Second in a series of profiles about Quality Certification Program Representatives – links in the field between QCP Licensees and the Quality Certification Corporation.
Shows Leary has a rich history of involvement in the millwork and construction industries dating back to 1968. He learned how to build a house under his grandfather’s watchful eyes, having worked since he was 13-years old for the patriarch’s home building business. Basically, Shows has been in the industry for most of his life.
Over the years, Shows worked for various trades, but his love of millwork landed him employment in several architectural woodwork shops for 15 years, including that of Lee Biagiotti (1991-92 AWI President). Conversations between the two men led to discussions about architectural woodwork standards and the quality of work in the industry. As a founder of the Quality Certification Program, Lee invited Shows to be a QCP inspector around the time Shows was establishing a construction management company in 1996.
In addition to his inspection work for QCP, Shows still maintains two businesses: 1) a construction management company that provides consultation to schools for their building projects; and 2) Shows Leary Millwork Management, with a mission of helping woodworkers, owners and architects design and fabricate the best possible millwork projects.
Career with QCP: A QCP Rep’s primary responsibility is to inspect millwork fabrication and installation to assure it conforms with AWI Standards, whether they be specified according to Quality Standards Illustrated, the Architectural Woodwork Standards or the new ANSI / AWI Standards
Shows has a unique perspective about architectural woodwork standards. He served on the tripartite Joint Standards Committee for five years, working with AWI, AWMAC, and WI industry representatives on the Architectural Woodwork Standards.
His desire to know the standards – inside and out – significantly advanced his expertise. He has written all of tests for QCP Licensee applicants to take to gain their initial licensing, and he wrote the test for the drafting accreditation. Currently, Shows is drafting tests for Licensees to learn the new ANSI / AWI Standards.
Projects Inspected: many schools and courthouses, and a reasonable number of healthcare facilities. Projects also include a large number of one-offs for the commercial market, and high-end residential projects in Manhattan. Since 1996, Shows estimates he has performed about 2,000 individual inspections that include multiple inspections for many projects.
Contact Information: 518-482-3222, Shows@showsleary.com
Personal: Shows resides in Grafton, NY with his wife Robin of 26 years. The couple has three children and four grandchildren. About five nights a week, Shows practices and plays music with six different bands. He and his electric bass are well-known by regional music fans who enjoy the bands’ bluegrass, country, rock and jazz specialties. Shows is also an avid mountain biker.
Shows has seen AWI Standards change over the years, starting with his grandfather who consulted The Millwork Cost Book, iterations of the AWI Quality Standards Illustrated, the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS), and now ANSI / AWI Standards. “I see a variety of specifications,” said Shows. “Architects often don’t update the woodwork standards language in their specifications.
Shows said, “Perhaps the most far-reaching changes that impact our lives in terms of time and cost savings result from technological developments. For instance, when I began as a QCP Rep, we hand wrote one-to-two-page reports, all of which currently are typed and sent electronically with relevant photos using our Tablets.”
The advent of computer-controlled machinery in shops has exploded. “When I first started in the industry, no one had heard of a CNC; we cut wood using table saws and the like. When I started working in Project Management, we did all the tracking by hand, including shop drawings.” Computers freed up time, so that shops could submit more bids and were awarded with more fabrication work. according to Shows.
Now, QCP inspections sometimes are being conducted using video technology, another time and cost-saving practice for many projects.