SIPA’s Annual Meeting and Roundup 2012

Strolling along the River Walk in San Antonio searching for the perfect margarita


San Antonio Rocks!  What a great place to hold the 2012 SIPA Annual Meeting & Roundup, in the new Embassy Suites right on the River Walk. A lot went on during our five days there, and here are some highlights:

The SIPA Master Builder Training was a two day event that was hosted by Vantem Panel and taught by SIPschool.   The combination of classroom (Monday) and hands-on training (Tuesday) was attended by 15 area builders, and included a tour of the very impressive Vantem Plant.  Tuesday evening found us networking and visiting the tradeshow during the reception hosted by SIPA.  The Embassy Suites also provides an impressive manager’s reception, so no one went away thirsty.

Attendees at SIPA Master Builder program taught by SIPschool at Vantem Panel

On Wednesday,  conference speakers included several industry insiders that clarified the relationship between SIPs and RESNET, DOE, Energy Star, and other like-minded organizations.   Sam Rashkin with the DOE spoke on What’s New at the Department of Energy; Frank Baker and Don Ferrier discussed Meeting the 2012 Energy Code with SIPs; Steve Baden gave us the RESNET Update; and Don Jahnke with Energy Panel Structures talked about Optimizing SIP Envelope Performance in Residential and Multifamily Buildings Through HVAC Equipment Selection. After lunch Archie Landreman of WoodWorks spoke on the Keys to Working with Architects, Engineers and Specifiers.

Also included in Wednesday’s lineup was a series of free, open to the public presentations, including Designing with SIPs, Building with SIPs, and Quality Control Management.  These presentations were very well attended by interested architects, builders and homeowners in the San Antonio region and are part of SIPA’s continuing effort to educate consumers and industry insiders.

The Russian SIP Association brought two representatives and a local interpreter. Their presentation was very interesting and highlighted the ongoing growth and acceptance of SIPs from around the world.  We also enjoyed networking and socializing with other panel aficionados from Chile, Australia and Saudi Arabia. The presence of these international parties generated talk of a truly international conference within the next few years.

Thursday’s breakout sessions were devoted to the business of the Structural Insulated Panel Association – this is where the work really gets done. The two most active and attended groups were the technical committee and the marketing committee meetings. Anybody that thinks this Association is  a “closed” or singularly-minded group has never attended one of these meetings. The very nature and strength of the Association can be seen when dozens of folks from around the industry openly discuss how to move this industry forward.

The annual auction was its usual success at providing a forum for casual networking and the chance to bid on some very unique items.  This year’s auction added over $7000 to SIPA’s bottom line, and provided a good time to boot!

The final day in Texas was our Board meeting, where committee reports were reviewed and discussed, and the new Officers were voted on. The outgoing President Terry Dieken has lead our Association’s business with great integrity and diligence for the past three years.  Newly elected President Al Cobb has some large shoes to fill.


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