June 2003

NSDJA Headlines
In the news

What's in a Name?
National Sash & Door Jobbers Association Considers Change
by Brian P. McIlwee

I recently met someone who told me that his occupation was that of an H2O router. What’s an H2O router? I was confused, to say the least. Little did I know that this was his personal code for being a plumber. Now, honestly, what do you tell people you do for a living? I, for one, avoid telling someone I’m a “sash and door jobber,” unless I want to give a history 

For years, there has been a debate at the National Sash and Door Jobbers Association (NSDJA) as to whether our name reflects our industry and our members properly. Discussions have ensued at previous top management meetings, board of directors and jobber business meetings. There was a consensus by the attendees at the 2002 Top Management Meeting that perhaps a name change was needed. In fact, sash and doors make up a fraction of our businesses today, and the term “jobber” has fallen off the face of our common everyday language.

The Opposition
However, some oppose the change, and I believe everyone has a reason for opposing the name change. Most of these reflect our tradition and heritage. Our 40 years have been truly rich. Personally, I represent the highest of tradition and involvement in the NSDJA. I attended my first NSDJA meeting in 1977. Prior to that, my father had been active, beginning in the 1960s. However, in spite of all that loyalty to our traditions, I believe the suggested name change is more reflective and appropriate for what we all do.

About the time this article is printed, all jobber members should be receiving proxy ballot packages. Besides a ballot, there is detailed information and comments explaining the work, alternatives and rationale for the new proposed name of Association of Millwork Distributors.

The purpose of utilizing a proxy ballot is very important. The executive committee wanted to be sure to get detailed information out to everyone. We wanted as many member companies to participate in the decision as possible, rather than allow this vote to be made by the few members who attend the annual jobber meetings held each year at the conventions. All ballots will be numbered to ensure that there is only one vote per member company. After a period of time, calls will be placed by the staff to those companies who have not responded in order to obtain their ballot replies.

The Meaning of the Name
It is important to remember that the new name does not reflect a new strategic direction for the association. There are no other motives, such as expanding or restricting membership. There are no political machines. The sole purpose of the name change is to use current terms to more properly reflect the business in which we engage. 

When you receive your information, please read through it thoroughly, make your decision and respond promptly by returning your ballot. This will save the time and additional expense of phone calls from the staff to locate ballots. Everyone will appreciate your attention as an active member. And as we say in Chicago, “Be sure to vote early and vote often!” 

Brian P. McIlwee is president of the J. J. McIlwee Co. in Itasca, Ill., and first vice president of NSDJA.



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