This year for the first time in a while, the Glass Association of North America's BEC Conference was combined with GANA’s Annual Conference, which used to be known as “Glassweek.” And when you get a couple hundred companies in a small space together, along with some of the great technical minds in our industry, news is made and networking happens.
- One of our industry's most precious resources is Dr. Tom Culp. He gave updates on the upcoming ASHRAE 90.1. The big item so far is that the new version includes 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.
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...
- 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 turns 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 a 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 industry's 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 is it's always an awesome time to network with the industry's best, and again, thank you for sharing time and conversation with me.
The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.