The amount of lead that can be included in fenestration hardware loomed large as day two of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s (AAMA) National Summer Conference came to a close yesterday. And the issue proved to be a bit of a lead albatross as members of the Hardware Surface Test Task Group discussed draft language for possible inclusion in the upcoming revisions of the North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for windows, doors, and skylights (NAFS) developed by AAMA.

With suggested language due June 15, the task group debated recommending a two-step criteria for uncoated hardware—one a swab test and a second criteria to be used if the hardware fails the swab test. After a spirited debate, the vote on whether to send the draft to the full committee ended in a tie, with AAMA immediate past president Ray Garries offering to continue the discussion today in the full Hardware Committee meeting.

Earlier in the day, Green and Sustainability Committee chair Steve Fronek of Apogee Enterprises announced the integration of that committee into a variety of other committees. “Green has gone mainstream,” he said. “It’s a factor in everything we do and to have a separate committee seemed redundant and a poor use of our time.”

These meetings were just two of the 35 separate committee, task and work group meetings on topics ranging from door handles to skylight performance. All this took place yesterday along with two general sessions, a strategic plan report and a luncheon that featured veteran newsman Bill Kurtis and Abraham Lincoln.

That’s right, Abraham Lincoln. Billing him as “the last honest politician to come out of Illinois,” AAMA president and CEO Richard Walker introduced Lincoln as a reverent hush came over the crowd in honor of the reasonable facsimile before them.

Veteran anchorman Bill Kurtis recounted some of the events of his past during his talk.

“I had a lot of fun working at CBS News,” said Kurtis, “but I never had as much fun as I did owning my own business.” Kurtis has owned his own documentary company for the past 20 years and entertained the crowd with some thought-provoking clips from his previous documentaries, including one about how oil companies have ruined many of the waterways in developing countries. “[It’s] a very timely issue, and we covered it more than ten years ago,” he recalled.

Walker also honored longtime staffer Florence Nicolici, AAMA meetings manager, on her twenty-fifth year of employment with the association. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Walker recounted a “Top Ten List of Things You Never Ask Florence” to the chuckles and applause of the group that included her family and beloved grandson, Austin.

Walker turned serious on number one. “Florence is the center of her family, her church, AAMA staff and AAMA members. She is an amazing lady,” he added.

AAMA members ended the day yesterday with a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan aboard the Mystic Blue.

CLICK HERE for all the news from AAMA committee meetings held on Sunday, opening day of the conference.

Members of the green and sustainability committee work hard during AAMA's summer meeting.
Members of the hardware surface test task group debate issues related to lead in window hardware.
Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nicolici and Bill Kurtis

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