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All this and chocolate too…

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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
The AWMAC 2019 National Convention 
was a sweet success.
In its 50th year as an association, “Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future” was the theme of the 2019 National Convention of Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC), May 23-26, at the Inn at Laurel Point in beautiful Victoria, British Columba.
Rudy Bardeck, the new president of AWMAC, may have inadvertently introduced a new theme when he stood at the podium with an interesting request for the 180-plus 
attendees at the President’s Gala. “Please open the box that is on each of your tables and take a piece of chocolate,” he said, “and let us toast Mr. White 
with a little white chocolate.”
The “Mr. White” he was referring to is the immediate past president of AWMAC, Larry White… or as his good friend and colleague Carlo DeFrancesco once dubbed him, “White Chocolate – Bold and Different.”
During his two years as president, Larry has more than lived up to the “bold and different” part. “Together with the board of directors, Larry implemented a new strategy that would bring AWMAC’s brand to the attention of all our stakeholders. We will be seeing the rewards of this initiative for years to come,” said Rudy.
As Rudy put it during his speech to honour AWMAC’s past president, “Not only has Larry brought insight and knowledge to the board, but along with Larry comes his humour. During long meetings, a little comic relief is appreciated.”

Boldly going forward
“As most of you know, I am a huge Star Trek fan.” Those were among the first words from AWMAC’s Past President Larry White at the 2019 National Convention.
If at first you may think that there’s little connection between woodworking and science fiction, think again. “Boldly going where no man has gone before was definitely a part of my DNA,” said Larry. “Embracing the future. We are indeed doing that.”
Just a few of the more recent accomplishments made by the AWMAC board include educational initiatives such as the Student Standards Questionnaire (SSQ) and Student Tool Bag Program, professional marketing, and researching technology tools.
From its humble beginnings when the organization had just six founding members, AWMAC has grown from the west coast to the east coast and all provinces in between, with more than 400 companies and industry professionals comprising the membership.
“Together, anything is possible,” said Larry. “The opportunities are endless.”

GIS Award
This year’s convention marked the inaugural presentation of the AMWAC’s National GIS Award.
Through AWMAC’s Guarantee and Inspection Service (GIS) program, AWMAC guarantees architectural woodwork meets or exceeds industry standards (AWMAC’s Standards).
“The principle tenet of the GIS program is standardization… of millwork quality and compliance, as well as policy and procedures,” said Nick Anastas, GIS committee chair and presenter of the award.
“Each of the eight Chapters presented a recently completed GIS project as their nominee,” said Nick, “and it was graded against these agreed-upon criteria: the overall quality; the quality of drawings; attention to details in the finished product, as well as adherence to processes and communication with the client, chapter and inspector… and of course, the ‘wow factor.’”
The winning project of the first annual National GIS award went to Executive Millwork, from the Southern Alberta Chapter, for Calgary’s new Central Library . “It represented a project where the fundamental steps and GIS processes were followed diligently to marvelous effect,” said Nick.
With DIALOG as the designers and Stuart Olson as the general contractors, this project featured extensive wood elements throughout, with both modern styling, and extreme complexity.

National Contest Winners
The 2019 AWMAC National Convention also marked the 17th year of the National Contest of students, apprentices and recent graduates that are enrolled, or have recently graduated, from a recognized post-secondary institution’s cabinetmaking program.
The cabinets they made were displayed in the morning before the AWMAC Annual General Meeting. Rick Mostert, chair of the Awards and Events Committee, referred to the entries as “the great work of our future woodworkers.”
The winners of the National Contest were:
• Erik Strom of the Manitoba Chapter (first place)
• Junias Worms of the B.C. Chapter (second place)
• Joel Dueck of Southern Alberta (third place)

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