Sunday, March 19, 2023

A Needed Innovation

The big news for this blog dropped late in the week and I think it was hinted upon during my podcast with Garret Henson of Viracon.  The announcement that Viracon would be adding a code to each IGU that will identify the exact make-up of the unit is big big news in my opinion.  This is something that has been bandied about for years and some have tried on much smaller scales but to have something formal like this truly is a huge accomplishment.  Matching or replacing existing is already an adventure but even worse when you don’t exactly know what the product is- this move by Viracon – at least for their units- takes that guessing game out.  Excellent work to get that moving and now we’ll see how fast others will move to match.  Again it’s been a process that some have tried/done in small bursts, but now it’s a national play… congrats to the team at Viracon for pushing this out there and I’ll count this is as a mini scoop because on my podcast Garret noted something big was coming and I gotta assume this was it!




--  BEC may be over but that buzz continues and I love it.  One item that I want to share for those that did not attend was the “Top 10” list that I opened the show with.  I found this list that was presented 20 years ago at BEC and brought it back to show how much has changed and improved since 2003.  So here goes the Top 10 Industry Challenges for the Glazing Contractor in 2003. 

10 Lack of commitment and dealing with poor project coordination by general contractors;

9 Architects—lack of product knowledge;

8 Ramifications from the design/build process;

7 Inadequate architectural drawings and/or details;

6 Construction scheduling;

5 Project management;

4 Risk transfer or evaluation;

3 Bad documents and killer contracts;

2 Getting paid; 


1 Building a quality workforce.

And as I noted from the stage- isn’t great that we figured all of this out and fixed it?  

Truly is something to see it all in print that 20 years later this list is pretty much what it would be if we created it today.  Some things are being worked on more diligently than others but the challenge remains.  The big question is at the 2043 BEC when probably one of the Habers (from the latest generation who just attended their first BEC) is hosting it- will they bring this up again and will it be the same?


--  One more note on BEC- if you were not convinced Bird Friendly glazing was a real thing- you should be now.  The commitment is there.  The products options are there.  And the codes and standards will just keep coming.


--  The Architectural Billings Index gets released this week and will be a curious one to watch because last month almost was in the positive territory.  The analysts have felt that the softening in 2024 would be on the shorter side- so if that is true, we’ll either be close to positive or over.  Now obviously the same analysts did not expect a bizarre banking crisis either- though I am sure that is not factored in to this month’s index but could roil the next few.  And no doubt this banking issue may wreak serious havoc on our space and bears watching.


--  Before the banks went haywire, there was some optimism on the backlog side. The ABC Backlog indicator reversed past losses and had a good last report.  Historic high backlog is the headline and I know some reading this do NOT agree at all- but interesting to see and a good read here on the latest.


--  Last this week… the documentary series on Netflix “Pepsi, Where’s My Jet” is not only a fun and light watch but also the main guy in it worked in the glass industry in Seattle back in the day.  Briefly talking about cutting and installing glass but then more into being a window washer.  So at least it was a fun quick mention.  Aside from that, the story itself was interesting and also somewhat bizarre in that a pretty solid cash settlement was offered but the guy wanted a military jet.  You’ll have to watch it to get that whole thing- not a bad time passer for sure.



On one end college education being less popular is a bad thing- but on another- especially and possibly in our world it could be a good thing. Some interesting takes in this one.


Worth clicking for the headline alone.  Yeesh.


I don’t think Google Glasses are meant to be



The spotlight is on East Coast Metal Systems for the Howard County Circuit Courthouse.  Nice project that has a little of everything on it and it obviously turned out nicely!  According to their post on LinkedIn East Coast Metal Systems partnered with heavyweights Clark Construction, HOK, and Alliance Exterior Construction in completing this project- no mention on the glass (which looks great too) but obviously a winner for all.  CONGRATS! 

Saturday, March 11, 2023

The BIG BEC Recap

Another BEC is in the books and what an event it was!  Once again so great to see so many wonderful leaders in our space and continue to learn and advance.  As is tradition, this will be a very long post recapping BEC but mostly noting the who’s who of the show for me.  Before I get into the people aspect, let’s talk about the event.  The education was epic.  A few things stood out.  The courage and class from Coleman Jones of Pioneer, Dave Ferret of Bagatelos and Matt Kamper of Woodbridge to share insights into the challenges on jobs.  Attendees were buzzing about this and particularly Matt’s project that I heard more than a few say “yeah that’s one monster I never want to see!”   The Jeff Dalaba (NACC/AGMT) led panel was a hit thanks to having an extremely conversational tone digging deep into the quality aspect, and the close of the show with Jeff Haber of W&W, Taylor Anderson of Anderson Aluminum and Joey Aragon of Aragon Construction was tremendous with so many shared details that many immediately were discussing on how to implement.  That’s only a few, there were great nuggets of inspiration throughout the event, and I think probably one of the best educational offerings from top to bottom in our 25 years of doing BEC.  Thank you to all!!

--  The vibe overall was positive but guarded.  The concern of interest rates surging was a big one, as was jobs on the books going poof.  2023 looks good still- 2024 is more murky and quite frustrating.  The folks worried about 2024 were using the time at this show to explore diversifying their offerings and strengthening relationships- very smart by them.  I’ll be hitting on this more in coming weeks.

--  Ok now on to the people.  For those of you new to this blog, after events like this I rundown a bunch of folks I run into at the event and what they may be up to.  I look at it like a “Seen and Heard” at the show sort of thing and have been doing this since I started this blog way back in 2005. 

--  BEC is for catching up with old friends, and past podcast guests!  Was great to see the most popular guy in our space Tom O’Malley of Clover Architectural Products- he was only able to come for a short time, but I am thrilled he did though I would’ve liked more than 10 seconds to visit with him.  Loved seeing the Quaker Window guys Chris Dickneite and Dusty Fick and of the one and only Joseph Holmes.  Great guys to visit with always.  Dan and Jodi Martinez were there and full credit to Dan for braving some serious bad weather to reach Vegas.  I only saw Will Pounds of TSI Corporations for a moment as he was running to a meeting, so I didn’t get to ask if his favorite food is still gas station sushi (podcast reference when he was a guest!)


--  Old friends always are fun for me.  The great Jeff Ziesche of JAZ Sales surprised me with an epic old glazing manual from the 1940’s- that alone was so cool to look at.  Rick Alexander of Tom Brown was dominating the weight room when I saw him first and just thrilled he attends every year.  My guy Ian Patlin of Phoenix Architectural Glass was there taking in as much knowledge as he can, but I seriously think he knows it all already. Seeing legends like Jim Stathopoulos of Ajay Glass, Omar Maalouf of Momentum, and Derek Losee of Steel Encounters was a blast for me.  So cool and talented.  Thanks also to them because I think my time with them and Derek bringing back food from the reception buffet was the only time I ate. And it’s not BEC for me without visiting with PJ Hilboldt of NGG.  Just an awesome guy.


--  New faces at BEC make me happy.  The contingent from Ubiquitous Energy were awesome and it’s a thrill that they could attend and participate.  I got to meet Evan Afenir of Double Play Glass in person, and he was as impressive as the work he does out in California. Steve Sletten of Larson Engineering stopped me to say hi and that was a day maker.  Fun seeing and watching Trent Thiry and Art Droste of Global Security Glazing/Isoclima being at their first ever BEC and trying to meet and greet as many people as they could. Tom Irvin of OldcastleBuilding Envelope may have attended in the past but was nice to see him at this one and the OBE case study was a really nice addition to the schedule. 


--  Obviously, I always love any chance to visit with Michael and Carolyn Spellman.  They treat me great, and I am fan.  Between VIG and the massive need for automation out there, those two along with Manny Borda of IGE were quite busy. Still thrilled that Cameron Scripture of Viracon always makes time for me.  Such a good person.  I enjoyed catching up with Art Huard and Dr Charlie Boyer and not only hearing about the Vacu-Gasket growth but all else on their minds. Leigh Anne Mays is back on our side of the industry at Naverra and she was absolutely everywhere at this meeting spreading the gospel on her new company. And I got a nice amount of time to talk with Troy Johnson of Harmon and he is a hopeful target for me to have on the podcast- classy and sharp- that’s a guy who gets it.  


--  Shout out to the great state of Texas!  Loved seeing Rick Newnom of Hou-Tex Glass as well as Kyle Lamb of Universal Glass.  The Country Glass duo of Brian Risinger and Joe Lambertson were everywhere (in that awesome gear of course) and they always are open to network- which is appreciated.  Kyle Sharp of Sharp Glass was great to catch up with as well- and I look forward to seeing all these folks and more at TEXpo in May.


--  It was nice to see Eric Mayka of Millet- that’s a busy guy.  Also very busy was the duo of Juan Gallego and Daniella Fernandez of Trust Seal.  I met Juan for the first time at the 2020 BEC and he still wanted to see me this time!  LOL.  Good folks and both excited with Trust Seal now having a place in South Florida.  Always nice to see Andy Russo of Glass & Metalcraft, and I am pumped he’ll be going to DC to represent the interests of Michiganders at Glass and Glazing Advocacy Days.  He’ll be great at that.  Dan Sutton of Vitro Architectural has no idea how to take me, but I love the guy- smart and so well spoken on the hottest products out there. And speaking of Vitro, seeing old pal Jemssy Alvarez was simply splendid.  It’s not really a BEC if I don’t see Jerry Moser of RA Kennedy or Joe Clabbers of National Glass and Metal.  I did- and that was clutch- great guys always supporting the cause. 


--  I mentioned Joey Aragon above and it was very epic to see more of that crew including dad Joe, brother Matt and of course the one and only Drew Forester.  Having the legacy folks back was something else.  Pat Rome continues to be an icon even though he’s moved on from our space.  Andy Gum being back was incredible and I hope he’ll be a regular again.  Kevin Roth of Privacy Glass is not only a regular but is like one of the most popular guys at the event.  I could say I knew him when he was leery of attending!  Now I don’t think he’ll miss another. Dapper Dan Reinhart of Salem was there and he now wears the crown of best dressed in our space.   The gang from Glass 3 in Canada never miss, and this show had Josh Aknin and Seth Maretz.  Great and energetic guys who not only know their stuff but will be important pieces in our world for years to come.  Did I say energy and Canada in the same sentence?  Then it’s time to mention Goldray Glass.  Loved catching up with Laura Little, Mike Saroka, and Kevin McMahon. Hanging with them makes me feel like the “cool kid” in class. 


--  I was impressed with Guardian Glass showing- their sample viewing station was cool and Jake Kasbrick is a really impressive player.  Also has great hair.  I’m jealous.  I’m also jealous that Alan Kinder from Guardian can speak flawlessly for 5 minutes straight about bird friendly glass.  It’s a subject that many are into and can be a challenge to explain and he nailed it.  Though Mark Jacobsen from Kuraray bringing out a “live demo” of how bird friendly works will be a memory for a while!  Nice work.  And I’d be really missing it if I did not mention two incredible stars in our space that I love seeing each BEC- the best PR player in the biz Heather West and one of the best to ever do the sales game- Shelly Farmer of Sightline Commercial Solutions.


Obviously, I can go on and on… but before I end just kudos to the team at NGA who worked tirelessly to pull this off.  Trust me, it was not easy.  Lots of moving parts and pieces but the team led by Sara Neiswanger (who had a VERY memorable BEC) and Katy Devlin absolutely rocked it.  I’ll have more over the next few weeks but for now that’s your rundown.  BEC next year is back in Nashville and combined with GPAD.  THAT will be an absolute must attend.  Can’t wait!


No LINKS or PROJECT of the week due to how long this was- both will be back next week!

Sunday, March 05, 2023

BEC Begins

It’s here!  BEC week is upon us, and I am onsite in Las Vegas with hundreds of industry leaders.  Next week I’ll have my usual “who’s who” recap of this event but the overall vibe once again is one of positivity and hope.  I think we all have the concern over the economy and metrics.  We’ve all either seen or experienced (or experiencing) some softness.  But the one consistent aspect is that it is not holding people back.  Innovation is happening, expansions are taking place, and a thirst to get diverse (both in products and workforce) is sincere.  Loving it all.  BEC will always have a special place in my heart as the event that I got my first opportunity at so many years ago and I look forward to always being here and amongst the best of the best!  




--  In case you missed it, my latest podcast is up, and it does have a very heavy BEC flavor to it. Everyone on it this month (Garret Henson Viracon, Nicole Mann, Glass Vegas, Michael Spellman, Art Huard, and Dr. Charlie Boyer, Vacu-Gask) are all expected to be in Vegas for BEC (haven’t seen everyone yet) so that will be fun. Initial feedback has been awesome.  Garret’s history and path into the industry has had people scrambling down memory lane unaware of his connection to a past giant in our space.  Nicole’s energy was infectious, and the invention by Michael/Art/Charlie delivered a lot of “wow VIG is FOR REAL” comments.  Cool stuff.  Thank you for checking it out and supporting!


AUDIO – and anywhere you get your podcasts, Apple, Spotify, Google etc.


--  Congrats to Tom Donovan and the team at the newly branded Thompson Innovative Glass.  Tremendous initial launch of the new brand and message and with more to come including a new website, great things are surely ahead.  These guys are always making inroads and I like the push into more sophisticated options.  Nice work Tom and team!


--  Very important piece here on high performance glazing, benefits from the government and your chance to have a voice in Washington DC.  Glass & Glazing Advocacy Days are coming, it is worth it to you to get involved and get involved in a big and important way!


--  As some of you in the specific school safety space are aware, there is a new standard (thankfully) available.  However, it doesn’t come without its issues.  Evidently the cost to test to this new standard is considered to be quite exorbitant leading some to possibly not go down that path.  That aspect is not a good one.  We need good standards (this by all indications is and it’s MUCH better than the standard before) but if they become an issue in testing to meet it, then that is a problem.  Will bear watching and also will affect the costs out there too- which means we as an industry will lose product to other materials. 


--  Last this week… Rolling Stone did a rundown of Top TV Themes of all time and once again I think they are way off.  But it is great for fun arguments…. I’ll say “The Jeffersons” at #1 works because “Moving on up” is a classic.  But Friends at 8 is too low, as is the Sopranos at 19.  Miami Vice at 32 is a crime and my wife and daughter will kill me if I don’t note that having the Gilmore Girls at #45 is simply insane. (Very catchy tune that I have only heard a million times because that show plays constantly in my home)  Interesting list though and brings back a ton of memories.  Check it out!



Brave little toddler here and interesting story.


Not sure this a real story but the headline did make me laugh


If it’s a dog adoption story – I am there. 



This one may be a bit older but it’s a beauty and was glazed by some of the best people in our space- DM Products.  This is the Tower Two Sixty at the Gardens in Pittsburgh and it’s got everything going for it.  Beautiful glass and system and LEED certified too.  Congrats to Dick and Mike Macurak at DM on this awesome effort and kudos to United Architctural on the metal system and Viracon on the glass.  Nice work!



Sunday, February 26, 2023

Pod, People, and More!

The latest From the Fabricator podcast is now online and live and the mix of guests this month is very exciting.  I kick it off with the one and only Garret Henson of Viracon and we covered a ton of ground both in historical and also products and important issues going forward.  Next up I had the wonderful Nicole Mann of Glass Vegas.  Great story from her and her passion going forward is something to behold.  Can’t wait to meet her in person next week at BEC.  Then I wrap it up with 3 great guys who have invented a product that will be crucial for so many in the future.  Michael Spellman, Art Huard, and Dr. Charlie Boyer join me to talk about the Vacu-Gask product that will be a must for the oncoming rush of VIG installations.  Really neat insights shared by all, so please check it out and if you are on your way to BEC, perfect time to listen since all of these folks will be in attendance! 


AUDIO – and anywhere you get your podcasts, Apple, Spotify, Google etc.


--  So as noted above BEC is coming and we are now just one week out.  Sunday March 5th the best of the best of the glazing sector will gather in Vegas and take part in this incredibly meaningful event.  The last few weeks I have been noting some of the sessions and another one I cannot wait to take in is the kick off keynote on Monday.  It will be Susan Stone of Ubiquitous Energy, Trent Thiry of Isoclima/Global Security Glazing and Sophie Pennetier of Enclos.  They’ll be talking about what’s on the horizon in our industry and how we can all get up to speed and grow.  I am so excited as these are three wonderful and engaging people- so that alone makes it a must-see but add in the subject matter and I expect a lot of buzz after it.  Can’t wait.  Looking forward to seeing everyone soon… 


--  Interesting release of the Architectural Billings Index this week.  The index was below the break even number but it was better than we expected and actually not bad at 49.3.  Plus as I mentioned last week, the one item to watch was new project inquiries and that number went up nicely to over 55 giving us the best report there since August.  So far everything is tracking as predicted.  While things continue to soften, the feeling is that this stretch will be on the shorter side.  Regardless of any index, we all just keep plugging away and that is all that matters.  I’ll be curious to see how folks at BEC feel on all of this and will obviously report back here…


--  Some good industry news to run down.  Jan Hulin of Q-Railing has now been promoted to President of the company.  Nice to see.  Jan is a good man who’s really helped mold Q into a massive player in that rail space.  Meanwhile awesome news out of IGE Glass Technologies with an excellent addition in Heinz Wiedmayer.  Lots of experience and knowledge being added to a group loaded with it already.  And kudos to the folks at Aldora on the announcement of their latest operation in Virginia.  This is relevant because of what I noted last week on the Weathertech commercial and manufacturing in North America.  See folks- new plants are opening- not everything is made off shore.  


--  Last… Big couple of weeks for friend of the blog and industry groundbreaker Bill Daubmann of MyShowerDoor and D3 Glass.  The team from the Fox morning show did their remote reporting newscast all morning there and was a great way to show our world works.  They also did a report (HERE) with Bill that took a great look at all Bill and family have accomplished.  Very cool!  Then Bill picked up some awards (I can’t keep track but I do believe they were only glass company awarded) and became tight with not one but TWO major league baseball teams.  Not sure when Bill or any of the team there has time to breathe but they are absolutely rocking.  



A “glass” balloon for space travel?  So many questions


Pretty cool idea here getting people reunited with their momentos


This is something- possibly the oldest bar ever?



So for this week with BEC so close I found a project that had all of the players attending the event in Vegas.  This was posted by Russell Williams the awesome Manufacturers Rep from So Cal.   This was an older building that was re-done and updated and it is now spectacular.  101 S. Marengo in Paadena.  According to Russell, YKK AP with the unitized curtain wall, Vitrum wth the fabricated glass (manufactured by Guardian Glass) and factory glazed and installed by the legends at Aragon Construction.  This is a power packed collab for sure- almost like the Avengers (Note- we know Joey Aragon is a super Hero- rumor is he’s jumping the fountains at Caesars this week…) Love everything on this and thank you Russell for posting and sharing the love amongst all of these great organizations.  


Russell also mentioned RIOS Architecture and Atlas Capital Group as well, so want to make sure I include them in the props.  CONGRATS TO ALL – Tremendous project!

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Industry News and Notes

So this week it’s a true “grab bag” of stuff to cover with news happening from Toronto to Texas and pretty much everywhere in between… So let’s get it all out!


--  First up- great to see the new Board of Directors installed at the Texas Glass Association.  Tremendous organization and top-notch people leading the way.  Congrats to Kyle Sharp of Sharp Glass - President, Jody Hilton of Floyds Glass Company - Vice President, Brian Risinger of Country Glass & Mirror Inc - Treasurer, and Scott Theut of Theaut Glass Company -  Secretary.  I have had the extreme honor of getting to know Kyle and Brian over the years and they do it the right way as I am sure Jody and Scott do as well.  The TGA is in great hands, and I look forward to seeing them at all TEXpo in May!


--  This week’s note on BEC focuses on a couple more sessions… the Facades of the Future session with Dan Sutton of Vitro, Matt Price representing Deceuninck and moderated Adrian Lowenstein of Skyline will be very strong.  Good guys talking about products that are here today but will absolutely disrupt the space going forward. This is huge for truly understanding where our space is and can go.  Great speakers too!  Also a big one is “We Will Overcome” where we are lucky enough to have Matt Kamper of Woodbridge, Dave Ferret of Bagatelos, and Coleman Jones of Pioneer Cladding talking about instances where they had to work through obstacles (that we all usually encounter) to be successful on projects.  Sessions like this is how we learn and I am grateful for these guys for sharing.  So will you be joining the hundreds and hundreds of glazing pros in Vegas?  Still time- CLICK HERE and get registered!


--  Another favorite event of mine is coming up quick.  Top Glass in Toronto is on tap for April 19th.  I had the awesome thrill of speaking there last year and I am excited to attend this year to hear the fresh mix of presenters on tap.  More information can be found HERE


--  The next Architectural Billings Index is due this Wednesday.  The last 3 months have been under the break-even mark of 50 posting scores of 47.7, 46.6, and 47.5.  Most analysts are expecting this lull we are currently in to last 8 months, so if we are down again (and I expect that) then we are pretty much at the halfway point. Will be interesting to see what comes out but also what happens under the new business inquiries. Will that number remain on its current flat line, (that is above average) or move?  More on this on my post next week.


--  Did you see the list of “Top 10 Metro Areas for Commercial Building Starts” that was recently released? Good quick read here with some helpful insight.  No surprise for me except for the fact that Southern California was not in the Top 10 and neither was Nashville.  


--  Got to learn about a new service called “Service Station” and I think this one is worth diving into if you are glass and glazing shop. Basically, Service Station is a glass-specific call answering and estimating service that takes your calls and turns them into orders- and the key is this isn’t just some off the shelf answering service, they are using glass professionals who will be trained to understand your specific business and get on the same page as you.  In our labor tight world, this could be a nice breakthrough. I was impressed by what I saw and learned- Check it out HERE.


--  Another Super Bowl in the books and yes for the 3rd straight year I did predict the winner at the start of the playoffs.  This blind squirrel keeps finding those acorns!  LOL.  Anyway, now to what everyone truly cared about- the commercials! As I noted last week, I had heard that Breaking Bad would be involved and their commercial did not disappoint.  My favorites were the two with dogs in them (both had me emotional) and I really liked the Ben Affleck Dunkin Donuts commercial.  Simple and funny- especially when he tells JLo in the drive through “Stop it you’re embarrassing me in front of my friends” Perfect.  In the middle for me, the Workday “Rock Star” commercial was cool but sorry Paul Stanley of Kiss, I will still use that term for people I am a fan of. In the bad section- first can someone tell me what M&M’s was doing?  What a mess.  Obviously when I made my lifestyle change in 2019 and didn’t eat them by the gallon anymore, it's caused some bad decision-making right?  And last, I chuckled over Weathertech making a big deal over having a manufacturing plant in America.  They made it sound like it’s very rare.  Obviously, those folks haven’t been to our industry where we are manufacturing glass and curtain wall and windows all over the place and every day of the week- and new places and expansions continue to happen.  So nice try folks but that’s a nope from me.  Overall, I thought the commercials were better than last year so there’s hope going forward! Also big to notice after a ton a crypto commercials last year- none this year!



Happy Birthday to the greatest Basketball player of all time… who continues to do GOAT like things!


A pig getting a ride home in the cold.  Yeah.  Click it because the picture is comical. 


A-I is here and it’s now getting a bit salty in some places



Love this one as it’s in my backyard of Auburn Hills, Michigan (former home of the Palace, the nicest sporting arena ever built, and now gone long before its time).  The glazier on this was Crystal Glass and they posted this pic via the GC on this- Cunningham-Limp.   The project was noted as GPJ Project Worldwide.  Beautiful overall- no clue on who did the glass or metal but this all looks excellent and shows off our core products nicely!  Congrats to all involved!!  (and if that glass or metal was yours speak up in the comments on LinkedIn!)

Sunday, February 12, 2023


We are a few weeks away from BEC and the excitement is really ramping up.  The registration for the event has been amazing and the agenda has come together nicely.  Last week I hit on a few sessions and this week I want to do the same.  Once again, the Tuesday schedule is looking strong and one of the big ones is a piece on the impact of quality systems.  Folks we don’t have time to do things twice, so getting organized and doing it right the first time is so crucial.  One of the speakers lined up is the great Keith Boswell of SOM.  If you have not heard him speak, it is a true pleasure and experience.  The guy is amazing, and his passion and approach always deliver.  Another session that has me going is going to be led by my old pal Henry Taylor of Kawneer.  Henry and a panel are going show pictures of jobsite issues and dive into them in a forensic manner.  When adventures happen, we can learn from them right?  This will be a super session to absorb.  There is still time to join us and especially if you are glazier or glass shop doing commercial installs, missing this could be a huge mistake for you and your business- so don’t let that happen!  REGISTER NOW!



--  Sad news from our space as Ken Altman, a huge presence in the Pittsburgh glass and glazing scene passed away.  Ken’s company worked on some of the most iconic projects in the greater Pittsburgh area and he was a force to be reckoned with.  The growth of my family’s business was made possible by Ken and his support of us, though it didn’t come easy- he made you rightfully earn every single order.  He was a very good man, and my thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends.  Lost another good one.


--  Coming up in March at the Houston Area Glass Association a big-time lunch meeting with a powerful Women in Construction Glass session.   The panel features 5 of the very talented women led by a major favorite of mine in Jacque Freeman of Binswanger Glass.  She’ll moderate panel featuring Denise Baker of Spring Glass, Malea Basile of JLM Wholesale, Teri Gilmore of A3 Glass and Lindsay Price of Texas Glazing Solutions. So if you are in the Houston area, check out the link HERE and get there on March 2nd


--  An area of worry on the overall economy came across my desk and it wasn’t that typical index or report.  It was about production of cardboard boxes and the decline here surely is a red flag.  Here’s the key details:

 “Lingering concerns over a recession and rising interest rates are slowing consumer demand—so much so that dwindling purchases have led to the sharpest quarterly decline in the production of cardboard boxes since the 2009 Great Recession. A key barometer for how the economy at large is faring, cardboard box output offers insights into everything from grocery sales to online clothing orders and electronics, all of which appear to be experiencing a significant downswing. “Nearly 20% of the U.S. capacity to produce boxes was stagnant last quarter,” observes the logistics industry news outlet FreightWaves, a drop that comes on the heels of unprecedented growth for the box industry thanks in no small part to government stimulus checks. “A hangover after a years-long cardboard carnival would be in order—and this one looks nasty.”

Obviously, we run in a different world but when you see a report like this, that basically flies far under the radar, you get a bit queasy.  At least I do.


--  I mentioned quality above and it hit me that we don’t give enough credit to the folks at IGCC and SGCC for what they do to ensure our industry is doing things the right way with our safety glass and IG’s.  Those 3rdparty certs are what GC’s and Architects demand, and they demand it knowing if you’ve passed it, you are at least set-up to do things the right way.  I’ve always been a fan of John Kent and the teams there and appreciate what they provide to our space. 


--  Last this week… excited for the Super Bowl commercials and next post I’ll tell you which one or ones hit it the best.  The only bad part are marketers are starting to leak the commercials early and that takes some of the fun away, but regardless of that I am still excited to see what creativity is out there.



Longer story but a good read on a wild chance meeting on a flight has led to 40 years of marriage!


I can never get enough of happy dog stories


A door left open leads to an amazing scene.  Not mentioned was how long that door was open because this is intense.



Project of the week is “Somewhat” residential but obviously the glass and glazing to me is commercial.  This is from A-Christian Glass & Mirror in Delray Beach, Florida and the home is awesome but look at that glass!  According to their LinkedIn post, the windows are Impact Resistant, and A-Christian did those along with the doors and that awesome glass handrail on the stairs.  Beautiful.  In my years of working in Florida I never ran into these folks, so I don’t know them, but after this post count me as fan!  Nice work!

Sunday, February 05, 2023

Good Resources

It’s been a while since I was able to give a review of the latest Glass Magazine, but I have finally caught up and time to take a look at an absolutely powerful January/February edition.  This is “Future” issue, and I loved the cover project from Vitro that just popped right off the page.  Inside the two major pieces to not miss were the World of Glass report and the 2023 forecast deep dive.  Both are important resources for anyone in our space.  In addition, the great Joe Erb of Quanex takes on what I think is a pretty touchy subject of Vinyl in the commercial space and the awesome Spencer Raymond of GGI knocks a great “Trendhunter” column out of the ballpark.  Those 4 pieces are just parts of it, a lot more to see as well.  So if you have not taken this issue in yet, please do so and if you don’t have the printed copy, go to and check it out online with no strings attached.


Ad of the Month again is pushing me to the limit on making such a tough call.  The creativity and approaches continue to get better and for overall quality of ads this may be the best issue I have seen yet. My call though goes to TBP Converting.  They went with very bold fonts and language as well as close-up pictures that really stood out. They had 2 ads and both were something that caught my eye and made me stop and read.  So kudos to TBP- I don’t think I know anyone there so whomever pulled these off- nice work!




--  In case you missed it the February From the Fabricator podcast dropped last week and I’ve loved the feedback from everyone on it.  Tons of talk about Katy Devlin’s insights, the new California Glass Association, and Nick St. Denis’ economic breakdown.  So please check it out!  And speaking of the CGA- the San Diego event that they mentioned in the podcast is set. It is on 2/23 and a sign-up sheet with time and address are HERE.  So if you are a glass and glazing industry member in Southern California and especially in San Diego- you should attend!


AUDIO (also available on Apple, Spotify and more!) 


--  One more note on the podcast- as I mentioned in my year end post it was a tremendous year for the pod.  I hit numbers that I seriously never expected, and the reach just keeps going- thank you.  One thing I wanted to share was what were the top 5 metro areas that listened to my podcast in 2022.  

#5 Orlando, Florida- Obviously Disney folks scouting me or confusing me with my son. LOL

#4 Charlotte, NC- Thank you Melanie Dettmer who probably physically forces people throughout the city to download in listen

#3 Los Angeles, CA- I have had a lot of people from the So Cal area on and they obviously have followings!

#2 Minneapolis, MN- Love the loyal folks there and they always come through

#1 Houston, Texas- The great state of Texas comes through again!  But of all the cities in Texas to lead the way I would’ve probably had Houston after Dallas and San Antonio.  Regardless I’ll take it and I’m honored.

Again thank you for listening/watching- much appreciated!


--  Have you signed up for BEC yet?  I am so excited for this event, as we are seeing a nice uptick in registrations and the agenda is looking very good.  A couple of sessions to give you a sneak peek at include on Tuesday the 7th a dream session on generational and mentorship gaps with three fabulous leaders in Joey Aragon, Jeff Haber, and Taylor Anderson.  Also on Monday the 6th we’ll have our keynote, which is seemingly unlike any other we’ve had with professional poker player Maria Konnikova. More insight to come but make those plans and DO NOT MISS the Tuesday sessions! (so check those travel plans please!)


--  Last this week… so how about the fact I called the Super Bowl matchup and have a chance for the 3rd year in a row to get the champ right… (I said KC for this year to win) so we’ll see… anyway looking forward to the game and commercials as always.  And special shout out to Chuck Knickerbocker as he is a huge and loyal Philadelphia fan who happens to live smack dab in the middle of KC Chief country.  So a KC win could make his life a bit nightmarish. Good luck Chuck! 



--  My friend that sent this titled it “can’t fix stupid” and that says it all.  Cars keep going into a sinkhole.  


--  Great dog reaction.  We really got to start filming ours more here!


--  This happened nearby to me, and I think it’s set-up. Too much of this doesn’t make sense to me.  But it went viral, and no one seems to want to question…



I love when teams of people that I am fans of and respect combine on a project of the week… and for this one, it fits that bill.  First spotted on the LinkedIn feed of the superstar rep Tim Finley of TFin Building Solutions, this is the Hyatt Regency SLC Hotel.  Tim points out that the sunshades came from Architectural Grilles & Sunshades (kudos to previous podcast guest Nathan Seaman) and the glass and curtainwall were installed by Steel Encounters (props to previous podcast guest and BEC speaking legend Tom Jackson & team).  This is beautiful project that not only takes a great picture but shows what our industry can do and the power of good folks working together!