Rich Walker

former President and CEO

Rich is the former President and CEO of AAMA, the leading trade association representing window, door, skylight, curtain wall and storefront manufacturers and their suppliers. He has more than 20 years of industry experience, 17 of which have been with the association. Rich also serves on the Board of Directors for both the High Performance Building Council (HPBC) and the Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). You can follow him on Twitter at @richwalker6348.

Recent Posts by Rich

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AAMA 81st Annual Conference in the Sun in Orlando

Thanks to everyone who attended the AAMA 2018 Annual Conference this month down in Orlando. February is never a bad month to visit Florida, and we didn’t see a raincloud all week. On Tuesday night of the conference, we held our Annual Banquet with a surprise guest: Three singing waiters, who entertained us during dinner with music and the gentle ribbing of some of our leadership – myself included!The banquet is always one of my favorite events of the year, because it gives us a...

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International Builders Show Observations and Trends Raise Bar for 2018

There was never a slow moment on the floor of the International Builders Show earlier this month, and it was reported that attendance jumped six percent over 2017’s huge show. Plus, unlike prior shows, the last day was full of attendees and busy exhibitors. Here are some things I noticed on the show floor down in Orlando.The European presence at the show overall was more pronounced, featuring tilt turn windows and powder coating products.Many more exhibitors were promoting hurricane impact products this year. Here’s AAMA...

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What Can the Industry Do About the Current Skilled Labor Shortage?

It’s no secret that availability of qualified labor is a big problem for both the construction industry and for manufacturers. In the former’s case, NAHB reports that the cost and availability of labor has skyrocketed from being the most significant problem faced by 13 percent of builders in 2011 to 82 percent in 2017. On top of this, the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte consulting concluded that, due to baby-boomer retirements and manufacturing growth (partly to counter the offshoring of jobs), industry is projecting a whopping...

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AAMA and World Vision Partnership Continues, Delivering Another 500 Backpacks to Kids in Need

One of my favorite things about AAMA’s National Fall Conference each year is that it provides special events that highlight our ongoing partnership with World Vision. Through the organization, AAMA has been able to support the educations of, by now, thousands of children across the country. While it’s extremely fulfilling to see the children pick out their own new backpacks, what you might not know is that a lot of work goes into making that moment happen during the preceding months. And it’s all thanks...

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Exceptionally Tough Hurricane Season Takes Toll

Hurricane season is always on the industry’s radar, but 2017’s activity has propelled it to the top of everyone’s minds. With back-to-back weekends of hurricanes hitting our shores in September, combined with the occurrence of GlassBuild happening in Atlanta at the same time, there has been much discussion on how the industry should proceed. Though rebuilding will take time, those involved in those efforts would do well to consider the codes they adhere to in the process – as well as AAMA-certified impact-resistant fenestration products. Photo credit: Kakela (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kakela/9658243/)

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AAMA Congratulates World Vision on New Chicago Headquarters

AAMA and World Vision, a humanitarian organization for children, have a long partnership history. During every Fall Conference, AAMA teams up with World Vision to fill backpacks full of school supplies, which are then distributed to area children in need. It’s a way for AAMA to give back to the communities it visits, and a way to help World Vision work closer toward their mission. That mission centers around the belief it is the right of all children to be healthy, protected, empowered, loved and...

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How Can We Give Back to Our Communities?

At AAMA, we believe in giving back through philanthropy and charitable giving, whether it’s our annual holiday food drives or World Vision-partnered backpack build on location at every Fall Conference. We encourage member companies to find opportunities for giving time and money in their communities, and we’re proud when members of our staff do the same. One example of an AAMA staff member giving their time is Jason Seals, AAMA Certification Manager. Every summer, Jason and his daughter participate in mission trips with the youth...

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Team Work and Collaboration Keep AAMA Going at Events and Beyond

If you got to the Summer Conference early enough on Sunday in Newport, RI, maybe you got to take part in the sailing and operating of three yachts in the Regatta Race. Some of our members were given different duties and instructed how best to keep afloat (and upright), and everyone had to work together to keep things running smoothly.That’s not so different from how our association works, at in-person events as well as in between, with conference calls and document work. Our membership is...

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Summer Conference to Tackle Industry Interests by Day, Clambake by Night

Will we see you at the Summer Conference in a few weeks? It’s taking place June 18-21 in Newport, RI, and those who want to make their voices heard in the industry are encouraged to register now. Mike Collins, the Summer Conference keynote speaker, will give us what we need to answer the question: What does the Trump administration mean in terms of both challenges and opportunities for our industry? We’ll also hear the latest in sustainability and green issues with presentations about U.S. aluminum...

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AAMA Says Good Luck and Farewell to Dean Lewis, the Answers Man

Where will we go for quick references and answers, now that the great Dean Lewis has retired? He served as an incredible resource to AAMA staff during his 18 years with the association, and for that, among many other wonderful things, he will be very much missed. That said, we are thrilled Dean gets to enjoy some much-deserved time with his family, especially his grandchildren!Terri and Dean LewisDean served as the AAMA Technical Manager, Training and Education, retiring at the end of 2016. We’ll miss...

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Body Language Can Help You in the Work Place

Can something as simple as how you position yourself in a doorway change the way others perceive you at work? A body language expert at a recent AAMA event made a pretty convincing case for it. We were fortunate enough to have one of our most raved-about keynote speakers in recent years address the attendees at the AAMA 80th Annual Conference in February – Janine Driver didn’t shy away from a large group. She even managed to round up some volunteers (including staff) to the...

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Will the EPA Start Showing Signs of Moderation?

Earlier this week, the EPA’s new administrator suggested that the agency’s longtime practice of “sue and settle” may soon become a relic of the past. Senior Vice President for the Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce William Kovacs wrote to his newsletter subscribers about this new development.Kovacs writes:“In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal Scott Pruitt, newly confirmed EPA administrator, announced his plan to end the “sue and settle” process, where advocacy groups sue federal agencies seeking to...

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Some Thoughts on the Year Ahead

It's fortuitous that the International Builders Show takes place early in the year because the outcome of the show usually provides a view of the tempo of the market in the year ahead. If that holds true this year, we're in for a great 2017. Attendance at the show was estimated to approach 80,000 people who were there to see 1,500 exhibitors. I would describe the crowd as having been "on the hunt," meaning that everyone was there looking for something in particular.

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