In the News
Looking at the Past and Into the Future
Editors Note: George Lorenz’s part of the article is first, followed by Rosalie Leone’s second and in italics.
The improvements we put in place during these last four years has AMD well positioned to build upon the traditions of our past and continue to provide strong leadership to the millwork distribution industry into the future.”
A few weeks ago, a distributor member of the Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) asked, “Are you happy that your four-year term on the AMD executive committee is coming to an end?”
Without hesitation I told him, “No, in fact I wish it were just beginning!”
Later, I found myself thinking about his question and my response to it. Clearly, during the last four years our association has seen unsettling changes not unlike those we are experiencing within the entire millwork industry.
AMD’s volunteer leaders are its greatest strength. I have had the pleasure to serve with some of the finest millwork experts in the country. They gave generously of their time and talent and AMD is the better for it today. During my four years, I had the pleasure to work side by side on the executive committee with Wally Bromberg Jr., Joe Todd, John Bradberry, Jack Aden, Ron Taylor, Brian McIlwee, Terry Bumgarner, Carl Detering and Mike Walsh. The improvements we put in place during these last four years has AMD well positioned to build upon the traditions of our past and continue to provide strong leadership to the millwork distribution industry into the future.
Learn from Experiences
One way to look into the future is to take a “reality check” to see if we are prepared. By reflecting on the past, we can see what we have learned from our experiences. At the Top Management Meeting two years ago one of the round table participants asked, “Does the association really reflect the way millwork is distributed today?”
The answer given at the meeting was, “Yes. Partially.”
During the ensuing discussion it was pointed out that in order to survive, we were going to have to align AMD with how millwork is currently distributed.
We began by asking the members to vote on changing our name to “The Association of Millwork Distributors.” This move was to clarify to everyone who we are. The vote passed by an overwhelming margin. Next, we formed a Strategic Planning Committee and asked volunteers to make a commitment to serve. The number of individuals who came forward to work on this project was inspiring. People let us know that they wanted the association to not only survive but to become the primary millwork resource within the industry.
Seven critical issues were identified in the strategic plan:
• Membership eligibility and recruitment
• Member education
• Influence and advocacy
• Association finances
• The convention/trade show
• Member services
The strategic plan provides the framework and focus for everything the association does now and will be doing. We asked members of the board to chair each committee. A staff liaison is assigned to each committee to support their work, communicate back to the board and executive committee and coordinate anything that is appropriate for the staff to handle. This structure and discipline is working well and we are moving forward with the strategic plan.
A Few Highlights
One of the highlights during 2003 was the promotion of Rosalie Leone to executive director of AMD. She has proven to be an excellent administrator, an accomplished convention planner and a high-energy leader. The staff has been challenged with new assignments and has met them with excellent results. They are among the many solid building blocks in our association.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of all that has been accomplished at AMD. However much work remains. This is an exciting time for our association. We have positive momentum to carry us forward. To guide us, we have an outstanding strategic plan. Combine this with enthusiastic members, our highly qualified staff and AMD’s dedicated leadership-who are all actively participating in the work of the association-and you can see why today I would rather be starting my four years rather than concluding them.
When I asked George Lorenz, former AMD president to collaborate with me on this article, his response was immediate, and I thank him for his efforts! George has left a legacy to AMD as a great leader whose vision and dedication paved the road of AMD’s future direction.
Speaking of looking into the future, I share his sentiment of what an exciting time this is for the association! The recent AMD membership by-law changes as voted upon by the members to include the professional dealer, international members, and providers of products and services are part of the vision, which will allow our membership to prosper with potential growth.
Our educational products are being expanded, including the complete revision and online conversion of the AMD Millwork Course, and a Millwork Volume Series, which is available and will be marketed to educational institutions.
AMD will make its voice heard in the millwork industry by addressing standards and codes and will continue to communicate with other associations such as AAMA and WDMA. The AMD staff is prepared to meet the needs of the membership and to provide expert assistance to our members; we have retained an independent code consultant to formally represent AMD in standard and code issues.
The AMD Annual Convention has taken on a new direction and focus that was reflected in a revised three-day show program with a strong emphasis on education on the front end of the program.
The work and progress by the AMD board of directors and committees this year was extraordinary. The dedication and participation by members of the board and each of the committees resulted in the adoption of the new AMD by-laws, in strengthening the educational products and the educational sessions for the 2004 Annual Convention, offering reduced rates for AMD members to the Top Gun Management series lead by Dave Kahle, re-energized focus on standards and codes impacting the millwork industry, and above all a commitment to see the AMD grow and to exceed the needs of our membership.
George said it best, “This is an exciting time for our Association. We have positive momentum to carry us forward.” If you have yet to join AMD there is no better time to do so; if you are a member, I share my appreciation for your continued support!
George Lorenz is a past president of AMD and Rosalie Leone is executive director of AMD.
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