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WDMA Fall 2020 Virtual Conference - October 28, 2020


Wednesday, October 28
12:00pm - 5:00pm (ET - Eastern Time)

12:00 - 1:10pm ET
Welcome & Opening Remarks

Michael O’Brien, WDMA President & CEO

2020 Election Analysis & Forecast
Nathan Gonzalez, Editor & Publisher, Inside Elections with Nathan Gonzalez and CNN Political Analyst

Less than a week before Election Day, Nathan Gonzalez will share his nonpartisan election analysis and forecasting of the presidential race, as well as key races that will determine control of Congress for the next two years. Using poll numbers, economic data, historical information, trends, demographics and one-on-one candidate interviews, he analyzes the electoral landscape and will share what you need to know about the races you didn’t even know about.

1:20-2:20 pm ET
2021 Commercial & Multifamily Market Outlook
Kermit Baker, Chief Economist, American Institute of Architects (AIA)

This session will review the current economic factors impacting the commercial, institutional and multifamily markets. What are the current economic fundamentals of the market and the strengths and weaknesses of these segments? Will we see improvement, decline or flat markets in 2021? The session will include forecasts of the educational, office, retail, health care, hotel, warehouse and multifamily market segments.
2:30-3:30 pm ET
How COVID-19 Has Impacted the Window and Door Market in 2020
Casey Olson, Senior Industry Analyst, and Matt Ritchie, Director of Quantitative Analysis, Principia Consulting

This session will discuss Principia Consulting’s analysis of the impact on residential construction activity and product demand by COVID-19. Principia is the preferred supplier of business insights to the building materials and construction industry and provides market intelligence and demand estimation in product categories such as roofing, siding, decking, windows, and doors. Principia’s COVID-19 coverage has been tracking the impact on building product demand arising from government restrictions and the macroeconomic downturn.Key topics discussed in the session include:
  • A review of the COVID-19 macroeconomic landscape including virus-related and economic shocks.
  • The updated outlook for the United States residential window and door markets and product demand levels by construction type (repair and remodel vs new construction), unit type (single family vs multifamily), and geography—in 2020 through 2022.
  • Discussion of qualitative insights including pandemic-induced acceleration of trends such as technology adoption and where Americans live and work.
  • Key takeaways of COVID-19’s impact on the window and door markets.
3:40-4:40 pm ET
The Science of Success: Understanding the Power of Emotional Intelligence
Catherine Sanderson, Poler Family Professor & Chair of Psychology, Amherst College

Many people focus on the importance of cognitive intelligence in predicting academic and professional success. But a growing amount of evidence suggests that other traits - including the ability to control impulses, manage adversity, find internal motivation, and build relationships – are essential in achieving the best outcomes in both personal and professional relationships. This session will therefore focus on the importance of so-called emotional intelligence (or EQ) in predicting success, and provide specific strategies for increasing your own EQ.
4:40-4:45 pm ET
Wrap-Up & Closing Remarks
Michael O’Brien, WDMA President & CEO


  • Nathan Gonzalez, Editor & Publisher, Inside Elections with Nathan Gonzalez and CNN Political Analyst

    Nathan Gonzales is the editor and publisher of Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales, which provides non-partisan analysis of campaigns for Senate, House, governor and president. He was an editor, analyst, and writer for The Rothenberg Political Report for more than 13 years before taking over the company in 2015. He offers audiences some of the most detailed electoral forecasting in the business. He can regularly be seen on CNN discussing the latest in politics, and the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today have all sought him out for his expertise. On Election Night 2016, Nathan was an on-air analyst for Newshour on PBS after working as an off-air consultant for ABC News on their Election Night Decision Desk for 14 years.

    In addition to publishing Inside Elections, Gonzales is also an elections analyst for Roll Call newspaper. Before The Rothenberg Political Report, he worked for and as associate producer for CNN’s Capital Gang.

    Gonzales has appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press and NBC Nightly News, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, and Fox News Channel. His work has also appeared on FiveThirtyEight, and, and in Campaigns & Elections magazine.

  • Kermit Baker, Chief Economist, American Institute of Architects (AIA)

    Kermit Baker is the Chief Economist for the American Institute of Architects in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he analyzes business and construction trends for the U.S. economy and examines their impact on AIA members and the architectural profession. He originated the AIA’s “Work on the Boards” Survey, a monthly assessment of business conditions at architecture firms and the source of the widely followed Architecture Billings Index. He also coordinates the AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Panel, and writes regular economics columns for the AIA member electronic newspaper, AIArchitect.

    Kermit also is the Project Director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. This research effort is aimed at developing an improved understanding of the dynamics of the U.S. repair and renovation industry.

    Prior to joining the AIA, Kermit was Vice President and Director of the Economics Department at Reed Business Information, where he was responsible for industry forecasting. During his ten years at Reed, he developed the Top U.S. Construction Markets Report, and served as editor of Reed Business Information’s Building and Construction Market Forecast newsletter.

    Kermit received his Masters degree in Urban Planning from Harvard University and holds a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the same field. In 2002, Kermit was made an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects.

  • Casey Olson, Senior Industry Analyst, Principia Consulting

    Casey brings over 20 years of research, marketing, and business expertise to the Principia Consulting team. She is responsible for managing and executing primary and secondary research efforts to provide critical market insights, speaking with market participants all along the value chain. As Senior Industry Analyst, Casey’s focus is on executing and preparing topical industry reports and Principia’s BuilderSeries® research data products.

    Casey has extensive experience in executing and managing B2B market research projects to assist clients with market analysis, competitive intelligence, product ideation and development, and acquisition strategy and identification. Prior to joining Principia, Casey was Industry Analyst at Geo Strategy Partners where she was responsible for leading and executing market research initiatives for a broad range of clients across multiple product lines.

  • Matt Ritchie, Director of Quantitative Analysis, Principia Consulting

    Matt leads Principia’s quantitative analysis team and works closely with the research team to collect, collate, cleanse, and synthesize all of Principia’s information. He is an expert at secondary search and collection as well as market assessment and financial modeling. Matt’s primary responsibilities for Principia include analysis of survey results and the construction of demand models. In addition, Matt works to track supply chain outlets and the manufacturers they carry.

    Previously, Matt worked for Penton Publishing where he led a team of analysts responsible for data collection and maintenance for EquipmentWatch, an equipment data-benchmarking product. He created custom analytics for consulting customers and conference presentations, and content for a data journalism website providing visualization-based analytics to a community of equipment sellers, owners, and financiers.

  • Catherine Sanderson, Poler Family Professor & Chair of Psychology, Amherst College

    Catherine A. Sanderson is the Poler Family Professor and Chair of Psychology at Amherst College. She received a bachelor's degree in psychology, with a specialization in Health and Development, from Stanford University, and received both masters and doctoral degrees in psychology from Princeton University.

    Her research has received grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. Professor Sanderson has published over 25 journal articles and book chapters in addition to four college textbooks, middle school and high school health textbooks, and trade books on parenting as well as how mindset influences happiness, health, and even how long we live (The Positive Shift). In 2012, she was named one of the country's top 300 professors by the Princeton Review.

    Her latest trade book, published in North America as Why We Act: Turning Bystanders Into Moral Rebels (Harvard University Press) and internationally as The Bystander Effect: The Psychology of Courage and Inaction (HarperCollins), examines why good people so often stay silent or do nothing in the face of wrongdoing. For a preview of the topics addressed in this book, watch Catherine’s TEDx talk on the Psychology of Inaction, which describes the factors that contribute to inaction and provides strategies we all can use to help people act, even when those around them are not.

October 28, 2020
Wed 12:00 PM EDT

Duration 5H 0M

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