Sunday, January 23, 2011

Seismic Change for our Industry

No doubt the big news of the week was the announcement that the Chairman & CEO of Apogee Russ Huffer intends to retire once his successor is named. In what could be the first of a few very high profile retirements to come in 2011, Huffer’s announcement did catch many off guard- including me quite frankly. In any case this is a tremendous unsettling of the industry and we’ll have to see who Apogee puts in to fill some very large shoes. Huffer was a very active industry participant, speaking at many events and really pushing the proper gospel that put our world in a positive light. Russ also never went with the masses. When everyone was pimping solar, Russ steadfastly held to his data that the material was not ready for prime time. I believe his stance on that forced people to go back to the drawing board and when solar matures, I think Russ will be one of the folks to thank. All in all this is a seismic change and I hope that Russ stays involved in our world in some capacity because we really do need it.


-- Speaking of an Apogee company- Viracon… last week I noted their amazing influence to get politicians into their plants. Afterwards I got an e mail that asked me why I always prop Viracon while dinging “everyone else.” So on that note- I believe I give Viracon the props they deserve- they have some of the best people in our world and they truly try to be a good and active industry player. And really with the exception of a few cases that I am emotionally involved in, I have become a kinder, gentler, blogger.

-- Another good month for the Architectural Billings Index… Even the west is starting to show signs of life there. No doubt it is promising but even the analysts are urging caution since December can be pretty funky. So we will see, but if this hold then the predictions of an improved 2nd half of 2011 will be dead on.

-- Meanwhile in current times, January looks bleak thanks to the brutal weather. Quite simply when glaziers in the east and southeast are losing entire WEEKS to bad weather, well that is just not good. Oh and then I ran across this story where scientists think a “Super Storm” may hit California? Wow. Wonder when the new codes to guard against a “Super Storm” are coming.

-- PPG capped a great year with record sales in the 4th quarter. It’s nice to see this on a few levels… hopefully that health will run downstream to more of the industry (and remember PPG is much more than just glass these days) and there’s some fantastic talents within PPG that work very hard to reach the heights those numbers showed. I’m happy for them.

-- Solutia introduced a new logo recently and I love it. (see kindler, gentler… when Kawneer broke out the big red K I panned it or when Visteon brought us Versalux). Seriously though kudos to all at Solutia who worked on it- great colors, great look and style.

-- Last and not least… my ability to NOT pick teams reached a new high… and honestly I am thrilled. The Steelers are back in the Super Bowl…. And I did seriously think the Jets (and the Bears for that matter) would win. I am glad I am not a sports better for a living… but I’d love to be anyone who goes against my picks… they have to be making a ton of money. So two weeks… two great franchises.. the Pack and the Steelers and I think you know right now I am all over the Packers to win….LOL (And note, game wasn't over 5 minutes before my Mom e mailed and said "PLEASE, Please pick the Packers to win)


-- A really sad and sickening story about a Mom and a son who drowns in the bath tub. Simply unreal. Seriously what kind of world do we live in now?

-- Pretty comical way to beat the winter blahs…an inflatable window! But I wonder if it has to get a NFRC label? hmmmmmm

-- Yep only in China… You can have someone wait in a traffic jam for you… You know that would not be a bad gig for DC, Dallas or Chicago.


In Georgia they do not get a ton of snow- so when it does happens there are lots of issues. But this one was pretty classic. Snow plow driver clearing a parking lot and finding a hole and tipping over. Ooops. This is something you don’t see every day and I can tell you everyone in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are laughing still about it.

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