Sunday, October 13, 2019

October, 2005

So for this weeks post, a different approach…

In October of 2005 I decided to get into the world of blogging.  My first main post started with:

What I think is the first ever BLOG related to the glass and aluminum industry is now alive! If someone else has one, then by all means I apologize.

We have a good industry but we face huge hurdles.

I started this as a way to get information out to the masses in a non-traditional way. I hope that I can spark debate and eventually help the industry win the battles it faces.

Now if you would’ve told me 14 years ago that I would still be blogging and how different my professional career turned out- well I would’ve told you that you’re crazy.  But yet here we are blogging away and so thank you to all of you who have followed me through the years.  I truly appreciate it.

Back in 2005 our industry was quite different- a lot of major brands that were powerhouses then don’t exist now.  Technology was getting better and better but nowhere like today and we surely weren’t much of a global industry then with regards to source and supply.  Standing here in 2019 we are in a much better place in so many ways and that is something that I am personally and professionally grateful for.

As I think everyone who knows me knows- I do love the glass industry and I love what we do and how we do it.  It wasn’t always like that- I had zero desire to be in the business growing up or all the way through college and early into my professional life. (My family has been in the glass business since 1898)  But my brother once told me that glass is in my blood (so blame goes to him that I am here) and he was right. 

So my mission for this blog hasn’t changed much since 2005.  I still want to get info out and get people fired up and I still believe this is therapeutic for me in that I can get things off my chest.   Obviously I am not as rough and militant as I was years ago but I think mellowing was the right call for many reasons.  Though I know there are old school readers of this that would love for me to revert back… sorry can’t do that!

So where I am going with all of this… well it’s a look back but this is also a plea to all who read this to continue to push for the betterment of the industry.  Get involved and stay involved.  Get to the shows and conferences.  Educate and communicate.  And push our products to the forefront of the building product world.  Many of you already do this (and do it extremely well) but if not I’m asking you look at 2020 as the chance to really make that difference.

So I have 14 years of this in the books, this is post #770, and I’m going to keep pushing until I hopefully hit 1000 at least.  Thank you again for joining me on this ride.  Next week we’ll get back to the traditional industry scuttlebutt and we’ll finish 2019 strong!


I am not sure this will have the effect they want it to- but it’s a fascinating argument- will getting rid of drive through lanes at Fast Food restaurants make us healthier?

This story is missing a big piece… no way this happened overnight…. And I wonder if its even true.

Which one of my travel warriors can relate to this one?

So since this is a “look back” piece I wanted to use an oldie but goodie video.  Funny as I dug back into my archives, a bunch of my videos that I featured here no longer exist online…  Anyway this is a fun one and here is what I wrote leading into it… from 2006 and I would love to see this still today… post job or end of year press conferences?  YES!!

“It’s getting down the stretch of 2006 and I think everyone is at wits end. Yes the holidays are coming but most people are so busy right now, they are in a real scramble mode. Now only that everyone wants their project done before the holidays so the pressure is intense.

So with that in mind, take 2 minutes and watch how these various NFL coaches react... can you imagine if the glass industry had press conferences? Man that would be hilarious.”

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Getting Involved

I have covered this before but it’s worth mentioning again… often I hear from people that ask “how can I get more involved in the industry?”  Well if you want to be active and make a difference, first step is to make sure you are a member of NGA and then pay attention to the call for actions.  To give you a flavor, this is a portion of one from last week and these are huge subjects that need attention.  Step up and get involved!

Advocacy Committee
Advocacy Response Team
Become equipped to advocate for glass and glazing at the legislative and regulatory levels; more information to follow
Fabricating Committee
Fire-Rated Glazing capabilities
This task group will review the existing text within the Glazing Manual in order to update the description to include the cross-functional uses of fire-rated glazing for purposes such as energy performance or protective glazing.
Vacuum Insulating Glazing
The existing task group initiated a survey at Fall Conference to guide the development on a resource educating the industry on VIG products and capabilities.
Evaluating Post-Finishing of Heat-Treated Glass Edges
Task group will develop and test control samples to destruction in order to develop recommended guidelines for post-finishing.

If interested in volunteering, contact Sara Neiswanger at NGA or if you have questions just drop me a line.


--  Also from the NGA world the latest nominees for the Board of Directors was announced and two of my all time favorites were on the slate.  Ron Crowl of Fenetech and Jim Stathopoulos of AJAY Glass are on the ballot and simply tremendous people.  Brilliant businessmen, class acts, and they truly care about this industry.  I hope they win so they can be added to the board and continue to advance our industry. 

--  Positive news from Harmon with naming of Troy Johnson as President starting in March of 2020.  I don’t know Troy that well-- I shared a spot on the BEC planning committee last year with him and came away extremely impressed.  So that along with a lot of very influential people being major fans of his is good enough for me.   Congrats Troy!

--  You know I love when glass gets good mentions in the “real world” and so I was thrilled in my own stupid way when the TV show “This Is Us” had a discussion on getting windows including the line “Double pane windows- the sexiest style of windows!”   I probably would have passed out if they called them IGU’s….  Anyway nice to hear a product we all know and love in the middle of a popular TV show.

--  Right now the hottest segment going is interiors and this year the Glass Magazine
Reader Photo Contest will be focused on that area- with a look at the exceptional interiors in our world.  Soif you have pictures of innovative interior glass applications, including decorative installations, glass floors, doors, walls, stairs, partitions and more click THIS LINK and review the rules and get entered into this awesome contest.  Deadline is later this week…

--  Last this week- interesting debate on the possible end of the “American Dream” home.  Communities with the idea to push more multi unit housing vs. allowing single family homes.  This article on what is happening in Minnesota gives you a good jumping off point.  There is no doubt that we have to keep evolving in many areas of our world, but this angle has people ready to battle on both sides and rightfully so- lots to take in.


This is just too good and too logical.  Kudos to all involved!

You may have seen this… man attacked by Bison returns to same scene with new girlfriend… who promptly gets attacked. 

The Korean Golf Tour is tough… wow…


I post a lot of movie previews here and this one absolutely will be a must see.  The next movie from Clint Eastwood is on the 1996 Olympic Bombing and the story of hero security guard Richard Jewell.  (Hero in my mind- sadly may not be remembered as such)  The media and FBI blew this one and its appropriate for todays times where the media consistently rushes to judgment (and parts of the FBI having their issues) and gets so much wrong.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Economic Softness

I mentioned on my last post that the softness of the market was a discussion point at GlassBuild and this week I wanted to dig deeper into it.  There is no doubt we have hit a slowing point in many of our markets.  The forecast presented at GlassBuild also backed that up and we did get some indexes that performed on the weak side from the Architectural Billings Index and McGraw Hill.  So it’s there and its real.  On the flip side, expectations are that these are just somewhat temporary times and we’ll see positive swings return soon.  In addition home sales have had a surprising resurgence in the last two months as well.  But bottom line is we are starting a softening slide, and if we are going to slow up, at least doing it in a more orderly fashion is the way to go.  So as I have stressed before- this is the time you prepare and work on your efficiencies.  This is where you strengthen that bond with your supply chain (thousands did that at GlassBuild) and this is where you look closer at the diversification of your offerings.  Overall analysis has been stressing that the slowing will reverse and this won’t be like what so many of us dealt with in 2009 but why not use this time to be smart and get and stay ahead of any potential negativity.

Want some more interesting background on what’s happening out there?  Good piece here from Alex Carrick of ConstructConnect on the US Economy.


--  I do hate writing the negatives on the forecasts but it is what it is and we all have to handle this better than we did in the past.  We know better now!

--  Some leftover tidbits from GlassBuild include the incredible tour of Mercedes Benz Stadium.  Really a neat experience.  But best part for me (and there were tons of great moments) was talking with glaziers and fellow glass lovers about the frustration of the stadium using a plastic on a major portion of their curtain wall vs. glass.  The stadium plays up that the plastic is better for energy and glare and I gotta tell you I surely did not agree (and was not alone on that obviously).  That was a tough pill to swallow and I think all of us will be watching how that material (the plastic) performs over the next few years.  This could be a classic “why glass is better” case study in the making!

--  I also was honored to moderate a panel on the “Battle for the Wall” and it was the most enjoyable 45 minutes I think I have ever had on stage.  Five brilliant people on stage just riffing about glass, glazing, collaboration, owners, contractors, innovation, next steps etc.  Really incredible stuff- I think we could’ve easily went two hours without losing the audience at all.  Key takeaway though of that session was this “battle” whether it is a code, or Bill DeBlasio’s cluelessness, or the Green New Deal- all are massive opportunities for industry to show what we can do… and THAT I love…

--  It was also a pleasure to meet and work with Roberto Bicchiarelli, of Permasteelisa and Steven Rainville of Olson Kundig.  First time meeting them and I hope we can have them around in more industry events in the future!  Of course the other three folks on the panel are no slouches either- great work from code savant Dr. Tom Culp, Nick Bagatelos of BAG’s Inc., and Vitro Architectural’s Paul Bush.  Tremendous talents all!

--  Usually a story like this would be in my links section but it involves glass, so its going here… so this company could’ve broken the glass- had a glazier/glass shop there pretty quick and a new door in relatively quickly.  Instead they went viral and look pretty stupid- unless I am missing something…

--  School safety and security is a huge issue right now and the glass industry is right there with excellent products.  Now there’s an additional push through congress for better designs in schools. 

--  Last this week… we’ve moved into October… this year has absolutely flown by.  So coming up on the blog we’ll have my yearly MVP and runners up along with some other fun things.  Also please feel free to share this blog with other industry folks.  I have been doing this a long time and assumed everyone who wanted to read this did- but you never know!  Thank you.


I’m very anti college (maybe having 2 kids in it at same time is the reason) and stories like this add to it.  Never heard of this scenario though before…


I LOVED the series Breaking Bad and coming October 11th a new movie advancing that story is coming out with “El Camino” – I cannot wait to see what the genius Vince Gilligan has on tap for this one… here’s the latest trailer….

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Gigantic GlassBuild Gigantic Recap

Another GlassBuild America is in the books… What an incredible time and experience. So much was going on at the show that the three days were like a blur for me, but I tried to keep solid notes so this post show report would be as good as possible. Here goes….

The show itself was a positive one.  The floor looked fantastic!  The exhibits and their designs were the best I have ever seen at this show and full credit to every marketing manager involved there for jobs very well done!  I know a ton of business got done-from new supply deals to machinery and tools being sold left and right.  That is a huge component of GlassBuild and I am thrilled to see it pay off.  Overall the attitude about the market was cautiously optimistic (and I think that was the word some press coverage of the event used as well.) There are some slowing trends in the economy and we were also told in some of the education sessions about market softening but overall the feeling and data presented was that whatever the roadblock is going to be the duration will be short and pain won’t be severe.  We’ll keep monitoring all of that and I’ll address in more detail on next week’s post.  

Also you may have seen the shower door news I hinted on a few weeks ago here.  It was announced at the show that Dreamline was grabbing Arizona Shower Door.  That will be an interesting combo to watch now.  Plenty of other rumors were out there but nothing out of the ordinary at this point.   All in all it was a tremendous three days in Atlanta and now has me fired up for Vegas GBA 2020… but before we get there we have Annual Conference and BEC to get through and we have my annual “who’s who” recap below…

I’ll start off with the best exhibits in my opinion… Obviously the HHH setup with the gigantic piece of bent glass (Melissa Blank and Mike Synon never fail to amaze) and CARVART with the 20-foot-high piece of decorative were tremendous.  I also really loved what Roto did with their booth making it look like a home and I was impressed by Fenzi, IGE, and Salem on the machinery side.  CRL’s new booth was a shock to the system (in a good way) as not only was it different but super stylish.  Overall though as noted above- tons of absolutely fabulous exhibits!  

Best shirts… Fenetech. Props to Samantha Hudeck there for some tremendous taste and style.  Best giveaway was a tie between Bohle for their mini suction cups and CGH for their battery charger that was connected to their Express Learning speech.  Smart in rewarding the attendees and making them remember the presentation for sure.  I must say I also loved how many people did neat drawings for things like Yeti coolers.  Excellent ideas.

People wise… I’ll start with the GlassBuild Ambassadors who attended and I got to visit with- Rowe Fenestration, Edify Studios, and Tim Finley.  These folks are all industry stars and positive disruptors of the norm.  Serious difference makers and I loved spending time with all of them- with special mention to marketing genius Lindsey Parker of Rowe Fen who was at her first GlassBuild and I hope she’ll be back on the floor next year in Vegas.

This show always gets me back to seeing great people from my past.  To see a bunch of the current Trulite people like April Oakley, Ken Passmore, Debbie Lamer, Ruby DeRubeis who I worked with in my past never gets old.  Love seeing them and miss working with them.  I also spent time with former co-workers Jon Johnson, Dan Danese, Rick Kurzweil, Terry Hessom, Scott Goodman, and Waylon McCall.  On Waylon I had not seen him since 2011 and that was incredibly cool to visit with him!

I admire so many people for their immense talent including all listed above and also people like the great Mike Cully of United Plate, the spectacular Shelly Farmer of Trex, the brilliant Bob Larson of PGP, and the magnificent Mike Gainey of Ensinger.  

It was great to visit with Devin Bowman and David Vermeulen of TGP but I missed their co-worker and blogger extraordinaire Chuck Knickerbocker. That was a bummer.  Chuck may have been still fired up his Eagles lost to the Falcons right before the show.  

The energy Dustin Anderson of Anderson Glass brought to the show was real. The guy just cares a ton and his sharing the story of the adventures of his past were the talk of the event.  He is a good man that is willing to share the tough lessons so everyone can learn and that is impressive and admirable.  

Adding to my network is a big one… met Luc Boileau of Herzog Glass and it was awesome on two levels.  One – I have always been a fan of Herzog- great company.  Two- Luc’s dad was the legendary hockey coach Marc Boileau who was the Pittsburgh Penguins coach in the mid 70’s and going down memory lane with Luc was a blast.  Also met Billy Britt of Britt and Tilson glass for the first time in person- good, smart dude who is always hustling.  I knew him from social media, now in real life.  Same with Chris Phillips of Showcase Shower Door.  Chris is the king of the shower enclosure world and he had a tremendous presentation at the show and was so busy that I only got about 30 seconds with him.  I think you’ll be hearing and seeing a lot more of Chris in the future.  

The show is great for expanding the efforts of big causes and from that end the NACC/AGMT set up was crucial.  Nice to catch up with Ben Beeler while he educated the masses there but hated that I did not see Jeff Dalaba.  Stanley Yee of Dow is always on top of major industry challenges and it was great to get caught up on what he’s seeing… some of which could be VERY big and important for our world.  Stay tuned. Usually Jon Kimberlain of Dow is in that same boat but unfortunately he missed the show this year.

As I noted last week- I hated that my brother Steve was missing the show- I can’t tell you how many people asked where he was and wanted to hustle right by me once they found out he wasn’t there. Also missing was my good friend Chris Dolan of Guardian Glass.  Chris is always a highlight for me so it was a bit empty not running into him.  

Joe Marini and Tom Olson were at the show but I missed them, and same with Manny Borda of IGE and Matt Ferguson of AGC.  Was bummed to not spend any time with them. I barely spent time with Gus Trupiano of GGI but we always were headed in different directions.  Was nice though to see marketing and PR master Rich Porayko for a few minutes. 

A few of my all-time favorites were there… Tom O’Malley of Clover is awesome though I think I wear him out.  Love Casey Winchell of IDN Global- she is just so cool.  The Walker Glass guys were there but shockingly Danik Dancause did not bring the A game clothes wise.  That bears watching- is he losing his taste?  Max Halls and Ian Patlin of Paragon are staples at all of these events and it was nice to see Ralph Aknin and the team from Glass 3 Enterprises come a very long way from British Columbia to learn and advance their awesome operation.  

Last… so this was the first year that I worked GlassBuild with Andrew Haring.  Andrew was always there with CR Laurence but this was the first time for him as VP at NGA.  The guy is an absolute monster energy wise.  He was everywhere and his ideas and push are what really helped the show have that “buzz” throughout.  It was honor to work with Andrew and the entire incredible NGA team that just worked tirelessly on this event.  I am in awe of all of them!

OK- so back to work we go… if you have feedback on GlassBuild feel free to deliver it to me or note if you attended you did get a survey invite right after the show ended.  PLEASE give us your feedback!  Thanks for always reading my very long show recaps too!!


No links this week… just so beat from the show!


If you did not see the videos that came out each day- please take a look… only 1 minute long or so each but very cool tastes of the show!

And here’s the fun from Day 2….

Sunday, September 15, 2019

It's Time!

The week is finally here… it is GlassBuild America time.  I am already on site in Atlanta and I absolutely love seeing a blank floor transform into an amazing tradeshow in such a short period of time.  I really admire the people that come in from all over the world and work incredibly hard to show off their products and services for three days.  Most people will only see them for those “show days” but I get to see them out here setting up, sweating and hustling and making sure their exhibit is just perfect, and that really impresses me.  The care and dedication to the cause here is really special.

In addition I was quickly in awe upon my arrival… in my first 5 minutes on the floor I saw jaw dropping pieces of large glass at Carvart and at HHH.  That led the way followed by impressive footprints and layouts all over the floor.  Pretty much every booth from the 10 x 10 all the way up to the monsters are really showing creativity… awesome!

Overall I am so excited for everyone to finally get here.  I have been living and breathing GlassBuild for 6 months now.  I’ve driven my family and non-glass friends crazy because every movement of the earth for me was connected to GlassBuild somehow.  I love this event because it is my chance to grow and learn but it is also it is the main industry show and it’s the place where everyone in our world can advance themselves and their businesses in such a short period of time… I just love it.

Other notes:

--  If you are not coming to GlassBuild (additional note on that below) you can follow all the action through the GlassBuild social media channels.  On these channels they’ll be plenty of info including some live streams of different events.
First the searchable hashtag is #GlassBuild and here’s where to find us:

Twitter:  @GlassBuild and @GlassNation as well as @GlassMag @WindowDoorMag
LinkedIn:  National Glass Association
Facebook: GlassBuild

In addition, you’ll be getting a “GlassBuild Daily” e-mail each morning with recaps and previews.

--  On Wednesday this week I am getting to tour the spectacular Mercedes Benz Stadium.  I am so pumped to see that beauty inside and out and also get insight from the incredible folks who supplied glass and glazing to it- Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, CR Laurence, and Clover Architectural Products.  Tom O’Malley of Clover is a great friend of mine and I am so pumped that he can show off Clover’s fabulous work inside this stadium.

--  I also am looking forward to the education and demos.  One of the fun ones will be the Live Edify Studios Podcast featuring Steven Rainville of epic architectural firm Olson Kundig and the world wide respected building scientist Stephen Selkowitz.  The Edify guys Brad Walker and Brad Glauser are brilliant interviewers and I expect this session to provide tons of news and insight. Want to know what is truly “next” in our industry?  I believe you’ll find out during this session.

--  Make sure you download the App and if you are here take part in the “Step Challenge” to win great prizes… But even without that the App is a must.

--  Plus the Knowledge Bar is back this year- each day experts will be stationed in the association booth (wait til you see this area!) to get your code, technical, and marketing questions answered.  Check the schedule for exact times.

--  Last I mentioned if you are “not” here and for me the biggest one who will be missing this event is my brother.  He had an awesome once in a lifetime sort of trip scheduled that obviously took precedence over this so I understand.  But it simply will not be the same without him here.  Brother Steve you will be missed big time!  

--  OK let’s get it on!  If you are in Atlanta and see me, please stop me to say hi.  I’ll see you next week with all of the best recaps of this event including the always fun “who’s who” at the show.


I’d take more kids right now… but not when I’m 74.. and not twins… but good for this woman!

This story could be like an episode of “Breaking Bad” my gosh… what a mix

Interesting technology but absolutely will be a disaster that won’t work.  


Sorry… skipping this again… will be back next week hopefully!!