Sunday, December 13, 2015

And your 2015 MVP is.....

The time has arrived to award the 2015 Industry MVP and for the 2nd year in a row, my choice happened to be involved in a billion dollar deal.  Though this time the deal came before I named the winner, but still… nice to be associated with mega world changing events!  So my latest recipient is a gentleman that I believe met every parameter that I had envisioned.  He is extremely involved at the trade level, leading GANA’s largest division and biggest event.  He also sits on the board at NACC, the glazing certification effort that I believe is very important to the future of our industry.  Our winner also has written some excellent educational articles and presented on some seriously large stages.  His company is active in the industry, involved in the various shows and conferences.  So with that said, our winner this year is Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning.  To me this is much deserved recognition of an excellent and dedicated industry player.  Another key attribute?  Jon is extremely likable. His personality allows him to deal with all styles of people, and as we know this industry surely runs the gamut on that.  So congrats to Jon and to our runners up as well.  I will say every year as I do this process I find more and more amazing people, which makes this decision so much harder but also excites me that we’ve got talent and skill to keep moving this industry forward.


--  So the giant deal of Dow and Dupont hit this week and now we wait and see for the effect on our industry.  The big part for us, in my opinion, is Dow Corning goes from being a 50/50 deal between Dow and Corning to a part of this deal, and so what happens then to the culture of the current company.  As noted above, Dow Corning is a very active company in our world, and that changing would have a negative feel for sure.  So it’s a wait and see with regards to this, hopefully like CRL showed, you can be a part of a major deal and still be active out there.  Obviously the other thing to watch is the typical items in deals like this:   Service, support, and potential talent disruption-  does it get better, worse, stay the same?  We’ll see…

--  Another good list to review; this is the top 5 Real Estate markets to watch in 2015. Here goes:

5- Atlanta- I am surprised given the amount of inventory I always assumed was out there.  So evidently that must be getting snapped up and growth is on the horizon.
4- Seattle- Lot’s of industry and growth and powerful corps like Amazon and Microsoft I am assuming.
3- Charlotte- So evidently this area is really bouncing back strong after all of the bank mergers and issues of the recession.
2- Austin- May be “weird” but is obviously a red-hot area to be in
1- Dallas-Ft Worth- Well this area is rolling.  Cost of living index is still on low side, and it’s a business friendly region.  As we’ve seen in the glass industry with several players either opening and/or expanding there, it’s hot.

--  Normally this would be my video of the week, but it’s too good to have there.  A great parody of the Adele song “Hello” set to life as a salesperson.  So true in so many ways. 

--  Last this week… so this is the last post of 2015, unless of course something major happens.  It’s been a wild year overall and one that absolutely just flew by.  With my first post of 2016, I’ll look back at the year and the predictions I made for it.  That should be fun.  In the meantime, it is my sincere wish to all of you for the happiest of holiday seasons (Including the wrap up of Hanukah ending now) and a HEALTHY and prosperous new year!  See you on the other side.  Thanks for reading!!


--  I guess this is a very popular idea… name a cockroach after an ex?

--  Seriously bad soccer sportsmanship.  Though I will say when my favorite team of all time (Anchor Bay HS Girls Soccer) lost a title game in PK’s I would’ve been all for them doing this to win!

--  The lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots Scott Weiland passed away this week- he battled some serious demons and his ex wife and family wrotean amazing piece asking not to glorify the tragedy


Looks like Thursday night I will be in a packed theater watching the latest Star Wars with my son.  While I want to see this- I did not want to be there opening night… I am not a crowds sort of guy any more… oh well, should be memorable!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Interior Glass, Rocky, LAX, 2016 and more

One of the areas of growth I have mentioned on occasion has been the interior space.  Part of that has been the expansion of decorative options but also the functionality of glass.  But there are more reasons that this trend is hot and in the most recent edition of Glass Magazine there’s an excellent article that spells it out very clearly.  It breaks down the four areas of demand driving this and it’s a must read if you are looking at that side of the business. 


--  I seriously can’t believe I have just one more blog post for 2015.  Where has this year gone? Remember next week’s post will unveil the industry MVP for this year…

--  For my friends in LA and connected to the happenings at LAX.  Any time frame for terminal 6 to be completed on its remodel?  What a disaster area that is and has been for a while.

--  I am huge “Rocky” fan so I went in with some bias, but I must tell you the movie “Creed” is absolutely fantastic.  Even if you are not a Rocky fan or a boxing fan, the story line and performances in this are incredible.  The fact there’s some talk about Oscar nominations for this film, shows you it’s way beyond the traditional Rocky fare.  I know there’s a ton of good movies coming out this month, but I’d add this to the list.

--  There’s been some nervousness with regards to the economy and some reports that 2016 may be much softer than many expect.  From the analysts I follow and trust, that is not what they are seeing.  The latest metrics show a lighter start in 16, with a robust and strong final 2/3rds.  Where the jury is suddenly out is 2017.  Initially the projections were good for that year as well, but some of that sentiment is changing within all models.  However everything is so far out and so much can change, that it’s too soon to tell what we will have.  Bottom line is we all still have to work hard and take advantage of what’s out there….  I will continue to monitor, follow and mention here as time goes on.

--  Is there a better young, awesome singer than Adele? 

--  How hard are the questions on your job interviewing process?  My guess is with how scarce labor is, the first question is “Do you have a pulse?” followed by “When can you start?” but in the world of Apple, it’s a whole different ballgame.  I ran into this link that listed the 10 toughest job interview questions from Apple and it’s surely off the charts. 

--  Last this week… one of our own in the industry needs our thoughts and prayers.  Dan Funyak of PPG (also known as the husband of PPG’s awesome Joanne Funyak) will be out for a bit as he starts treatment for prostate cancer.  It was caught early and it’s primed to be beaten.  So please keep Dan, Joanne and family in mind… and also per Dan (and many other experts) please keep this in mind:

 ----      Guys 40 and over, please take the time to get your yearly physical and Prostate screenings. This will give you the best chance to catch it early like Dan did

        ----      Women, please get your appropriate screenings and exams on a yearly basis. Give yourself the best chance if something is found.


--  You know I probably would’ve tried this some day.  Glad I read this now.

--  A robbery that takes 5 hours and steals 300K worth of tires?  Wow.

--  Tough story here- a major college football player with mental difficulties… not surviving despite help from so many.


If you didn’t see it… the Hail Mary that won the Lions-Packers game.  For Lions fans it was a typical Lions like ending…  longest successful hail mary in NFL History and a great throw by Aaron Rodgers.  This is the reaction of some faithful Lion fans….

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Fascinating Look at The Future

When I was a kid I was always curious on how life would be in the year 2000.  Would there be flying cars?  Would we all be living like the Jetsons?  Obviously that did not happen… but this week my futurist tendencies were tweaked again with a great article on what the construction industry could look like in 30 years.  It’s a great piece featuring several excellent ideas that could be in place long before 2045.   In fact many of the concepts listed are being developed right now so it’s nice to see that there’s a finish line out there for it.  I for one love the robot and lifting technologies.  But I also think the reconfigurable rooms has potential.  I would be scared to death of the driverless trucks and heavy equipment… as I am not comfortable with anything “driverless” at this point.  So check out the piece and dream…


--  Ok my technical experts out there… I have one for you to look at.  Comes from one of my loyal readers and I just don’t have the knowledge for the insight needed.  Here’s the deal:

I have a question that may be nothing but with the weather patterns this year water/leaks have become more of an issue than years past. I know the national weather service has changed the criteria for severe thunderstorms but according to the small amount of research I have done wind speeds did NOT change. According to the ASTM E1105 water tests store fronts fail at 60 mph sustained and the weather service criteria for thunderstorms is 58 mph but more and more store fronts are beginning to fail or at least more water is showing up on the interior of buildings and the installs are correct. Has this become an issue everywhere? I am reading that some people within the weather service are wanting to change wind speeds for thunderstorms to 74 mph. My question is…  if this does happen how long will it take the industry to react and change their criteria for store front water testing or will the industry go to curtain wall (or pre-glazed/unitized systems) standard to offset what will become a catastrophic failure for our industry with every store front installed?

If you have some thoughts on this drop me a note or leave it in the comments.  Thank you!

--  A lot of forecasting reports over the last 2 weeks.  The Architectural Billings Index continues to be solid.  The Dodge Momentum Index continues to be mixed.  And this week CMD did a 2016 projections webinar with the main takeaway being commercial construction growing in an average range of 5 to 10%.  So positive trends are continuing, though I think we all are looking at the geopolitical landscape with some concern.  At least I am.

--  Latest update on the growth of the North American Contractor Certification (NACC) program.  A bunch of companies have completed the certification and many are now in the queue.  This is an extremely important process for our industry and if you are glazing contractor, it is absolutely something you should budget for in 2016.  Especially with the certification need showing up in more and more specifications…

--  Watched a pretty cool documentary this week.  “Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, Dead” The Story of National Lampoon.  Really interesting work and all I could think of is our current society is so over the top “PC” that a magazine like that would last about 2 seconds before being bludgeoned by social media mobs and so on. 

--  Last this week…  No blog post next week.  (Unless breaking news happens of course) Next post will be week of 12/6.  In the US it’s Thanksgiving week…. And Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Not even close.  We all have a ton to be thankful for each and every day, and I cherish this opportunity to focus on it.    Have a great holiday week everyone!


--  This is awesome.  And needed.  And I’d love to see it grow- a college degree in “Building Arts”

--  I love dogs.  I love stories about dogs too.  This one surely qualifies

-- This is outrageous.  How people can be so dense is beyond me.


Fun video of folks from Ireland trying American cereals and breakfast foods.  They just don’t get the joy of Pop Tarts!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

MVP- The Runners Up

Before I start, I just wanted to extend my thoughts and prayers to everyone in France and also affected by this awful tragedy.  It is incredibly sad and scary.  Peace needs to rule in our world…somehow.

A few years ago I started the Industry MVP award here on the blog to recognize people and companies for their efforts and support of the glass and glazing industry.  Obviously there are quite a few candidates that deserve credit for what they do, so trying to narrow it down has become quite the challenge.  So let’s begin with a reminder of past winners and nominees before we get to the runners up for 2015. 


Winner was Tracy Rogers of Quanex

Runners up:
Tom Culp
Mark Silverberg
Ed Zaucha
Mic Patterson
Oliver Stepe
Dr. Helen Sanders
Scott Thomsen

Note: All but Scott are still very active and influential in the industry.  Scott retired but his legacy thanks to  “Battle for the Wall” and great technology lives on.


Winner was CR Laurence

Runners up:
John Wheaton
Rick Wright
Tom O’Malley
Bernard Lax

Note: See what happens when you win Industry MVP from me?  Your company becomes a part of the biggest deal of the century!  LOL. 

So on to 2015.  Here are the runners up.  The winner will be presented on my last scheduled blog of 2015 in mid December.  Nominees were gathered from my knowledge of who’s who, along with several submissions from readers and followers of this blog.  I then narrowed the field to 5 using the criteria that included some of the following categories:
Overall Influence in 2015 on the industry
Industry Support
My opinion and knowledge of them and what they do. After all it’s my blog and my award right?   

After that I studied the 5 candidates against each other and then determined the MVP.  Which is tough because all of these people and companies (as the same with the ones from previous years) are certainly deserving of this huge honor.  And to note, this is all on me, it has nothing to do with Glass Magazine (who graciously runs my blog weekly) or GlassBuild America- they don’t even know who I am picking etc. 

The runners up for 2015 feature 2 companies and 2 people.  They are listed in no particular order. 

Walker Glass- This is a company that is always at every industry event and meeting. And they just don’t attend to attend; they are active, with many of their folks on or leading committees.  In addition they have made great technology advancements and this year made a major splash with their heavy push into bird safe glass.  The team there led by owners Lee Harrison and Ross Christie may be the nicest people around too.  So it’s a great mix, nice, hard working people, doing very good things for our world. 

Garret Henson- Viracon- I think if I mention Garret any more he may take out a PPO on me.  So this will be the last time. (at least in 2015)  Still very deserving and he cemented his place here with his performance at the Glazing Executive Forum in September.  He takes very smart approaches to selling and his massive embrace of communication is something I wish more would do.  He’s also built a team around him at Viracon that always impresses and makes our industry look good.

Dip Tech- The other company on our list is this great Israeli organization.  Dip Tech has been very impressive in basically creating a new market from scratch.  They have some incredibly engaging people that are always innovating, always looking to see what else they can do to support the cause.  They could’ve chosen to sit back and soak in their successes but that has not been the case.  Plus they are active and supportive within in the industry in many different forums and open to every idea.

Kris Vockler- ICD- I will say personally I consider Kris a close friend.  She is a fantastic person is a part of one of the best families this industry has.  Professionally though is where this nomination comes from.  The time, care, and effort Kris puts in at the trade level via GANA is impressive.  Her desire for an overall advancement in the way the industry works is extremely admirable and needed.    On the business side ICD (with lots of credit to Kris’ dad Larry) has been pushing the envelope for years in similarity to what I said about Dip Tech.  They could sit back- but don’t and that’s due to the drive Kris has.

So there you have it… these 4 did not grab the prize (which they may actually be happy about coming from me…) but they deserve recognition for their efforts.  Next month I’ll recognize the 2015 MVP and the only hint is it’s a person, not a company this year….

Congrats to the folks above.  And THANK YOU for doing what you do for this industry. 


Creative Judge uses Taylor Swift lyrics in a decision over Taylor Swift lyrics.

So many good movies coming… including the concussion movie ripping the NFL.

Awful website name but cool link.  One line from 36 songs that get the song stuck in your head.  More for music lovers of 80’s and 90’s


Thanks to the great Dave Gillikin for this great reminder of one of the best TV episodes of all time.  The WKRP in Cincinnati featuring a Thanksgiving Day promotion gone wrong.  This, as was the show itself, a major classic!