2022 Annual Conference Highlights

The SMA Annual Conference in Memphis, Tennessee was a memorable event for all who attended. As is tradition, the conference kicked off with with the traditional Golf Tournament where our golfers enjoyed 18-holes with putting and driving competitions using specialized stair part golf clubs; a baluster putter and a newel driver. Our non-golfers enjoyed a Memphis City Tour and a trip to Graceland. New attendees joined seasoned attendees at our fantastic Speed Networking event, which continues to be a conference hit year after year as it allows attendees one-on-one time to meet their peers. The Welcome Reception with Exhibitors was a great opportunity to connect with fellow stair industry partners. Then, we headed downtown where we enjoyed the sights and dine on delicious food. The music on Beale Street did not disappoint!

Friday’s learning sessions kicked off with Zondra Cawein, FedEx Vice President of Engineering & Operational Excellence. Zondra shared her leadership strategies, discussed practical ways to recruit talent, and encouraged attendees to build effective teams by focusing on each members strengths. Then, we boarded the buses for our Shop Tours. Attendees chose from Central Woodwork or the National Hardwood Lumber Association. The day concluded with the Annual Auction where we raised a record breaking $21,025 for the SMA’s Testing and Research Initiative.

Saturday kicked off with the 2021 StairCraft Award winners presenting their “How We Did It” presentations where they shared how they built their award winning stairs and some challenges they encountered along the way. We also debuted the Stairbuilders Hall of Shame award where poor craftsmanship was on full display. Of course, these were not works of any SMA members, but were works that have been seen by conference attendees. Finally, we had three breakout session that filled the afternoon. Attendees got to choose from Design Trends, The Women of Stairs, and Dueling Designs.

The event came to a close with the annual Awards Banquet where we said “Thank You” to our past board members; Rusty Parks and Jonathan Webster. We also recognized the Annual Golf Event standouts, honored one of our own with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and presented awards to the 2022 StairCraft Award winners.

A special thank you to all of our Sponsors and Exhibitors. Your support makes this event possible and we could not do it without you. THANK YOU!

The SMA Annual Conference is an industry highlight. Whether you were able to join us or not, we would like your candid feedback as we strive to provide this unique future opportunities. Please complete our short survey!

2022 StairCraft Award Winners

The SMA StairCraft Awards recognize the achievements of our members while showcasing the beauty of stairs. This year’s award winners were announced at the SMA Annual Conference in Memphis, Tennessee.


to view the award recipients


to view all 2022 entries

2021 People’s Choice Award

Voting has opened for the SMA’s coveted People’s Choice Award. Help us determine this year’s recipient of the People’s Choice Award by voting on your favorite stair project. Can’t choose just one? Don’t fret! You can vote for as many like (but you can only vote for a particular project once).

Go to https://stairways.org/peoples-choice, review all of this year’s award entries and then cast your vote for your favorite stairway by liking their photo!

Voting will end August 30th and the People’s Choice Award recipient will be announced at the Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, taking place September 23-25.

#SMAStairs #StairCraftAwards #2020StairCraftAward #Stairway #SMAPeoplesChoiceAward

Visual Interpretations to the Stair Building Code

We now have three versions of the printed Visual Interpretations to the Stair Building Code available.  You can stock up on these pictorial depictions of the 2012, 2015 and 2018 International Residential Code in the SMA Store at stairways.org/store. The 2012 is in black and white and the NEW 2015 and 2018 versions are in full color!


SMA Stair Academy


by Rusty Parks & Robert Aulicky

Grow your business! Do you have adequately trained employees to assist your company as you take more significant steps to continue your growth? Let the SMA help.

The SMA Stair School hosted two successful classes, with our class hosts Carolina Stair Supply and Crown Heritage, during the 2019 calendar year. Our students gave the class rave reviews. The class teaches theory and practical application skills for both post-to-post and over-the-post installation skills.

The Stair School Class focuses on theory, to better explain how and why the balustrade post-to-post system works. The class offers hands-on training with student workstations designed specifically for this learning opportunity. The workstations allow students to practice their balustrade layout from the starting newel to the wall termination. Students are taught how to calculate handrail height, baluster lengths, and placement of newels. They are also instructed on methods for correcting issues without stopping the workflow.

As seasoned builders, the instructors cover everything from checking paperwork for proper materials to calculating for newel heights to block depth styles to baluster lengths. Students are taught to layout the whole balustrade before they start making their first cut. They are also exposed to several different types of newels and the mounting hardware used, from the 3-inch newels to the more massive hollow box newels. This gives the students perspective and the ability to fine-tune their projects, as necessary.

This class benefits both the shop craftsman and the sales representative. It provides a better understanding of the preparation needed for blocking and premounting newels and balusters. The class also helps attendees understand take-offs with the proper lengths, quantities, and hardware for each installation.

Take advantage of your growth today by setting up for the next wave. The SMA answered your request for more, better-trained employees. Are you ready? We are!

Register for an upcoming class, today!


SMA Member Social Media Accounts

SMA Members!  Let’s get connected, socially. The SMA is on social media and we would like to connect with you by following your business on the various platforms!  Please complete the quick form so we can easily find you and follow your incredible work.  Click here and let us know where we can find you. We will see you soon, socially.

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