Millwork Distrubtors Head to Denver in November

AMD’s exhibition has showcased an expanding range of door styles and options over the last several years.With the theme, Millwork…A Mile High, the Association of Millwork Distributors’ annual convention and exhibition is set for November 1-6 in Denver. The event reflects continued efforts to revitalize the organization, with an expanded educational program and new initiatives designed to attract more attendees to the event.

Most noteworthy of the changes is a new initiative to open up the show itself to more attendees. On Monday, November 5, AMD is offering a special one-day registration fee and inviting non-member industry professionals to come see the event for themselves.

In addition, AMD is offering special registration packages designed to encourage millwork distributors, manufacturers and suppliers to send more individuals from their companies to participate in the full event.

The exhibition, which will be held in the Colorado Convention Center Saturday through Monday, November 3-5, will feature displays from more than 100 suppliers. As usual, some of the largest will feature interior and exterior doors, with leading manufacturers such as Masonite, Plastpro, Steve’s & Sons and Therma-Tru returning to the show. The full list of exhibitors, which appears on the following page, also includes producers of high-end wood doors, suppliers of doorlites and other door components, manufacturers of pre-hanging and other door processing equipment, mouldings and trim, windows and other products. 

One of the biggest changes at the AMD convention over the past few years has been the addition of an educational program the day before the show kicks off. This year, the number of sessions offered has been expanded so “there is something to make all of us better millwork professionals,” says Carl Detering, Jr. of the Detering Co., AMD’s immediate past president.

Set for Friday, November 2, at the Adam’s Mark Hotel, the program opens with a look at what’s ahead for the housing market, featuring D. Jeffrey Dietrich of the Institute for Trends Research. He’s followed by Julie Ruth, code consultant for the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, who will review current energy code requirements around the country, with a particular focus on what’s happening in the door arena.

Later in the morning, attendees will have a choice of lean or green. In one session, Gary Connor, a lean consultant, will moderate a panel discussion featuring AMD members whose companies are in various stages of lean implementation. In the other session, Ron Jones, founder of Green Builder, will examine the current and rapidly evolving nuances of the green building market, as well as the guidelines, rating systems and other activities under development with several dominant organizations in the sector.
Suppliers of door processing equipment introduced several new upgrades at AMD’s exhibition last year in Dallas.
In the afternoon, attendees can hear Greg Brooks, a building products industry consultant, discuss “Strategies for a Megaplayer Marketplace.” Including a review of big builder and big distributor strategies, the presentation will focus on emerging opportunities for independents.

Jason Bader, a 20-year veteran in the distribution field, will follow with a presentation designed to “turn buyers into investors.” The session is designed to provide distributors with the tools their purchasing people need to analyze the performance of inventory and increase margins. Attendees can also hear from Sarah Rice, AMD’s own code consultant, who will provide an update on side-hinged exterior door standards.

The day’s educational sessions conclude with a look at the increasing competition coming from China, led by Michael Collins of Jordan, Knauff & Co. He will examine the outlook for growth of window and door imports, and review strategies for competing or working with overseas suppliers.

Another first for AMD this year is a cocktail reception capping the first day of activities. “The idea for this event came from our members, who commented that they would like to see a better ‘welcome’ for our new members and more opportunities for networking,” Detering states. “This icebreaker should be a fantastic way to accomplish both.”
With codes addressing exterior doors more often, many suppliers have emphasized the enhanced performance of their products.
The convention also features the full slate of traditional AMD activities. A business meeting, to be held Sunday morning before the show, will provide an opportunity for AMD’s leadership to inform attendees about organizational activities, including its recently updated strategic plan. Later in the day, AMD will host its distributor business meeting, designed to generate feedback and discussion regarding new initiatives.

Prior to the opening of the exhibit hall on Saturday, AMD will host its opening general session, this year featuring Bob Beckel (liberal) and Cal Thomas (conservative), authors of the USA Today column Common Ground. The AMD award breakfast on Monday morning will feature Larry Winget, an author and speaker who bills himself as “the pit bull of personal development.”

Finally, the event will close with “A Night at the Improv...AMD Style,” featuring comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood from the TV show “Whose Line is it Anyway?”

For more information about some of the products and equipment to be showcased in Denver, see the feature on page 99 highlighting exhibitor offerings at both AMD and the Remodeling Show. For more information about the event, visit or contact AMD at 800/786-7274.