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Supplement, November 2000

WDMA Hosts Successful Meeting in San Diego
by Tara Taffera

Attendees enjoyed a keynote speech by Alan Keyes at Monday’s luncheon.

Window and door manufacturers were able to mix business with a bit of pleasure when they traveled to the luxurious Loews Coronado Bay Resort on Coronado Island, just outside of San Diego for the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) summer meeting. The event, held August 12-15, attracted approximately 185 attendees and 100 spouses.


Business Begins

The general business session began on Monday with the president’s report given by WDMA president Alan Campbell. According to Campbell, the WDMA is currently seeking ANSI certification for the association’s Hallmark program (for more information, see page 12). Campbell reported that 25 manufacturers currently are participating but he would like to see that number grow to 50 or 60.

Campbell also reported that the association is developing new standards for entry doors, flush doors and expects to set performance-based standards for doors. The WDMA is working on the entry door standard in conjunction with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association. “This will be the first material-neutral performance-based standard,” said Campbell, who added that completion is probably about one year away.

Other sessions on the first day included Employee Attitudes, presented by Curt Smith, vice president and chief operating officer, the Hudson Institute; Channel Distribution Report, presented by Nick Limb, Partner, Ducker Research; and Workshop: Mastering Growth, presented by Andrew Lebby, Ph.D. Additionally, the keynote speaker at Monday’s luncheon was former presidential candidate Alan Keyes, who had attempted to secure the presidential nomination in the 2000 election.

Campbell said attendees particularly enjoyed the presentations by Limb and Smith. “Smith talked about the whole issue of ethics … and several attendees commented that they enjoyed his presentation,” said Campbell.

Smith wasn’t the only speaker who touched on this important subject. “Alan Keyes was particularly well-received,” said Campbell. “He had some poignant comments on the current political campaign and talked about the role of ethics in politics.”


Window and Door Division

On the following day, the meeting was broken up into two components: the window division and the door division.

On the window side, Larry Zarker, vice president of the National Association of Home Builders Research Center, posed a challenging question to product manufacturers: will you be driving change or be driven by change? He also outlined building trends that will affect the window industry over the next decade. Some of these include:

• Consolidation of firms within the home building industry will increase in pace;

• A growing number of new, non traditional firms will enter the residential construction process;

• Information technology will change the nature of the way products are manufactured, purchased and delivered to the jobsite;

• Regulation of all aspects of the building process will continue to have a negative impact on housing affordability;

• Litigation will develop as a factor in the home building and product manufacturing process.

Steve Selkowitz, head of the building technologies department at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, also outlined coming fenestration and glazing trends. He looked at how a number of issues in the United States might shape the development, sale and utilization of windows in the years ahead. He outlined emerging technologies, such as smart glazing and self-cleaning glass, which will change the window business in the near future.

Meetings in the door division focused on committee reports as well as updates on other projects being worked on by the group. According to Campbell, one of the major discussions was focused on positive pressure testing for fire-rated doors. Rick Curkeet, chief engineer for Intertek Testing Services and Daniel Kaiser, engineering group leader for Underwriters Laboratories, offered information on procedures, testing and codes for fire-rated doors.


A Resounding Success

Campbell said he, as well as attendees, were pleased with the meeting’s success. “The membership was very upbeat concerning the status of the association and its new programs and actions,” he said. Campbell added that attendees were happy with the seminars and said many told him, “the quality of presentations were the best ever.”

The WDMA will hold its next meeting February 24-28 at the Hilton Torr Pines in La Jolla, Calif.


AAMA/WDMA Merger Discussion Ends

Disagreement on Key Point Prevents Union of the Two Groups

While the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) have been discussing a merger for more than a year, the WDMA reports that talks have now ended due to a fundamental disagreement.


A Common Goal

When WDMA president Alan Campbell spoke to attendees of the association’s recent summer meeting, he mentioned various positives to be gained by a merger of the two groups. These included:

• Stronger, unified voice for the industry;

• More efficient utilization of industry resources;

• Common industry standards and one industry certification program;

• More resources to fund industry research and more aggressive product promotion campaigns.

While members of both associations have been working together for more than a year to discuss a possible merger, according to Campbell, cooperation between the two associations started even earlier.

“A little more than two years ago we started exploring where we could work in cooperation—in terms of codes, standards development and other issues,” said Campbell. “Over the course of those discussions we realized that maybe there was the possibility of a merger between the two groups.”

But, with the termination of talks between the two groups, it now seems unlikely that this is a

Fundamental Disagreement

While the list of positive points are impressive, there is one fundamental disagreement prohibiting the merger. According to Campbell, the roadblock relates to the different roles each association has for its suppliers. For example, AAMA allows suppliers to hold office roles, exercise voting privileges and pay full dues. In the WDMA, suppliers only act as advisory members, not officers, and they pay reduced dues.

Campbell clarifies that in the WDMA, supplier members can vote on non-standard issues such as a change in dues structure or election of board members. “The only area where supplier members are restricted is in regards to standards activities,” said Campbell. “They can attend meetings and offer input, but when it comes time to vote, it is strictly limited to manufacturer members.”

So, why the strict stance? “It has always been our founding position that this is an association of manufacturers,” said Campbell. “If a window leaks, it’s not the weatherstripping company that will get the call —it’s the manufacturer.”

But, Campbell adds that the WDMA is not opposed to supplier members voting on component standards, for example a weatherstripping standard. “But, if a committee is voting on a whole unit it is our position that voting is limited to the manufacturers.”

When Campbell was asked if the two groups will ever find a common ground on this issue, he replied, “That’s the $64,000 question.”

“To people outside the industry, this seems immaterial,” he said. “But it really goes to the core values of the two groups. The only possibility I see now of a merger is if one of us changes our position.”

While the WDMA is firm in its beliefs, AAMA members are equally strong in their convictions. “Equal membership status and voting rights are the cornerstone of many organizations,” said AAMA executive vice president Richard Walker.

But, while some in the industry may see this as a roadblock never to be tore down, Walker only views this as a detour. “While our members’ hopes for a merger were dimmed, many view this as a suspension,” said Walker. “We agreed on so many things that we think at some point we’ll be negotiating again.”

When will that “some point” be? Walker doesn’t want to pinpoint a time, but said, “some time in the future a rallying event or structural change in the industry will draw the organizations back to the table.”

Although talks of a merger have now ended, Campbell said both boards will continue to work together, a point in which AAMA and WDMA agree. “We continue to cooperate on many fronts including marketing research, codes, certification and joint standards activities,” said Walker. “We see no reason for this not to continue.”

“We both pretty much acknowledged that we can’t come to an agreement on this issue,” said Campbell. “But both sides know where to find each other.”


Tara Taffera is the publisher of Door & Window Maker magazine.


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