Saturday, August 24, 2013

Glass Industry Fantasy Team

Way back in 2007 I did a list that recognized the “stars” of our industry and because of the timing I compared them to current Fantasy Football stars to have fun and drive home the points.   I loved the way that turned out especially because the timing right before GlassBuild and being able to see all of these fine folks.  So after 6 years, its time for a new list!  Now of the original list (you can see here) all of the stars are still active in our industry except Christine Shaffer and Scott Surma.  Those two moved on to great opportunities and we as an industry do miss them tremendously.  Also I wanted to name like 30 people but I had to settle for 6 like the last time.  So I know I am missing some great ones and I am sorry… anyway here goes…

James Wright, Glass Coatings and Concepts = Adrian Peterson.  Peterson’s nickname is “All Day” and it’s because he’s virtually non-stop action.  Well so is James, who is an absolute rising star in this industry and an active participant in many positive efforts.  Plus the work he is doing with GCC is strong, sharp, and impressive.

Mike Turner, YKK-AP = Robert Griffin III.  Like the dynamic RGIII, Mike is a serious double threat, a tremendous marketer that also truly is a technical powerhouse.  Crazy combination but Mike pulls it off with ease.  Plus his team (Company) around him surely puts him in some great spots to score.  (See interview below with Oliver Stepe from YKK)

Alysa Hoffmeister, Dip Tech = Arian Foster.  Ever since Foster burst on to the scene he has been outstanding and clutch.  Same with Alysa has she has been a significant part of the incredible growth of digital printing on glass thanks to her efforts and her companies machinery.  It is not easy developing new markets and getting major pieces into place, but Alysa has done so with same effectiveness as Foster carrying the ball over the goal line.

Chris Dolan, Guardian = Calvin “Megatron” Johnson.  I have known Chris for many years and have seen the growth and progression of the products under his leadership.  Like Johnson making a tough catch in double coverage, Chris has had to launch and grow products in the most challenging of eras and has done it very well.  Plus any time I can attach a wild nickname like “Megatron” on to a professional guy like Chris, I gotta do it!

Jon Kimberlain, Dow Corning = Marshawn Lynch.  Lynch is known to go into “Beast Mode” and take over a game.  Well with Jon’s intelligence and drive, I think he’s in “Beast Mode” 24/7.  Not only is Jon an amazing source for product knowledge and direction but also he’s now taking on major roles in our industry for which I believe he will do quite well.

Chris Mammen, M3 Glass Technologies = Peyton Manning.  Manning is that guy that has now proven he can succeed anywhere while directing a high-octane offense with ease.  Chris is similar in that his company has succeeded at every level and their product line really could be considered “high octane” for sure.  Unlike Manning who only has a few years left, we’ll see Chris in our world for a very long time and that is a very good thing.

So there it is… as always tough leaving folks off, but I think these 6 represent what is right with our industry.  They respect and push for their companies, they volunteer for the industry and they are extremely talented.  Congrats to them all!


--  Last week I had a contest to win a free corporate video and the winner chosen at random was William Bailes of Bailes Glass.  Thank you William for signing up and thanks to everyone who registered this week as well.  The numbers were amazing and GlassBuild is really looking strong.  If you have not made plans, better get moving, and realize if you have not signed up, you do not want to miss this event!

--  Quick personal note, today my daughter told me my beard looked too “Duck Dynasty” like.  I guess I need to trim it now… I was going for that mix of Duck Dynasty and Captain Lou Albano.  Dang.

--  Last this week… One part of the GlassBuild America world is the Glazing Executives Forum, and I caught up with the gold sponsor of the Forum, Oliver Stepe of YKK.  Below is just one question I had asked him as a part of promotional piece we are doing (the rest can be seen on The Road to GlassBuild later this week) and I wanted to share so you could get a feel for why I am so fired up on the show and industry support.  Thank you to YKK as well as the other sponsors- SAPA, PPG, Hartung Glass, Dow Corning, and NSG for their support!

Thank you for being the lead sponsor of the Glazing Executives Forum at GlassBuild America.  YKK has been a very active participant in many industry related events, why is it so important for you to be such a great industry partner?

The YKK Cycle of Goodness philosophy is rooted in engagement with local communities and industry in which we conduct business, so YKK AP America’s support of glass industry education and events is consistent with our long-standing core values. As the industry entered and endured various phases of the financial crisis and support for industry organizations and event’s was challenged, it became apparent that we needed to play a bigger role. It was at that time we stepped up and began sponsoring GEF. We feel that industry events such as GEF and others are vital for the continuing education of the industry community and necessary to assure that industry members remain current with evolving building technologies. If we and others like us can play a small role in assuring that fa├žades remain relevant in the built environment by supporting industry events and initiatives, then it is the calling of us all to do so.     

For more of this interview visit later this week.


--  Pretty interesting sale item… the useless plastic box!

--  Really great piece on the use of the smartphone and investing.

--  Kid gets accidentally hurt at playground, Mom attacks.  Tons of things wrong here.  Man our society is in some dire straits.


A new all sports channel made its debut last week with Fox Sports 1.  The new anchors of the show come by way of TSN in Canada and I like their quirky humor.  You know since I love everything Canadian and all.  Anyway here’s the best of their first week on the air.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The TIME is NOW for GlassBuild

The blog has a singular focus this week.  GlassBuild America.  Now some of you may be tiring if me constantly propping this event, but I do it because it needs done and its worth it for everyone involved.  So please read on, and see where I am coming from.  Before I start, full disclosure, I do work for and get paid by the National Glass Association and the majority of my work is on GlassBuild.  So I am biased, but that said, I do believe I have a compelling story to tell.

I have attended GlassBuild (or also known as the NGA Show) basically every year since 1998.  There’s no doubt the event has changed but so has our industry.  Once upon a time I was even critical of the show, making fun of it for trying to evolve.  (Which I now know was what good companies attempt to do; me being immature, stupid and thinking I was bullet-proof missed that) When I joined on to help at GlassBuild I figured I’d have no problems just jumping in, after all I (with a few others) built the GANA BEC to more than 800 people, so I handled big crowds right?  Nope.  It didn’t dawn on me until I really got into it how huge and how intense GlassBuild really is.  The size and scope of GlassBuild made BEC look like a pre school play date. (The team that truly puts this show together is absolutely unreal.  A handful of the hardest working people I have ever been around)

So you are probably now wondering where I am going with this… well its simple, this year the show is tracking to have an amazing performance, great exhibits and best attendance in a long time.  I just want everyone to be a part of it.  I want it to be the BEST EVER.   I want it to be great for the exhibitors and sponsors who step up and show.  And I wanted to throw it out to those on the fence, why they shouldn’t miss it.

First and foremost this is THE BIGGEST event in our industry.  By far.  Not even close.  Combine every other event (and yes many are good ones too) and you won’t even get to a third of the people that attend GlassBuild or the education or networking you can make happen.  I laugh when people say “nobody is there” because its plainly not true.  Every major player either has a booth or a sponsorship or at worst walks the floor (or some cases has a party off site at the same time, though to me having a party without a booth makes no sense- that’s another story for another time) so to say no one is there is pure folly. 

To me it’s the products that make it, every year new, ground breaking and innovative products fill the floor and smart participants lap it up and run with it.  They are either diversifying their business or finding a new channel to deal with.  Making better deals, getting better terms, finding new sources.  At the end of the day, GlassBuild and its amazing exhibitors make people’s BUSINESSES BETTER.  I even had one exhibitor ask me to chill out on the push to find more exhibitors because he liked he didn’t have all of his competitors on the floor.

The networking is 2nd to none, from the opening night cocktail party to all of the other events, more can be accomplished in 3 days at GlassBuild than 3 months on the road and hours surfing websites. 
What else will you miss aside from your competitors getting a massive step up and chance to network yourself and your business?  You’ll miss the educational opportunities, from the great panel at the Glazing Executives Forum (featuring top people like Dick Beuke of PPG, Mike Turner of YKK, Jim Miller of View, and Dr. Jeff Meyer of White Bear) to an insanely good marketing seminar by Rich Porayko to one of the most exciting panels we’ve had in years on the growth and ascent of decorative printing on glass.  (Believe me, digital printing on glass is extremely popular).  Plus this year, the popular floor demonstrations have expanded allowing looks into several other very interesting avenues.

It’s the one place to find product lines like truck racks, storefronts, sealants, hardware, software, dynamics, handrails, screens, windows and so much more. (And entire section devoted to and loaded with INNOVATION!)  And yes machinery is all over the floor with things more amazing this year than ever before.  The entire industry, ALL IN ONE PLACE.  And yes that range of products sometimes works against the show, because GlassBuild caters to so many, the focus is far from narrow, but when you have the biggest event around, you tend to be broad.  (Look at AIA as an example, or an electronic show like CES, they all cover many many categories, not just one audience, so yes part of the huge show is not in your exact segment… yet)

So there ya go… I ranted enough… if you want to be in the minority who misses the show, that’s your call.  But I think you’d be making a big mistake….  And I say that with years of experience making mistakes including back when I totally misunderstood how great this event and its people are.

Last, an extra incentive to sign up if you have not yet, a great opportunity to advance your own brand/company.  One person will be chosen at random from everyone who registers this week.  The winner will get a free video promotion from me for his or her organization.  I will come to your location and/or jobsite and profile your company and shoot/edit/produce a high-end corporate video for use on youtube and your personal website. (or however you see fit)  No strings attached- just my donation to the show effort, and you get a chance to advance your brand image at my expense. The amazing registration staff at GlassBuild America will randomly choose the one winner and I’ll make arrangements to get shooting….  And we’ll see you and the rest of the industry at the show!  So click here to register now...


--  The abuse of unpaid interns has really gone big this week.  From the Facebook debacle to this incredible story.  Unreal.

--  Interesting article on the evolution of the smartphone.  Speaking of that… I’ll be getting rid of my beloved Blackberry soon.  That makes me sad.

--  Just incredible, heart wrenching story here.  How a little girl suffering from massive seizures may be now headed in the right direction thanks to medical marijuana.  Wow.


This is really cool… though no way I would do it being a wimp… but riding a bike up a ramp and flying into a lake… man it looks neat.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A lot more action to come

After a pretty mellow summer news wise, the last few weeks have really kicked in with a lot of movement, good and bad, within our industry. I knew it was just a matter of time before a lot of these maneuvers would hit and I do not believe we’re done in this cycle just yet.  I see a few more pieces in play as I think the climate is ripe for more acquisitions. Think about it, for many players 2013 has been good and the appetite for more is growing.  These players are not worried about survival they either want growth or they want to add positive pieces to mask negative ones they may already own.  Match that with the desire of some business owners to exit at a higher point than where they were 2 years ago, and I think the ingredients are in place.  Mix in the industry all getting together at GlassBuild America next month and you have your recipe for a lot more action on the horizon.  Stay tuned.


--  I was extremely saddened over the passing of Jim Dwyer of Syracuse Glass.  Jim was a kind, classy, professional man who did things the right way.  We as an industry surely lost a tremendous person and his family lost a great leader.  His lessons obviously were not lost on son John, who remains one of the best guys in our industry today.  My thoughts and condolences go out to the Dwyer family and everyone associated with Syracuse Glass during this very sad time. 

--  A reminder, the next Glass Management Institute session, Macro Economic Inputs to Strategic Planning by Mark Silverberg is coming up August 20th.  I believe this will be a tremendous course, especially given the landscape of our industry and world.  Who wouldn’t benefit from a business forecasting session like this?  Go here to register now.  

--  Funny mid-blog link- a skyscraper going up in Spain… and the architects forgot the elevator… oops!

--  Last week I bashed LEED and received a comment on line at the Glassblog site from the esteemed Mic Patterson of Enclos.  Mic is one of those guys I truly admire; he is always out and about and on top of the issues and is always persuasive with his arguments.  The comment he left would fit that role.  I love to bash LEED or really anything that gets me frustrated because that is what I do, I stir the pot and have been doing it since 2005.  (Though as many know I am more mellow now than I was back then!) Mic’s approach though is the right one, measured and intelligent as always.  Whether or not we can ever see that day where our energies are rightfully placed is another story, but we can always hope.  Anyway, I thank you Mic for the comment and for reading the blog.  Very much appreciated. 

--  Last this week, another interview with a connection to GlassBuild.  One of the most popular seminars at any event I am involved in is the legal one.  So many different twists and turns are out there and understanding the law and your rights is crucial.  At GlassBuild, Rick Kalson, of Babst & Calland out of Pittsburgh will be speaking.  Rick for years spoke at various industry events and I am thrilled he was able to bring GlassBuild into his schedule.  He knows our world, whether you are a 2-man glass shop or a gigantic corporation, Rick gets it. 

Your seminar at GlassBuild America looks to cover a lot of very important subjects; can you give us a sneak preview of what the attendees will be hearing and learning about?

My presentation focuses on construction contracts which have become far more complex and onerous in recent years.  The ability to make a profit on a project is often squandered before work even starts due to unfavorable contract clauses.  This construction law seminar will pragmatically present best practices for having favorable terms and conditions included in the contract documents while identifying key clauses regarding payment, indemnification and claims, to avoid or negotiate.  Finally, an invaluable contract review checklist will be provided as part of the presentation for your future use, which should be reason alone to attend this seminar.

You have spoken in front of the glass and glazing industry many times in your respected career.  What makes this industry interesting for you?

I have very much enjoyed teaching and working with the glass industry over the last decade largely due to the mutual respect between industry competitors.  I am constantly impressed by the high level of questions that I receive during and after each construction law seminar that I have presented to members of the glass industry and I look forward to the same at GlassBuild America

--  Thank you Rick- and folks if you have not signed up for GlassBuild America, get online now to do so.


--  Count me 100% supporting this- a national holiday for First Responders.

--  Digital Detox.  Nope, not me.  Though I do enjoy taking a few minutes away…

--  Cool story on 96 year old holding her ground.  She’s also from Wisconsin and you just don’t mess with people from Wisconsin!!


NBC is taking over the broadcasts of soccer’s Premier League and they did this very comical video of an American football coach taking over a soccer team… classic stuff.  Really funny.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

More abuse for LEED

I have been a pretty vocal critic of the LEED green building rating system over the years.  Many people have taken shots at me because of that, but it sure seems that as time moves on, I have not been too far off base.  This past week, I was alerted to two situations that cast LEED into the negative once again.  While some of the attacks that this program took on recently may be even a little beyond the pale even for my tastes, the fact remains that this system is not what its cracked up to be and is really not making the difference most people assume it would.  Case in point an article that ran in the New Republic last week.  It broke down the absolute folly of the LEED rating system and how things do get off the tracks once the building is occupied.  Granted LEED is working to change some of these loopholes with new versions, but it’s still a massive sore point and even with changes, a lot of the holes will remain.  LEED also has been taking heat from the chemical industry on its lack of inclusion and stigmatizing of their products.  This article spells out the latest but its something I know well.  The rating system does play favorites and it’s frustrating.  At the end of the day the reason why anyone cares is simple… LEED is the system that the government uses and is most well known, so you are stuck with that path, which again is amazingly unfair.  There are better paths to true sustainability but the LEED machine crushes them.  And as we’ve seen in the past, it doesn’t matter; they (USGBC, the machine behind LEED) have too much money and power.  But as more articles get written, maybe some things will begin to change.


--  Also this week the Wall Street Journal ran an article on government construction spending being at a 6 year low.  It was probably meant to depress you, but I actually took it differently.  We are now matched at 2007 levels (remember those days?  The GLORY days!!) and we’re way beyond the spending in 2000.  In addition its nice to see some spending control at the public level given the debt load already.  Plus a return to private construction spending surely would be nice. 

--  Time for another interview and this one serves an extra purpose.  With GlassBuild America coming up, I wanted to introduce you to some of the people and players involved so you could plan your time at the show accordingly.  This week I caught up with marketing guru Rich Porayko of Construction Creative Marketing & Communications, who will be leading a seminar that you cannot miss. 

Here’s the details and interview:

What seminar are you leading?

It’s titled, Guerrilla Marketing for the Glass & Metal Industry, and it will be an information packed, hour long presentation focusing on getting solid results using a system of creative yet cost effective promotions, relying on time, energy and imagination instead of big marketing budgets.

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding all the GlassBuild America seminars, including yours.  What can the attendees expect to take away from your class?

The session is fun, fast paced and broken into easy takeaways so attendees will literally leave with dozens of easy, cost effective, time tested marketing tips and tricks that have taken me almost twenty years of studying and trial and error to put together. It’s the best deal going in Atlanta!

Whether you are a closet marketer or a seasoned pro, there’s something for everyone.

The world of marketing has evolved quite a bit in the last several years.  What do you believe to be the biggest change?

Hands down, it has to be social media and its integration with email and web marketing. There is something really satisfying about watching a social media campaign go viral live in front of your eyes. Every social media campaign can’t be a homerun but digital marketing can be measured in so many ways that traditional marketing campaigns will never be able to. If you can measure it, it can be improved. Each tweet, post or email gives you more insight on what works and what doesn’t.

What would you say to any of the folks currently on the fence about attending the show and your seminar?

What are you waiting for? If you make your living in the glass business, GlassBuild America is the place to be. The economy isn’t out of the woods yet but it seems like every week you read and hear more positive news. If you miss GBA 2013, you will have to wait until September 2014 and with the pace things are currently moving, a lot can happen in 12 months.

Thank you Rich…


--  Just a very interesting piece on those “Before and After” weight loss pictures.  This is great stuff.

--  A tremendous random act of kindness that we all should want to duplicate.

--  As someone who flies a ton and is a travel snob (as my wife calls me) this is just mind blowing.  No clue on why people do what they do.


Here’s a trailer for another movie that looks like a potential winner… based on the true story of the ABSCAM scandal.  Trailer is great and cast is strong… American Hustle coming soon to a theater near you….