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.
November 26, 2013
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
February 8, 2013
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
December 14, 2012
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
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.