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.

January 13, 2017

Get a crash course in Fundamentals of Fenestration

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In case you haven't heard yet, Fundamentals of Fenestration is AAMA's latest educational offering -- and we are pretty excited about it! The one-hour online course provides an introductory look at the fenestration industry. It takes you through basic terminology and standards for windows, doors and skylights, covering both residential and light commercial products, as well as commercial and architectural applications.

January 6, 2017

New Year to Bring New Look for AAMA e-News

It's a new year, and the perfect time for AAMA to begin rolling out some new, updated looks for its publications, like the monthly-released AAMA e-News. You'll see a new layout for this popular digest soon, timed with the release of the brand-new AAMA website. Those attending the AAMA 80th Annual Conference next month will get a sneak peek at the website's new look, but for now, here's what you can expect for the updated AAMA e-News.

December 23, 2016

What I Learned About the EPA in 2016

AAMA Certification Manager Jason Seals told me I would be "drinking from the fire hose" during my first year at AAMA. He was right. However, I have had inspired and patient AAMA members and staff to help me absorb the avalanche of information. EPA activity was and continues to be a major contributor to my regulatory learning curve.

December 9, 2016

Get Trained on Social Media on the Spot at the Annual Conference or Anytime

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Did you know AAMA offers in-person and online trainings in social media? If you're attending the Annual Conference in Phoenix this February, you can take advantage of an upcoming in-person opportunity. Registration for the conference is now open, with early bird pricing running until January. And if you won't be attending, we can set up a call together anytime that is best for you. As AAMA's Communications Coordinator, I'm always available for social media consulting for your business.

December 2, 2016

Plan Ahead Now for End-of-the-Year Social Media Content

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As 2016 winds down, it's time to begin planning for the year to come. You may have your budget plans in order and your vacation time planned, but have you given your social media presence the attention it deserves? If not, here are some ideas for content you can create and share, as well as some tips for how to make sure your social media plans get off on the right foot come January. Take a look to set up yourself, and your company's marketing strategy, for a more successful 2017.

November 23, 2016

New Year Sees Increased Benefits for AAMA Members

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Here at AAMA, we are grateful to our amazing membership for their valued service and drive to better the association as a whole. As an industry, we've all seen highs and lows in the last decade, but the pace and volume of members work intensified.

November 11, 2016

Celebrating with AAMA Members at GlassBuild

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When asked what I love most about my job (and there's a lot), I always respond, "AAMA has the best members!" These amazing industry representatives strive to make a positive impact on our industry, and that was never more evident than at GlassBuild America last month. With a wide spectrum of beautiful receptions, incredible displays and continuing education, I'd like to extend a few shout-outs to just a few of the amazing members, who really made the most of this popular annual event.

November 4, 2016

Use Video Online to Engage with Your Audience

Video use on social media can be a great way to let your followers in on something special, whether it's a live event, a conference or even an unveiling of a cool new thing your company is doing. And, there are a lot of options to help you make it happen. Here's a quick rundown of what (free!) tools are out there for you and your company's video needs.

October 28, 2016

GlassBuild Brings Engagement, Excitement and Equipment to Vegas

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The AAMA team had a great experience at GlassBuild America last week in Las Vegas. The energy on the show floor was a temperature gauge for the industry at large, and it wasn't just the desert sun heating things up. There were a few trends of particular note for the three days of the show - engagement, excitement and equipment...lots of equipment.

October 14, 2016

AAMA Value Extends Beyond Card-Carrying Membership

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Milgard benefitted from AAMA involvement long before I became an active member. Starting out as an aluminum window company in 1962, Milgard has been an AAMA member for more than 50 years. We've been participating as both a member and an AAMA certification licensee for a very long time, and the value AAMA brings to our company and the industry only continues to grow.

October 7, 2016

Members Share Southern Charm on Social Media at Fall #AAMAconf

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Were you at the AAMA Fall Conference last month in Savannah, GA? If you missed out, you can still see what participants were up to down south by searching the hashtag #AAMAconf on Twitter and Instagram. From the river boat cruise and the product supplier display to the World Vision backpack build and opening general session, see what happened at the third and final national AAMA event of 2016.

September 23, 2016

JDMG Uses Teamwork to Maintain and Update the North American Fenestration Standard

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This summer, I had the opportunity to attend an in-person meeting with the members of the Joint Document Management Group (JDMG), a unique group made up of representatives from three different industry associations. The JDMG is comprised of members affiliated with AAMA, the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The group was created in order to update and maintain the North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS).

September 9, 2016

Our Education Focus Never Stops during GlassBuild

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With autumn's cooler weather, we get to enjoy pumpkin spice lattes, falling leaves and GlassBuild America! AAMA is looking forward to a great show this year. We'll be presenting an Express Learning session, sponsoring Window & Door Dealer Days and playing "Are You Smarter than a FenestrationMaster?" Our team might even need one of those lattes with an extra shot of espresso to keep up.

September 2, 2016

Download the New GlassBuild America app to Network with More Ease than Ever

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AAMA is no stranger to live event apps, and I'm so glad there's a new app available for GlassBuild America. Intended to support your experience at the much-anticipated industry trade show this fall, the app will make for easier networking in Las Vegas October 19-21.

August 31, 2016

Philip Morton Shares Knowledge From Nearly 40 Years in His Field

Philip Morton, Director of Business Development and Innovation at Deceuninck, offered some historical context to the changes he's seen in the industry across his career, as well as what he anticipates for the future. We sat down with him to talk about PVC extrusions and what advice he'd offer to those new to the industry.

August 29, 2016

Legislation Currently Being Considered Regarding Technical Education

AAMA members know it can be a struggle at times to find skilled workers in today's professional environment. However, there is legislation in the works that could help address this shortage of qualified candidates. At present, a bill called H.R. 5587 is being considered, and its terms could help mitigate this ongoing burden on employers.

August 12, 2016

InstallationMasters Program Overhaul

Back in 2001, AAMA announced the nationwide launch of the InstallationMasters Program, providing training and certification to industry professionals installing windows and glass doors in residential and light commercial construction applications. The program has seen great success since that time with over 11,000 installers achieving certification.

August 5, 2016

Meet Instagram's Timeline Algorithm, Instagram Stories

You may have noticed some changes to Instagram in recent weeks. For starters, lately, Instagram hasn't been so instant. And then this week, the arrival of Instagram Stories had Snapchat users doing a double-take. Let's go over these developments and what they can mean for you and your company.

August 1, 2016

Mark Toth Shares 30 Years of Industry Experience, Gives Advice

Mark Toth, Geographic Sales Manager East for H.B. Fuller, has been in the industry since 1985. He's been involved with AAMA since 1998. Today, he talked to AAMA about what he wishes he'd done at the start of his career and what he sees for the future.

July 29, 2016

AAMA Says No to Unlimited Energy Rating Index (ERI) Trade-Offs in Florida

On Thursday, May 27, 2016 AAMA learned that the Florida Building Commission was considering the immediate adoption of unlimited onsite power generation ERI trade-offs, with no time limits for credit toward the ERI score. The adoption was for the 5th edition of the Florida Building Code (FBC), retroactively, and also to the 6th edition which is currently under development.

July 8, 2016

A Focus on Door Standards and Testing

AAMA is well-known for having broad and active participation by residential and commercial window companies, but the scope of our organization is actually far more expansive than that. The AAMA Door Council is an excellent example of what I'm talking about. It's a very active, but lesser known, segment of the AAMA membership. In the May issue of the AAMA e-news, a couple of articles highlighted recent door-related activities, which have advanced further even in just the last few months.

July 1, 2016

Make the Most of your Company Page on LinkedIn

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You may already be aware of AAMA's LinkedIn groups, which allows members to post and comment on industry news and information. We have one main LinkedIn group for AAMA, which anyone can join, as well as two members only groups: the AAMA Legislative & Regulatory Forum and the AAMA Southeast Region Forum. However, there's also a company page for AAMA, which shows up first in the LinkedIn search results when anyone searches for the association.

June 29, 2016

Elizabeth Cotton, Product Manager, Talks Bright Futures and Good Advice

Kawneer Product Manager of Storefronts, Entrances & Framing, Elizabeth Cotton took some time to speak with AAMA about her career so far, and her life's biggest influencer.

June 24, 2016

Summer Conference Highlights Include EC Glass Info, Cybersecurity Tips

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If you weren't at the AAMA Summer Conference this month in San Antonio, you missed some truly incredible speakers. From Larry Sjelin's keynote address on protecting your business with cybersecurity to Anna Nicholson's presentation on environmental product declarations and product category rules, a wealth of information was shared throughout the week. A presentation in particular that I enjoyed was from Dr. Helen Sanders, on the past, present and future of electrochromic glass.

June 10, 2016

FenestrationMasters - What's New?

While the AAMA FenestrationMasters professional certification program is still fairly new, we've made some updates and improvements to the continuing education program recently that are pretty exciting. Whether you're already certified, currently going through the coursework, or you're considering enrolling your team and taking advantage of our group discount, read on to see what's new with the program.

June 3, 2016

Social Media News Roundup - What’s New with Your Platforms

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Some changes have been happening at your favorite social media channels, including a new look for Instagram, some password advice from LinkedIn and an upcoming change to character limits on Twitter. Let's take a look at what's new in social media this spring.

May 27, 2016

In its 14th Year, 2016 GlassBuild America is Not to be Missed

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GlassBuild America planning is fully underway, and registration for the industry's biggest trade show opened in May. AAMA is once again an event partner, and we are looking forward to visiting Las Vegas once again for the October 19-21 show. Registration is now open to attendees and exhibitors, and because AAMA is a show partner, AAMA exhibiting members receive a discount on booth space.

May 13, 2016

Is Snapchat Right for Your Company?

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I have been thinking about Snapchat lately - the now-you-see-it-now-you-don't app that allows users to create seconds-long "stories" in the form of a video or image. The content disappears once it's been viewed, unlike with Twitter or Instagram, which leave behind a timeline of posts that can be scrolled through at a later date.

May 6, 2016

A Fresh Approach to AAMA Conferences?

I have to admit that I'm very proud to be able to say that consistently the participants at AAMA national conferences comment on how superbly organized and efficiently operated our events are. Our attendance has remained strong, even through the more difficult economic years, and our long-standing success over decades of hosted events is certainly a core part of our association's legacy.

April 29, 2016

Proposed Silica Limits Could Harm Industry

If you've been following the story, you’ll know that recently the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released some new silica exposure standards. Dust generated by silica tends to get a lot of attention in the mining and construction industries, but our own industry could be impacted by the new ruling.

April 22, 2016

Top Five Blogs in 2015, Tips for Engaging Online

AAMA's Marketing Team has been sharing social media tips for over three years via the Socially Speaking blog. Last year, the top five posts were viewed almost 500 times! Due to their popularity, we're sharing these top blogs as a quick way to get the latest and greatest information about engaging online.

April 8, 2016

Fenestration Finishes - Evolving Tests and Requirements

Performance standards for coatings and finishes applied to fenestration products are well-known and extensively used items in the AAMA document library. We offer standards for finishes applied to aluminum, fiberglass, vinyl, wood and cellulosic composite profiles and all of these areas are seeing considerable activity right now.

March 24, 2016

Why Your Customers Need to Know About Window Safety

Spring is here! Now that a milder-than-usual winter has passed, temperatures are beginning to rise again. Soon it will be time to enjoy our homes with our windows open, letting some fresh air in for the first time in a few months. However, it's important to do so safely in order to prevent window falls this spring, and year round.

March 21, 2016

Window Safety Week Approaches, Get in Gear

This year, Window Safety Week will be observed April 3-9, and AAMA wants to help you spread the word to your customers and local media outlets. This event, recognized every year during the first week in April, serves as a reminder of recognizing the importance of window safety and fall prevention year-round. It's designed to heighten the awareness of what parents and caregivers should do to help keep their homes and families safer from the risk of accidental falls or injuries through windows.

March 11, 2016

The Future of AAMA - Annual Strategic Planning

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Though AAMA was originally founded 80 years ago, we have continued to evolve to meet the needs of an ever-changing marketplace. Through the wisdom and guidance of our member leaders and our professional staff, we develop new programs and modify our existing offering to better serve our broad member interests.

February 26, 2016

Western Region Summit Talked Safety First

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If you didn't get a chance to attend the Western Region Summit after the AAMA Annual Conference this month, the name of the game was safety. There's nothing more important in our industry, and we heard from several speakers on how to best implement safety practices for all.

February 12, 2016

Instagram Rolls Out Ability to Use Multiple Accounts Without Logging Out

A big change came with the most recent Instagram app update this week: Now, at last, users can toggle back and forth between multiple accounts, much like they can with the Twitter app. This is something Instagram users have been requesting for a long time, and I'm really excited it's now available. It's especially great timing for me, since I want to be able to easily access the @AAMAinfo Instagram account during the Annual #AAMAconf next week!

February 5, 2016

Comfort - The Key to Selling Energy Efficiency

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For many years, our industry has attempted to calculate payback periods for higher up front investments in more energy-efficient fenestration products. We've attempted to educate the public about U-factors, Solar Heat Gain Coefficients and Visible Transmittance to help them understand how highly energy-efficient products work. But maybe all those calculations and explanations are not as important as we once thought.

January 29, 2016

Annual Conference to Showcase Important Industry Topics

I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming AAMA 79th Annual Conference in February -- a good time of year to visit sunny, Huntington Beach, CA. We have an excellent array of speakers, which include a keynote address about selling across generations that I think will be of interest to all in the industry. And of course, I always look forward to the Annual Banquet, when we recognize and thank some of our best members for their hard work and dedication to the association.

January 26, 2016

John Westerfield, CrystaLite, Foresees Advancement in Glass Technology

John Westerfield, Marketing Media / Web Development / Building Code Compliance Officer for CrystaLite, reflects on a long career, shares his accomplishments and makes plans for a bright future.

January 22, 2016

Networking Through Social Media and the AAMA App

If you're at the AAMA 79th Annual Conference in Huntington Beach, CA, next month, be sure to say hello! I'm attending the three-day event, my first-ever AAMA conference. I'll be the one with lots of curly blonde hair and at least one camera in my hand. Throughout the conference, I will shoot video, take pictures, and (of course) update the AAMA social media accounts with what's happening at the conference.

January 15, 2016

Western Region Spring Summit Focuses on Plant Safety

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The association began hosting the AAMA Manufacturing Safety Forum at the AAMA 2015 National Summer Conference. This new feature is modeled after the long-standing and super successful safety forum that the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) operates. In fact, Marg Webb, IGMA Executive Director, and other key IGMA members have been instrumental in helping AAMA establish this new forum.

December 18, 2015

AAMA Looks Back in 2015, Prepares for a New Year

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2015 was a big year at AAMA, with new staff appointments and new members joining the association. We hope it was a prosperous one for your business, and that the close of 2015 finds you and those near you well. Let's take a look back on what happened with the association in the last 12 months.

December 11, 2015

A Year in Certification, A 2015 Review

As 2015 winds down, we in the AAMA Certification department would like to take some time to reflect. It was a big year for the AAMA Certification Programs. Here's a look at what we did, as we take pause and begin to plan for the year to come in 2016.

December 4, 2015

End-of-Year Tips for Your Marketing Plans

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It's that time of year when we begin planning for the next one. No matter how you did with your New Year's Resolutions from back in January, it's always a good idea to set goals and form ideas for what's to come. Here are some tips for things you can do in December to set up yourself, and your company's marketing strategy, for a more successful 2016.

November 30, 2015

Can a New Clear Solar Panel be a Game Changer?

Up until now, several research teams have been touting nearly clear glass that can also generate solar energy. While promising, these lab products have transparency and efficiency drawbacks – not clear enough and low conversion efficiencies. However, a Michigan State University Research team has emerged with a very promising fully transparent solar cell.

November 24, 2015

Brian Gagne, Tremco, Offers Advice to Those New to the Industry

Brian Gagne serves as a Technical Applications Specialist and Design Engineer at AAMA member, Tremco. Today we sat down to speak with him about what advice he would give to those new to the industry, what he foresees for the future and more.

November 20, 2015

It's Membership Renewal Time - Don't Miss a Beat

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November marks the launch of the membership renewal process. What better time to look back at AAMA's achievements and services provided for our members throughout the year!

November 6, 2015

Use Houzz to Get Your Residential Products Noticed by Consumers

Have you checked out Houzz? It's a visual platform for home renovation and design, and there's a chance your company's products may already be on it. As their About page states, the site intends to serve as "a platform for home remodeling and design, bringing homeowners and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community."

October 23, 2015

AAMA Assists in Industry Publication of New Window Product Category Rule

Along with IGMA, GANA and WDMA, AAMA developed the Window Product Category Rule (PCR), which provides the rules and guidelines for our industry to produce business-to-business (B-to-B) Environmental Product Declarations (EPD). In turn, the EPDs provide for informed and objective sustainable purchasing of windows. This concludes four years of work on the project and serves as an excellent example of teamwork within the industry.

October 16, 2015

Use Social Media at Fall #AAMAconf to be Even More Connected

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Will you be in Cambridge, MD next week for the AAMA 2015 National Fall Conference? If so, don't forget to use your phone or tablet -- between the Fun Facts game in the AAMA app and live updates on Twitter, you won't want to miss anything. Download the AAMA app before you get there Sunday so you can play for the chance to win one of 15 prizes.

October 9, 2015

Making AAMA Resources Accessible to Your Employees

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As our member guest blogs over the summer clearly indicated, there is much value to be gained from active participation as an AAMA member. But we all know that the realities of budgets and time constraints don't allow for entire engineering or marketing teams to travel to association conferences. That's what makes the free AAMA webinar program so indispensible.

September 30, 2015

Congrats to Florence Nicolici for 30 Years of Service at AAMA

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30 years ago, gas cost $1.09 a gallon, the Kansas City Royals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series and the Chicago Bears walloped the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl 46-10. While many things have changed during the last 30 years at AAMA, one thing has remained the same: Florence Nicolici is the most skilled meeting and events planner in all of Chicago.

September 11, 2015

Atlanta, Here We Come - 2015 GlassBuild America Show

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Next week, many of us will be venturing to Atlanta for three days of product innovation and educational programs focused on the fenestration industry at the GlassBuild America Show (September 16-18). Fortunately, the weather forecast seems to indicate that "Hot-lanta" may not quite live up to its moniker - low 80s and low humidity sound like a lovely business trip to me!

September 4, 2015

Let AAMA Get You Going on Social Media

Most business owners are aware that social media is an important step in growing their business and getting more customers, but not all of them are sure of just how to go about it. But did you know AAMA offers one-on-one social media strategy services and consulting? It's another member benefit, so take advantage of it whenever you want. Step by step, I can sit down with you and help you make a plan for getting the most out of social media for you and your business.

September 1, 2015

Patent Trolls- An Industry Crisis, as Told By Expert Chip Gentry, Call and Gentry Law Group

Every once in a while the stars align, and I'm able to pop out of the office to attend an industry event. This is a welcome break from my regular routine and a great opportunity to learn what's new in the industry. During Fenestration Day this past spring, I learned that there is an industry crisis - patent trolls. They're looking for low-hanging fruit, and you may be their next victim.

August 28, 2015

Use the AAMA App to Get the Most Out of October's Fall #AAMAconf

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We just opened registration for the AAMA National Fall Conference October 18-21 and I'm already making my plans for that week. In case you missed our free AAMA webinar about the event, there are a several new and exciting things on schedule, including a new game centered around the AAMA app and built-in 30-minute coffee breaks during the conference, which are intended to help you maximize networking opportunities with potential customers and suppliers.

August 14, 2015

A Seat at the Table is Just as Important as Having Strength in Numbers

CrystaLite is a northwest manufacturer of skylights, sunrooms and aluminum railings. Our primary distribution channel is limited to our corner of the country; however, we typically get involved in projects spanning all 50 states in any given year. I often jest that we should change our company motto to 'the small company that does big things' because despite our large manufacturing capabilities, we are very much a small business.

August 7, 2015

Industry News Accounts You Should Be Following on Twitter

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Part of my job as AAMA's Communications Coordinator is to monitor a range of industry news sites for information that may be of interest to our members. Lucky for me, most of those sites have excellent, frequently updated Twitter accounts, too. I follow several industry news accounts on Twitter so I can scan AAMA's Twitter feed with ease to see what's new.

August 3, 2015

Guy Long, Building Envelope Technical Specialist, Celebrates 40 Years in the Industry

Guy Long is a Building Envelope Technical Specialist at PROSOCO. Today on the Member Edge blog, he talks about his career, which has touched many facets of the industry.

July 31, 2015

AAMA Plant Safety Forum to Share Best Practices, Safety Program Ideas

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With recent events in the industry in mind, AAMA leaders convened a new AAMA Manufacturing Safety Forum at our Summer Conference in Seattle. This forum is intended to facilitate discussion of how AAMA can add value to your plant safety program by creating a membership forum where safety ideas and best practices are shared. The goal is to help prevent injuries within our industry by learning from each other's experiences.

July 10, 2015

How My Company Sees Value in AAMA Membership

My company, Kawneer, has been a member of AAMA for 48 years. I am fortunate that the company has allowed me the time to participate at AAMA which I have done for the last 27 years. When I look back on the first meetings I attended, it was a bit intimidating with all of the task groups, committees, councils and learning Robert’'s Rules of Order. It didn't take too long before someone asked me if I would chair the next Organic Coatings Task Group, and I only had a few weeks to prepare.

July 2, 2015

7 Tips For Getting the Most out of Your Twitter Experience

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I've written before about Twitter, in terms of optimizing your social media strategy by scheduling tweets to save time. Maybe you've incorporated that as part of your 2015 plan for making this your best year in social media yet. Or, maybe you're newer to Twitter and still need convinced of its merit. Regardless of where you stand with that tiny blue bird, I think you'll find something in this post that benefits you.

June 26, 2015

Will the Federal Reserve Kill the Home Construction Rally?

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As reported in new Commerce Department data, permits for construction of new homes in the US rose 11.8 percent to an annualized rate of 1.28 million units in May, the highest level since 2007.

June 22, 2015

Tim McGlinchy Sees Advancement of Materials in Industry's Future

Tim McGlinchy serves as Executive VP of Engineering at GED Integrated Solutions. Today, this AAMA member talks about what qualities make a great leader and where he sees the industry heading in the next decade.

June 12, 2015

Why AAMA Conferences Matter

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It's almost time for the Summer Conference, and everyone at AAMA HQ is gearing up. In-person meetings and events are our chance to show members how we've been serving them since we last saw them, and they're an opportunity for us to get feedback about what our members are most interested in. Will you join us in Seattle at the end of this month?

June 5, 2015

Download the AAMA App before the Summer Conference

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If you're attending the AAMA 2015 National Summer Conference and bringing a smart phone or tablet, be sure to download the AAMA mobile app before the Opening General Session begins. This tool lets you keep a full schedule and agenda in your pocket and also allows users to take notes for each session directly in the app. This tool can be downloaded in the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

June 1, 2015

Jack Reed, Senior Technical Service Engineer, Stresses Active AAMA Involvement

Jack Reed is Senior Technical Service Engineer at Arkema. Today he looks back on a long career so far, and speaks to the importance of active AAMA involvement.

May 22, 2015

Maximizing and Controlling Daylighting

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During a recent visit to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), I caught up on quite a few of the projects managed by the Windows and Envelope Materials Group. I was there with Steve Selkowitz, Charlie Curcija and Eleanor Lee of that group, and one of the subjects that kept coming up was daylighting -- more specifically, how to maximize and control this natural resource.

May 8, 2015

Take Advantage of AAMA's Marketing Services

I joined the AAMA Marketing Department a little over a year ago, and I am proud to have joined a team and an association that is so committed to its hard-working members. AAMA is constantly working toward bettering its member experience and adding to its slate of services and tools offered.

May 1, 2015

AAMA Webinar Program Continues To Grow

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The most recent AAMA webinar boasted record-level registration, with nearly 300 participants. The subject matter was field testing and forensic evaluation, a very popular topic. The 60-minute presentation included AAMA specifications and ASTM test methods, defined the appropriate air and water test pressures, test durations and water application, and also spelled out what procedure to use for forensic water testing.

April 24, 2015

Three New Apps, How You Can Use Them For Your Company

I love downloading new social media apps and testing them out. If they work well for me, I can use them in my week-to-week social media communications and outreach. If they don't really meet my needs, I can just delete them from my device and move on. You may not have the inclination to do the same, but that's okay - I'm happy to share my research. Here are three new apps I've been experimenting with in the last few weeks.

April 10, 2015

The Most Successful People in LIFE Make this ONE Choice Daily

The number of meaningless choices is increasing every day. Even with spam filters we get overwhelmed. Persistent texts that may or may not be of any level of importance bombards us. Then there are the unexpected yet "urgent" distractions that life just throws at us on a regular basis. How do we get anything done? How do we know what needs to get done and keep it on track and on time? In the next 180 seconds you can do a simple exercise that may actually change your productivity for good…forever.

April 2, 2015

Spread the Word about Window Safety Week on Social Media

Window Safety Week is April 5-11, and we are working hard to help get the word out about how to prevent window falls in the home. Now is the time to share this information with your clients and customers.

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

RSS 2015 annual ocean-beach
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

RSS AAMA Scholarship Poster
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

RSS 2014 WR Fall TS Blog
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

RSS Trade Secrets Dr Adibi
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

RSS Andrea Traditions Blog
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

RSS BS blog Baltimore skyline
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

RSS ME blog Economic Recovery
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

RSS Google places
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

RSS AAMA technical staff
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.

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