A New Perspective
by Trey Barrineau
March 29th, 2017

As WDMA Grows, So Grows the Industry

After spending a couple of days at the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) spring meeting and legislative conference in Washington, D.C., it’s apparent that this vital organization  is expanding — and not just because of a recent high-profile merger. That’s nothing but good news for our industry.

“The association has grown in revenue, bottom line and membership,” said WDMA president and CEO Michael O’Brien during Monday’s annual membership meeting. “I am happy to say this has been one of the more successful years WDMA has had.”

Revenue is up 14 percent since 2014, O’Brien said, and membership has grown from 74 to 83 companies. If you add in the new members who came aboard when WDMA merged with the Northeast Window and Door Association (NWDA), the organization is up to 145 firms. The merger, which created WDMA Northeast, was completed in February.

“This expands the influence of WDMA from Maine to Maryland as well as into eastern Canada,” O’Brien said.

The association will be adding summer and winter WDMA Northeast meetings to increase networking opportunities for all WDMA members. (The first WDMA Northeast summer meeting is set for July 17-18 in Albany, N.Y.) Additionally, a quarterly WDMA Northeast newsletter launches this week and will go to all WDMA members.

According to O’Brien, WDMA has a membership retention rate of 90 percent.

“In the association world, 90 percent retention is terrific,” said O’Brien, who has earned a Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives. “In trade associations, 70-80 percent retention is average.”

And while membership growth and retention are important, WDMA also is achieving great success in the policy arena.

“On energy efficiency, WDMA is now recognized as a key player,” O’Brien said.  “On Energy Star 6.0, our advocacy led to long-term changes to how it’s updated.”

O’Brien also told attendees that WDMA achieved all of its objectives for building codes such as the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the International Building Code (IBC), the International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Fire Code (IFC).

“We made sure that any efficiency requirement increases were not unreasonable,” he said.

Additionally, WDMA continues to advance legislative objectives on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) lead paint rule, regulatory reform, tax reform and the softwood lumber agreement.

O’Brien also praised progress in the WDMA Hallmark Certification program, which gives code officials, builders, architects, specifiers and consumers an easily recognizable means of identifying products that meet WMDA and other performance standards.

He said the association has fully implemented the electronic portal to submit product evaluation reports to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), adding that WDMA is the only certification program to have this service. O’Brien says the goal of the electronic portal is to cut waiting times, which can run as high as 16 months.

Although there is no legal requirement for a TDI evaluation report, they are sought by many consumers, architects, builders, retailers, code officials and approval agencies. Many homeowners need them to secure homeowners insurance in Texas.

That’s quite a full plate for the WDMA staff, but they’re getting it all done. Everyone in our industry should be thankful for that.

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