Before I start, I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to everyone in France, and everyone 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. Let’s begin with a reminder of past winners and nominees before we get to the runners up for 2015.
Winner: Tracy Rogers, Quanex
- 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: C.R. Laurence Co.
- 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!
Today, I will present the runners up for the 2015 MVP, and 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 five, 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 five candidates against each other and then determined the MVP. This is a tough decision. As it was in previous years, all of these people and companies 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.
The runners up for 2015 feature two companies and two individual. 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. This year, they made a major splash with their heavy push into bird-safe glass. The team there is led by owners Lee Harrison and Ross Christie, who may be the nicest people around. It’s a great mix, nice, hardworking people, who are 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. Garret is very deserving, and he cemented his place on this list 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 the MVP 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, and always looking to see what else they can do to support the cause. They could have 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 are open to every idea.
- Kris Vockler, ICD High Performance Coatings. Personally, I consider Kris to be a close friend. She is a fantastic person, and 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. They could sit back, but don’t, and that’s due to the drive Kris has.
Congratulations to the Industry MVP Runners Up! Thank you for doing what you do for this industry. Next month I’ll recognize the 2015 MVP. And, as a hint, it is an individual this year, not a company.