Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The BEC Wrap and More

Another fantastic (in my opinion or “IMO” as the young people say) BEC is now in the books. The obvious highlight was US Olympic Hockey Captain Mike Eruzione. I knew I’d enjoy it, because I am a big time sports fan, but I was worried that maybe he would not connect with the rest of the crowd. Well as I usually am… I was very wrong… the guy was unreal! The message that Eruzione delivered was super, he was able to mix the classic story of the team’s success with the underlying tone of good solid business practices. Afterwards a throng of people lined up to get pictures with Eruzione and have items signed by him. Seemingly everyone had a story and a connection with him and he was as personable as can be, despite not feeling great and being pressed for time. The meeting was already going great at that point, but he truly was the ultimate finisher.

Other BEC thoughts…

-- The receptions on Sunday and Monday were the most well attended I have experienced. At times on Sunday night you could not get around the room without seeing someone you knew or wanted to know. The networking aspect there was simply off the charts.

-- Events like this are great because I get to see people I normally don’t run into. Whether it’s the Glass Pundit herself, Kris Vockler of ICD, old friend Mike Gainey of Azon, or the king of West Virginia Joe Staffileno of ACH, it’s a great chance to re-connect. Best part for me was the amount of people who mentioned that they read this blog. I truly appreciate that. Funny moment was when Stanley Yee of The Façade Group (and one of the excellent presenters during Monday) told me he reads this blog but “he doesn’t always agree with everything I say” I responded that I was thrilled he read and I sometimes don’t even agree with everything I say!!

-- Shep Hyken, who did a tremendous job kicking off the event, is really one of our countries under-rated speakers. The guy is so personable, and his ability to mix magic, humor and message should earn him at least a cable talk show… then again, TV would probably ruin him. Still if I had to pick one presenter to have at a sales meeting, it would be Shep.

-- Last a thanks to Rick Kalson and Dave White, lawyers from Thorp Reed, who presented once again this year. Good guys who truly wanted to educate and inform our crowd. We’ve had professionals in the past that mailed it in, but these two surely did not and in fact I was blown away that they took the questions and queries from their day 1 speech and worked on replies and answers for day 2. That is top notch and truly appreciated.

-- I’ll probably have more BEC thoughts, but for now I am pretty fried… plus I am already trying to think of movies and themes for next years Top 10 list…


-- The Architectural Billing Index went down… badly… in January… the real effect there is 9 to 12 months away… now I think we need to see how February hashes out before major concern comes in for the prospects in 2009. We know everyone is busy for 08… and jobs that are drawn in mid 08 will go in 09… the worry has to be the lenders getting more skittish and stopping work in its tracks. We’ll watch it…

-- As you may have seen on USGNN yesterday… the good guys lost again in efforts to give people a fair choice in realm of system ratings. Yes the NFRC led by residential manufacturers and special interests (who all get paid and sponsored by certain residential suppliers) were able to successfully oppose the opportunity that would allow AAMA 507 to be an option. I’ll possibly go into this more next post… but it’s amazing that once again the commercial industry WHICH IS SO DRAMATICALLY different than the residential industry can not get its voice successfully heard because the residential folks and special interests hold the cards. Obviously this issue will go on and on… and truthfully when the NFRC CMA sinks like the Titanic because of cost, complexity and leadtimes then maybe people will listen. By the way, Jessica Ferris of NFRC was at BEC and I was legitimately happy she attended. I think she saw a professional industry and people who are focused on taking care of their customers. (and not out to scam them) Also NFRC Board Member Kerry Haglund attended for the 2nd year in a row, and that too is greatly appreciated. Her appearance shows that she wants to learn what we do, and her input on items during our technical meetings were extremely beneficial. ((And yes when I say “learn what we do” I have many reasons for that, but still the fact that DOE asked NFRC to take Viracon up on the offer of a tour and Open House at their Minnesota facility 2 years ago and that request was ignored, proves that the NFRC BOD has no desire to see what we do. Because when they do, they’ll realize how bad their program really is- because we are PROFESSIONALS dealing with PROFESSIONALS… with contracts… and specifications… and not with John Q Homeowner about to be ripped off by some fly by night window company. But alas we can’t be trusted, even with so much oversight it would choke you.))

-- Enough of that… gives me a headache and quite frankly not worth it. Then again that’s why I am what I am.

-- Vegas note- congrats to Viracon for kicking butt on the CityCenter project. As an American who is pretty Anti Communist China, seeing great American product, next to horrible looking stuff from the far east makes me proud as hell.

-- Lightening the mood…. Baseball spring training is here… and once again this year I’ll be too busy to do my dream… someday… probably when I retire, I want to spend a few weeks in March going to all of the Spring Training sites in Florida But also the best part of Spring Training is that possibly this horrible winter is almost over! If I have to snow blow one more time, that will be too much.

-- The Hollywood writers strike is over but it went too long to have 24 show up in 2008… now 24 will return in January of 2009…. Man I miss Jack Bauer. Also I was impressed by how many people went to the Friday Night Lights petition site from this blog last week. Guess I am not alone in appreciation for a fantastic TV show.

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