I’m not a spotlight-seeker…when I was growing up, I wanted to be a back-up singer – not the headliner. But there’s a member-spotlight article about me in this month’s issue of Doors & Hardware (you can read the whole magazine here) that I feel like I should save for posterity (and Mom). I even got a new head shot taken, so you’ll recognize me if you see me on the street. 🙂
What started as merely a job has transformed into a true passion—and supported and influenced an entire industry.
Outside of those who grow up working in a family hardware business, most members of this industry began their careers unintentionally. What starts out as merely a job somehow transforms over time into a career and, for some, a true passion—a calling, if you will.
For Lori Greene, DAHC/CDC, CCPR, FDAI, FDHI, the road that led to this industry began on her graduation day at Vermont Technical College. She was standing in line to receive her associate’s degree in architecture and building technology, and one of her professors was handing out business cards for an aluminum storefront company that was looking to hire a draftsman. Having already determined that she couldn’t continue her college education at that time, she took the card and got the job.
Eighteen months later, she began working for HCI/Craftsmen in Winooski, Vermont, as a detailer, and it was here that she began learning all about doors and hardware. With the support of several tremendous teachers and mentors, she was able to overcome both the enormity of the learning curve and the prejudices she faced as a 20-year-old woman working in a field that was dominated by men.
During this time, she also became a member of DHI’s New England Chapter and started attending local chapter meetings and national DHI schools. This was only the beginning of her involvement with the local chapter that would one day appoint her to serve as the New England Chapter secretary and later, chapter president.
After five years at HCI, she moved to the Boston area where she worked for a manufacturer’s rep agency—Openings Systems Group, and a small distributor—Hennigar Door. In 1994 she was offered a job with MPS Sales working as a rep for LCN, Von Duprin, NGP, and several other door and hardware manufacturers. By this time, she had received both her CDC and AHC certifications and, as one of only five employees, she was tasked with doing everything from phone support to changing door closers in the field.
Her job began to transform into a career as she started learning about codes, writing specs and ultimately managing the specification department. Over the next 22 years, as the employees of MPS Sales became part of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies and the company later spun off the security businesses into a new company—Allegion—she discovered a real passion for the vital role this industry plays in providing life safety and security within the built environment.
Driven by a constant desire to learn more, she has earned an impressive list of credentials. From DHI, she has received a Fellow Award (FDHI), Fire and Egress Door Assembly Inspection (FDAI) and Distinguished Architectural Hardware Consultant (DAHC) as well as two certifications from CSI as a Construction Documents Technologist (CDT) and Certified Construction Product Representative (CCPR). She is also a member of the ICC and NFPA and is a Certified Fire Plans Examiner (CFPE).
Serving on many committees throughout her career, she is currently a member of the BHMA Codes & Government Affairs Committee, a group that helps to develop the model codes and standards in the United States, and she is also DHI’s alternate member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Doors and Windows.
Her deeply-held belief in the importance of adhering to building codes and writing proper specifications eventually led her to begin sharing her knowledge of these issues with others. She’s taught a number of courses over the years, including the engaging Code Jeopardy and Decoded: 1 vs. 100, and has converted her popular four-class Decoded series to on-demand classes available online.
She has also written several award-winning articles for both this publication and Construction Specifier. Most are likely familiar with her Decoded column that runs in each month’s issue of Doors + Hardware. It is the original source of these columns that is arguably Lori’s greatest contribution to the industry—her much-loved blog iDigHardware.com.
Although initially unsure what sort of following the site would generate, Allegion supported her experiment to reach industry members in a new way, and she began posting the answers to common questions about door openings. The site quickly surpassed all expectations and became an indispensable resource for distributors, code officials, security integrators, architects, locksmiths and end users around the world, a fact made evident by her site traffic. In just seven years, the site has received more than 1 million visits, 2 million page views, 500,000 visitors, and 10,000 comments on the 1,500 posts Lori has published.
For Lori, the blog is an effective way to address directly the countless code and hardware-related questions she has been asked over the years. For her readers, it’s one of the few sites available where they can receive detailed explanations of complicated or frequently misunderstood door, hardware and code issues. She also offers on-demand training through the website as well as a downloadable code reference guide and many educational videos. With so much information compiled in one location, readers are almost certain to find the answer to whatever their question may be, but if not, they are encouraged to email her directly.
Somehow, in the midst of working as the Manager of Codes and Resources for Allegion, serving on several committees, writing articles and daily blog posts, and teaching courses, Lori also finds time to spend with her family. She currently works remotely and lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with her husband and three kids, all of whom have come to accept that no family vacation will be complete without her photographing unusual doors and hardware or code violations for future blog posts and articles.
Over the course of three decades, Lori has made enormous contributions to this industry. Her willingness to share her extensive knowledge of codes and hardware has taken many forms, but the result is that she has influenced countless people around the world, at every stage of construction, from architects and specifiers, to installers and code officials. And so it is that, on behalf of an incredibly grateful industry, we say thank you for the innumerable hours she has devoted to improving life safety and security around the globe.