KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Architectural Woodworkers of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) gathered October 23-25 for their annual convention. The 2016 event featured plant tours, educational sessions, industry professional speakers, team building, networking, and over 50 industry-leading exhibitors.

Activities began Saturday, October 22 – the day before the show officially commenced – with a case study from restaurant chain Benihana. Harvard MBA graduate and architectural woodworking businessman Marc Sanderson focused on the restaurant's management style, operational and marketing strategies, production, and design choices. The rest of the day and Sunday featured tours, networking, and a reception dinner.

The convention officially kicked off Monday with a keynote speech from Ross Shafer, author of eight business books, 14 human resources training films, and winner of six Emmy Awards for his work as a television host and producer. The day continued with a presentation about global economics from Alan Beaulieu, a financial management presentation from Sebastien DesMarais of Hollywood Woodwork, a sales and marketing lecture from Hafele America's Scott Markwood, succession and estate planning with Husch Blackwell's Christine DeMarea, and efficiently communicating through technology with Innergy Discover's Jonathon Adams.

Tuesday continued with another keynote from Ross Shafer - this time regarding what customers will expect by the year 2020. Members then headed out on manufacturing plant tours, with visits to veneer firm C.S. Humphrey & Co. and RCS Millwork, who runs a 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility.

Winners of the Institute’s Standard of Excellence, announced in September, received their awards.

The 2016 Overall Standard of Excellence winner was Stephenson Millwork Co. for the North Carolina State University Talley Student Union Center project.

The overall winner for 2016 was Stephenson Millwork Company, Inc. located in Wilson, North Carolina for the North Carolina State University Talley Student Union Center project. The project included a multi-story wooden trellis of NC State wolf mascot. Other winners were Montbleau & Associates, Allegheny Millwork, Tech 2000, Accurate Custom Cabinets, and Keystone Millwork.

The Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) is a nonprofit trade association founded in 1953. Today, AWI represents nearly 3000 members consisting of architectural woodworkers, suppliers, design professionals and students from around the world.

Next year’s convention will take place in Charleston, South Carolina on October 29-31.

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