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Volume 7   Issue 1               January 2006

What's News

AAMA Board Votes to End Consolidation Talks; WDMA Asks for Reconsideration

The board of directors of the American Architectural Manu-facturers Association (AAMA) has voted to suspend consolidation negotiations with the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA). The AAMA board also approved sending a letter addressed to the WDMA board outlining the reasons for the suspension of negotiations.

The letter was prompted by the airing of serious concerns by the WDMA consolidation team at the meeting held in Chicago on September 27th, according to a news release from AAMA. AAMA says that these concerns re-opened compromises on several issues that had been reached earlier in the summer.

After the July 27th meeting in Chicago, the AAMA consolidation team and board were encouraged by the progress reached on several key issues: supplier voting, the role and composition of the board and the selection of the chief executive of the combined association. Since then, said AAMA, WDMA has sought to revisit these three compromises, and there have been major misunderstandings on the intent and scheduling of joint meetings planned for 2006, according to the release.

According to AAMA board chairperson John Brunett, “AAMA members expect the consolidation proposal to be presented at the spring meeting in late February. The negotiation process is well into its second year, and it will not be possible to present a proposal in the spring if these negotiation setbacks continue.”

The WDMA has responded by asking AAMA to reconsider its withdrawal. 

Members of the WDMA and AAMA have worked objectively and diligently over the last 13 years, achieving industry-wide, continent-wide product standards—many times putting aside competitive differences, according to a release from WDMA.

“As an organization, WDMA is very disappointed to learn that AAMA wishes to discontinue current industry trade association consolidation talks, despite the progress made thus far,” said Chris Simpson, WDMA chairperson. “WDMA’s board and the consolidation team still strongly advocate the benefits of a consolidated, unified industry association for the window, door, skylight, curtainwall and storefront manufacturers. We believe that it is in the best interests of the majority of the members of both associations to continue our negotiations and therefore, WDMA has asked AAMA’s board to reconsider its position to continue potential consolidation negotiations.”


Kragenbring Group to Represent Component Suppliers 

The Kragenbring Group LLC has been founded in Hastings, Minn., to represent top-shelf suppliers of fenestration components to door and window manufacturers in the upper Midwest. The fundamental operations of the company will include project management, customer service, design assistance and prototype formulation and testing.

The company was founded by Kyle Kragenbring, who has more than 18 years of experience in the industry, including 13 with Amesbury Group.

The Kragenbring Group will begin operations representing all of Amesbury in Minnesota, including the hardware and BSI Balance product lines. In Wisconsin, the Kragenbring Group will represent Amesbury’s PPI, Foam-Tite and textile product lines.


Struktol and Equistar Announce Agreement

Struktol Co. of America, based in Stow, Ohio, and Equistar Chemicals LP, a Lyondell company based in Houston, have announced a sales and marketing agreement for the wood-plastic composites (WPC) compounding industry. Based on the agreement, Struktol becomes the exclusive sales channel in the United States and Canada for bringing Equistar Integrate™ coupling agent products into the WPC market. The companies will also work together on new product development activities for the WPC market based on Struktol’s TPW series lubricant technology and Equistar’s coupling agent technology.

Mike Fulmer, Struktol product manager, plastic additives, noted that the agreement between the two companies will “provide our customers with the highest level of technical know-how and some of the most sophisticated lubricant and coupling agent additive technology available.”

In the past, Struktol has worked with the Equistar Integrate marketing and technical team to service an ever-demanding WPC market. Struktol will now use its existing technical sales force to market and sell the Integrate products into the WPC market. Equistar will continue to accept orders and provide technical service support to the industry.

“By working closely with Struktol, we can provide WPC customers with a continued supply of superior products and innovative solutions that they would be unable to get from any other company,” said James Krohn, marketing manager, Lyondell Chemical Co.



Peachtree Employees Offer Hope to Hurricane Victims

The Peachtree Cos. Inc. and Wausau, Wis.-area residents donated food, personal items, school and cleaning supplies, and wrote messages of encouragement to Hurricane Katrina victims in a relief drive held September 24. Peachtree transported the collected items to Biloxi, Miss., an area that suffered irreparable damage from the category-5 storm. 

“It feels good to know we were able to help during a time when many Americans urgently needed our help,” said Pat Wierzba, director of logistics and facilities for The Peachtree Cos. and relief drive coordinator. 

Jerry Spaude, a company driver, delivered the donations to a Salvation Army distribution center. At a local football field, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Salvation Army and other relief organizations distributed care packages to victims. There, Spaude hung banners signed by many Wausau-area residents who wrote messages of hope to hurricane victims. 

USGBC Leads Initiative in Gulf Coast Rebuilding Efforts 

The U.S Green Building Council (USGBC), together with the Enterprise Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the Trust for Public Land and others has announced initiatives and ideas for assisting in the rebuilding efforts of the Gulf Coast communities ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The work effort took place during the council’s Greenbuild Conference and Expo in Atlanta on November 9-11, and harnessed the talents of its more than 10,000 professional attendees and the value of its 150 educational sessions. 

Thanks to fast action by the Greenbuild local host committee and under the direction of Peter Templeton, vice president of education and research of USGBC, meetings with Gulf Coast experts and government leaders were held. Other planning processes with specific topics were held with regional experts.

“This is about collaboration, partnership and leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, chief executive officer and founding chair of USGBC. “The USGBC is committed to providing our specific expertise to helping the citizens of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas re-set their roots and restore their communities as viable, vital, healthy and productive places, as quickly as possible and in a way that supports them in the long term.”

Alenco Windows Donates to Katrina Relief

Alenco Windows, headquartered in Bryan, Texas, presented a $70,000 check to the American Red Cross to assist relief efforts along the Gulf Coast. Employees at the window manufacturing company raised $35,000 to aid Katrina victims, and that number was then matched by the company.

Local Red Cross director Sharon Zambrzycki said she was shocked by the large donation, but appreciative.


New Campaign Shows Energy-Efficiency can Lead to Lower Taxes 

New information from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Alliance to Save Energy will help consumers reduce their federal income taxes in 2006 and 2007 by making their homes more energy-efficient and purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles. The information reflects provisions in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and is part of the DOE/Alliance Powerful $avings campaign to help consumers reduce their energy bills and the nation lower its overall energy use.  

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has not yet issued specific guidance for consumers on how to claim the income tax credits, but in the meantime the website www.ase.org/taxcredits offers comprehensive information, based on the new energy law, to help consumers save money on their energy bills and their federal income taxes.  The web pages will be updated on a continuing basis as the IRS makes new details available.

Under the new energy law, consumers can save up to $500 in taxes in 2006 and 2007 for specific energy-efficiency upgrades to existing homes. 

The Powerful $avings campaign provides tips for lowering energy bills at home and on the road. Consumers also can find energy- and money-saving tips in DOE’s free Energy Savers booklet, which is available in both English and Spanish versions at www.energysavers.gov.

© Copyright 2006 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.