IFAI’s 2019 Outstanding Volunteer Awards

October 8, 2019

At this year’s annual meeting during IFAI Expo 2019, IFAI presented the Outstanding Volunteer Awards, recognizing members who generously gave of their time to serve on different boards, task forces and committees, judged competitions and provided education and leadership to others in the industry. This year’s winners: Amy Bircher, president, MMI Textiles Inc. Jonathan Chakales, …

2019 Chairman’s Award winner: Scott Campbell, Rainier Industries

The Chairman’s Award (originally, the President’s Award) is an honor bestowed by the chairman of IFAI to an individual that has had an extraordinary and meaningful impact on the association. It is rarely given, and awarded at the sole discretion of the IFAI chairman. At IFAI’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo 2019, IFAI chairman Steve …

Designing with shade cloth for human protection

October 4, 2019

Australia has a very high rate of skin cancer, so it’s not surprising that the country has led the world in the development of shade cloth, Chris Nolan told attendees of a shade cloth educational session at IFAI Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla. “Even in the temperate areas where most people live, we have an …

Avoid expensive mistakes when applying graphics to awnings

Bill McSpadden wants IFAI attendees to not make the same mistakes he has made. On day 2 of IFAI Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla., McSpadden’s educational session on graphics for small to medium fabricators focused on avoiding expensive mistakes that turn profitable projects into unprofitable ones. McSpadden is owner of Capitol Awning, located in Richmond, …

HDPE shade fabrics offer form and function for shade structures

Shade has been a requirement for human beings since ancient times, but very little technological development related to shade occurred until the last 30 to 40 years, said Andrew Nasarczyk, senior manager—research and development, GALE Pacific Ltd., Braeside, Victoria, Australia. Nasarczyk explained the design and development of world-class knitted shade fabrics in an educational session …

Fire retardancy in shade structures: requirements and solutions

David Dean, director of research and development at Glen Raven/Sunbrella, led the campfire session, “Fire Retardancy in Shade Structures: Requirements and Solutions” during Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla., According to Dean, in the U.S. there are currently no federally-mandated fire retardancy (FR) regulations for shade structures. The few regulations that have been passed include those …

Sales success with a dose of passive aggression

Chris Semonelli, vice president, sales and marketing, E Squared, and president of Coated Technical Solutions, says he has “a philosophy of being assertive with passive aggression” when it comes to sales. “You need to have a deadline with customers and R&D, and make frequent visits. Emails and faxes are great, but you can’t look customers …

Award breakfast transforms into a networking event

Keynote speaker Thom Singer hosted IFAI’s annual award ceremony October 3 at Expo 2019, continuing his message to “see people.” As Expo exhibitors and attendees entered the breakfast event, Singer encouraged people to separate from familiar colleagues and sit with new people. This year’s award ceremony was infused with an additional goal—that of networking with …

Industry 4.0 and what it means for your small business

Jonathan Palmer, CEO of Autometrix, presented the education session “Industry 4.0 for Small Businesses” at IFAI Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla. Industry 4.0 is a German initiative that began in 2011. The loose definition focuses on four main areas: interconnection (sensors, machines and devices), information (free-flowing info), assistance (robots/technology making a worker’s job easier and …

Don’t overlook overhead

Gary Westlund, of Awning Tracker, knows what he’s talking about when he says, “Overhead is a real cost. Unless you properly account for overhead on job bids, you are just guessing.” Westlund gave a straight-talk presentation on Oct. 3 at Expo 2019, telling attendees he owned and operated his own awning business for 25 years, …