Sunday, October 30, 2016

Great Industry News, Great Websites & More

One of the bigger stories that came out of GlassBuild America was the co-locating of the GANA Fall Conference with GlassBuild in 2017.  The Fall Conference brings some crucial technical pieces to the forefront, along with other important industry news and updates.  Having it now integrated with the largest trade show in North America will surely open it up to more people who had never attended before, those that used to attend but scheduling prevented them from doing so, or additional members from a single company when normally a company would only send one person.  Moves like this are very good for the industry- we have so much out there education wise, but I think only a small percentage of people are taking advantage of it.  Hopefully with a wider base things like this and the newly re-launched will reach the larger audience and we can continue to grow and prosper as an industry!


--  Speaking of education and growth, one group who I admire is the Efficient Window Collaborative.  I have written about them a few times here and I am fan.  Recently they launched an updated website, and it is absolutely fantastic.  Please check it out at and remember this too is a great training tool for your folks and resource for your customers.  Kudos to Kerry Haglund and team for a job well done!

--  Also on the website resource side, Mark Spencer of SAPA turned me on to www.Shapes.Al and it is a really interesting and helpful resource for all things aluminum.  They took an interesting approach with writing more feature like pieces than technical articles.  Lots of content and worth visiting.

--  The industry lost another long-time player last week with the passing of Tom Petersen.  Tom spent 46 years in the glazing world and was extremely well known and respected in the Missouri/Kansas region.  He will certainly be missed and condolences to his family and friends. 

--  Anyone else suffering on the health care costs side?  My monthly costs will now be 110% more per month than they were 3 years ago.  It really is an issue that has gotten lost in the absolute mess of the US election.

--  As you may have seen the Architectural Billings Index did decline again last month making it now into a mini-trend of 2 downers in a row.  The analysts think the election may have some bearing on that- I guess we’ll see.  Overall though the metrics out there are solid as Dodge did their annual outlook conference and from the reports I have seen, they are still bullish on 2017/2018.  I have been gathering those reports and will have some additional takes on that on next weeks post.

--  Last this week… amazingly this blog just celebrated its 11th anniversary.  Every time I note a milestone, I seriously get more blown away that I’m still plugging along and this thing is still alive.  Anyway I thank you for following along and putting up with me every week.  It still is my therapy and while my content has surely changed (I’m much more kind) I hope you can find at least a nugget or two worthwhile each week.    Thanks again for reading- I truly appreciate it!


--  Thank you to Paul Wagner who left a comment on the Glass posting of this blog.  Really interesting stuff here on solar roadways…. These need to happen!

--  Man dressed as a pine tree.  Blocks traffic.  People have issues. 

--  Great story on the backgrounds of the old Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe debacle.  Company was brilliant in their handling!


If you happened to miss GlassBuild or you missed the video recaps- here’s Day 3.. a look back at a fun day and great show!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

GlassBuild 2016 Recap

GlassBuild America 2016 is now in the books and it truly did not disappoint.  The combination of a great economic climate and well organized trade show made for three incredible days for our industry.  There’s a lot to cover so here goes…

First this show once again proved that these events work.  The networking is huge and the education crucial.  Missing it is simply not an option.  One of the overall takeaways was that people are either expanding their equipment needs, upgrading them or both.  The action at all of the machinery booths was impressive.  And keep in mind the Las Vegas show is not really known for its equipment set up- that’s the Atlanta one- so this really was a big happening. The diversity of products on the floor was strong.  One glazing company owner told me of a story about seeing a process at GlassBuild that solved on the spot a major product need he had- and he no idea it existed until he saw it at the show.  That was awesome.  Also software options for every aspect of our industry really took a step forward this year in my opinion.  Overall attitude of the attendees was positive and the exhibitors really raised their game this year with even more booths that were eye catching and smart.  More on that below.  If there were any concerns it was the upcoming election, the circus that it is, and the potential negative effect on the economy, but that was it.  Last on this… the rumor mill was surely churning, some massive moves will most likely be busting open in the next several weeks, though with our industry you just never know.  But that added some more spice to it all….

So as I do every year, here’s some thoughts on what I liked, who I saw, who I missed and more…

--   Liked the LAMATEK approach with their booth a ton.  They went with the “voting” theme and it was smart and creative.  Also liked Smart Builder offering free cups of coffee.  Speaking of beverages, so many exhibits had beverage service and party like atmospheres, who needed an expensive Vegas club?  I thought the Vitro/PPG booth was outstanding- Rob Struble continues to be one of the sharpest guys in our industry.  And I have to give props to everyone who did a great job being social on twitter but special recognition to Fenetech and their program.  Really fun stuff there and kudos to Ron Crowl and team.  And once again the team from Salem Distributing rocked the best shirts, that’s becoming old news… but a special mention to Paul Knadler of Arizona Shower Doors who had a shirt the same color as my crazy media vest.  That one was something to see!

--   From the people side…   I saw so many people that I had not seen in years that it was really cool.  My past lives were all intersecting constantly.  The most fun was seeing Mike and Joyce Cully of United Plate Glass.  Unless I am crazy the last time I saw them is when they came to my wedding… in 1994!  That was cool and neither of them has aged a day.  Also seeing past coworkers like Tom Olson, Joe Marini, Jeff Kirby, Wardi Bisharat, Mike Dishmon, Kevin Heim, and of course the great Dave Michaeli (you know the should be NFL hall of famer if his knees held up) was incredibly cool.  Amazingly they were all nice to me too after all these years… Speaking of nice- hard to top people like Stanley Yee of Dow Corning and Urmilla Sowell of GANA, just good folks for sure.

--    It was a miracle to see Michael Frett of after he had the most adventurous trip in- the story so amazing; it needs to be saved for another post!

--    I always enjoy running into folks like Tom O’Malley and getting updates on his world- good to hear that Clover Architectural is doing super out there. Tom Herron of NFRC is a gentleman and I give him tons of credit for putting up with me always whining, complaining etc. I rarely get to see the folks from Glass 3 Enterprises, but when I do it’s always a pleasure.  Good to see Paul DeGray who probably hopes I never pick the Rangers to win anything ever again.  And speaking of sports I am happy for guys like Mark Silverberg who’s Indians are in the World Series.  Catching up with Mark was overdue and quite important to me. 

--     Meeting new people at these events is also a high for me and this time there are two of note…  Bill Pollock of Northwest Glass in Montana chased me down and introduced himself.  That was incredibly nice.  Also new for me was Tony Montez of Montez Glass.  What an impressive guy and fun to catch up on the world of glazing in Northern California.  Though Tony noted he’s never read my blog, so that means I need to work on adding audience in the west obviously! 

--     I also love other marketing and PR style folks that are crazy talented.  So getting to see my good friend Rich Porayko doing his thing at the highest level was a pleasure.  Shawn Donovan is always ahead of the curve, so getting to just chat with him for a few minutes was tremendous.  Heather West is one of the best in her craft, so catching up with her is meaningful to me in hopes that her talent may rub off on me some day! 

--     I missed a ton of people since the show was so busy.  People that I wanted to see and chat with like the great Shelly Farmer of SC Railing and of course good pal Garret Henson of Viracon.  Hopefully next time I’ll get to run into you guys.  I would’ve also liked to have seen rep extraordinaire Margaret Brune but missed her too as well as the folks from Gardner Glass Products.  I got to see old pal Jim Ventre for a split second, but not long enough to catch up that is for sure.

So we put this one into the books and now looking forward to the next… and time to keep moving our business and industry forward!


Fun story on millennials that have never had a Big Mac (supposedly)

I have heard about this a lot- a deceased persons Facebook account comes alive.

Florida is known to have the most head scratching stories out there.  Rolling Stone magazine came up with this years- Top 10…


So I know many people record themselves while driving.  This guy does it so he can practice his singing.  But when he hydroplaned… well that was interesting…

Sunday, October 16, 2016

It's All About GlassBuild

Since a major majority of the industry will be there in one form or fashion I am dedicating this entire post to GlassBuild America.  Obviously I am heavily involved with the show.  Those of you who go, know I’m running around the floor, camera in hand, wearing a bright yellow vest looking like I just left an earlier post of parking cars or landing planes.  So first and foremost if you are a reader of this blog, please feel free to stop me to say Hi.  I’d love to meet you and say hi!

As for the show itself, this year is lining up to be off the charts on several levels.  First off do yourself a favor and download the GlassBuild Amercia App.  That and all of the things I will cover below can be found by clicking HERE.

--  Major first key of this show for me?  They’ll be more than 400 exhibitors from all over the world.  If you are not looking to improve yourself or your business by adding or upgrading products and services, you’re missing out.  As I have been planning my route around the show I am blown away at the amount of diverse options that can be seen. 

--  Next is the education- between the forums and the incredible Express Learning, there is plenty to get your arms around.  On the Express Learning, the schedule was slimmed out a bit so you can have time to walk the floor and network and still make sure you are catching plenty of free educational sessions.  One session that I find fascinating is the “Cyber Security on the Plant Floor” – we are in a new world and with all the automation I keep harping on here comes the opportunity for bad guys to disrupt.  This will be neat to hear about. 

--  Wait until you see the new!  It will revolutionize training as we know it and it the re-launch of this program makes it debut at the show.  I was lucky enough to see a sneak preview and this program is absolutely off the charts awesome.  The program features some seriously important collaboration with heavy hitters out there too- so the training you get will have a longer range effect than you may realize.  Sorry for being cryptic overall, I don’t want to blow the surprise of the launch.  The official kick off is at Noon on Thursday, so if you care at all about training and growth (and you should) you will want to be at booth 314 for this and learn more about throughout the event.

--  Networking.  This is my favorite aspect of the show and one that is truly the key of the event.  Pre-registration was up 27% over last year as of 2 weeks ago.  So between that and so many exhibitors on the floor, they’ll be no lack of opportunity to meet with people, renew and expand relationships and grow your personal and company brand.  Too many times the people who may not be fans of this show point out that some of the bigger companies do not exhibit anymore.  (Though plenty big ones still do like Guardian, CRL, Quanex, PPG/Vitro and many more) It is true that some companies may feel like they don’t need to exhibit.  As a marketing and communication strategy professional I understand and respect the various reasons they have for not exhibiting.  However those companies that DON’T exhibit are still sending multiple people to the show to work/walk it.  Why?  Because they hit the floor and they network as they know so many in the industry ARE THERE.  And while they may miss out on the potential business gain by having an exhibit, they are still making sure they are involved.  So at the end of the day, everyone that has an impact on the industry, or wants to have an impact on the industry is there… in one way or another.  AND THAT'S what makes this show so important and so good.

--  So there you go… my passion pitch and preview of the week ahead.  It really should be a great one.  Next week I’ll recap it with my standard of best exhibits seen, those folks who I was fortunate enough to run into, those I missed and much, much more.   I hope to see you there!


--  Not sure if you saw this clip from Jeopardy and the fall out- but very odd and harsh from Al Trebek. 

Finally a drone used for something worthwhile!!


As I have said before I will not watch the debates.  But this video adding music to it was too hilarious not to watch and post!

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Automation and Glazing

When it comes to automation, one area of our industry that has taken advantage of it are the fabricators.  Years ago those companies who put in an automated IG line had some sort of halo effect- they were above and beyond.  Now it’s commonplace.  And the next steps of automation continue with advanced robotics.   Especially with many of the exhibits I saw at glasstec and figure to see at GlassBuild America- more and more fabrication plants are becoming more reliant on the robotic/automated side of things.  But what about the glazier?  Is installing framing and glass robot-proof?  I have to think it is.  Obviously I am talking about field fab and install and not unitized.  So does that mean that unitizing is going to keep along the growth path and become a majority of the style of material installed?  I am curious on what the glazing community thinks on that and will be one of the questions I’ll be asking when I see everyone in a few weeks in Las Vegas.  If you want to chime in ahead of time on automation, unitized, and the glazier- please drop me a line.


--  My friend Gary Tongco of FreMarq Innovations sent me this excellent article on the continued growth of green and sustainable projects.   Many companies like Gary’s truly get it with the focus on advanced performance and I think the days of just having only “everyday” sorts of products are waning.

--  The Vitro acquisition of PPG went official last week.  I’m interested to monitor the next steps for the new Vitro Architectural Glass. Obviously Vitro announcing a jumbo coater is surely a signal of some serious desire to grow the space.

--  I did have to laugh when I saw the Pittsburgh Penguins arena is changing its name from Consol Energy Center to PPG Paints Arena.  PPG PAINTS.  I guess they had to make sure the word PAINTS got in there in case one of us lowly glass people got confused eh?  Funny thing is reading many of the message boards; many in the real world have no idea PPG is not in the glass space anymore.  So they were commenting like crazy on why the word “paints” was so dominant.  Example comment:
“What about the glass… doesn’t PPG stand for “Pittsburgh Plate Glass?”   I guess the commenters are not reading my blog eh?

--  Glass Magazine is the official media partner of this week’s Fa├žade Tectonics Institute World Congress.  The agenda looks outstanding and the show is promoting itself as one that goes deep into the info and not just a place for the “starchitect.”  Unfortunately I won’t be there in person but knowing between Glass Magazine’s awesome twitter feed and that of John Wheaton (who I saw on twitter is attending) I am positive I will at least get as much flavor as possible.  Events like this one can serve a great purpose in our industry for providing significant high level insight that is needed for us to keep pushing the envelope further.

--  Last this week… a Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the awesome country of Canada.  Hope everyone enjoys with their family and friends and can give thanks to all we are so fortunate to have!


Tremendous article on the real cost of EpiPens and ideas that could reduce it (but the owner never will.) It’s insane how the drug companies have such a free pass in our world.  (And on a side note, I am nervously waiting to see if my insurance is renewed for next year and at what increase… another depressing part of life)

So this High School team should really play up a division or two.  The fact that hasn’t been done is all on the area admin’s sound asleep at the wheel.

A link to some seriously unhealthy foods… like a sandwich with 100 strips of bacon on it… and more…


When Shep Smith decides to go waaaay overboard with his advice…  I think just advising to get evacuate would do…