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AWMAC's 2019 National Convention gives you 'the human touch'

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AWMAC by Michelle Morrell
Michelle Morrell is the National Executive Director of the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada. She can be reached at: michelle_morrell@awmac.com
We live in the age of social media, but does it promote 
true socializing?
Ever-constant advances in technology have made it easier for us to connect with colleagues from nearly anywhere in the world. What technology cannot provide, however, is the true human touch. Sometimes, our greatest ideas and connections happen during the conversations we have off the grid – in the hallways, at the water cooler… or at a convention.
That’s precisely why the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) is holding its 2019 National Convention on May 23-26, at the luxurious Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria, B.C.
For starters, the 
setting itself is a major seller. Imagine waking up overlooking the beautiful blue waters of the ocean, then going for a stroll through the nearby B.C. Legislature building and grounds or checking all the other tourist-friendly attractions of the inner harbour and Victoria’s charming downtown area, just minutes away.
The foremost benefit of attending this conference, however, is the face-to-face networking opportunities it provides. There is no email, tweet, Skype or direct message that can rival that. Said 
simply, social media makes 
it easy for us to stay connected. But are we connecting in a 
way that is meaningful?

Celebrating 50 years of quality
This year’s AWMAC Convention is a meaningful one indeed. The theme is
“Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future.” It’s the perfect way to celebrate AWMAC’s 50 years of contributions to the woodworking industry by providing Canada-wide architectural woodwork programs and services that assist all members of the construction team.
Every year, one of AWMAC’s eight regional chapters across Canada spearheads the organization and hosting of AWMAC’s National Convention. This year, the duties fell to AWMAC’s B.C. Chapter. While putting such a large-scale event is admittedly a massive undertaking, it’s one the chapter took on with pride and enthusiasm.
“AWMAC B.C. is excited to host the 2019 AWMAC Convention in our beautiful capital city, Victoria,” said Glenda Harskamp, executive director, AWMAC B.C.
“Our theme, ‘Celebrating 
the Past, Embracing the Future,’ inspires us to look back at 
our beginnings and challenges us to focus on the future 
as we celebrate AWMAC’s 
50th Anniversary.
“With a backdrop of beautiful parks and the Pacific Ocean on the doorstep, delegates from across the country will be educated, entertained, and given the opportunity to explore this fabulous city,” Glenda said. “Can’t wait to welcome you!”

Many reasons 
to attend
There are many great reasons for attending AWMAC’s 
2019 Convention.
First and foremost, it will be an exceptional experience with some of the most innovative voices in the woodworking industry, the ultimate forum to connect and expand relationships with industry leaders, colleagues, specialists, and friends.
There are opportunities to further your professional development through educational sessions and presentations. Choose from a wide array of sessions and activities that will most benefit you or your organization. Participating in them gives you a chance to develop a new skill for your job or to learn about a different area of your field.
This year’s educational session topics include: “What’s Automation Got to Do With It?,” “Dealing with GCs,” and “Your ‘A’ Team Factor, Fizzling out to Outstanding.” Another illuminating attraction will be the “Lean Takes Flight” Tour, which offers a closer look at three lean manufacturing companies.
Other events include the welcome reception, AWMAC’s Annual General Meeting, and the President’s Gala at the Victoria Convention Centre as well as AWMAC’S Partners’ Showcase. The Partners’ Showcase gives you the chance to learn what new products and services are available that could be of use to you or your company.
AWMAC B.C. has gone to great efforts to ensure there are plenty of organized activities to encourage your exploration of B.C.’s capital city, Victoria. Activities include: golf at Olympic View Golf Club, an architectural tour of the B.C. Legislature, the Zipline or Adventure Course, high tea at the Tea House, a Victoria Historic City Walk, the Mystery Town game that leads teams on a clue-solving adventure through the city, and the Butchart Gardens Tour and Dinner featuring Keynote Speaker Stuart Ellis-Myers.

The biggest benefit
Conventions build connections. They are an excellent chance to network with other people in your field, allowing you to feel more integrated within your industry. Having a diverse professional network can be useful to your current position. It can also help you learn what other opportunities might be available to you if the time comes when you are ready for a career change.
Remember, AWMAC’s 2019 National Convention is a celebration and acknowledgement of AWMAC’s past, and the outstanding achievements of our industry leaders. But it is also a celebration of the opportunities 
of tomorrow.
Make sure those opportunities are yours. It’s a win-win. Your professional development plays a key role in advancing the expertise and reputation of 
our industry.
“AWMAC was established to be the voice of the architectural woodwork community to ensure that architectural projects were built to the highest possible standards,” said Larry White, AWMAC’s president.
“This Spring, colleagues from across Canada and the United States will gather to celebrate 
and reflect on our past as well 
as learn what’s in store for the future years to come.”
Or as put by Jim Taylor, convention committee chair, “We are looking forward to rekindling friendships with the old guard who had the wisdom, vision, and strength over the last half-century to build our thriving architectural woodwork community. We also look forward to meeting and embracing the new guard who will ace current and new challenges on our next half-century journey.”
For more information on the 2019 AWMAC Convention in Victoria, B.C. visit AWMAC’s website at https://awmac.com/convention/home.
I look forward to seeing you 
in Victoria this May!

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