Aluminum Extruders Council Recognizes Rand Baldwin with Distinguished Service Award

Two AEC members also recognized with Volunteer of the Year Awards

AEC President Rand Baldwin (left) is presented the Council's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, by AEC Chairman Rick Merluzzi.

(Wauconda, Illinois; April 1, 2014) -- The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) presented Rand Baldwin, AEC President, its coveted Distinguished Service Award during the Volunteer Recognition Banquet on March 20, 2014 at the AEC Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference held in Coral Gables, Florida. Rick Merluzzi, AEC Chairman, said, "In light of the dramatic turnaround in our industry through industry promotion and successful execution of our China trade agenda managed by the AEC, we wanted to recognize Rand's leadership and dedication with the AEC's most prestigious award." This award is the highest honor given to an individual whose work through the years has earned special recognition by AEC membership. The presentation of the Distinguished Service Award was unique in that it had never been presented to an individual outside of an AEC member company. "The AEC Executive Committee felt that Rand's contribution to the Council went above and beyond and we wanted to recognize his efforts. He has become one of us, an AEC member, and is just as devoted and committed to the Council's success as we are," said Merluzzi.

A clearly surprised and emotional Rand Baldwin, who has been President of the AEC since 2000, accepted the award, and from the podium told the audience, "I can't tell you how much these means to me. To be recognized in this way... here tonight... is simply more than I can express in words." The audience responded to Rand's thank you with a standing ovation that lasted several minutes.


Earlier in the event Baldwin recounted the difficult but successful journey that the aluminum extrusion industry, and the AEC, had made over the recent past. He noted that, five years ago, shipments had fallen to levels not seen in decades. Chinese extruders were dumping massive volumes into the U.S. market using unfair trade practices, and the industry struggled to promote its virtues to a manufacturing base looking for new solutions. In the ensuing five years, the AEC, under Baldwin's leadership, developed an Industry Promotion initiative that has produced thousands of inquiries for its members, successfully launched a trade petition against Chinese extruders that resulted in a dramatic decrease in imports into the U.S. market, and grown membership in the AEC by 25 percent.

Guy Chapentier of Bonnell Aluminum receives the
2014 Volunteer of the Year Award from AEC Chairman Rick Merluzzi.

Also during the awards ceremony two members were recognized with AEC's Volunteer of the Year Award. Guy Charpentier, Marketing Manager for Bonnell Aluminum in Newnan, Georgia, was recognized for his work as Chairman of the Building & Construction Industry Promotion Committee, and Richard Dickson, Director Customer Technical Support-Hydro Aluminum Metals USA, Zeeland, Michigan, was recognized for his work on the Die and Tooling Business Excellence Committee. Both members have been actively involved in the AEC for years.

As Chairman of the B&C Industry Promotion Team, Mr. Charpentier led the effort to establish an online educational course designed to teach designers, specifiers, and architects the benefits of using aluminum extrusions. Since its launch, AEC's online course for architects has had over 18,000 views and is 'graduating' scores of participants with continuing education credits recognized by dozens of institutions in the architectural community. Mr. Charpentier's leadership of the B&C Team has resulted in a higher visibility of the Council and its efforts in the building and construction market. "His insights and attention to details make him a very strong results-oriented leader; a true asset to the Aluminum Extruders Council and the Industry Promotion efforts," said Merluzzi.

Richard Dickson of Hydro Aluminum receives the 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award from AEC Chairman Rick Merluzzi.

As a member of the AEC Die and Tooling Team, Richard Dickson has been instrumental in providing and delivering educational content in the Council's resurgent business excellence effort. He has helped develop much of the content in several AEC workshops and webinars covering topics such as die technology, thermal management and extrusion excellence. Mr. Dickson also is a member of the ET Seminar Committee and has been a co-author of several ET Seminar technical papers on extrusion die technology and processes. "His dedication and tireless efforts have resulted in AEC members getting a better understanding of aluminum extrusion operations, specifically as it relates to die operations," noted Merluzzi in the presentation of the Award.

The Die Performance Improvement Clinics, two-day training events that are developed and presented by members of the Die and Tooling Team, have been attended by hundreds of personnel in the aluminum extrusion industry across North America in recent years. The Council will be conducting another Die Clinic in Irvine, California on May 13 and 14, 2014, which will be open to nonmembers of the AEC for the first time. For details, visit www.AECmeets.org.

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About AEC
The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) is an international trade association dedicated to advancing the effective use of aluminum extrusion in North America. AEC is committed to bringing comprehensive information about extrusion's characteristics, applications, environmental benefits, design and technology to users, product designers, engineers and the academic community. Further, AEC is focused on enhancing the ability of its members to meet the emerging demands of the market through sharing knowledge and best practices.

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