Not even a record regional snowstorm could stop the recent winter meeting of the Northeast Window & Door Association (NWDA) at the Valley Forge Casino Resort near Philadelphia. About 70 decision-makers from door and window manufacturer and supplier firms attended the event, which took place right after a blizzard dumped around two feet of snow on the region.

The educational program on the second day of the conference covered a variety of topics.

Richard Voreis with the Consulting Collaborative kicked off the program with a presentation on building construction and market trends. His wide-ranging talk covered issues such as changing architectural trends, new materials and products, Building Information Modeling (BIM), and new construction and remodeling opportunities for door and window companies. Among his several predictions were the growth of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), the relatively quick transition from “dumb” to “smart” glass, and the concern that the window-to-wall ratio limit issue will be resurrected.

Building a brand using social media was the topic for speaker Ken Hitchner of Creative Marketing Alliance. With social media rapidly becoming the new “word of mouth,” he presented a four-step plan of strategies and tactics to help a firm capitalize on the ability of sites such as Facebook and Twitter to alter the sales cycle.

Kevin McKenney of the Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) outlined the organization’s legislative and regulatory issues advocacy program and highlighted the industry’s progress on the EPA lead testing issue. He urged attendees to participate in the annual Washington, D.C. Fly-In Conference this April, for which NWDA is partnering with WDMA.

The Zero Energy Ready Home Program was the topic of speaker Joe Nebbia, representing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). He described the various building systems requirements and DOE’s promotion efforts for this new initiative. The far-reaching program seeks to advance home building practices in terms of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability beyond building code and Energy Star requirements.

Jon Hill of Keystone Certifications rounded out the speaker program with an update on building code and energy incentive programs. His presentation covered the recent reinstatement of federal tax credits for home window replacements, a graphic review of code implementation variations between states in the Northeast, and online sources to search for local and regional utility incentives related to window replacement.

The conference’s first day featured a welcome reception and supplier sponsor tabletop exhibition and networking for the initial part of the evening. Attendees continued networking as the group moved to the resort’s Valley Tavern for a lively and fun craft beer and wine tasting event.

“NWDA conferences continue to be a great source of information, contacts and relationship building for our members,” said Steve Chen, NWDA president and COO for manufacturing member Crystal Window & Door Systems. “The fact that so many traveled to the NWDA meeting literally hours after one of the largest snowstorms ever in the Northeast is a testament to the value our conferences bring to members. I urge all our members and non-member firms interested in learning more about the association to attend our annual summer conference in July.”


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  1. […] CMA’s 2015 Q4 Crew Star) delivered a talk about how to build a brand with social media at the Northeast Window and Door Association‘s Winter Meeting earlier this […]

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