint Marys, KS

Division Six, Inc.
Cincinnati, OH

Furniture Design Knossos, Inc.
Woodside, NY

Hire Nelson Company
Addison, IL

Huntwood Industries
Liberty Lake, WA

Riddley Retail Fixtures, Inc.
Kings Mountain, NC

TA Millwork
Kaysville, UT

Waterhouse Architectural Woodwork
Miami, FL

Note: These new members joined AWI in March 2021.

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

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Business Matters

Are You Ready? 2021 CoDB Survey Is Open for Submissions through April 30

By AWI President Sebastien DesMarais

The 2021 AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey (CoDBS) will definitely be an interesting and important one for AWI members. Last year was a challenging year for all, and more than ever this is the time to review, research, and reconfigure your financial and HR budgets.

Did your business respond adequately and quickly enough when COVID hit? Did you review and adjust your backlog, project and overhead budgets, and forecasted profitability? Did you analyze the impacts that COVID would have on the macroeconomy and on the specific geographic and construction markets that you service?

While we’re all happy to be done with 2020 and moving into a new year, this is a very important time for business owners and leaders to plan for a successful future amidst our new realities, and the AWI CoDBS is a great place to start.

This is a call to action! Participate and devise an action plan based on the results, which I discussed in the April edition of NewsBriefs.

AWI continues to invest in the Cost of Doing Business Survey so that it remains a top benefit for its members. New in 2021 are the following changes:

  • New industry-specific positions that allow you to get more granularity for benchmarking base and bonus compensation.
  • The ability to import base and bonus compensation from Excel into the online CODBS portal (huge time saver!).
  • New metrics for revenue by manufacturing and company square footage.
  • New breakouts for profitability by industry segment, i.e., commercial vs. residential, casework vs. millwork.
  • Special instruction for PPP loan classification within the survey.

Make 2021 your best year, and use AWI’s Cost of Doing Business survey to make time-relevant, industry-specific and data-driven decisions to guide you to maximum improvement!

Enter the portal here to submit your data.

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Good Reasons to Participate in Annual AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey

If you could trim costs and augment profits to elevate your bottom line, would it be worth your time?  

The AWI-subsidized Annual Cost of Doing Business Survey (CoDBS) is an industry-specific pathway to a STRONG financial management tool for improving your bottom line.  Strengthen your financials and reap the rewards of knowing how your business compares with others, particularly high profit firms, within the architectural woodwork industry.

The CoDBS is an exclusive benefit for AWI Manufacturing Members in good standing—and at no cost, only the time it takes you to participate.  The confidential survey is conducted for AWI by Inverra. 

Good Reasons to Participate

  • Assess overall company productivity and efficiency.
  • Trim and control expenses.
  • Trace industry trends against your financials.
  • Detect early warnings of any financial difficulties.
  • Plan cash flow.
  • Devise financial strategies going forward.
  • Gauge performance vs. industry peers to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • Gain reliable information for making financial decisions.

CoDBS Deliveries

AWI Manufacturing Member Participants receive confidential, customized online results for analyzing trends and changes for closer examination and action, along with a complimentary CoDBS Results book.   

Non-participating Manufacturing Members
receive the Executive Summary only which is posted in the password-protected “Members Only” area of  Printed copies may be purchased for a fee.

The 2021 AWI Cost of Doing Business Survey opened March 22 and closes April 30. 

Take advantage of this annual survey to dive deeper into your financials to improve your profit margins.

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Calling all Volunteers for National SkillsUSA: Help Needed!

Nurturing young people in our industry is paramount on all our minds these days—after all, they are our future! There are many ways to get involved with students in woodworking, and AWI provides a perfect one.

Like many things in our COVID world, the SkillsUSA National Leadership & Skills Championship Conference has gone virtual for 2021. This means that more than ever, volunteers are needed to help produce this vital competition. Want to help?

We are looking for industry volunteers in most states to assist one day during the week of June 14th to help make the SkillsUSA Cabinetmaking contest possible. A modest donation of some very basic materials and a bit of your time is all that is required
to make a student’s day and support this important endeavor.

Interested in more details? Contact AWI SkillsUSA Committee Chair Kristine Cox at

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Chapter News

Chapter Leaders Tap into AWI Leadership Events & Programs

Chapters have an abundance of resources to help them thrive despite challenging times. While many events remain virtual, some are face-to-face, and some are even both!

Chapter Officers Council
AWI Chapter Leaders and volunteers will gather for their semi-annual Chapter Officers Council meeting on Sunday, April 11, 1:00 – 4:00 pm CST in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Hyatt Regency in Executive Rooms C & D. The agenda includes safety Information provided by Federated Insurance, followed by the new process of scheduling AWI Education Outreach programs hosted by AWI Chapters. The new AWI Education Director will be introduced, the concept of Virtual Chapters will be covered, and AWI President Sebastian DesMarais will introduce AWI Board of Directors Members and give an overview of AWI Committees.

Chapter Workbench Session
The next AWI Chapter Leaders and Volunteer Workbench Session will be held on May 6 at 3:00 pm EST. Jack West of Federated Insurance will cover chapter liability. Reminder: You can view the previously recorded Workbench sessions on the AWI Portal at Members Only> Chapters Resources> Workbench.

Distinguished Chapter Program
Information on the 2020-2021 Distinguished Chapter Program is found on the AWI Portal under Chapter Resources. See the October Workbench for a full explanation of how to use the revised program.  Don’t delay: you can still accumulate points to earn the coveted designation of Distinguished Chapter in 2021.

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Upcoming AWI Chapter Events

AWI Central Pennsylvania
July 15

What: Annual Golf Outing
Contact: Dave Sanders, 717-637-8977,

AWI Texas Chapter

Aug. 19-21
What: AIA Sandcastle Competition
Where: Galveston, TX

AWI Washington Chapter
Nov. 4
Annual Supplier Tabletp Meeting
Cedarbrook Lodge in Seatac

Also check your Chapter’s website or president, accessible at to find out what is happening in your area. Remember to send all current chapter event details to AWI Chapter Liaison Margaret Fisher at

Note that details about chapter events are listed in the first edition of e-briefs each month reporting news of AWI and its affiliated organizations. In addition, the right-hand column of every edition of e-briefs briefly lists “near-term” events for higher visibility to help generate participation and registration. Each semi-monthly edition of e-briefs is distributed to all AWI Manufacturing & Supplier Members. Take advantage of these marketing opportunities!

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Learning Portal

The Power of the Portal: What Can You Learn?

Find what you need to know.  Enter the Members Area of by signing in with your user login. Then use the powerful SEARCH feature in the middle of the screen for access to a wealth of information. 

AWI’s robust search engine at delivers!  Get the facts from the AWI Digital Learning Portal (DLP) and make it your “go to” resource for a wealth of information never before available—or possible—from AWI.

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AWI e-briefs

Upcoming Editions

  • April 22– Business, industry, safety, construction news, and more

  • May 6– News of AWI and its Affiliated Organizations: QCP, WCA, AWIEF, Chapters, Speakers Bureau  

Depend on e-briefs to bring you news of AWI publications and programs and other pertinent information that impacts your architectural woodwork business.

For prior issues of AWI e-briefs, click here.

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Upcoming Education



Tune in to AWI’s one-hour
“Friday Family
Online at 3:00 pm (ET)

Next Session:
“A New Economic Mood”
Friday, April 9

Register Here



Advanced Estimating
May 10-12
Information / Registration

Project Management
May 17-20
Information / Registration

May 24-25
Information / Registration




For upcoming events,
click here for access
to all AWI Chapter contacts.



AWI Spring
Leadership Conference

April 11 – 13, 2021
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
Milwaukee, Wisconsin



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Cautionary Disclaimer
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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