Sunday, December 30, 2018

Honoring Mom

I have been writing and posting this blog pretty much every Sunday since 2005.  I have always noted it was therapeutic for me to do so… so today, this one absolutely is… and its not specifically about glass but it is about someone who had a major influence on a few of us in this industry.  I dedicate this post to my Mom.  She passed away early this morning at the age of 85.  She read this blog every week and even though she had little idea of some of the things I talked about here, she loyally read it.  Kind of the “Mom” thing to do right? 
My mom was the strength and support behind my Dad when he started a new glass business in the 70’s.  He started it when interest rates were rocketing and not exactly the best economy.  My mom was the strength and support behind my sister and brother who joined with my dad to build that business. And she was there for me too when years later I went into the business.  So I guess if any of us drive you crazy, you can point to her influence that pushed us here.
The incredible growth and following success in business that my brother led us to had fingerprints on it from both our parents, but I think it was my Mom’s qualities of strength and toughness that allowed us to survive and then thrive.  I always believed, and still do, that my mom was a “hockey player” in that she was incredibly resilient.  The woman was like a piece of the best bomb resistant glass out there- she could take the best blast of whatever hit her (Cancer, Sicknesses, premature passings etc) and handle it with amazing grace, all while bouncing back usually in an incredible amount of time.  (Like the hockey player who could loose a mouthful of teeth but still be out on the ice next shift) 
So today is tough day and a big loss.  It’s the first Sunday blog she won’t read from me but I know she’d want me and my brother, and sister along with our kids and grandkids to be strong and battle through it like she always did.  We love you and we will miss you Mom… and yes I will miss my most loyal reader. 

Thank you.
My Mom Ettie taking a look at a few of her favorites including her awesome great grand-daughter this past November

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The 2019 MVP

We’ve basically reached the end of the year and have finally come to my final scheduled post of 2018 where I award my annual Glass Industry MVP award.  This was a tough one this year- I received more input than ever before.  Tons of excellent candidates, but in the end I think I chose the most deserving.  The criteria I used for this honor was the following:
An overall dedication to the betterment of our industry.  That can be through activity in industry meetings, working on committees, creation of technology, advancing education etc.    Plus my opinion of them and knowledge of their background helps too.  This one is all on me, I ask for input on nominees but I don’t discuss anything further. 
So below I will list the group of runners up and then the MVP.  And I’m not playing favorites to people who read this blog; as to the best of my knowledge none of the people listed below read this, even if I have mentioned them in the past.  So without further delay… let’s go…

Runners Up

Felix Munson- Anchor Ventana Glass.  Felix is very active in the industry- his dedication to the great Texas Glass Association is huge and his desire to bring more education and knowledge to all is impressive.  He also is very in tune with the growing glazier certification process and has always pushed his company support for industry as a whole.  In addition he runs a very good organization with a great reputation.

Jeff Haber- W&W Glass.  Jeff may be the single most respected member in our industry.  When he speaks, everyone listens.  W&W is an incredible company and Jeff and his family could take a different path and not be involved in the day to day happened of the glass world, but he chooses to volunteer quite a bit.  His impact with conferences like BEC and FTI are important for educating the masses and he brings a vision and strategy to everything he does. 

Glenn Miner/Rob Struble Vitro Architectural Glass.  I paired these two together because on many items I end up seeing them as a combo deal.  The key here is education and the desire to bring more of it to the industry.  Glenn and Rob are constantly looking at ways to grow the communication of glass and its greatness.  The Vitro Glass Education Center is awesome and the monthly e-mail Vitro sends is helpful and worthy.  In addition Vitro continues to step up and be a partner in many functions throughout the glass and glazing landscape when others in the same place choose not to be involved.

Greg Oehlers- Tristar.  Greg is a freaking Legend.  Period.  I honestly can say I love this man, and admire all he has done in our world.  No matter what is going in Greg’s life his energy and desire to push the good in our world is never diminished.  His presentations are incredible.  (Advice if you have to speak on same agenda as Greg, go before him because if you follow him, it’s simply impossible.) Greg has always been willing to hear out and TRY new products and services, which makes him a great friend to every innovator out there.  And if he likes what you do, it’s an incredible endorsement.

OK... so you have the runners up… all incredible people who do great work and advance and support our world… so who tops them and wins the title this year????

The 2019 Glass Industry MVP is Nathalie Thibault- Prelco
Nathalie is a constant presence at the NGA/GANA level as well as being the current President of IGMA.  To put it simply she is involved consistently at every level.  Nathalie is extremely well respected and she brings significant insights to everything she does, and those approaches usually develop into important guidelines or pieces of education that drive our industry.  She is also very inquisitive in the most positive way. She asks questions of you because she legitimately values your opinion.  With how incredibly busy she is, you would think she’d be less open for deep discussions or more roles, but that has not been the case.  Her company is one that brings an excellent reputation, so they truly practice what Nathalie preaches.  To make things even more amazing is when I found out Nathalie was back in school going after an MBA.  When I asked her about it I was impressed by her answer- she wanted to push her skills a notch further.  That’s incredible given how good she already is…  Bottom line, Nathalie is a great example of someone who gets it and truly deserves the recognition.  Congratulations on being our 2019 Glass Industry MVP!


So this is probably the last post of the year unless something crazy happens… I just wanted to take the time to thank everyone who reads this blog and communicates with me about it.  I truly appreciate it!  I believe we have another good year upcoming and I am excited about so much of what is happening in our world.  (Do you think I am excited by Thirsty Thursdays, Annual Conference and BEC?  LOL- I know promote ‘em like crazy…) In any case I hope everyone out there has a fantastic holiday season and your and your families have a happy, healthy, and profitable 2019! 


So this story has a bunch of twists- but why not press charges??

Free Cheescake?  Why? (Stores are already always swamped) And how is this a good idea anyway?

I’m sure this will become the plot of a future Hallmark movie…


I am a big fan of the team at Rowe Fenestration… they are sharp and great examples  of strong representatives our industry needs..  so I wanted to share the holiday video they did for their customer base…  quick, simple, and classy.  Nice work!

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Props to Jerry and Jeff

Next week my industry MVP will be announced… but this week I want to recognize two incredible men that have recently transitioned away from the day to day glass and glazing industry- Jerry and Jeff Razwick, formerly of Technical Glass Products- TGP.  When I had heard that Jerry and Jeff were no longer with TGP, it was struck me hard- these guys were forces in their sector of our world and its going to be seriously different without them out there on a day to day basis.  First off, for me growing up in the industry, Jerry Razwick was this incredible influential figure- I would see his name in all of the news stories and he was always on the forefront of technology and innovation in the fire rated space.  As I grew in the industry I finally got to meet Jerry and I was a wreck at first because he is this legend… but I didn’t need to worry, as he was as friendly as he could be to me.   I also along the way got to know his son Jeff, who in his own right became a brilliant businessman, leader and class act.  Getting to know these guys and then so many of the folks that worked with them, it was easy to see why they were having such amazing success.  In addition, and this is a big thing for me, they served and supported our industry extremely well.  They could’ve pulled their company support when they had explosive growth but they didn’t and as an industry guy- I will always appreciate that.  In closing, not only did Jerry and Jeff truly care about their industry and their product but primarily I believe absolutely that they cared about the people who worked at TGP.  They were determined to do things the right way and I think they did exactly that.  So this chapter may be over- and I hope Jerry and Jeff stay in contact with our world- but if not it was a great pleasure and honor getting to know them and I thank them for all they have done.


--  This week the news that Ricardo Maiz would be named President of Vitro Architectural Glass came out and I’m thrilled.  I have known Ricardo for many years and he’s a tremendous man with talent that I couldn’t even dream of having.  He will do a fantastic job in his new role. 

--  Speaking of new roles I also saw Tammy Schroeder was promoted to Marketing Manager at Linetec. Every time I have ever interacted with Tammy I always leave so impressed by her talent, approach and vision.  She’s been kicking butt at Linetec for 19 years and I am sure with her new gig that greatness will continue! 

--  Please don’t forget about Thirsty Thursday this week- Security Glazing for Schools is the subject and it’s really a good presentation.  Register here.

--  Once again this year I had the honor of being on the BEC Program Planning committee and I can tell you that agenda has really come along nicely.  Most people will say they come to BEC for the networking- and that will obviously still be in play, but this year, the depth of the subject matter, with a supreme focus on the glazing community, makes the event even more valuable.  Obviously as a former host and chair of this event, I am extremely biased, but I sincerely see it worth your time.

--  Here we go again story of the week… Headline of this story is “Glass Towers Are So Passé. What Will Replace Them?” and so I was ready to go crazy… but the article was less inflammatory than the headline and quite frankly the author actually showed a job or two with a great amount of glass.  I think there are people who truly don’t understand the way glass can interact with the other building materials and people are not designing the 1980 style all reflective glass box anymore.  Anyway read for yourself and decide…

Last this week… for my friends in Denver and Kansas City… is this really a thing?  “Denverization”  is the theme…


Incredible technology that helps the paralyzed communicate

Amazon, robots, and bear repellant…. Yikes!


I’m not a big Avengers guy but have seen the movies and they are what they are… good mindless fun… and for more of that we are getting next installment in April… here’s the new trailer that was released Friday and it already has 52 million views!

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Headed towards 2019

Well 2018 is quickly coming to a close… we’ve now reached December and the end of the year is clearly in sight.  I have been asked quite a bit recently on if they’ll be any major deals before the year ends.  Typically year-end is a target date for deals and in the past we’ve had a few big ones hit in mid to late December.  This year, I think we may have a couple but based on what I am hearing it will be on the smaller side… but you never know.  So while this month is one of holiday and celebration, it may also produce some interesting news… stay tuned!


--  I’m going to be a pain with reminders, but I only do it because it’s worthy.  First one is Annual Conference- coming In January.  Last week it was announced that Lisa Rammig of Eckersley O’Callghan & Partners will be the featured presenter and folks it is worth coming to this event just for that.  I briefly met Lisa at glasstec and she’s incredibly intelligent and has awesome insight at the architectural trends and drivers in our world.  Seriously a must see.  Add this into the other subjects slated to be discussed like AB262, IBC, ASHRAE, and full technical meetings and you really can gain a ton of intel by being there.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask me, otherwise please sign up today.

--  MAJOR Thirsty Thursday alert on a crucial subject… School Security.  Glass plays a big role and this webinar gives you a very true and in-depth background what is happening in that world and how our industry fits in.  If you are doing anything in this space or want to do something than this is where you have to be to get up to speed.  Check it out on December 13th and register HERE.

--  This week’s wild looking building?  Look for it coming soon in Miami…. Incredible.

--  Time for the monthly review of Glass Magazine…. This is the Metal Companies issue and features the annual Top Metal Companies report along with stories continuing labor challenges; edge grinding, and a great take on the tariff adventures out there. Cover to cover yet again very solid issue.   As for the ad of the month… I have to give it to Trex Commercial Products for their snazzy ad that really showed the awesomeness of glass.  (I’m a sucker for great shots of glass in use) Tremendous work as always by Tessa Miller and her team at Trex.

--  Speaking of railings, if you watch the TV show “New Amsterdam” the set they use has an incredibly cool railing and structural wall setup.  If anyone out there knows what this one is or supplied the materials, let me know- would love to pass the kudos on.  Good stuff and again, shows glass in a fabulous way.

--  Last this week… I came across this fun and snarky look at what the new Amazon HQ2 in New York City could look like… I swear this story of Amazon opening in NYC is going to take 50 more turns before its said and done.  In any case, I like the fun look at it….


--  This concept for housing has some potential… have seen itpreviously with malls. 

--  Just shaking my head at this one.  200 kids via sperm donor. 

--  Love this story!  Truly shows when people want to be “influencers” (or think they are) they’ll go to any lengths.


This may be the best video I have ever posted.  Hang-glider guy not strapped in and holds on… for dear life… incredible.  It was a serious feat for him to hang on there.  Check it out!