A Sense of Relief, Pride and a Positive
by Dan Warren
My wife Paula and I decided some time ago to drive to this year’s Association
of Millwork Distributors (AMD) 46th Annual Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Over the 20 years we have been AMD members we have been blessed with a
great number of friends within the association. So as this year’s outgoing
AMD president, I thought it would be “the Presidential thing” to do to
visit a few of members and tour their respective distribution centers.
We went as far as to name our trip the AMD Tour America 2010. Eighteen
days and just short of 5,000 miles Paula and I completed our little junket
from South Dakota to North Carolina.
I came away from the convention and the entire trip with
a sense of relief, a sense of pride and a positive feeling on the future
of our country, our industry and our association (and relief since my
year as president was over and with that a feeling of regret also). What
a tremendous honor to be president of the association of your peers. In
2011, our association moves forward with an outstanding new leader and
first female president of AMD, Audrey Dyer, president of ECMD Inc.
The sense of pride comes from what the association has done and accomplished
for so many of us in the millwork industry. Whether it is education, training,
codes and standards, new product offerings or simply networking this association
has provided great opportunities for the millwork industry and its members.
I often wonder and feel sorry for those companies within our industry
that have not taken the initiative to be part of an association that has
been (and continues to be) a true advocate for its members for more than
46 years. In my opinion, they have no idea what they are missing because
AMD has shown how anything is possible for its membership. I have repeated
this thought many times throughout the years, but I truly believe this
to be true; if you can’t find value and benefits in AMD, you are not looking
"There is no doubt
attitude is everything and the member attendees
had a positive attitude this year."
The building industry and our association have endured tremendous
challenges over the past several years. In my remarks to the membership
at the opening session during the October AMD Convention, I stated, “AMD
will be an association of quality, not quantity.” I think our keynote
speaker, Jason Jennings, said it best: “Give yourself a round of applause,
you’re still here.”
Standing at the podium, overlooking my fellow attendees, a “positive”
feeling came over me. Looking back at me were some of the brightest, hardest-working,
most dedicated people with whom I have ever been associated. As I walked
the convention floor I heard nothing but positive responses. Were there
people doing cartwheels and jumping up and down? No, but they had a sense
that things in our industry are improving. There is an old adage; something
about success is 90 percent attitude and 10 percent doing. There is no
doubt attitude is everything and the member attendees had a positive attitude
Through these turbulent times, there have been many changes, but the constant
for the millwork industry and its members remained the AMD. Our organization
remains strong and viable due to our fellow millwork distributors, manufactures
and reps who continue to find the value in AMD and remain supportive,
dedicated and active.
Oh, by the way, having spent that much time together I am happy to report
Paula and I are still speaking and made it back safely to South Dakota.
Dan Warren is president of Warren Window and Supply
Inc. and past president of the Association of Millwork Distributors. His
opinions are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect those of this
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