Brand Window - Blog


The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) is the leading trade association representing the residential and commercial fenestration industry.

Read AAMA’s most recent blogs to stay on top of the state of the fenestration industry, AAMA membership and the latest in social media trends. Select a title below to read the full blog.

March 27, 2015

Get Window Safety Tips To Your Customers

It’s getting warmer out, which means soon it will be time to enjoy our homes with our windows open. While this can be a wonderful thing to experience, especially after a tough winter, be sure to do so safely in order to prevent window falls this spring, and year round.

March 13, 2015

Delivering the Message of Window Safety

Did you know that Window Safety Week is the first week of April each year? That's right - from April 5 to 11 this year there will be an increased focus on spreading the message of window safety.

March 6, 2015

Schedule a Week's Worth of Tweets in Minutes

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Back in January, I wrote a list of suggested social media New Year's resolutions. How are those going? If you've gotten off track, that's okay – there's still time to create new (good) habits! One of those resolutions was to be better about scheduling tweets. I've been doing this in 2015 and I can tell you it's absolutely worth it. I used to leave myself calendar notifications reminding myself to tweet several times a week.

February 27, 2015

Well-attended AAMA Conference Boasts Excellent Speakers

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The 78th AAMA Annual Conference began with deep sea fishing, everglades airboat tours and golf in gorgeous (and warm) Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. During the next four days, an impressive array of speakers provided insights, forecasts and a whole host of fenestration related subjects of interest to the manufacturers, suppliers and service providers in attendance.

February 20, 2015

7 Essential Tips for Complying with NAFS in Canada

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While NAFS has mostly harmonized fenestration testing requirements between the U.S. and Canada, there are important differences that U.S. manufacturers need to consider with respect to NAFS compliance under Canadian building codes. Products initially tested to only the U.S. requirements in NAFS will need to be retested to qualify them for Canada. It makes sense to plan your test program with both Canadian and U.S. requirements in mind if you have plans to enter the Canadian market in the future.

February 13, 2015

Recognizing Our Hard-Working Members

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Boy, am I anxious to get down to that warmer Florida weather for next week's AAMA 78th Annual Conference! But more than that, I'm excited for the Annual Awards Banquet hosted on Monday evening.

February 6, 2015

Say Hello to the New AAMA Instagram Account

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Are you on Instagram? AAMA is now, and we love it. The free app launched as a throwback homage to the Polaroid instant print of old, and lets users take and edit square-shaped photos. Users immediately fell for the many available filters and a whole subculture has formed around devotees of certain ones. AAMA uses Instagram to take and share photos of life around AAMA headquarters in Schaumburg, IL and also to post updates from in-person events, like conferences and trade shows.

January 30, 2015

Manufacturing Developments and Jobs Matter in America

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I read a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago about how, despite all that has happened in recent years, manufacturing jobs still make up the backbone of middle-class America. James R. Hagerty writes, "The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employers in manufacturing, mining and construction pay an average of $36.37 an hour in wages and benefits, compared with $31.46 paid by stores, restaurants and other service companies."

January 26, 2015

Looking Forward to What's Ahead

As we discussed last month, 2014 was a big year within the documents sector of AAMA -- more than 25 documents were published, including a whole new series of certification documents, and the release of the AAMA 103 with the introduction of the 5 + 5 program. And, even though those are some pretty big shoes to fill, I'm looking forward to 2015 and hoping that it will be just as successful with some of the initiatives we have on the horizon.

January 23, 2015

Mark Fortun, Testing and Certification Manager, Shares Advice for Succeeding in the Workplace

Mark Fortun manages Endura's product testing and certification and is an active member of AAMA. Today, Mark discusses why it's crucial to take ownership of and pride in your work.

January 16, 2015

Benefits Series - AAMA Immersion Camp - Conferences and Meetings

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When I was in high school, there was an option for students to enroll in foreign language immersion camps. The idea was to saturate the students in the language, forcing them to use it 24/7 in everything they did. It was a way to significantly enhance the book-learning process and provide an intensive and memorable experience. The students who enrolled in these programs returned to school often leap-frogging their non-camp counterparts in fluency and knowledge of the language.

January 9, 2015

New Year's Resolutions for Social Media Strategy

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Happy 2015! Let's make this your best year in social media yet. For this post, I've gathered some suggested resolutions for how you can resolve to expand your reach and improve your presence online. Some of these take time, but getting a head start now will keep you on your toes for the months to come.

January 8, 2015

Industry Outlook for 2015

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As 2015 begins, it's worth reviewing an industry outlook as we make plans to move forward in the coming year. The recovery is, of course, well established and ongoing in the window and door industry. At this time of year, many groups make predictions about the year ahead and which segments will be of greatest interest. With an industry the size of the building products industry, it is never possible to predict with certainty what will be the growth of a given segment.

January 7, 2015

Marcia King, Technical Director, Cites Being Up For New Challenges As Key

Marcia King serves as Technical Director at Sherwin-Williams. Today she talks about what she is most proud of accomplishing and who has influenced her along the way.

December 19, 2014

2014 Rewind

Well, as 2014 begins to wrap up, I want to continue the tradition of looking back on the year and recognizing what we as an association accomplished. So, for my final blog post of the year, here is a list of some of the biggest documents and standards that were published in 2014.

December 15, 2014

Benefits Series - Sharing the AAMA Experience Throughout Your Company

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The most effective way to maximize the benefit your company gets from AAMA membership is to actively engage and participate in the organization. Attending national conferences and regional meetings is the best way to do this since attendance at these events allows for involvement in task group and committee activities as well as in-person networking advantages.

December 5, 2014

Tools for Editing Photos for Online Use

Last month I talked about Pinterest, and how the social media platform relies heavily on great visuals. Today's post will help you create content for that site, in which you need to generate your own attractive visuals to get noticed. I've rounded up some tools for your use so you too can contribute quality posts that show off your products and get shared.

November 25, 2014

No Secrets This Time

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It's no secret that there are many people less fortunate than us who could use a helping hand. In the Chicagoland area 1.3 million people are living below the poverty line. That's 14 percent of the Chicago population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Sadly, it's more pronounced among children, where one in five lives in poverty.

November 24, 2014

James D Katsaros, PhD, Research Fellow, Discusses Need for Unified Voice

Jim Katsaros leads product development programs and code/standard development for the flashing and roofing industries at DuPont Building Innovations. Today, he talks about how the industry can benefit from clear, singular communication.

November 21, 2014

Certification and Standards go Hand-in-Hand Redux

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Since we had a nice little refresher on balloting last month, it seems apropos to have the refresher series continue. It's been more than 18 months since we featured how AAMA standards work together with AAMA's certification programs, so we're going to do a little review of how AAMA works to create and publish not only standards, but procedural guides for our certification programs.

November 14, 2014

Benefits Series - Supporting Higher Education to Build the Fenestration Industry Workforce

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It was great to see such broad participation in the members only market study webinar earlier this week. While continued market recovery is something we're all happy to see, it brings with it an increasingly critical challenge - finding qualified employees to help your company meet growing product demand.

November 7, 2014

How Pinterest Can Benefit the Fenestration Industry

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If you've heard of Pinterest, odds are it was in the context of recipes, fashion or party planning. However, a whole subset of users is extremely devoted to home improvements, renovations, décor, DIY and more. While these interests attract mostly residential customers, there are commercial applications available on the site, as well.

October 30, 2014

Dave Cooper, Advanced IG Program Leader, Shares Thoughts on Teamwork and Making a Difference

Dave Cooper, Advanced IG Program Leader at Guardian, discusses the rewards of AAMA activism and why collaboration matters.

October 28, 2014

Western Region Fall Summit Focuses on the Future of Housing

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At the AAMA Western Region Fall Summit, I was pleased to hear a great presentation from friends of AAMA, Brad Golba and Nick Lehert, discuss choices in fenestration and the future of housing. The pair from KTGY Group showed off a searchable project map, which showed that while many of the KTGY projects are found in California, they are nationwide in scope. They have offices in Colorado, Virginia and even India.

October 24, 2014

Ben Mitchell, Sales and Marketing Manager, Identifies Long-Term Benefits of Teamwork

Ben Mitchell currently works at AkzoNobel as the Sales and Marketing Manager for the liquid coatings group primarily for aluminum extrusions with involvement globally and direct responsibilities for the Americas. Today he talks about the importance of teamwork for industry-wide long-term results.

October 17, 2014

A Balloting Reminder

Every two years, households throughout the U.S. are flooded with television ads, mailers and subtle billboards all reminding us that it's election time again. Time for us to hear how horrible each candidate is and pick which one we want representing us. It's an uplifting time; one of optimism and mudslinging. It's election season!

October 10, 2014

Benefits Series - AAMA Market Research Reports

Throughout the industry, we're continuing to see market recovery following the economic downturn of recent years. The pace of this recovery varies across product segments and geographic markets, but signs continue to generally point in a positive direction.

October 3, 2014

Why You Should Consider Instagram

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Is your company on Instagram? If not, it's worth looking into creating a business account. From a marketing standpoint, it is a great tool. Having a presence on the social media app allows customers to find you, tag you and include you in the online conversation. If you're not on there, you might be missing out on great opportunities for testimonials, client outreach and customer service.

September 29, 2014

Mike Hamand, Engineer Team Leader, is Proud to Help Shape Specification Future For Customer Need

Mike Hamand entered the industry in 2005 after spending 22 years in appliances. He now works at Pella and today he talks about the value of communicating with supplier partners.

September 26, 2014

As Summer Ends, AAMA and Member Company Philanthropy Continue

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While AAMA conferences are widely known for a demanding three-day schedule with a full slate of marketing and technical output, there are frequent opportunities to participate in team-building philanthropy and networking. AAMA's 2014 Fall Conference in Denver, CO, proved this to be true, as we heard from many members who have been busy donating their time and resources to make positive changes around them.

September 24, 2014

Chris Magnuson, SSGC First Vice President, Discusses Importance of Product Evolution in Fenestration

Chris Magnuson has worked at WASCO since 1978. In today's post, he talks about his career in the industry as well as what he believes the future holds for fenestration products.

September 23, 2014

Coming Down from 14,000 Feet

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Another successful AAMA conference is behind us. Denver was good to us, and we had an incredible four days in the mile-high city (both weather- and work-wise). Although we had a lot of fun checking out Red Rocks Amphitheater (complete with some karaoke by AAMA staff and members), there was a lot of work being done by those in attendance; AAMA documents were the center of attention.

September 12, 2014

Benefits Series – AAMA Label and Logo Use

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Last month I talked about AAMA's code initiatives and how that information prepares our members for ever-changing product performance requirements. But even high-quality, code-compliant products don't sell themselves. Leverage your AAMA certification and membership by promoting them in all of your company and product marketing. All it takes is a little paperwork.

September 5, 2014

Creating and Maintaining a Successful Blog

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If you've ever thought about starting a blog but aren't sure where to begin, you're not alone. There are blogs dedicated solely to blogging, about starting your blog, maintaining it and building an audience. Some things do need to happen before you start posting to a large audience, so I've compiled a to-do list to get you started.

August 29, 2014

Matt Taylor, Product Manager, Talks about Taking on Multiple Roles

Matt Taylor has been with HOPPE North America for eight years and has a background in Mechanical Engineering. Today he talks about wearing many hats in his role as a Product Manager.

August 25, 2014

Richard Slomko, Testing Services Division Director, Shares Learned Advice

Richard Slomko (Atlas Material Testing Technology) has been at Atlas for 17 years. Today he talks about the best career advice he ever got, and why company growth is so important.

August 22, 2014

Attending Sapa Profile Academy

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The Sapa Profile Academy is a two-day learning and networking forum that is growing in popularity and covers a very wide range of market segments for aluminum extrusion applications. The event centers around aluminum principles, tooling designs, current applications and the latest technologies. I had the privilege of attending and speaking at the Academy held in Portland, OR in early August.

August 15, 2014

No Summer Vacation for AAMA Standards

Last month you got to know AAMA's Technical Services Assistant, Tamara Davis, a little better. Tamara gave you a wrap-up of the standards that had been published in the first half of this year, all with her wit shining through. Tamara's spunky attitude and constant enthusiasm help to keep our standards moving forward, and allow us to have fun while doing it.

August 8, 2014

Benefits Series - Building and Energy Code Resources

Hello to all of the Member Edge blog readers! It's great to be back in the saddle following what was a wonderful and fulfilling maternity leave with my sweet little Emilia 'Mila' James. It's been a bit tricky shifting my brain from diapers, sleep schedules and feedings to fenestration, conference calls and project deadlines, but it is refreshing to get back to adult conversations (although I'm becoming quite fluent in baby babble).

August 1, 2014

Shoot and Edit Video Like a Pro

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In the recent AAMA Online webinar series, I touched on using photos and videos to tell a story. Even if you don't already use video, it can be easier to pick up than you'd think -- and fun! I'd like to share some video production tips with you for how to create quality projects on a budget.

August 1, 2014

Bring Your Child to Work Day Transforms AAMA Office

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This year, AAMA held its first-ever "Bring Your Child To Work Day" on Wednesday, July 9. There were crafts and games for the more than a dozen kids who came to spend the day at AAMA, as well as snacks, a movie viewing and a magician.

July 25, 2014

2014 AIA Convention Recap

I had the pleasure in late June of attending our first American Institute of Architects (AIA) convention, which was held in Chicago. The initial impression of the AIA convention is that of a mini-International Builders Show with a greater emphasis on the commercial market.

July 18, 2014

Meet Tamara Davis, AAMA's Technical Services Assistant

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I am glad for this opportunity to personally introduce myself. My name is Tamara Davis, your Southern Belle/guest blogger. I have been AAMA's Technical Services Assistant for two years. My primary functions deal with the ins and outs of both the technical and certification departments. Technically speaking, I administer all ballots and publish all technical documents. As for certification, I maintain the records of AAMA program licensees and invoicing for these programs.

July 14, 2014

Benefits Series - AAMA Keeps Close Tabs on the Industry

During Janice's maternity leave, there have been several guest bloggers. I wish that I could say that this will be the best or most exciting, but one thing that I can say for certain is that Janice will be back writing this next month, cute baby and all. In last month’s “Member Edge” post, Maureen wrote all about the legislative and regulatory activities that AAMA follows for our members and how there is a regular LinkedIn presence for these issues.

July 3, 2014

Best Practices for Small Businesses

AAMA represents companies both large and small. However, we understand that small businesses face different challenges. Small businesses might struggle at times to get their name and brand out there in the same way larger ones do, or they may not have the financial resources to devote toward marketing themselves online. Luckily, social media can be an inexpensive, and often free, marketing platform, and an absolutely essential one.

June 27, 2014

What Is It Going To Take To Break Free?

For the last two years, sustainable, substantial growth has been held back by a whole host of factors: Growth is sluggish; uneven; and not consistent across the country or different housing types (is it ever?). According to the National Association of Home Builders, single family housing permits remain at only 43 percent of their last normal market in the early 2000s. NAHB also reports that the pending homes sales index is down 14 percent from over a year ago.

June 24, 2014

Brent Slaton, National Sales Coordinator, Says Knowledge is Power

Brent Slaton (Keymark) has nearly 30 years of industry experience. He talks today about the value of AAMA membership, the importance of integrity and why those who are able should share their experience with those new to the industry.

June 20, 2014

And One More for the Road

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This month's blog is one that I've been working on for the past two months. Although my blog posts are always about standards and AAMA programs, I'm going to take a month off to instead go a different route. Next month I'll get back to the AAMA standards that you should be paying attention to (including the newly updated and released AAMA TIR A9-14 and 10 AAMA documents approved for publication at the AAMA Summer Conference).

June 13, 2014

Benefits Series - Legislative and Regulatory Issues in Fenestration - A Whole Different Ball Game

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To those of you who have attended a Regulatory Affairs Committee meeting during an AAMA Conference, you are familiar with both the multitude of legislative and regulatory issues that impact the fenestration industry each year and my need for Toastmasters' classes - but that's a blog for another day.

June 9, 2014

Why PTDs Matter

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At the 2014 AAMA Summer Conference, attendees heard an interesting presentation by William Freeman of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute about PTDs. For those of you unaware of the acronym, you may wonder: What's a PTD?

June 6, 2014

Comparing Social Media Management Systems

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Last month I shared 10 tips for how to write engaging Facebook posts. One of those talked about frequency, and how spacing out posts is important. Luckily, several (free!) tools exist to help you do this very thing.

May 9, 2014

Benefits Series - AAMA Product Certification, Graduation Season is Year-Round

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For some, May signals the end of the school year. Attending class is not only a time for development but also for tests. Testing assures that performance standards are being met, and result in a certificate of completion, or a diploma.

May 2, 2014

10 Tips for Writing High-Quality, Engaging Facebook Posts

Social media is intended to be participatory. Don't just stand on your soapbox and shout into the ether - get comments and likes by creating Facebook posts your followers will feel compelled to share with their friends. See my tips on how to make this happen.

May 1, 2014

Teri Palmer, Quality Assurance Professional, Takes Pride in Work and High Performance

Teri Palmer works hard to maintain Milgard's AAMA certification in her role in quality assurance. She is proud of the Fiberglass Materials Council's work in new document creation and standards for fiberglass window and door profiles.

May 1, 2014

Steve Strawn, Product Compliance Manager, Sees Future in Energy Efficiency

Steve Strawn (JELD-WEN) has more than 24 years of experience in his field. He is proudly involved in the AAMA Code Action Committee.

April 25, 2014

Was EPA overzealous in its pursuit of Lowe's?

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We've all heard reports of local renovation contractors being fined for various Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) infractions. However, the EPA found an even bigger target this month: home improvement giant, Lowe's Home Centers. Last week, many publications reported on a record-breaking civil penalty of $500,000, aimed at Lowe's, for hiring contractors who allegedly violated the federal RRP rule.

April 21, 2014

First Quarter Down, Three to Go

Well, it's April, which means it's supposed to be sunny and warm, and I should see Peter Cottontail jumping through my yard. However, here in Chicago it snowed last week. I'm plowing forward (apologies for the poor pun) and looking forward to what the remaining three quarters of 2014 have in store for AAMA.

April 14, 2014

Benefits Series - InstallationMasters; Providing Your Customer All They Paid For

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Last month's topic in our Benefits Series was the new AAMA FenestrationMasters program; its structure, organization, and benefits. While this program is rapidly gaining in both recognition and participation, it's actually the most recent of AAMA's professional education and certification programs.

March 31, 2014

The Guru of Economics and Western Region Forecasts

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Dr. Esmael Adibi is a perennial and much anticipated presenter at AAMA events. As the Director of the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research and Anderson Chair of Economic Analysis at Chapman University in Orange, CA, Dr. Adibi has forecasted state, regional and national economic trends with precision accuracy.

March 21, 2014

Making ANSI Work for AAMA

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As many of you may know, AAMA was the first certifier in the fenestration industry to have our certification program accredited by ANSI. We pride ourselves on adhering to some of the most stringent requirements within the accreditation market; ensuring quality and consistency through our programs for our Licensees.

March 14, 2014

Benefits Series - FenestrationMasters, An Education in AAMA Standards

We've been talking the last couple of months about programs available to AAMA members that get our standards into the hands of your employees and your customers. But where can they go to get a better understanding of the content of those standards? The answer is FenestrationMasters.

March 3, 2014

Tracy Rogers, GMC Second Vice President, Stresses the Importance and Dismissal of a Five Year Plan

With early plans for a career in aerospace engineering, Tracy Rogers, Second Vice President of the Glass Material Council, stresses the importance of a five year plan…and the need to throw it out.

March 3, 2014

What You Didn't Know about our Winners

We have great members! Among the best in the industry, we had the opportunity to honor and recognize a few key members and their unique contributions during the AAMA 77th Annual Conference. But, these award winners are more than just hard working association members, they lead colorful lives outside of AAMA committee and task group meetings.

February 26, 2014

Bill Deuschle, AAMA Board Member, Speaks to the Importance and Impact of a Great Mentor

After more than 40 years in the industry, AAMA Board Member, Bill Deuschle, knows the importance and impact of a great mentor and looks back at how his first few years in the industry shaped his future career and AAMA involvement.

February 14, 2014

Benefits Series - AAMA Document Licensing, Getting Technical Information into Your Customers' Hands

Many fenestration companies test their products to AAMA standards and earn various performance ratings based on those tests. They do this because they recognize the integrity of the AAMA performance standard development process, the value of third-party validation and the credibility of the AAMA performance ratings. In many cases, these companies also talk extensively with their customers about the performance standards they comply with and what the testing means.

January 31, 2014

Let's Have Some Competition in Green Rating Systems

The bottom line: As with most types of businesses, we need competition in the marketplace to spur innovation and keep costs down. LEED broke the green certification "ice" and is therefore better known. But there are limitations. Green Globes is at least worth a look as an alternative.

January 24, 2014

Looking Forward to Improvements

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Last month we took a look back at everything AAMA accomplished in 2013 - the documents that had the most influence on AAMA and our members. This month, I would like to look forward to what 2014 has in-store for AAMA. This includes some eagerly anticipated documents that are close to publication, enhancements to how we approve our documents for publication, and how we are looking to reach out to our customers more and better inform you about our standards and their importance within our industry.

January 21, 2014

Benefits Series - AAMA Virtual Library, Employee Access to Standards that Saves Money

The beginning of a new year - resolution time. So my professional resolution for this year is to help introduce members to all of the programs and benefits available to them through their AAMA membership. My objective? To help every member get the most value possible out of their dues investment and to provide a central resource for on-going reference about the programs and services available from AAMA. We'll kick off 2014 with an in-depth look at the AAMA Virtual Library program.

January 3, 2014

Economic Uncertainty Continues

In his recent Trade Secrets guest blog post - Industry Forecast for 2014, Michael Collins presented a generally upbeat prognostication for both the commercial and residential markets. As has become commonplace and more influential in recent years, federal government inaction and interference are lurking in the shadows.

December 27, 2013

AAMA Growth in 2013 Strengthens Member Opportunities

What a wonderful year of growth AAMA has seen in 2013 with the addition of 23 new corporate members and 41 new professional and technical consultant members. With that growth comes enhanced opportunities for all members through increased access to potential customers and/or suppliers, greater exposure to the expertise of a broader cross-section of the industry and strengthened influence on critical issues impacting fenestration companies.

December 20, 2013

Building Standards: Looking Back

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Everyone has traditions for the Thanksgiving to New Year time period. Some insist on pulling the turkey's wishbone; others insist on opening one present on Christmas Eve; another tradition is having black-eyed peas during New Years Day for good luck. One tradition in the Rhodes household is to look back on the year and recognize what we as a family accomplished. For us, this would include purchasing a new home and all the trials and tribulations that come along with that.

December 16, 2013

Industry Forecast for 2014

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This is the time of year when our thoughts turn to predictions for the industry in the year ahead. When the country faces its next fiscal cliff this February or March, the previous debt crisis will be nearly five months past. In order to bring the debate over fiscal policy back to the forefront, it is likely that both sides will again dig into their positions on the debt ceiling and various funding policies, creating another shutdown scenario.

November 26, 2013

A Time for Giving Thanks

As 2013 draws to a close and the Thanksgiving season is upon us, now is a good time as any to give thanks for those--both past and present--who have significantly influenced my life over the years.

November 22, 2013

Stop! Collaborate and Listen!

We here at AAMA like to tout that we are the source of performance standards, product certification and educational programs for the window, door and skylight industry. And while our members certainly have enough knowledge about our industry to fill the entirety of Soldier Field (GO BEARS!), we know that industry collaboration something that can benefit our entire association.

November 15, 2013

Fenestration Day Solidifies Importance of AAMA Membership and Certification

Halloween was not only a day for tricks and treats, but it was also a day for fenestration!

Fenestration Day 2013 in conjunction with the Glass Expo Midwest kicked off near the AAMA office in Schaumburg, IL, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, October 31. When I say nearby, it was just about five minutes away, so it was really convenient for a few of us to go over and check it out. The staff entourage included Lori Benshoof and Sam Sinkhorn from AAMA’s marketing team.

November 7, 2013

Best Music Streaming Services

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In 1999, Napster was founded as a pioneering peer-to-peer file sharing Internet service that emphasized sharing music, encoded in MP3 format, thereby changing the way we listen to music forever. Although Napster ran into legal difficulties over copyright infringement (oops!), the company unknowingly started a music revolution that would soon lead to the decline of CD sales everywhere.

October 30, 2013

My Fenestration Australia Experience

Earlier this month, I had the tremendous experience of traveling to the land Down Under to attend and present at Fenestration Australia, October 3-5, in Canberra. Fenestration Australia brings together more than 350 delegates from the entire Australian fenestration industry value chain to network and address key market issues, and is organized by not just one, but four of the most prominent industry associations.

October 25, 2013

Visiting Charm City

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With only a little more than two months left in the year, AAMA staff is getting ready for our National Fall Conference. This year it's being held in Baltimore, MD, and (because of D.C.'s close proximity) we're excited about the different governmental speakers we will have for those in attendance, including Karma Sawyer from the DOE and Doug Anderson from the EPA.

October 23, 2013

Trick-or-Tweet! How to Keep Your Social Media Account Safe from Hackers

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Ghosts. Gobblins. Ghouls. Hackers. Wait, what was that last one? Although they don't fit in with the traditional Halloween theme, hackers can be very scary to deal with--even scarier than this. Fortunately, keeping your social media accounts safe from these Internet bullies isn't a difficult task, so take a break from listening to Thriller on repeat (I know, it's so catchy!) and follow some of the tips.

October 22, 2013

Fenestration Featured During Solar Decathlon

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Thankfully, the government shutdown didn't affect this year's Solar Decathlon in Irvine, CA, as sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Students work for two years on homes that are less than 1,000 square feet to showcase innovative ways to reduce energy consumption.

October 18, 2013

Economic Recovery Increases Demand for Qualified Labor

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As I mentioned in last month's blog post, the GlassBuild America Show exhibited a refreshing optimism about the continued recovery of the fenestration industry. With this upward trend comes an increasing need among manufacturing companies for qualified labor to handle the increased production volume. So what can manufacturing companies do?

September 30, 2013

The Keystone Pipeline, a Means to Energy Stability and Job Growth

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Every day, the U.S. consumes 15 million barrels of oil of which 60 percent is internationally imported, causing the U.S. to be the top oil importer in the world. But, as instability occurs in key oil-producing countries (see "The 2011 Oil Shock"), the oil market becomes volatile and U.S. security is undermined.

September 27, 2013

Coatings Aren't Just for Candy

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AAMA is well-known throughout the industry as a leader in window, door and skylight standards. Whether the document is focused on testing, procedure or installation, AAMA has been recognized as a leader.

However, AAMA has also become a force in the way of supplier standards (i.e., hardware, sealant, weatherstripping, coatings). Our suppliers help to make sure that our manufacturers are able to produce products that are not only functional but aesthetically pleasing as well.

September 20, 2013

GlassBuild America, Optimistic and Interactive

The GlassBuild America Show, hosted by NGA and co-sponsored by AAMA, IGMA, GANA and BEMA, took place September 10-12 in Atlanta, GA. By all accounts, show traffic was steady and included key decision-makers and valuable contacts. Many AAMA members exhibited during the show and reported an overall optimistic sense to the event and a great ROI.

August 29, 2013

Test Your Fenestration Knowledge during GlassBuild

Last year at GlassBuild America, AAMA announced the launch of a new online platform for our FenestrationMasters program, making education and professional certification available to anyone with an Internet connection. Now, just a year later, AAMA is excited to announce the completion of the FenestrationMasters curriculum with the availability of the professional certification exams--the last step in the development of the program.

August 20, 2013

Getting Ready for GlassBuild

GlassBuild America hosts its 11th annual conference, September 10-12 in Atlanta. GA. I'm proud to say I've attended all 11 years. Like slipping into a comfortable pair of shoes, I know my route from the airport on MARTA to the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC).

August 16, 2013

Broaden Your Fenestration Industry Knowledge with AAMA Membership

As an AAMA member, you have access to significant discounts on a variety of programs and services offered by the association. One of the newest and most exciting programs is the FenestrationMasters professional training and certification program. The content of this program covers the majority of AAMA's technical documents and standards, and with two levels of participation available--Master and Associate--you can choose the amount of detail that's right for you.

August 2, 2013

How Searchable is Your Business? Registering your business on Google Places

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When local residents search for terms related to your business, you want your business to show up as one of the top results. Fortunately, it's easy to make this happen when you register your business in the section of Google called Google Places. You don't even need a web page for your company to show up in the results (crazy, right?). Google will simply show your company's name, address and phone number. Best of all, there is no cost to have your business registered with Google.

July 31, 2013

The Cost of Energy Efficiency

According to the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) latest consumer survey, home buyers do care about energy efficiency and are willing to pay for it. From a list of 120 different home features, the most popular (rated essential or desirable by the most buyers) was ENERGY STAR rated appliances, and the third most popular was an ENERGY STAR rating for the whole home. In the section on windows, the three most popular features all had to do with energy efficiency.

July 30, 2013

Allan Hite, FMC Second Vice President, Says AAMA Has Been Integral in the Growth of Comfort Line

Fiberglass Material Council Second Vice President, Allan Hite (Comfort Line), has been in the fenestration industry for the last 18 years. He recently shared with me who has been his biggest inspiration in his career, as well as advice to those who may be on the fence about becoming an AAMA member.

July 26, 2013

We Are Family

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In preparation for this blog post, I've read through my previous posts. While most of the posts have been beneficial to the majority of the market, I have been remiss in one area--I've neglected to tell you who we are. The AAMA team that helps to create/maintain our standards. The AAMA Technical Department.

July 19, 2013

What the AAMA Members Only Website Offers You

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As an AAMA member, you have exclusive access to the Members Only area of our website. The goal is to provide valuable information to you that you can access at anytime with your member login. I've broken down some key items that you have access to as an AAMA Member.

July 16, 2013

Top Five Extensions for Google Chrome

Mashable recently posted an article titled, "11 Chrome Extensions to Improve Your Social Media Experience," which made me realize how much I underutilize Google Chrome extensions. Extensions are extra features and functionality that you can easily add to Google Chrome. By using extensions, you can customize Google Chrome with features you like, while keeping your browser free of extra tabs that you don't need.

June 28, 2013

Daylighting's Positive Attributes Extend Beyond Energy Conservation

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Evidence continues to mount regarding the positive psychological and physiological effects of daylighting that speak to improvements in business productivity, improved educational and healthcare outcomes, as well as retail success. Additionally, many building owners increasingly look to daylighting to provide natural interior illumination, while saving money on energy costs and reducing a building’s impact on the environment.

June 28, 2013

Sweet Home Chicago

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AAMA held its annual Summer Conference the week of June 10, here in the Chicago area. Along with a successful outing to the Chicago Cubs game (Cubs won--go Cubbies!) and evening receptions, much work was done by all attendees.

June 27, 2013

Joe Hums, VMC Second Vice President, Underscores the Importance of AAMA Involvement

I recently had the chance to speak with Joe Hums (Quanex), Vinyl Material Council Second Vice President, regarding his professional background and his work with AAMA's VMC Marketing Committee.

June 21, 2013

Maximizing Product Performance with Proper Installation

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It's summer in Chicago, and things are heating up outside…at least on some days. With the nice weather comes increased home remodeling projects including window, door and skylight replacement. These types of home improvements can yield improved aesthetics as well as energy savings. But, as the well-known saying in the fenestration industry goes, even the best performing product is only as good as its installation.

June 18, 2013

Review of Market Recovery Data

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Building industry recovery is finally palpable enough to silence even the most cynical industry commentators. In the midst of an ongoing recovery, though, it is sometimes difficult to sort through the multitude of industry information that can be gathered with just a few internet searches. There are several key areas that deserve attention as the economy and the building industry continue to trek toward greater prosperity.

June 5, 2013

Robb Plagemann, FMC First Vice President, Shares His Goals on Advancing the Fenestration Industry

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Robb Plagemann (Tecton Products), FMC First Vice President, about his industry experiences, professional influences and the advice he would give to new AAMA members.

June 4, 2013

Home Remodeling Made Easy with These Apps

Last month was National Home Remodeling Month, and while I'm just an apartment renter, a girl can still dream of new walk-in closets, a freshly painted living room and a kitchen big enough for more than just herself, even if remodeling isn't feasible for months (or, in my case, years) down the road. There are tons of apps available that can help you build--or rebuild--your dream home, and you won't even have to get up off that couch you've been meaning to replace.

May 31, 2013

AAMA's Regional Meetings Provide Education and Networking for Nearly Three Decades

AAMA has been hosting meetings for our Southeast Region and Western Region members since the mid-1980s. Whether it was the Southeast Region Meeting in 1988 in Miami, FL, or the Western Region Spring Summit in 2013 in Tempe, AZ, these meetings have always been an excellent opportunity for our members to come together to discuss topics of specific interest to window producers and suppliers operating in the states in those two regions.

May 29, 2013

Remodeling Isn't So Scary (Thanks to AAMA)

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My husband and I recently purchased our first single-family house. (You're welcome for helping to stimulate the economy.) We've always been in townhomes in the past and really unable to "change" the place we're living in due to Home Owner Association rules and restrictions. However, with this new (very costly) acquisition, we are excited to be able to make this house truly our own.

May 28, 2013

Kelly Broker, WIC Second Vice President, Brings Her Technical Expertise to AAMA Document Development

This month, I spoke with Wall Interface Council Second Vice President, Kelly Broker (Dow Corning Corporation), about how the fenestration industry can work together to become more successful, as well as her accomplishments with the association.

May 21, 2013

AIA National Convention Social Media Preparations

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention (June 20-22 in Denver, CO,) follows the AAMA Summer Conference this year. The AIA Convention is later than usual, which means I should be better prepared to participate in the multitude of social media conversations taking place. I can't be everywhere at once, so here's how I've strategically focused my efforts.

May 17, 2013

Leveraging Your AAMA Certification

Members who certify their window, door and skylight products through AAMA's Certification Program have the distinct advantage of access to program discounts and, even more importantly, participation in setting the standards on which the Certification Program and International Code Council (ICC) building codes are based. But, beyond that, there are a number of marketplace advantages to utilizing the AAMA Certification Program.

May 10, 2013

More Than a Gold Label

This year, AAMA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of their Gold Label Certification. Highly recognized, the Gold Label is a go-to resource for code enforcement, architects, builders, many manufacturers and even consumers. This simple, permanent label verifies performance requirements for the product and even provides manufacturer identification should parts or service be needed.

May 7, 2013

Six Apps and Sites for Digital Spring Cleaning

Let's face it; our digital lives can become just as cluttered as a kitchen junk drawer. Think of all the time we could save if we didn't have to sort through hundreds of emails looking for our credit card bill, or the work we could finish if our computers weren't bogged down by unnecessary files. Spring is the perfect time to clear out the clutter and develop a routine to help keep your digital life out of disarray.

May 3, 2013

Earth Day and Environmental Conversations Blossom through Twitter

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On April 22, we celebrated the 43rd annual Earth Day. The founder of this event, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, struggled early in his political career to gain support for such health and environmental initiatives as conserving forested lands and banning DDT. After seeing devastation caused by the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA, he sought a new method to inform the public about the dangers of water and air pollution.

April 30, 2013

Dick Kreidel, Door Council First Vice President, Gives Advice to Prospective AAMA Members

This month, I had the opportunity to speak with Dick Kreidel (ASSA ABLOY), Door Council First Vice President, about his industry experiences and the advice he would give to prospective AAMA members.

April 30, 2013

AAMA's Day of Service at World Vision

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Last week, the entire AAMA staff had the unique experience of participating in a day of service at World Vision's Chicago office. This team building event coincides with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of AAMA's Gold Label Certification Program. We were honored to share the occasion of this milestone with an organization that is also in the business of building—building a better world for children.

April 26, 2013

Certification and Standards Go Hand-in-Hand

"It’s a nontrivial process to supply certification…" - Larry Ellison (Oracle Corp.)

AAMA is much more than just a standards-writing organization; we put the standards we create to good use by utilizing them in the many different parts of the AAMA Certification Program. These programs encompass the following elements: fenestration manufacturing, components, profiles and labs.

April 9, 2013

Seven Lesser-Known YouTube Tricks

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More than 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube, and nearly 72 hours of videos are uploaded every minute. With statistics like this, it's good to familiarize yourself with some of the YouTube tricks below to help you navigate some of the site's features.

April 5, 2013

Five Social Media Blogs You Should Read

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In trying to come up with ideas for potential blog posts, I often find myself scouring the Internet for different social media blogs to see what everyone else is writing about. (After all, why reinvent the wheel?) I think it's important to seek out social media info from a variety of sources, so I thought I'd share my top five favorite social media blogs, so you can start following them today.

April 2, 2013

Six Ways to Like and Share AAMA's Scholarship Program on Facebook

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Last week, AAMA launched a Facebook page for both our Scholarship Program and Partner Program. This page will be a resource for AAMA members and prospective applicants to receive exclusive information regarding both programs. AAMA members are encouraged to like our Facebook page and share our information on their companies' social media channels.

March 28, 2013

The Impact of ENERGY STAR Version 6.0

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It's not news that the state of our economy and industry are fragile, as we continue a slow recovery from the global economic decline that began in 2007. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Great Recession ended in 2009, but we are still suffering from the aftershock nearly four years later.

March 28, 2013

Bob Simon, WCCMC First Vice President, Discusses His 14-Year Tenure with AAMA

Last year, Bob Simon, Wood and Cellulosic Composite Material Council First Vice President, celebrated his 50th anniversary at Gossen Corporation. I recently had the opportunity to discuss his accomplishments during his 14-year tenure with AAMA.

March 26, 2013

The Role of Private Equity in U.S. Growth

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In the elections last fall, the perception of private equity funds took quite a beating in the minds of most Americans. Terms like "carried interest" were lobbed about as if they were an inherently negative thing, rather than simply the name for an agreed upon compensation structure for private equity funds. Private equity investors were portrayed as rich fat cats that become wealthy by exporting jobs to China and then hiding their funds in offshore accounts.

March 22, 2013

One Vote at a Time

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As a consensus organization, one of the founding principles AAMA believes in is making sure that all of our documents are processed through the correct channels and that all of our members (and outside public) have a chance to participate in the creation of said documents. One key step is balloting.

March 19, 2013

When Traveling, Don't Forget to Pack These Apps

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For those of you who are constantly on the go, whether it's to AAMA conferences, meeting with customers or just personal travel, it can sometimes be unnecessarily stressful: What time is my flight? Should I rent a car or take a cab? Where is my hotel located? These are all questions that have us scrambling for our printed itineraries or searching through our junk mail. But it doesn't have to be this way. Here are five apps you should download to help make life a little easier.

March 15, 2013

Supporting Education through Scholarship Awards

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In 2001, AAMA announced the launch of our annual Scholarship Program in support of education to create a strong candidate pool of future fenestration industry employees. The program offers a $2,000 one-time award and is available to children of member company employees in good standing. Scholarship applicants are required to be high school or current college students planning to pursue studies in engineering or a technical degree field.

March 12, 2013

Facebook's New Look for News Feed

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Last week, Facebook announced its first major News Feed overhaul since the feature launched seven years ago. The overhaul includes three major updates: the option of more customizable feeds, larger photos and mobile consistency. Although I'm currently on the "waitlist" for the Facebook's updated News Feed, I've detailed the changes, and why I think they are a good move for the social networking site.

March 11, 2013

The Repercussions of Overspending

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Seventy-nine. That's the number of times Congress has acted to either raise, extend or alter the definition of the U.S. debit limit since 1960--the most recent occurring in August 2011. As an attempt to resolve yet another debt-ceiling crisis, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, which increased the debt limit to more than $16 trillion. But this was merely a Band-Aid on a serious wound.

March 1, 2013

The Importance of Networking Both On and Offline

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Yahoo's recent decision to get rid of working from home got me thinking about the balance between in-person and digital communication. As you would assume, I'm a huge proponent of all things digital, and I am infamous for ignoring phone calls from friends just so I can respond back to them via text message. Clearly, this isn't a best practice for establishing professional contacts.

February 28, 2013

Paul Bush, GMC First Vice President, Discusses His Proudest Accomplishments as an AAMA Member

Glass Material Council First Vice President, Paul Bush (PPG Industries), has been in the fenestration industry for the last 27 years. He recently spoke with me about his accomplishments within AAMA, as well as his predictions for the future of our industry.

February 28, 2013

AAMA Members Focus on Collaboration and Innovation

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Thank you to our members and guests who joined us in commemorating our 76th anniversary at the Annual Conference in Tucson, AZ. Every year, this conference allows us to honor our members' contributions and commitment to the success of the industry.

February 22, 2013

Five or More Heads Are Better Than One

February is always a fun time of year for me as an AAMA staffer. Not only is this the month where I "celebrate" turning one year older, but it's the month when AAMA staff gets to take a break from the slush, gray sky and 15 degree weather that is the Chicago winter, and head to somewhere that combines the sun with great discussion about standards, codes and the fenestration industry.

February 22, 2013

AAMA Annual Conference Preview

The AAMA 76th Annual Conference is right around the corner (February 24-27) and offers members who attend an excellent forum for networking with peers, customers and suppliers, as well as for learning about new developments within the industry and AAMA. Like all AAMA national conferences (of which there are three every year), this one will deliver a great line-up of sessions and social events.

February 19, 2013

How to Use Twitter Lists

Connecting with someone on Twitter is literally as easy as clicking a button (which means you should be following AAMA--no excuses), but with more than 500 million Twitter accounts, you run the risk of actually following too many people. Twitter lists are an easy way to group your followers so you never miss a tweet.

February 15, 2013

Kevin Seiling, VMC First Vice President Shares his Accomplishments as an AAMA Member

In February, I talked with Kevin Seiling (VEKA), VMC First Vice President. He discussed with me his proudest accomplishments as an AAMA member, as well as his experience in the fenestration industry.

February 12, 2013

Five Ways to Ward off Social Media Hackers

At the beginning of the month, I offered suggestions on how to wade through a social network's privacy policy to become aware of your rights as a social media user. Unfortunately, this isn't the only necessary step in maintaining the ownership and safety of your accounts.

February 8, 2013

Prepare for the Regulatory Firestorm

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In my blog post last month, I discussed the continuous growth of the housing market, despite the 112th Congress being the least productive since 1948, enacting the fewest laws, considering the fewest bills and holding the lowest number of formal negotiations. But heading into the next few years, government inaction may be the least of our worries.

February 1, 2013

Protecting Your Privacy on Social Media

In mid-December, Instagram, an online photo-sharing and social media service, released new Terms of Service that sent users into an uproar. The company's Terms of Service (which has since be re-released) included language that insinuated Instagram owned the rights to their users' photos, thus giving them permission to use photos in advertisements without obtaining permission from the owner.

January 29, 2013

How to Talk the Talk

There is no doubt that both the Internet and social media have changed the way we communicate. Instead of snail mail, we email. Instead of phone calls, we Skype call. We text, follow, friend, poke, Gchat, BBM, iMessage, favorite, like, connect and subscribe--all as a means of communicating. Digesting social media lingo is arguably one of the hardest tasks for a social media beginner, and if you can't understand the dialogue, then how can you join in the conversation?

January 25, 2013

Chris Habegger, WIC First Vice President, Predicts Growth and Improved Productivity for Industry

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Chris Habegger (Gaska Tape), WIC First Vice President, about his industry experiences, the future of the fenestration industry and his work as an AAMA member.

January 22, 2013

10 Social Media Apps for Mobile Devices

Is managing your social media accounts overwhelming? Do you not have time for social networking because you're always on the go? Well, there's an app for that. Here are 10 (free!) social media applications that can make your social media life a little easier.

January 18, 2013

The Value of an AAMA Membership

The beginning of a new year is a natural time for some retrospective evaluation. As the economy continues to make its slow recovery, many fenestration companies are faced every day with decisions about cutting costs. It is especially at times like this that it's important to be reminded of the value of the membership dues paid every year to maintain participation in AAMA.

January 15, 2013

The Do's and Don'ts of Selecting a Profile Picture

Selecting appropriate profile pictures for your social media accounts can be difficult, especially for those of us who are camera shy. Even though we may be our own worst critics, the following tips should help you select a photo that's applicable across all social media platforms.

January 11, 2013

Despite Congressional Inaction, Housing Growth Stays Its Course

After more than a year of congressional stalemate, and a day late, lawmakers passed legislation to push us back from the edge of the fiscal cliff on January 1, a plummet that would have severely limited manufacturers' abilities to grow their businesses, hire and innovate.

January 8, 2013

Five Tips on Using Twitter Hashtags

Just in 2012, 175 million tweets were sent from Twitter every day. Now that's quite a bit of information to sift through, let alone digest. To help us filter information that we deem most important, Twitter (along with Google+, Instagram and Pinterest) makes use of hashtags. Using the "#" sign before a word transforms it into an easily searchable topic within the Twittersphere. Below are five must-knows about using Twitter hashtags.

January 4, 2013

LinkedIn Gets a Facelift

You may have noticed recently that your LinkedIn profile looks slightly different, as the company began rolling out, what they are calling, their next generation profile in mid October.

December 21, 2012

Kathy Krafka Harkema, FMC Marketing Committee Chair, Discusses Her Involvement in AAMA

In December, I talked with Kathy Krafka Harkema (Pella), Chair of the FMC Marketing Committee, to learn about her work experience and get her take on the future of the fenestration industry.

December 14, 2012

Social Media Year in Review

In 2012, AAMA has made strides to enhance our online communications, cultivate stronger relationships with our members and expand our reach across the industry, all by the way of social media.

December 14, 2012

Val Brushaber, Door Council Second Vice President, Gives Advice on Membership

I recently had the chance to speak with Val Brushaber (Hurd Windows & Doors), Door Council Second Vice President. With 32 years in the fenestration industry and 17 years as an AAMA member, Val provides insight on the future of the door market, as well as valuable advice to potential AAMA members.

December 14, 2012

The Importance of Vacation

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Because no one wants to feel like they are working for the weekend, vacation time, whether you stay close to home or visit your favorite hiking destinations, is essential to our overall well-being and helps us rekindle our passion for what we do in our professional lives.

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