Tracy Rogers accepts his marketing award from Rich Walker, AAMA president, and Brent Slaton, last year's winner.
Tracy Rogers accepts his marketing award from Rich Walker, AAMA president, and Brent Slaton, last year’s winner.

This week I am attending the annual meeting of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and one of the key themes was innovation. For the full presentations on this topic click here but here are some additional observations.When Robert Tucker encouraged companies to focus on innovative products and systems he reminded them to not stop there. “It doesn’t just stop with introduction of the idea,” he said. “You have to introduce it into the channel.”

I know this may be one of those “duh” moments but when traveling to various trade shows I come across numerous unique products that could have great applications for that supplier’s customers. But too often, I don’t see that company publicizing that product or introducing it into the channel. Don’t wash your hands of a product once it has come off the assembly line.

Prior to this presentation, Tucker polled some 30 AAMA members and one of the things he asked was where companies devise new ideas. One answer: “Europe is at the forefront of new ideas.” Why is that? When will companies in the U.S. be recognized for being ahead of the curve? What can we do to get there?

Tucker also encouraged companies to really listen to employees, customers and the like. He asked attendees:  What does your listening post look like? I would love to know as well. I’d like to think I have an open door policy with my staff but I know there are times when I get busy and this isn’t the case. I will definitely be thinking about revamping my listening post. What about you?

Awarding Innovation

Last night AAMA held its annual awards banquet and recognized those members and companies who have dedicated their time and talents to AAMA through serving on various committees. I applaud all of the companies who are truly innovative in their fields.

Chairman’s Award: Pella was presented with the annual Chairman’s Award for its commitment to a variety of issues including green building.

Marketing: Tracy Rogers of Quanex Building Products received the marketing award for his “tenacious attitude, “plethora of knowledge” and commitment to numerous AAMA groups including the green sustainability development task group.

Service: The Distinguished Service Award in the Architectural Products Group was given to Scott Condreay, Sapa Extrusions. In the residential products group Jose Colon from Architectural Testing received that honor.

Outstanding Member Rod Hershberger, president of PGT Industries, received the Outstanding Member Award for his work on eight councils and 12 committees and task groups.

The group also recognized David Webster, former president of Kinro who has been a member since 1979 and is attending his last meeting this week.

Congratulations to all our industry innovators.

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