Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BEC 2011 Recap

Well another year and another BEC in the books. As always the networking was the huge opportunity here and many great chances to hook up with the some of the finest minds and people in our industry. The overall attitude was hopefulness. Hope that the economy advances and hope that we all can be back here in a year with better things on our plates. And as I have always done it- in a “Page 6” style, here’s who was seen and heard over the few days of action…

-- I unfortunately didn’t get to attend as much as I usually do, but I did really enjoy the presentation by Dr. Don McCann of Viracon- good food for thought in there and featuring the movie star good looks of Cam Scripture was slick. I did also enjoy Kawneer’s Diana Perrriah’s spot as well. And it goes without saying that I am in the tank for Dr. Tom Culp. All the speakers did well in a tough room layout. It was very dark and wide open- so intimidating to say the least. And as was noted by my pal Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP, the BEC was really missing the “C” part this year. And that pained me and I hope that this was an aberration and not a trend.

Elsewhere from the floor and about BEC…

-- Got to get a quick meal with Jeff Meyer of White Bear Glass and he continues to be a guy people in this industry should model their businesses like. Ran into Guardian’s Jay Phillips looking crisp as usual… I swear that guy could work on a road crew and still look calm, cool and collected… Always an honor to see the “Glass Pundit” ICD’s Kris Vockler along with her legendary Dad Larry. I came “this” close to meeting Jim Porter of Apogee… alas I missed him… dang as I am fan. Obviously you know I am a fan of the Viracon crew- got to visit briefly with Garret Henson and Christine Shaffer- and my gosh I enjoyed just getting the overflow from their crowd.

-- I got to meet Jeff Razwick of TGP for the first time which was nice. Speaking of first time intro’s I met Joe Cesarotti from Hurricane Protection Industries for the initial time after communicating with him via e mail and NGA classes. Of course ran into George Petzen- he is an absolute staple of this event and got the bonus of meeting his co worker Kelley Lasek who even admitted to reading this blog! Brave guy he is. Roger Watson of Saint Gobain was there and for his stalker in Canada, he’s still pretty cool.

-- I met in person for the first time Serge Martin of AGC- he gave a tremendous speech too. Very nice guy and I am thrilled he is here and active- that’s two years in a row for the AGC influence at this event- very cool. Dr. Helen Sanders as always is an absolute treat as is the always awesome duo of Julie Schimmelpenningh and Aimee Davis of Solutia. (And I owe both Ice cream since I had to leave town early) Raj Goyal always looking good was on hand but I didn’t get much time with him or with Mark Silverberg of Technoform who happens to be one of my all time favorite people. I also missed Jan Rogan and Glenn Miner of PPG- never could get near em. And amazingly and frustratingly I never got to see Greg Carney. Unreal.

-- Missing this year…. Bill Sullivan is always there and he obviously had better plans as well as GGI’s own Mr. Brenner, just not the same without him. The gang from Bratton led by my pal Todd Riggs were also noticeable by their absence as was anyone from Pilkington… if they were there I missed them. I honestly don’t remember Pilks missing this event before.

-- Anyway it’s another year in the can and unfortunately one that I just didn’t get to enjoy the full flavor of. Next year will be better for that I am sure.


-- GANA did run an event called LOGIC that featured two very good speakers. The legendary economist Art Laffer and Blogger and Social Media guru Chris Brogan. Both gave tremendous presentations. The big takeaway from Laffer was his optimism that a possible change in the White House in 2012 could lead to a massive economic boom in 2013. Brogan’s speaking style and info were just super- very insightful and I wish I had another hour with him.

-- The rumor mill of course was working overtime but that was one area I was thankful that I did have to leave early.

-- No links or video this week (and I have a TON of links ready) because I ran out of time, they will be back and in full force next week. May even run that crazy Corning video again as so many people keep telling me about it!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


When I posted my blog last week and mentioned the devastation in Japan, it was still very early in the aftermath. Now with more than a week past, the one word that comes to mind is “incomprehensible.” It is seriously mind blowing what that country and their people are going through now and will go through for many years to come. And this is surely not something that will be for us as a continent to just watch and figure we are far enough away from to affect us. Japan, with their technology, goods, and services are a bigger part of the fabric of North America than you may think. As the New York Times called it- this is a crisis the markets just can't grasp. It's like nothing we've ever seen before. Specifically from an industry standpoint this could have effect (even though some reports are saying all is fine- we’ll hope that’s right) on a glass supply that was due to be tight to begin with (it’s already insanely tight on the auto glass end) and will surely affect gas and cost of living indexes. There’s no doubt that this horrible and tragic event will be yet another hurdle for our world to get over and here’s again hoping and wishing for our friends in Japan to see some light and good sooner than later.


-- There was a regional glass event last week and the rumor mill was working overtime. All I can say is about 99% of things that were spread are pretty far fetched. But that’s what happens when you get a bunch of people in a room, too much time and not enough business on their hands.

-- The New York Times reported HERE on a takedown of the good ole Department of Energy by the Inspector General. Evidently poor record keeping that leads people to wonder where their tax money is really going was the subject. Count me as absolutely unsurprised. In watching the DOE and the members I came in contact with, their desire to be led by the nose by special interest while ignoring any other viewpoint was a major turnoff and red flag. This is not the first time the DOE has been ripped by a governmental report and I just wish for all of our sakes it would lead to some actual change there. But instead excuses are made and the same tired bureaucrats keep pumping out the same dreck.

-- If and when we get the whole true blue Glass Hall of Fame going I will nominate the designers of the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport Rental Car Complex for an achievement award in the usage of glass. The complex used glass absolutely everywhere possible and it was exciting for a glass geek like me. They didn’t go crazy on colors and decorative but the fact it was all over was cool enough for me.

-- The folks at Glasslam once again are working the angles to try and bring new concepts forward. The past week they announced a new spacer manufacturing system. Basically this system would allow their users to make their own warm edge spacer and control the game. With everyone looking for an edge this could be a player.

-- Glassweek and BEC are kicking off later this week. Next week’s post will cover the highlights, so it won’t be up on my normal site until late Monday night and will still appear on E Glass Weekly (as long as the fine people at Glass Magazine still want me) on Tuesday.


-- Classic reminder to always turn off your phone- or at least put to silent… especially on live TV giving an important rundown on the final four! It’s at the one minute mark

-- One of the most disturbing stories you’ll read in a while…. This guy needs to put away or put down. Just frightening

-- Great piece for my fellow travelers… top 10 hotel things you should know… and I have to chime in on #7… the freakin “resort fee” is an outrage when you are traveling for business- especially when you are only in for a night. Highway robbery.


It is basketball time and the best play by play announcer in March Madness is Gus Johnson and one of his fans put together a great compilation of his best calls… the guy is awesome. Some of the video is poor, but it’s the audio to care about.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Not so fast on the Triples...

One of the most popular articles on the excellent Glass Magazine website has been the story on the growth of triple glazing. And while it seems to be that growth is on the horizon on that segment I actually look at the incredible products both here and in the very near future that will knock down that need to go to triples. The growth of these alternate products will come from education and promotion and I think you are going to see a ton of both in the coming months. Quite frankly it’s an exciting opportunity for our world.


-- Sorry I have to bang my chest- well actually give major props to my brother. Way back, on February 19th, my brother Steven sent me the now cult famous “Corning Day Made of Glass” video. And I posted it on my blog. The problem was that most people now just read my blog through the E Glass Weekly portal and only 1/3rd of the traffic clicks through the links or video. Well way back before this video got all of the attention it was on here first- Steven had it pegged- and we had it here. I guess next time I gotta make a bigger deal eh?

-- Very tough news this week when I heard that Dan Wright was out at Guardian after 16 years… That news threw me and pretty much everyone I told as if you know Dan, you know he bled the Guardian blue- he was a lifer. Anyway, he’s now a free agent and I gotta say is a prized free agent for sure. The guy will be an awesome addition to an established or growing company and someone will be extremely fortunate to make that pick up.

-- Great resource… Chicago Window Expert… can be found here. Big fan of the site and knowledge and I think Mark Meshulam does a fantastic job.

-- DyeTec solar getting a cool million dollars is yet another example of the fact that solar is far from dead. Still a ways to go- but money like that- in this economy is amazing and means there’s still great potential.

-- Last week I was sent a report that showed commercial construction staying down the rest of the year, with the “recovery” coming next year. To me this whole forecasting thing is starting to look dubious. Does anyone really know? The fact that the banks are easing a little (supposedly) is a positive and so far the ABI is hanging in there- but end of the day, I think we’re all still in the dark and hoping for the best.

-- Thoughts and prayers to everyone in Japan affected by the Earthquake and Tsunami… The video of the destruction was jaw dropping and incredibly sad. It really is a disaster on epic levels and hopefully they can recover as quickly as possible.

-- And finally… it is March Madness time… last year I did actually pick the winner here on the blog (I know shocking right?) when I tabbed Duke to win it. We’ll this year I am going with the repeat… Duke to win again… and yes I do hate Duke and hope my “powers” work where they failed last year.


-- This is one dedicated and crazy coach back on the sidelines to coach in a big game just HOURS after giving birth!

-- The world’s youngest” grandmother at just 23! But as a good friend mentioned to me- she looks older than both of us… and I agree, she is not looking good for her “age”

-- This man has 82 tattoos of Julia Roberts all over him… and the headline calls him “weird”… umm.. I think I’d use more harsh language!

So for the 1/3rd of you who make it this far… THANK YOU…. Anyway I was sent this classic of Charlie Sheen compilations earlier this week… and very good. The guy is pretty crazed (or actually very seriously crazed… ) but is comical too…

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The start of something good?

Well here we are in March, a majority of the horrible awful weather should be behind us and quite frankly if the train is going to pick up steam it will start this month. This past week some news popped out about credit being easier to obtain and that news alone is very encouraging. The tightness of the lenders has been the major stopping point that many analysts and advisors have pointed to over the past 9-12 months and if that is starting to loosen that really is a good sign. But we will see as this has been a time that no one has ever experienced before- no other slow period compares.


-- Major props to Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP and Mike Burriss of Cytec on their new positions within GANA. Both are tremendous men that bring significant value to the group and our industry as a whole. They follow in the footsteps of good people too in Doug Penn of Vitro America and Cliff Monroe of AAG and I do believe they will do awesome jobs… pressures now on you boys… gotta deliver!

-- Greg Silvestri leaving Viracon was big news last week. I met him and interacted with him on a few occasions and he always treated me well. Heck that was probably his downfall. Seriously though it is another shift for our industry and there are lots of rumblings out there that more are to come at companies throughout the industry.

-- What am I missing? The auction at Barber Glass (as advertised over at Glassmagazine.com) is slated for March 16th yet I keep hearing about who already owns certain pieces that will be auctioned off. So is the fix in? Is it just rumor mongering? I don’t get it. And to think my wife said she wanted an autoclave for her Birthday and dang it that was the one I was going after!

-- And on that note a Happy Birthday to my bride… March 7th… and she told me she is 33… and I am not going to fight her on it. Plus I like it- most people say 29…

-- And while on the family track, I get asked a lot about how my sister Marcie is doing. Marcie was in the industry for basically a lifetime and she got out last year… she has now found an amazing home in the retail world and she just was honored by top management for her efforts… I just think if she woulda got into that business when she was younger, the store “Nordstrom’s” would be called “Marcie’s”…

-- The Washington Examiner ran another piece on the whole “Green Bandit” issue. The story is HERE but for me I chuckle because the main character is Cathy Zoi and she is married to a guy named Robin Roy… and as the late great Myron Cope would say… “YOI! And DOUBLE YOI!” (Gotta be from Pittsburgh to get that one) But goofy Pittsburghism’s aside- it’s an intriguing story that has been debated by both sides for a while- so the truth probably lays somewhere in the middle.

-- Last this week… the post from last week had two comments from two of the coolest west coast people around. I am big fan of both Kris Vockler and Alan Gottesman and was thrilled they both took time to write. And the points they added were great- Kris on the weaknesses in LEED and Alan adding yet another deterrent to the clean energy movement. Thanks guys!

LINKS of the WEEK!

-- Gotta love this story… Government getting new and wild Anti terror and war spying equipment but the supplier is boasting about it. Isn’t this stuff supposed to be secretive?

-- Tough story in many ways- 2 young kids and Aunt living in shed behind abandoned house. Which offers the question of why not live in the house? And makes you sad that this stuff is happening anyway.

Tough way to go, while dancing on your 70th wedding anniversary…

VIDEO of the WEEK!

The two guys that have dominated our news lately- Charlie Sheen and Moammar Ghadafi are now immortalized in this pretty comical game of “Who said it?”… and folks it’s really time for the Sheen episodes to end so we can move on to next great controversies!