CWA Standout: Chusid Associates

Ceilings Plus Image 
Re-published from the Construction Writers Awards Newsletter, CWA eXchange March 2011

Michael Chusid couldn’t make up his mind between a career in architecture or marketing, so he found a way to combine both. After earning degrees in design and architecture, he worked in product development for a building product firm, and then spent a decade in architectural practice. These experiences taught him how much architects depend on manufacturers for design inspiration and technical support. Recognizing an opportunity, Chusid Associates was born.

Since then, the firm has been a marketing and technical consultant to more than 200 building product manufacturers, and has produced some standout entries in the Construction Writers Association’s (CWA) journalism, photography and corporate communications awards. In 2010, the firm captured three CWA awards, winning in both the corporate communications and e-newsletter categories, and receiving an honorable mention for the Godfrey Award.

Chusid, a Fellow of the Construction Specifications Institute, loves writing about building products, and utilizes his experience as a registered architect, product designer, and certified construction specifier to help building products manufacturers connect with design professionals and contractors. “Our work helps clients sell their products, but our most important service is helping our client’s customers avoid selecting the wrong material for a given construction need,” said Chusid.

His award-winning entry in CWA’s corporate communications competition, the Idea Box™ campaign for Ceilings Plus, shows how the firm delivers positive results for their clients. “Our challenge was to create a piece of collateral that was so useful and attractive that architects would keep it at their desk,” explained Chusid.

The solution became the Idea Box, a perforated anodized aluminum box that Ceilings Plus fabricated with its own CAD/CAM-driven equipment. It contains product samples showcasing their materials, fabrication capabilities, and installation processes. “We needed a visual showpiece,” said Chusid, “something that would appeal to the creative community.” The campaign also included a corporate capabilities brochure as well an Idea Pad™. The magnetized Idea Pad sought to immediately engage architects by offering them an opportunity to “play” with various trapezoid and rhombus shaped metal swatches. The strategy quickly communicated that the design possibilities of Ceilings Plus offered “freedom from the square grid” required by conventional ceiling systems. “We wanted something that the salesman could tuck under his arm and deliver, that the architect would immediately open up and engage with,” added Chusid.

The creative effort did not go unnoticed. According to Chusid, the results have exceeded the client’s expectations, and the company’s sales continue to grow despite the recession.

Chusid’s inspiration comes from clients who are raising the bar for best industry practices. “What excites me about Ceilings Plus, is not only that their products are beautiful, but they represent a higher level of performance at a lower cost than the technologies they replace.”

Chusid credits a talented team of five staff members and five associates for the firm’s continued success over the past 25 years. He also recognizes the value of his membership in CWA. “We have been able to work with CWA members all over the country, both freelance writers and editors, and I am grateful for the way they have been willing to share their expertise,” said Chusid. “Being part of CWA raises my own sense of professionalism, because I can look at the work that others are doing and ask myself how my work compares to the outstanding work that they do.”

By all accounts, very well.

For more information about Chusid Associates visit and its blog at

Published and distributed by the Construction Writers Association. Copyright 2011.