AMD Opens Conference and Trade Show to Industry

Premier U.S. door event set for October in San Antonio
August 21, 2009
Meetings & Events

For the first time in its history, the Association of Millwork Distributors announced this week it is extending a full registration opportunity to industry professionals as part of a new open attendance policy for its 45th annual convention and exposition. The event is set for San Antonio,Texas, October 7‐12, at the Marriott Rivercenter and Henry Gonzales Convention Center.

"Opening our show provides an opportunity to bring together more people in our industry at a central location," says Rosalie Leone, AMD's CEO. “Our annual convention consists of a premier education program, a full trade show packed with exhibit booths and building products as well as multiple networking events. AMD has a reputation for creating a quality event and making registration open to professionals in the housing and building prduct industries allows our association to step up during this economy and, literally, open some doors for opportunity.”

Given the challenging economic environment, and following a downturn in attendance last year, AMD has already worked hard to attract attendees and exhibitors to its upcoming convention and exhibition, beefing up the educational program and putting together registration packages designed to keep costs down for attendees gathering for the annual event.


Last year's AMD exhibition was smaller than in past years, reflecting the weakened market,
but it did attract a number of new exhibitors showing recently released door lines.

“These times call for a new approach as we have combined the best of the best in this year’s show. This is an affordable venue and, in these times, a valuable event,” says Dan Warren of Warren Window & Supply Inc., chairman of AMD's annual convention program committee.

Expanded Educational Opportunities
The expanded educational program kicks off with a workshop devoted to thriving and not just surviving in tough economic times. Led by Rick Johnson, a 35-year veteran in distribution sales and operations, the session will focus on sales planning to take advantage of market-driven opportunities, including creation of competitive advantage by exploiting competitors' weaknesses. Randy Goruk, a consultant previously with the Trus Joist unit of Weyerhaeuser, will lead another presentation on selling more now, while preparing for recovery.

This spring, the association launched a new “Simply Certified” AMD certification program in partnership with National Association Management Institute. The agenda includes a number of NAMI-hosted educational sessions focusing on energy efficiency and impact related codes. Sharon Durand, NAMI president, will also offer a session introducing the NAMI/AMD certification program.

Other speakers on the program include Arlene Zavocki Stewart, who will look at green building, including NAHB, LEED, and other nationally known programs and how they relate to the millwork and door industry. Alice Dasek, who is program manager of the Energy Star windows, doors and skylights program for D&R International, will offer an update on changes in the Energy Star program, as well as a look at tax credits and potential changes for the future.

Trade Show
While the educational agenda has grown, the show itself may be downsized in the face of weak markets. Once again, Steves & Sons, Therma Tru and Woodgrain Millwork will be on hand for the show, but some of the largest door makers in North America–traditional exhibitors at this event–have apparently chosen again not to exhibit at what is perhaps the premier event of the door industry.  A full list of companies at the show is available on the AMD Web site.

The AMD event regularly features a wide variety of higher end wood doors.

Despite a lower level of activity on the floor at last year’s AMD exhibition, the event did see a continued flow of new product introductions. This included Evermark, which launched a new line of high-end wood entry doors; Lynden Door, which featured a new line of contemporary flush door styles; and Door Works Co., which highlighted its made-to-order MDF doors.

Looking to the coming event, many regulars will be exhibiting again, including component suppliers such as Endura, Homeshield, Endura, ODL and RSL. Suppliers of equipment and computer software targeting the millwork and prehanger market, including DMSi, Full House, Kval and Woodware, will also be in San Antonio. 

In addition to the show and educational program, the AMD convention features a number of social and networking events, including an Icebreakers Reception, a GenerationNext luncheon targeted at up-and-coming millwork professionals, and a special evening at the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum sponsored by locally-based Steves & Sons. Finally, the event will feature a special opening session with a keynote address from Howard Putnam, best known for building Southwest Airlines by “putting people first.”

As noted, AMD is working to draw more attendees to this year's event by putting together a variety of  packages combining registration and hotel rooms designed to make the event more affordable. It is also once again opening the exhibit hall to all industry professionals for one day, October 11, for only $25. For more information on the event, visit or contact AMD at 800/786-7274.