The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) opened its Spring Committee Meeting in Alexandria, Va., today with an upbeat status report from new CEO Deb Callahan.

Deb Callahan
Deb Callahan

“The staff and I are very excited about the first quarter of 2016,” said Callahan, who was appointed the leader of the certification organization in October 2015 after serving as acting CEO following the departure of Jim Benney in June of that year.

Callahan said she’s looking to strengthen NFRC’s programs, increase its use of technology, raise its profile in the industry and promote the organization’s work.

Callahan also unveiled NFRC’s annual report for 2015, a document that she said the organization hadn’t put out in “seven or eight years.” According to the report, NFRC reached several milestones last year, including increasing consumer awareness by 19 percent. It also set records for retailer program participants (300) and members (278).

The NFRC is in excellent shape financially, too. According to the report, the organization has 66 percent of budgeted expenses in reserve, and its revenues exceed its expenses by 6.7 percent.

Additionally, NFRC recently released a “much improved” Component Modeling Approach Software Tool (CMAST), Callahan said. And the organization has added four new staffers in recent months — John D’Anna (business development manager), Kristin Pate (executive assistant), Tom Barnette (senior director of programs) and Christy Sackett (senior manager of certification programs).

After Callahan’s address, NFRC’s task groups and committees convened for the remainder of the day.

In each meeting, the overriding theme was simplifying the process for certifying that fenestration products meet NFRC’s thermal standards.

For example, the Certification Extension Task Group discussed an extension of the product certification cycle, and one attendee suggested that the process should be made more efficient. The Residential Component-Based Calculations Task Group discusses alternate procedures to compute U-factors and other performance data, again with an eye on streamlining the process. The Door Task Group is working on a simplified rating method for those fenestration products.

The NFRC Spring Committee Meeting continues on Tuesday.