AAMA All About Education
Educational efforts were the name of the game as the American Architectural Manufacturers Association headed into a new year of doing business at its annual meeting, hosted this week in Marco Island, FL. The association elected new leaders at its 70th annual event and re-asserted its focus on educating key audiences about its certification programs.
Incoming chairman Gantt Miller of Winco told attendees Monday morning that AAMA has a renewed focus now that failed consolidation negotiations between AAMA and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association are solidly in the past. “We’re now emerging from that distraction with a number of initiatives before us,” he said.
Among these initiatives, are three elements of a strategic plan—facilitating affiliations with strategic industry partners, revamping the association’s long-standing certification program and launching a comprehensive marketing plan to get the AAMA name in front of key audiences. The group had focused on the latter two objectives coming into the meeting, and expects to make significant headway in these areas in 2007. “It’s more important than ever for us to pay attention to the things that put AAMA on the map,” Miller said. The ultimate goal, he said, is to “ensure that the AAMA Gold Certification becomes a household word” among architects, builders and homeowners.
While officials anticipate a full rollout of the association’s reworked certification and labeling program at its summer meeting in June, president and CEO Richard Walker did provide a sneak peek at its elements. Under the direction of the board, the task group charged with evaluating the certification program has suggested moving away from label fees to a flat-fee structure. This would allow for consistent revenue for the association, as well as an alignment of fees with the services provided, Walker noted. Recommended flat fees include member and non-member tiers and may include fees for product line reviews and plant inspections.
Hand-in-glove with the adjustments to the certification itself, the association is focusing on a professional marketing effort to make sure specifiers and builders know the meaning of and value associated with AAMA-certified products. Starting later this spring, AAMA will run a series of advertisements in trade magazines, each geared toward specific audiences and explaining various types of certifications.
The Marketing Steering Committee opened the meeting on Sunday with a review of existing and developing American Institute of Architects continuing education courses. “The role of this association should be how to educate our clients,” said Raj Goyal, vice president and general manager of the Blast Mitigation Division, Graham Architectural Products. Goyal also serves as co-chairman of the Marketing Steering Committee.
Architects earn AIA continuing education credit for taking AAMA’s online and classroom seminar courses, including Architects of a Better Mind held annually at GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo.
The association plans to build its educational programs in 2007, said Charletta, AAMA’s marketing and membership manager. “We went from having two or three courses for a number of years, and in a couple of years, we’ll have 10 or more,” she said.
Courses in the pipeline include topics such as vinyl, glass, doors, sealants, flashing, blast resistance and mullions.
THE NEXT STEP FOR VINYL?
Keith Christman of the Vinyl Institute gave the Vinyl Material Council Marketing Committee an update on the U.S. Green Building Council’s draft report on the use of vinyl in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The long-awaited final report is expected later this month. Christman said he isn’t sure what the final recommendation on the use of vinyl in LEED projects will be but the draft report, which came out in late 2004, took a vinyl-neutral stance, neither penalizing nor rewarding architects for using vinyl products.
AAMA organizers report more than 425 attendees registered for this meeting, which continues through today. For more information on AAMA, visit www.aamanet.org.