Way back in 2007, I did a list that recognized the “stars” of our industry, comparing them to fantasy football stars. I loved the way it turned out, especially because the timing was right before GlassBuild America and I was able to see all of these fine folks. So after six years, it's time for a new list!
Of the original list, all of the stars are still active in our industry except Christine Shaffer and Scott Surma, who moved on to great opportunities. Also, I want to point out that I wanted to name like 30 people this year, but I had to settle for six. So, I know I am missing some great ones and I am sorry. Anyway, here it goes…
James Wright, Glass Coatings and Concepts = Adrian Peterson. Peterson’s nickname is “All Day” and it’s because he’s virtually non-stop action. Well so is James, who is an absolute rising star in this industry and an active participant in many positive efforts. Plus, the work he is doing with GCC is strong, sharp and impressive.
Mike Turner, YKK AP America = Robert Griffin III. Like the dynamic RGIII, Mike is a serious double threat: a tremendous marketer who is also a technical powerhouse. It's a crazy combination, but Mike pulls it off with ease. Plus, his team (YKK AP) puts him in some great spots to score. (See interview below with Oliver Stepe.)
Alysa Hoffmeister, Dip Tech = Arian Foster. Ever since Foster burst onto the scene, he has been outstanding.The same is true of Alysa, who has been a significant part of the incredible growth of digital printing on glass thanks to her efforts and her company's equipment. It is not easy developing new markets and getting major pieces into place, but Alysa has done so with the same effectiveness that Foster uses carrying the ball over the goal line.
Chris Dolan, Guardian = Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. I have known Chris for many years and have seen the growth and progression of the products under his leadership. Like Johnson making a tough catch in double coverage, Chris has had to launch and grow products in the most challenging of eras and has done it very well. Plus, any time I can attach a wild nickname like “Megatron” to a professional guy like Chris, I gotta do it!
Jon Kimberlain, Dow Corning = Marshawn Lynch. Lynch is known to go into “Beast Mode” and take over a game. Well, with Jon’s intelligence and drive, I think he’s in “Beast Mode” 24/7. Not only is Jon an amazing source of product knowledge, he’s also now taking on major roles in our industry.
Chris Mammen, M3 Glass Technologies = Peyton Manning. Manning is that guy who has proven he can succeed anywhere while directing a high-octane offense with ease. Chris is similar in that his company has succeeded at every level, and its product line can be considered “high octane” for sure. Unlike Manning, who only has a few years left, we’ll see Chris in our world for a very long time and that is a very good thing.
So there it is. As always, it's tough leaving folks off, but I think these six represent what is right with our industry. They respect and push for their companies, they volunteer for the industry and they are extremely talented. Congrats to them all!
- Last week, I held a contest to win a free corporate video, and the winner chosen at random was William Bailes of Bailes Glass. Thank you William for signing up, and thanks to everyone who registered this week as well. The numbers were amazing, and GlassBuild America is really looking strong. If you have not made plans to attend, you better get moving. If you have not signed up, you do not want to miss this event!
- Quick personal note: today, my daughter told me my beard looked too “Duck Dynasty." I guess I need to trim it now. I was going for that mix of Duck Dynasty and Captain Lou Albano. Dang.
Last this week, I recently caught up with the gold sponsor of the Glazing Executives Forum at GlassBuild America: Oliver Stepe of YKK AP America. Below is just one question I asked him and I wanted to share so you could get a feel for why I am so fired up about the show and the industry support. Thank you to YKK, as well as the other sponsors: SAPA, PPG, Hartung Glass, Dow Corning and NSG.
YKK has been a very active participant in many industry related events. Why is it so important for you to be such a great industry partner?
The YKK Cycle of Goodness philosophy is rooted in engagement with local communities and industry in which we conduct business, so YKK AP America’s support of glass industry education and events is consistent with our long-standing core values. As the industry entered and endured various phases of the financial crisis and support for industry organizations and events was challenged, it became apparent that we needed to play a bigger role. It was at that time we stepped up and began sponsoring GEF. We feel that industry events such as GEF and others are vital for the continuing education of the industry community and necessary to assure that industry members remain current with evolving building technologies. If we and others like us can play a small role in assuring that façades remain relevant in the built environment by supporting industry events and initiatives, then it is the calling of us all to do so.
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.