Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Industry Superstars

Who are the true superstars in our industry? One magazine does its “most influential” but what people are the ones who really get it done? I decided to throw that together, but using a topical approach… fantasy football. Yes, it is football time and more likely than not, you may be in a fantasy football league. So to bring both mediums together, here would be my superstar industry team and the real life football player they compare to. One note, you won’t see anyone from Arch on this list, as I am blessed to work along side tons of superstars, so naming one or two would leave tons out. Plus with world wide viewing on this blog, their egos may be hard to contain! Anyway, on with the list…

Greg Carney- GANA = LaDanian Tomlinson . Yes to me Greg would be the first pick of any draft. The guy eats, breathes and lives our industry and somehow knows enough about every aspect to speak intelligently at whatever function he attends. So if LT is the guy everyone should want in a fantasy league- then Greg is his equal in our industry. The best part is by working for GANA, he is there for EVERYONE, which makes him even more valuable.

Julie Schimmelpenningh- Solutia = Sean Alexander. Yes the smart fantasy player would compare Julie to TJ Houshmanzedah just based on the adventurous last name. But in reality, Julie is more like Alexander, a solid superstar who produces year in, year out. Julie stands out because not only is she the gold standard laminated wise, but she also really does a super job on several volunteer positions. Plus anyone who’s ever been in a rut with a tough laminated question, knows how clutch Julie is with coming through with the answers.

Brian Craft- Guardian = Frank Gore. I’ve always been a big fan of Brian, even though he doesn’t read the blog! Still like Gore, who came back from a severe, career threatening injury, Brian came back from a life threatening disease and seemingly never missed a beat. The best part about Brian is he really tells it to you straight, there’s no “car” salesman in him. That’s a nice touch in the world of “telling you what you want to hear, instead of what you need to hear”

Christine Shaffer- Viracon = Peyton Manning. You know how the Colts have all of those great players, Harrison, Wayne, Addai but it’s Manning that really makes them go. To me that’s how I view Christine. She’s among many talented people, but without the angles she takes marketing and in the press, no way do they get the “love” they get from the trade magazines. Viracon has that super reputation and they’re always positioned perfectly. Hey lots of companies produce well, but not everyone gets the constant positive pub that Viracon gets and to me that credit goes to Christine.

Mike Gainey- Azon = Tom Brady. You know that solid presence that Brady brings to the game? Well when it comes to spacer, Mike is the comparison. Consistent every time, Mike has taken the challenge of promoting a high end product and done very well. Its one thing to sell a popular glass, its another to promote a product that makes sense but is more expensive and somewhat unknown and unappreciated. To me his approach has worked and as we head more into understanding the needs for high end spacers, his efforts will pay off.

Scott Surma- Decotherm = Mo Jones Drew. If you never heard of Jones-Drew, he’s the lighting fast scat back for Jacksonville. Scott works the same way, he’s never stopping, never hesitating and always trying to find that next gear. I’ve never seen anything else like him. Seriously, Scott’s energy level and passion is kinda bordering on the insane, but his efforts do pay off, so it’s worth it. I just wonder if the guy ever knocks it down a gear or he’s always going 1000 miles per hour. Maybe when he becomes a CEO….

So that’s the list, and I know I missed several.. folks like Kris Vockler and Tom Culp come to mind immediately. But I gotta start and stop somewhere. The moral of the story is our industry has some serious players, some you know and some you don’t, but they are out there, and that bodes well for us going forward….


-- Had a comment on the fire rated wire glass lawsuit issue that got lost in the EFCO/Pella storm last week. The comment was interesting as it did bring in Pilkington’s interest in the wire glass side. The one thing I have to bring up though is this material that’s in the middle of the fight is not just good ole traditional wire glass. It is a fire rated version of such, which makes it much more valuable and avoids the liability that traditional wire offers. The fact is traditional wire glass is going the way of the dinosaur, fire rated material is here and growing, thus the fascination of this suit. This is seriously a big and growing segment of the industry and the outcome of this play will have repercussions all the way down the chain.

--Sent the first batch of SAY NO TO CHINA pins out this week… thanks to all who ordered! I will have them at the show and I have a feeling you may see them at more than a few booths.

-- Speaking of China.. Mattel just recalled their third batch of Chinese material, the Chinese Military HACKED into our defense computers (READ HERE), and the newest edition of Glass Magazine has an interesting piece on the Chinese in our industry. In that piece I am quoted, and in one area, I mention that at least 3 jobs went awry with Chinese material, but the people involved “denied” that any problems took place. For which my comment is: Do you expect anyone who sold their soul to the devil and got rooked to admit it in a trade magazine? Anyway, the China beat continues.

-- This week’s “Green” note… is being “green” while working the bar-b-que. Wow, we are now working the green angle while working the grill. Story is HERE. Amazing stuff, I swear, I want to announce I am the first truly “green” blogger and see what pub I get.

-- Did you hear EFCO sold to Pella? Just checking… by the way, I was erroneous on the “major” consultant last week. No consultant can be “major” if they did not know that this deal had been going down for a while. Also I stand by my comments on the deal on the other post. While there’s interviews that state other things, its like the China deal… do you really expect anyone to come out and say “Yes we will have to contract some shared service staffs?”

Video of the week comes from the UPSET of the century, Appalachian State (alma mater of a few major mirror folks by the way) beats Michigan. Here is the video from the stands of the blocked kick to end the game… check out the depression around the happy folks from Appy State.

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