AAMA Celebrates Diamond Anniversary at Annual Conference

February 28, 2012
Meetings & Events

Naples, Fla.—Bringing back distinguished members from the past, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association celebrated the group's 75th anniversary with a banquet at its annual conference here Monday night.  AAMA also used the occasion to recognize several current members for their contributions.

Kinro's Mike Kinard, left, last year's winner of AAMA's outstanding member award, presented the award to this year's winner, Gantt Miller of Winco.   

Rich Walker, AAMA president and CEO, and Joe Hums of Quanex Building Products emceed the event, which featured many photos from meetings past, highlighting individuals active in the organization throughout the years. Mendel Rosenberg, one-time AAMA president and 1984 Outstanding Member recipient, spoke briefly at the event, encouraging members to keep up the good work.

One of the most poignant moments was the reading of a letter from Lyon Evans, a member for more than 40 years and active participant during its early days when it created the first window standard in the 1940s.  Walker read a letter Evans wrote shortly before he passed away at the end of last year, in which he said the "techcnial smarties" at AAMA had much to be proud of, and how thankful he was to be part of the organization.

 PGT's Rod Hershberger presented Milgard's Kim Flanary with the distinguished service award for AAMA's residential products group.

AAMA traditionally honors several members at its annual conference and this year was no exception.  This year's outstanding member award went to Gantt Miller, former chairman of the AAMA board and CEO of Winco Manufacturing, a Missouri-based producer of commercial and architectual windows.   

Kim Flanary of Milgard Windows & Doors was recognized with an outstanding service award for AAMA  residential products group, while Mike Turner of YKK Architectural Products received the same honor on the architectural products side.  Brent Slaton of Keymark Corp. was recognized with AAMA's distinguished marketing service award.

Walker praised all the award winners for their hard work, noting that dedication was particularly important over the past several as the industry has faced such challenging conditions in the market.  He credited all of them for their efforts, which helped AAMA maintain its industry leadership during tough times.

Fenestration Humanitarian
While the awards banquet was dedicated to honoring AAMA members, this week's meeting also saw AAMA's Rich Walker honored as well. World Vision International, an organization that works regularly with window and door manufacturers to facilitate product donations to the needy, presented Walker with its 2012 Fenestration Humanitarian Award for his personal efforts, as well as the efforts of AAMA staff, to support the organization. Through AAMA, World Vision has established a referral network with window and door companies that has benefitted "thousands of children familiies here and overseas," said Mary Garcia, who handles corporate development efforts for the organization.

 Rich Walker accepted World Vision's 2011 Fenestration Humanitarian award from the organization's Mary Garcia.

She thanked AAMA for its help in connecting World Vision with manufacturers, as well as hosting a session at its meeting putting together backpacks filled with school supplies for needy children. Garcia also noted that World Vision will once again work with AAMA to collect donated school supplies and put them together in backpacks at next year's annual conference.

Garcia also stressed that 2011 was one of the most challenging years it has seen for window and door procurement while need remains high.  She offered manufacturers "a challenge to help," and encouraged more consider donating excess inventory and other products to World Vision.

In addition to the 75th anniverary festivities, this week's AAMA conference features a full business agenda. At the group's official business meeting, Steve Fronek of Apogee Enterprises, current AAMA chair, highlighted several recent accomplishments, noting that "2011 was a very productive year for AAMA." Despite challenging conditions, he said, AAMA has maintained the programs valued by members the most, and successfully launched a number of new initiatives, including the FenestrationMasters education program and an IG certification program.

He credited staff with streamlining much of AAMA's work, as evident in fewer task group and committee meetings at its conference. Fronek pointed to the success AAMA has enjoyed in developing separate regulatory affairs and code action committees, which has enabled the organiation to respond more effectively on both fronts.  

Walker noted AAMA's efforts on these fronts has helped enable its membership to recover. With new companies joining and companies that were once members rejoining, Walker reported AAMA membership is now at just about the same level it was at when the bottom fell out of the market.

Look to next week's WDweekly for a more detailed report on new developments at AAMA and other updates from the meeting.  For more information on AAMA's history, see Rich Walker's Industry Watch column prepared for the March/April issue of Window & Door.