Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 Top Trends

We’re off and running into 2017 and aside from a rocky weather start in many parts of North America, it’s been pretty quiet overall.  So with that in mind it’s time to take a look at my fearless predictions for the coming year with regards to trends in our industry.  Here goes…

More Unitized.  The growth of the unitized curtain wall process will be significant.  This has been a growing segment over the last few years and in 2017 it will take another step forward.  And this is a trend that is not going to burn out thanks to significant labor shortages in the field.  In addition more and more unitized systems are performing at incredible levels energy wise- making them extra attractive to building owners and designers.

Net Zero.  Even with the political winds shifting in the United States, the desire and charge to still build with energy efficiency and sustainability is very strong.  Building to a Net Zero performance is actually accomplishing more than if you went through some “green” rating system and more and more people are realizing that. 

Security.  Again.  As I noted last week, this was on my list for 2016 and I am putting it back on for 2017.  It’s unfortunate that as a world we have to think this way but it’s reality.  I am seeing more security product options available hitting different application needs and that too makes this an area to follow.

Deals and Acquisitions.  Considering that at least 2 major deals that I expected to hit at the end of 2016 haven’t happened yet, this could be an easy prediction for me when they hit this year.  But even aside from that there are still a lot of people looking to buy and sell right now as well as companies looking to diversify through acquisition.  All of that makes it ripe for a big deal year.

New Social Push.  A fun one to end it.  At this point mostly everyone is familiar with the basic social outlets like Facebook and Twitter.  Some people love them and some not. (Example- I loved following Matt Hale of Global Glass on Facebook as he flew to and worked around China this week.)   However the freshest outlets going right now are podcasts, periscope, and Facebook live.  These take the communication level to the next step.  As I noted a few weeks ago John Wheaton has done a great job pushing his periscope approach, and kudos to the folks at GCI Consultants who launched a podcast program.  I have always harped on communication and these new outlets are just another way to educate, inform, and promote.

So there you go… It’s shaping up to be a great year overall and I am looking forward to everything that happens in our industry and covering it here!


We had three big industry moves personnel wise to start the year-featuring three of the most talented people in our world. 

--   First Dr. Helen Sanders joined Technoform.  I have written about Helen a lot over the years- she’s been brilliant representative of our industry at the code and trade level and a massive credit to the dynamic glass segment.  She’ll continue to do great things at Technoform.  I need to note that even with Helen leaving Sage they are still in fantastic shape talent wise and I am confident they will continue to be an industry leader and supporter. 

--   Next was my pal Scott Goodman joining Aldora.  Scott is a relentless sales professional and my respect for him is deep.  He’s a great hire and he will be a force to be reckoned with in his territory. 

--  Last a major coup for the folks at Guardian with the tremendous addition of Darijo Babic.  Anyone who knows Darijo likes him and absolutely respects his skill and passion for his work.  He represents our industry very well at the architectural level and will do fantastic things for Guardian in that regard. 

Congratulations to all three of you and to your new companies for bringing you on.

--   Obviously in the United States later this week will start a new adventure- I will be most curious on what happens with the health care system.  Right now that may be the most frustrating thing going.  But we’ll see how that and all else goes as we begin with a new administration in power.

--  Last this week… I am pushing off the Glass Magazine review to next post- I know my audience and if I start flying past 700+ words I’ll lose you…. So we’ll hit that and much more next time out!


I love movies and I love creativity.  But a live action remake of “Dumbo” is just not cutting it for me.

I talked about social media above and it’s place in the world. Now the twitter account of the fast food restaurant Wendy’s isblistering folks.  And it’s comical.

Truly and creepy and bizarre story. I just don’t get our world sometimes….


“The Founder” comes out this Friday and I am hoping to see it then or over the weekend.  It is the story of Ray Kroc and his building of the McDonalds empire.  I have read the book on this and read a ton of other materials on it, so I am really curious to see it portrayed on the big screen and if Hollywood takes creative license… here’s the latest trailer.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Quick Note

No new post this week.... next week I'll my predictions for 2017 along with a lot of other stuff including reaction to some of the incredible personnel moves in the industry.  Have a good week!!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a great holiday season and you are ready to roll into a very exciting year ahead!  But before we look forward into 2017, it’s time to look back at 2016 and see how everything shook out with regards to my predictions at the front of the year.  I made 5 predictions and I don’t believe I was far off…

#1 - Go Big or Go Home.  – The fact that I was talking about the trend of going bigger and that it was not ending anytime soon.  Well with Guardian and Vitro putting in jumbo coaters (and Viracon which announced last year) and more oversize coming from all parts of the world, I’d say this was dead on. 

#2-  Security Focused- I talked about the need for security glazing.  It did not take off like I thought it would but by no means do I think this area was a dud.  I’d give myself ½ credit here and quite frankly I think I may put this on the 2017 list too. 

#3-  Greenfielding is back and new players emerge.  The new players emerging were surely a trend in 2016, but only a few greenfields and I was shocked that very few established fabricators did it.  Plus none of the bigger folks from overseas jumped in yet with facilities in North America.  They may still do it by acquisition or wait until the American dollar value changes.  This is a failed call by me at this point.

#4- Codes and Certifications.  No major issues on the code side thanks to a mellow year but also tremendous work by those who represent us at that level.  (Visit my MVP articles to see those names.)  However the certification side did get its feet down, and the work and advancement from groups like the NACC cannot be denied.

#5- More focus on birds- This was on the list in 2015 as well and the focus without a doubt continued to grow.  While there are still too many new buildings being built without bird protection in mind, many more are.  With more products than ever available, I believe this is an area of concern that will continue to be addressed and the usage of the right design and products utilized.

So overall not that bad- surely better than my sports predictions (sorry Panther and Bengal fans!)  Next week I will have my predictions for 2017…


--  The new year has begun and somewhat shockingly to me a few of the deals that I was told that will be done by year-end, still are not complete.  So I guess we’ll see if the 1st quarter breaks anything loose on that front. 

--  The Sota/Apogee deal that closed right after my last blog of 2016 is a good one for both sides and surely is a great addition to the already powerful Apogee group of companies.

--  The November Architectural Billings Index hit positive levels again with 50.6.  That is basically unchanged from the previous month.  The interesting news was new project inquiries were up sharply to 59.5.  That’s an area to watch, as with a new presidential administration this would be the first area to see any change- positive or negative.

--  Congrats to good friend and excellent rep Margaret Brune- she continues to land excellent clients, most recently curtain wall manufacturer FreMarq Innovations.  Good match of talent there and good to see!

--  Last this week- the coolest buildings of 2016 according tothe folks at Construct Connect.  4 of the 5 are on North American soil- which I am not sure has happened a lot in recent years.  Take a look and if you had anything to do with these amazing structures drop me a line!  Would love to give you proper credit for being involved in something so “cool.”

Next week- predictions for 2017, Glass Magazine issue review, a great video and more!


This cracks me up… plane load of people drinks the trip dry!

My alma mater is mentioned in this article on “Jerry Maguire” and being a sports agent.  Interesting piece- and being an agent of any kind- not an easy gig.

I’m not a big fan of BuzzFeed but this list of things we were doing in the 90’s vs now is classic.


Well here it is… the end of 2016… so the final video of the year?  Funniest live TV bloopers of the year.  Enjoy…

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The 2016 MVP is....

Last week I announced the group of candidates that came close but ultimately did not win the 2016 Industry MVP.  As I noted then, so many great people and companies are worthy and picking one is truly a challenge.  For this year I went with a person that I have seen first hand making a difference in our world.  This person is active at the trade group level- taking a leadership role and bringing a passionate approach to it.  This person also uses his voice online to educate the industry on issues and situations that we all really need to pay attention to.  In fact he took one of my pet causes and has brought tons of attention to the holes there and did it in classy but forceful way.  Plus our winner is just flat out a good person and I have been a fan of his for years.  So without any further build up, the winner of the 2016 Industry MVP is Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP.  Chuck will probably want to kill me for heaping all this praise, but it is deserved!  Also props must go to Chuck’s employer- TGP.  They obviously see the great value in having Chuck out and active in the industry- so a thank you and a nod to the management and team there.  Congratulations Chuck- keep up the good work at GANA, your blog, and hammering on NFRC and the other issues that concern our world daily.


--  While I am in the handing out good news mode… major kudos to Bendheim on the release of their updated website.  The new site is fantastic.  Loaded with info and details.  Building websites are not easy.  Populating them with great resources is a massive challenge.  Congrats to the folks at Bendheim for the excellent work!

--  Following up on the AIA story and their membership “uprising” over the post presidential press release.  The Media Relations Director of AIA resigned last week and according to sources in published reports it was because the AIA ignored his direction in the whole process.  Like I noted when this happened- this was a massive PR failure on many levels and continues to be one as negative press is still active.  As one commenter online noted- “Sometimes its worthwhile to listen to your PR expert.”

--  I recently saw the new movie “Dr. Strange” and one glass related item stood out for me.  In many of the stunts, it looked to me like it was good old annealed glass being broken out instead of the usual tempered.  This movie had a ton of computer-generated graphics so maybe that was it, but it was jarring to see large annealed shards breaking in scenes with human interaction.

--  In my first posts of 2017 I will review what we experienced in 2016 and hit on the trends expected in the New Year. One trend will be advanced social media- like Periscope.  The great John Wheaton is making a major effort with that platform and the episodes I have been lucky enough to catch have been interesting and thought provoking.   More on this and others on that post- but follow John at @johnlwheaton1 on twitter and you’ll get the notifications of his next Periscope.

--  So this will be the last scheduled post for 2016.  Obviously that may change, as there are at least 2 major industry transactions that may take place before year end, so if and when they do break, I’ll make some comments on twitter and here.  I truly enjoy the communication with all of you and I thank you for your support.  I believe 2017 will be an excellent year and I am excited to experience it.  (Well all but the part of my daughter going to college in 2017.  I am NOT excited about that…)  In any case I would like to take this time to wish all of my readers a HAPPY and HEALTHY holiday season and year ahead.   Take care and enjoy!


Not sure this got enough press thanks to everyone wanting to cover “fake news” and all.  An American Hero passes away.  I was lucky enough to see his last launch in person and it was very cool.  RIP John Glenn.

The icey pile up in Montreal made the social media spin last week.  This is wild to watch… hopefully none of my good friends from that area got caught up in this wow.

The hot holiday gift and a person trying to corner the market- good story on karma striking back.


Short stupid video with golf on ice… I assume this is a course in North Dakota in September….

Sunday, December 04, 2016

2016 MVP Runners Up

OK, so it’s time to talk Industry MVP.  A few items before I start with the 2016 process.  In my last post on this I screwed up.  I forgot a past winner-which was CR Laurence in 2014.  I’m getting old and after 11 years of weekly posts, I’m not as sharp as I used to be! 
So before I unveil the runners up for this year, I want to recall all of the previous winners and runners up.  The reason being is pretty much all of these people and companies are still very active and important in our world.  And I am also trying not to repeat anyone- though it’s getting tough as some of the past runners up, could be MVP most years, so for the future I may have to rethink.  Anyway let’s look back before we go forward.

Tracy Rogers- Winner
Runners up:
Tom Culp
Mark Silverberg
Ed Zaucha
Mic Patterson
Oliver Stepe
Dr. Helen Sanders
Scott Thomsen

CR Laurence- Winner
Runners up:
John Wheaton
Rick Wright
Tom O’Malley
Bernard Lax

Jon Kimberlain- Winner
Runners up:
Garret Henson
Walker Glass
Dip Tech
Kris Vockler

On to 2016… this group of people and companies stepped up.  Represented their organizations and the industry with class and passion.  My judging parameters as always:

  • Overall Influence in 2016 on the industry
  • Technology/Innovation
  • Industry Support/Education
  • My opinion and knowledge of them and what they do. In the end it’s my call and so I own it. 

Mike Albert- S Albert Glass
Not only has Mike’s company been a long time fixture in the glass and glazing world but also he’s been a leading force at the National Glass Association as a board member and most recently Chairman.  The NGA is surging now, and Mike absolutely had a hand in that and his overall care and passion for the industry are always on display.

The team of Thom Zaremba and Urmilla Jokhu-Sowell
I’m going with this duo- though it’s normally a trio with Dr. Tom Culp as the third.  But Tom was a runner up in 2013, so he’s on the list already.  Simply said what Thom and Urmilla do for this industry is so crucial and so important I am not sure I can give it enough emphasis. They represent our industry at code levels all over the world and navigate some choppy waters.  It’s hard to do the “right” thing when their may be competing levels of “right’- yet these two do it and do it well and with respect.   Without question they have helped raise the level of respect our industry gets from other industries thanks to their professional and classy manner.

The only company to make the list this year.  I love that they take an aggressive approach to education with their Architectural Profile Academy and Shapes. Al website.  Smart to teach and grow the audience the right way and these things take time and resources so kudos to them for that.  Plus a nod to Mark Spencer of SAPA who is a positive fixture at every event and one that carries the company mission out perfectly.

All listed above are worthy to win this year but there was one person who rose above to win it and next week on my final post of the year- I’ll reveal it.

That’s it for this week- next week, not only will I have the winner but also a look at a great new website from a classic industry company, annealed glass in the movies, more AIA/Trump press release fall out and much more!


--  Hawaii.  Snow.  Two words rarely used together in my mind- yet it happened…. Wow.

--  Another reason most of us hate congress.  This was actually an issue.  Ugh

--  Football is such a scary and brutal sport.  Nice of JJ Watt to do this- and I’ll even refrain from doing a “uhhh Hey JJ” comment about it.  (If you are “Pardon My Take” listener- you’ll get it)


I really enjoy the Foot Locker Commercials.  “Week of Greatness”
Here’s the top 10 from 2016.