As 2016 rolls over into 2017, I’m looking back on another year of learning and growing as the editor of DWM. Yes, I’m still somewhat of a “fenestration newbie,” but not as much as when I joined DWM almost exactly two years ago.

Heck, in late 2014, I didn’t even know what “fenestration” meant — and I’ve been a professional writer and editor for more than 25 years. Today? I use the word almost hourly.

Back then, I couldn’t tell you the difference between the “prescriptive path” and the Yellow Brick Road. Now? I’m not an expert on codes by any means, but I’ve written enough about them that I have a solid grasp of the main concepts.

You see what I mean. Experience and steady professional growth make me a better chronicler of this industry. So how was 2016 for me from that perspective? Let’s look back…

January sent me to Las Vegas for the International Builders’ Show. It was one of the busiest in years, and DWM was there to capture every moment.

In February, my fenestration education got a big boost in Huntington Beach, Calif., when I successfully completed the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s FenestrationAssociate program. I blogged about it extensively at the time, so I just want to reiterate what I said back then — the program is well worth your time and effort.

In March, I enjoyed a huge personal and professional adventure — Fensterbau in Nuremberg, Germany. It was my first-ever trip to Europe, and it was also my first-ever up-close look at that continent’s fenestration products, which are more advanced — and interesting — than most of those made in North America.

I dropped in on the Window and Door Manufacturers Association’s annual gathering in Washington, D.C., in April just as the group scored a major legislative victory. Congrats, WDMA, and thank you for all you do for the industry.

In May, an intrusive new reporting rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) grabbed attention.

June sent me to Canada and a meeting that touched on that country’s big fenestration trade show, WinDoor. The month also brought me one of the best honors of my career — a silver medal for feature writing from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). It was for a story on a topic you’ve all been following closely for a while now  — the lack of skilled labor in the industry.

In July, I covered internet archivist Carl Malamud’s legal battle to make building codes freely available. Later, Slate magazine would praise DWM‘s coverage of this issue, which was another personal and professional highlight.

August brought sad news from Louisiana about another terrible flood — and inspiring news about how the industry in the state was responding to the tragedy. It also brought news of one of the year’s biggest stories — Venezuela’s seizure of Guardian’s glass plant.

In October, I traveled to Phoenix for the World Millwork Alliance show, and I sat in on an eye-opening forum on discrimination faced by women in the industry. Long story short — guys, we have got to do better. Later that month, DWM attended GlassBuild in Las Vegas, and then I got to report on the grand opening of Deceuninck’s new facility near Reno.

And finally, November sent me back to Canada to cover the hugely successful, revitalized WinDoor show in Montreal.

So that’s my postcard from 2016 to you, dear readers.

And what does 2017 hold? More learning, more experimentation and more coverage across every platform — digital, print, e-mail newsletters, social media, video and podcasts. We’re going to deliver all the industry news to you in whatever form you choose to consume it.

Thanks for your readership and support, and have a happy new year.


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