November/December  2003

AMD Headlines

Some Post Convention Thoughts
AMD’s New President Reflects on the 40th Annual Convention

by Brian P. McIlwee

The 40th Annual National Sash & Doors Jobbers Association (NSDJA) Convention just concluded in Orlando as we celebrated “40 Years of Millwork Magic.” 

At the convention, our name officially changed to Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) in front of a backdrop that recognized our past presidents of 40 years. And while old traditions and heritage was continued, new initiatives were being undertaken to further our legacy of accomplishments.

Those of you who couldn’t stay for Wednesday evening’s party missed a beautiful outdoor party under the stars and palm trees, complete with great seafood, singing pirates and a dancing shark. It was a great end to a week of hard work for everyone. Thank you all for making the trip and supporting the AMD.

The best part for me this year was trying to make it to each and every booth to say hello and thank you for your support of AMD. If I missed you, I apologize. Please know we are listening and trying to improve our program and logistics. While attendance on the exhibit floor was off from last year, we knew beforehand it would be a challenge to compete with Disney and all that Florida has to offer. This took away from our scheduled meetings and floor time. Look for next year’s Salt Lake City attendees to be more focused.

We are working to get away from bussing to a convention center, and while Salt Lake City does have a separate convention center, it will be within walking distance. It became apparent to me in conversations that perhaps you know very little about Salt Lake City. Watch future newsletters and articles for more information on the home of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Salt Lake is really a beautiful city in the Rockies full of wonderful restaurants and nightclubs. 

There were several successes in Orlando that became evident to everyone. Our workshop sessions were heavily attended and several late attendees were turned away due to standing-room-only crowds. I learned something valuable that I could apply to my business from every speaker. 

Our keynote speakers again delivered phenomenal presentations that were packed with valuable information and life-altering lessons learned. I think all of us put a little extra in those family hugs to loved ones when we finally arrived home.

The Side-Hinged Door Standard proposed by the Window and Door Manufacturers Association and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association received a lot of attention. The jury is out on this issue, but look for more deliberation and cooperation from all parties. We will keep you informed on progress.

The Sandy Lavitt Fun Run/Walk raised $7,520 for the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women in Orlando and the new Ron Taylor Award of Character and Integrity was announced. The first presentation of this award will take place at next year’s convention. Look for more information to come in future publications on the Ron Taylor Award, and be prepared to nominate a candidate that would reflect well upon our association. The award will be open to any class of AMD membership. Both of these programs and memorials represent the very best our industry has to offer.

Kudos again to our AMD staff! 

Working behind the scenes, Rosalie and her staff managed a very successful program. Thanks to everyone in the red shirts for your hard work and effort to go that extra mile. 

During the joint jobber/associate member meeting someone asked, “What is seen as the most important challenge ahead for AMD?” George Lorenz deferred the answer to the other four members of the executive committee. One by one, the audience heard four different priorities answered. We have had and will continue to have a full plate ahead of us. Consequently, I want to take a moment to thank our outgoing immediate past president and directors. John Bradberry, Bill Dixon, Brian Hoff, Pat Schaefer and Mark Shirvan will be missed sorely. 

Participation on this board of directors is work. These gentlemen toiled under some difficult times and heavier loads that have made the rest of our jobs easier today. Thanks, gentlemen . . . thank you!

Finally, I would like to close with a couple of comments I mentioned at the awards breakfast. I am in awe of the company with which I am allowed to associate, and that is all of you! Our association is at a crossroads; however, it is a crossroads of opportunity and possibility. I look forward to working with all the members of the board of directors and committees to ensure them the governance to determine the path upon which we will embark.

Brian P. McIlwee is president of the Association of Millwork Distributors, based in New Port Richey, Fla., and president of the J.J. McIlwee Co. of Itasca, Ill.


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