Monday, March 09, 2015

BEC 2015 Recap

Each year the big industry event in the first quarter is GANA’s BEC.  This year for the first time in a while it was combined with GANA’s Annual Conference, which used to be known as “Glassweek.”  So when you get a couple hundred companies in a small space together along with some of the great technical minds in our industry some news is made and networking happens. 

On the news side- one our industries most precious resources is Dr. Tom Culp.  He gave updates on the upcoming ASHRAE 90.1.  The big item so far is no changes to the window area.  As you can remember a few years ago there was a major push to reduce the window to wall ratio, thankfully as of now, and thanks to amazing efforts by Dr. Culp and others that is not on the table.  However many other items are in process including changes to the climate zone map and reduction in u factors.  Nothing that is brutal though, at least in my opinion.  

Another major piece of news is the formation of a certification group for glazing contractors.  The NACC or North America Contractor Certification program is built to certify glazing companies using five points of criteria such as: Quality, Competency, Ethics, Finances, and Safety.  This is one to watch as a national certifying body could offer some interesting scenarios down the line.  

As for BEC news- the speakers were spectacular.  Joe Puishys, President and CEO of Apogee gave, in my opinion, the best industry keynote speech in the history of this event.  He mixed a tremendous speaking style with interesting insights and opinion.  One major takeaway was we as an industry economy are on a positive trend line- potentially for the next five years.   I’ll have some other thoughts on his epic speech next week. 

James O’Callaghan, who’s firm is responsible for so much of the memorable Apple buildings also did not disappoint.  To get a serious inside look at how the glass usage at the Apple Store started- from stairs all the way to structure was incredible.

To end the day was the keynote speaker thanks once again to sponsorship from the great people from Guardian Industries was former baseball star Jim Abbott.  The speech was fantastic, mixing humor with inspirational lessons.  Plus in a moment that I thankfully survived Abbott called me on stage to throw a pitch to him.  Scary does not begin to describe how I felt.  I have not thrown a baseball or any ball for that matter in years.  Heck I won’t even throw a ball to my dogs… so to throw a pitch… on stage… in front of the industry… surely tested every nerve I had.  Luckily I survived!!   Me throwing the ball into the chandeliers in the ballroom was a made for YouTube moment that I avoided! 

Props to BEC leader Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning for an awesome event… but he surely raised the bar very high with this one!

Now to the networking side…

--  Overall attitude and tenor of people attending was very positive.  There’s a lot of industry confidence right now that is awesome to see.

--  As for seeing actual people, I am blown away getting to visit with so many talented and incredible people in our industry.  And humbled that they will give me the time of day to chat. 

--  Great to see old pal Cliff Monroe of Oldcastle BE.  He’s in tiptop condition and looks like he could run a marathon tomorrow.  Of course no GANA meeting is the same without Eastman’s Julie Schimmelpenningh, catching up for a few minutes was wonderful.  And a cool surprise to see my former co-worker Jon Johnson, now calling View home.  He’ll do great there.
--  After years of coming to events like this I thought I met everyone I could from Viracon, but nope, I finally got to meet Bob Carlson in person, which was great.  Plus visiting with Garret Henson, Seth Madole, and of course the Hollywood model Cameron Scripture is a treat. 
--  I have heard about and admired Tim Kelley of Tri Star Glass for years, so meeting him for the first time was excellent and seeing Greg Oehlers (also Tri Star) is never dull.  Spent time with Steve Cohen of PPG who is settling in nicely to his new digs there. 
--  One of the classiest men in our industry Dave Helterbran was here and all I can say is he fights the good fight better than I ever could.  Keep getting better Dave!  His daughter and son in law (Lindsay and Dustin Price) are launching a new business with Dave and I know it will be a tremendous success.
--  Speaking of success I think everything that guys like Marc Deschamps (Walker), Mark Silverberg (Technoform), and James Wright (Glass Coatings & Concepts) touch turn to gold.  Just picking their brains and having a dialogue with them makes you smarter too. 
--  Quickly visited with Bob Cummings (Hartung) and Kirk Johnson (Glasswerks) which was great, since I probably only get to see or talk to those guys once a year. 
--  And I will say as marketing guy I was really impressed/jealous of the awesome video that the folks from Vitrum showed.  Incredible piece and it was nice to get to chat with Thomas Martini, Bruce Robinson and Tara Brummet about that and all the good things they have going on.
--  Also from a marketing and PR standpoint getting to share a room with the insanely talented Heather West and Rich Porayko was as good as it gets.  Those two produce some of the industries best materials on a daily basis and it’s an honor to get to spend any time with them.

I know I probably missed some folks… sorry- all I can say it is always an awesome time to network with the industries best and again thank you for sharing time and conversation with me.


Will return next week…..

1 comment:

Rich said...

Great job with the fabricator panel and Social Media presentation Max! Keep up the awesome work. There are none better!