Monday, December 17, 2018

Many economists are pointing to a potential slowdown in the U.S. economy after nearly a decade of sustained growth. “We see some headwinds coming,” said economist Connor Lokar during his forecast presentation at the Glazing Executives Forum at GlassBuild America in September. So, how can glass companies prepare for a potential downturn?

To begin to answer this question, I hopped on the phone with Glass Magazine’s financial columnist, Marco Terry. Terry, who is managing director of Commercial Capital LLC, emphasizes that, whether or not the economy actually enters a recession in the near future, “it’s always a good time to prepare.” Some specific tips:

1. Work on collections

“Assume that if recession comes, the customers paying you marginally—those on the edge of being OK to bad—are going to slide towards bad. Now is the time to start addressing that. For an owner not already checking the credit of commercial clients, now is a good time to start."

2. Optimize costs

“Now is a good time to see if there are areas where your company is leaking money. Now is good time to plug those leaks. If there are any areas that can be improved, now is the time to do it. These are the things that companies are going to end up doing when recession hits. If you do them now, you’ll be ready.”

3. Build a cash reserve

“This one is important. How big should the reserve be? That is a question of personal preference. It can depend on how your cashflow moves through the business. At minimum, 3 months; 6 months is better. However, there is always a tradeoff between hoarding cash and growing business. If you have cash sitting in a bank account, it’s not out there paying new employees, buying new machinery.”

4. Consider an emergency line of credit

“This is something I am hesitant to recommend. But the right time to get a line of credit is when you don’t need it. … There is nothing wrong with having line of credit that you don’t touch. It may cost some money to get it and maintain it, but boy will it be useful if things go south. … The major caveat is that it is for emergencies only. Getting into debt right before recession hits is a recipe for disaster.”

5. Cut unprofitable services and products

“Sometimes owners don’t notice or care about services that are draining money. If a company is doing reasonably well, they don’t focus attention on them. But, they become a cash drain when real products producing profits start slowing down. … The same goes for cutting problem clients. This is an important one. We’re starting to approach a time for firing bad clients. Moving them into a pay up front model would be a good idea.”

6. Expand sales and look for new markets.

“The right time to implement those [growth] strategies is now. When recession hits, you will be one of many companies looking to new markets.”

Terry will cover these tips more in-depth in the March issue of Glass Magazine.

Katy Devlin is editor in chief of Glass Magazine. Contact her at Follow Glass Magazine on Twitter.

Monday, December 17, 2018

We’ve nearly reached the end of the year, and it’s finally time to announce my annual Glass Industry MVP award. It 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. I used the following criteria to determine this honor:

1)     An overall dedication to the betterment of our industry, including through activity in industry meetings, committee work, creation of technology, advancing education, etc. 

2)     My opinion of them and knowledge of their background. This one is all on me. I ask for input on nominees, but I don’t discuss anything further. 

Below is my list of runners up, followed by the 2018 MVP. Disclaimer: 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. 

Without further delay…

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 supported the industry. 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. In addition, W&W is an incredible company. Jeff and his family could take a different path and not be involved in the day-to-day happenings of the glass world, but he chooses to volunteer quite a bit. His impact with conferences like BEC and FTI is 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 because often they are a combo deal. The key for these two is better educating 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 email Vitro sends is helpful and worthy. In addition, Vitro continues to step up and be a partner 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 on 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 alongside 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.

This year’s runners up are all incredible people who do great work and advance and support our world. Who tops them and wins the title this year?

The 2018 Glass Industry MVP

Nathalie Thibault, Prelco. Nathalie is a constant presence at the now-combined NGA 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. Her 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. Prelco has an excellent reputation, so they truly practice what Nathalie preaches. To make things even more amazing is Nathalie is also in school for 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 2018 Glass Industry MVP!


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? I know I promote ‘em like crazy.) In any case I hope everyone out there has a fantastic holiday season and you and your families have a happy, healthy and profitable 2019! 

Read on for links and video of the week…

Max Perilstein 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

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.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Next week, I will announce my industry MVP. 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. When I first heard that Jerry and Jeff were no longer with TGP, it struck me hard. These guys were forces in their sector of our world, and it’s going to be seriously different without them out there on a daily basis.

While I was growing up in the industry, Jerry Razwick was this incredible influential figure. I would see his name in all the news stories, and he was always on the forefront of technology and innovation in the fire-rated space. When I finally got to meet Jerry, I was a wreck because he is a legend. But I didn’t need to worry, as he was as friendly as could be to me. Along the way, I also got to know his son, Jeff, who in his own right became a brilliant businessman, leader and class act. Getting to know the Razwicks, and so many of the folks that worked with them, it was easy to see why they were having such amazing success.

But amid such success, and this is a big thing for me, they continued to serve and support 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. Not only did Jerry and Jeff truly care about their industry and their product, but they also cared about the people who worked at TGP. They were determined to do things the right way, and I think they did exactly that. This chapter may be over, but I hope Jerry and Jeff stay in contact with our world. If not, it was a great pleasure and honor getting to know them and I thank them for all they have done.


  • This week Vitro announced that Ricardo Maiz would be named president, 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 Linetec promoted Tammy Schroeder to marketing manager. 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 have 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 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.

  • I about went crazy when I saw this headline: “Glass Towers Are So Passé. What Will Replace Them?” But the article was less inflammatory than the headline and, quite frankly, the author 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 other building materials. People are not designing the 1980s-style all-reflective glass box anymore. 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…

Read on for links and video of the week…

Max Perilstein 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

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.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Finding skilled labor is the number one challenge for most construction companies. Despite offering apprenticeships and partnering with trade schools and high schools, the industry is still struggling to recruit the next generation. However, one emerging segment is trying to raise awareness of opportunities in the industry and put the fun into construction: construction-themed amusement parks.

The parks provide a hands-on construction experience with real, heavy-duty equipment that grown-ups and young people can explore, including everything from excavators to dump trucks.

While the purpose is to have fun, at least some of the park owners also see this is as an opportunity to raise awareness about the industry with the future workforce. Randy Stenger, founder of Extreme Sandbox, says on the website that the venture's participants have “had the opportunity to be advocates for the construction industry.” Though Stenger does not have a background in construction, Extreme Sandbox has hosted tours for high schools and camps who are interested in working in the field.

 Participants at Dozer Day 2013. Photo by Dolanh at Flickr

Dozer Day, though not an amusement park per se, is an annual event that “seeks to educate children of all ages about building sustainable communities, industry opportunities and public safety,” according to a statement on the organization’s website. An annual charity event hosted in five locations across the United States, Dozer Day allows children to experience driving heavy-duty equipment under the supervision of a professional operator. Part of the organization’s stated mission is to increase interest in construction and change perceptions of the industry. “As families interact with professionals in these industries, they become aware of the incredible possibilities and industry stereotypes are redefined,” reads a statement on the organization's homepage.

Do these parks and experiences elevate awareness of construction and inspire interest in the industry? Do they have potential to attract the next generation to join the industry? Find some information below about these facilities if you would like to make up your own mind.

(Note: all parks and experiences have specific age restrictions and height requirements. See websites for more details)

Location: West Berlin, New Jersey
Activities: Over 25 attractions, including opportunities to drive a back-hoe, operate a digger, and maneuver a dumper truck.

Location: Hastings, Minnesota; Roseville, Minnesota; Pottsboro, Texas
Activities: Visitors can operate Komatsu equipment, including a wheel loader, bulldozer and excavator.

Location: Las Vegas
Activities: Visitors can drive bulldozers and excavators, mini-excavators and skid steer track loader.

Location: Vancouver, Washington; Yakima, Washington; Seattle; Eastern, Washington/Northern Idaho; Kansas City, Missouri
Activities: With a professional operator, children are invited to experience what it’s like to drive bulldozers, dump trucks, excavators and other heavy equipment.
*This is an annual event – see website for details of locations and dates. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

With the end of the year approaching, my final blog of 2018 is a collection of random thoughts and experiences. Hopefully some will resonate with you.

Let’s discuss terms.

I love the technical terms we use in our industry. “Chicken head” may be the best. Most of us know that term to define the upturned stack-joint leg on an expansion horizontal mullion. In profile, it looks like a “chicken head” when some types of gaskets are applied over top. I first heard the term in 1989, and it has been used since. Can’t we find a better naming convention?

Yes, Mr. Owner, you are buying a high-performance curtain wall with a chicken-head in it. Don’t ask questions. Just smile and nod. “Single leg stack and double leg stack” refer to the type of stack joint typology. One or both can be “chicken heads.” Your stack joint will have one leg or two. Depends on which design-camp you’re in. Both options work just fine. Yes, Mr. Owner, you’re getting a single leg stack that looks like a chicken head. You’ll be okay.

There are many more interesting terms we use: jumbo glass, bellows gasket, bulb gasket; sponge gasket (I have a good story about that one I’ll share another time), V-groove, nub, hook anchor, condensation trough, weep tubes, baffles, peening and more. I’d love to hear your favorite terms in the comment section below.

Let’s move on to the building code.

“Yeah, John, but you guys are designing and engineering to CODE. You are being conservative.” Um, let’s remember that the building code is defined as the “Minimum Requirements” for buildings. Thankfully, we have standards, since most things are “sticky downward” if not defined and benchmarked prescriptively. Being “conservative” or perhaps “wise” in some instances would be designing and engineering to MORE than the codified standard, such as with Factory Mutual specifications.

I am not advocating for conservatism, I am just making the point not to misrepresent the standard. So many of us see the code as the maximum, but it is not. We can design for more egress, better redundancy, better light, ventilation, daylighting, air and water infiltration resistance, and other attributes if owners want a better building product. As design-professionals, we are working and starting with the standard and needing to meet certain requirements. How we interpret and apply our craft within those standards is where we provide value to clients. More on that in a future post.

Next up, U-values and thermal analysis.

We have gotten this comment recently on two different jobs, one from a general contractor and one from a curtain wall consultant (perish at the thought): “Don’t give me standard NFRC boundary conditions. We need the U-values to be calculated based on the local conditions, not the standard.” That’s not right. U-values are based on the standard NFRC boundary conditions. In this way, they are all comparable to the same standard. Dew points can be run for the specific local boundary conditions. This will give insight into condensation issues and whether or not moisture will form on various surfaces. 

Thanks for all that you, the readers, pour into this industry. Thanks to Glass Magazine for this platform and for your advocacy. Thanks to AAMA and NGA technical committee members for your efforts and investments. Thanks to all of you for working together to make the built-world a better place. I count it a privilege to be a part of this meaningful and purposeful work. Make it a wonderful holiday, and I look forward to future connectivity and collaboration.

John Wheaton is the founder & co-owner of Wheaton & Sprague Engineering, Inc., also known as Wheaton Sprague Building Envelope. The firm provides full service design, engineering and consulting services for the curtain wall/building envelope/building enclosure industry, and works at “Creating Structure” for clients. He can be reached at and on Twitter, @JohnLWheaton1.

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.

Monday, December 3, 2018

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 if there will be any major deals before the year ends. Typically, year-end is a target date for deals. 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. Although, 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, NGA announced that Lisa Rammig of Eckersley O’Callghan & Partners will be the featured presenter. 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 into 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 just being there. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me, otherwise please register today.

  • Major Thirsty Thursday alert on a crucial subject: school security. Glass plays a big role in school security, and this webinar offers a very true and in-depth background to 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, then this is where you get up to speed. Check it out on December 13 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 on continuing labor challenges, edge grinding, and a great take on the tariff adventures out there. Cover to cover, yet again, a 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 who supplied the materials, let me know. I 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 it’s said and done. In any case, I like the fun look at it.

Read on for links and video of the week…

Max Perilstein 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

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.

Monday, November 26, 2018

David Vermeulen

Smart phones, smart watches, smart vacuums, smart cars. It didn’t take long for The Internet of Things—which trusty Google defines as, “The interconnection via the internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects”—to make its way into our lives. It’s not far from doing the same in the glass industry.

IoT is increasingly used in the glass world in reference to Industry 4.0 (also known as the fourth industrial revolution or the digitalization of the industrial/manufacturing world). If you follow robotics or manufacturing in the glass industry, or kept up with this year’s glasstec coverage, then you already know this buzzword has been gaining momentum, and with good reason. Automation and digital integration have a lot of potential advantages for glass fabricators and suppliers, from better processing metrics to streamlined operations and improved worker productivity. But there is understandably still some hesitancy around implementation. 

Is setting aside the necessary time, resources and task organization to develop a digital strategy, install a new network infrastructure (if necessary) and retrain employees on certain aspects of operation valuable in an industry that’s already stretched thin? Is big data bringing anything tangible to the table that we can’t live without? Will the investment for new machinery, software or systems pencil out? 

I say yes.

There will always be competing matters pressing for our attention. But doing the same thing over and over again isn’t going to free up any more time as the skilled labor gap widens. IoT has the potential to fill in the holes around efficiency and productivity while helping solve workload demands. It can also improve safety, shave time off production schedules and help us meet the needs of today’s complex glass and framing products. There’s also a lot of knowledge to be gained from these interconnected systems.

Now, I’m not saying IoT is the end-all, be-all. I’m also not saying technology is the best fit in every situation. However, for businesses, when it comes to using technology to improve processes and knowledge, I think it is one investment we should all look at. For some, it may be automating loading and unloading processes. For others, it may be using software that shares information from machine to machine to identify inefficiencies and improve operations. Both big and small changes will have an impact.

It’s really another thinking beyond the immediate win situation. It will take time to implement IoT and will cause some short-term discomfort. And we’ll need to approach the whole process with great care to make sure we don’t lose sight of craftsmanship, customer service and valuable relationships along the way. Let’s not lose the people, relationships, solution-based products and thought leadership that made our industry great in the first place. But if these changes are done right, there is a lot of upside.

When you look ahead, now is the time to start thinking about The Internet of Things.

David Vermeulen is the national sales manager for Technical Glass Products (TGP), a supplier of fire-rated glass and framing systems, and other specialty architectural glazing. TGP works closely with architects, designers and other building professionals, providing them with the state-of-the-art products, service and support to maximize design aesthetics and safety in commercial and institutional buildings around the world. Contact him at 800/426-0279.

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.

Monday, November 26, 2018

In my previous post, I talked about my MVP process and I asked for any feedback. You all came through with quite a bit of insight for me to consider, easily the most I have had since starting this process back in 2013. The one thing I realized is that many of you probably hadn’t seen or remembered the runners up each year. So, I decided to list those incredible folks below. I have always kept it in my head that I won’t repeat people, so I can spread the recognition around. But I think after this year, those who were runners up in the past can be future MVPs. In any case, I think I have an incredible slate for this year (posting in a few weeks), and I am excited to determine the winner and share all!

Previous Runners Up


  • Dr. Tom Culp
  • Mark Silverberg
  • Ed Zaucha
  • Mic Patterson
  • Oliver Stepe
  • Dr. Helen Sanders
  • Scott Thomsen


  • John Wheaton
  • Rick Wright
  • Tom O’Malley
  • Bernard Lax


  • Walker Glass
  • Garret Henson
  • Dip Tech
  • Kris Vockler


  • Mike Albert
  • Thom Zaremba
  • Urmilla Jokhu-Sowell
  • SAPA


  • GCI Consultants
  • Darijo Babic
  • Cathie Saroka


  • The Architectural Billings Index was in the positive territory yet again last month, so the “plus” trend continues. But the number continues to decrease each month. I have a feeling this coming month we’ll have a below 50 score. It’s not anything to be alarmed about but does bear watching.
  • Greenbuild was earlier this month, and I have to give kudos to so many in the glass industry who stayed away. That event is not a worthy one, in my opinion, and the LEED process surely not a valuable one for glass and glazing. Again, one guy’s opinion here, but nice to see more and more companies from our world see the same thing I have seen and noted.
  • Speaking of green building but in a more real sense, some positive news via Dodge on the growth of sustainable products.
  • People want more energy efficiency, huh? What a stunner (for this I really wish I had a sarcasm font). That said, it’s a good thing, no matter how obvious.
  • Vitro Architectural Glass did a very cool survey on expectations. Smart and informative. 
  • Kudos to the super folks at Safti First for being involved in the annual “Giving Tuesday” event and donating turkeys. Great going here!
  • Last this week… two non-industry notes:
    • As a guy who loves to follow the marketing world, it’s been interesting to see how the massive success of the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” (See it. Really tremendous.) has driven other advertisements and marketing. Over the holidays I saw several ads that featured Queen or their music. Love when marketing people can quickly recognize and jump on the right trend.
    • It’s the holiday season and with that comes the onslaught of seasonal movies on the Hallmark Channel. These movies have incredible ratings and they are huge hits with my wife and daughter and many others. But the thing that cracks me up is it is literally the same formula for every single movie. All they do is change the setting and tweak the plot a tiny bit. Heck, in many cases they use the same actors! In any case, it just makes me laugh, but it does prove that when you have something that works, you stick with it. Classic “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” theory.

Read on for links and video of the week…

Max Perilstein 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

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.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Last week, I took part in the first of two back-to-back sessions of the interactive IG Fabricators Workshop, hosted by the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance and held at Intertek in Plano, Texas. The workshop invites attendees from all over the industry to get a thorough hands-on education in the complete insulating glass fabrication, testing and forensic investigation process.

I attended last week’s workshop along with about 30 other industry representatives. Many came from glass or window fabricators, some from component or equipment suppliers. Some tout decades of experience, others just a few weeks. But no matter the experience level, the multi-part three-day event provided opportunities for all attendees to come away with everything from important safety reminders to critical quality control methods.

“Looking ahead, we will recommend that we send our new people to this along with some of our seasoned guys. It’s important to understand why we’re doing what we’re doing; to correct bad habits,” said one attendee from an entry door manufacturer.

The workshop began with two classroom sessions: a glass safety presentation from Mike Burk, chair of the IGMA Glass Safety Awareness Council and North American technical representative for Sparklike, and a complete breakdown of IGU design and components parts from Jeff Haberer, technical services, Trulite Glass & Aluminum Solutions. The remainder of the sessions took place in the test laboratory space, where workshop leaders demonstrated IGU test methods, such as frost point testing and volatile fog testing; taught quality control checks for desiccant, gas fill and sealants; identified spacer types and spacer issues to watch out for; and presented common issues with glass cutting and glass washing.

View complete photo and video coverage from the workshop.

At top, a workshop group performs a visual inspection on an insulating glass unit. Lower left, Randi Ernst, CEO of FDR Design, helps an attendee measure gas fill of an insulating glass unit. Lower right, a group leader disassembles a failed insulating glass unit to determine the cause of seal failure. 

Katy Devlin is editor in chief of Glass Magazine. Contact her at Follow Glass Magazine on Twitter.

Monday, November 12, 2018

It’s that time of year that we start to look back, and for me that includes determining my annual glass industry MVP. In one month, with my last post for 2018, I will make the announcement of the runners up and the award winner. I have been recognizing people for this honor since 2013 (list of winners below), and it’s one of the most rewarding things I do. All the people that I name go above and beyond for this industry and represent our interests extremely well. 2018 has once again made it extremely challenging to choose a winner. Since I have been doing this, I have recognized 40 people, all of whom made major impacts. I am excited to point out five more next month. If you have someone (or a company) that you think deserves consideration, please drop me a line. Our past winners:

2013: Tracy Rogers

2014: C.R. Laurence

2015: Jon Kimberlain

2016: Chuck Knickerbocker

2017: Joe Erb

2018: To be announced in December


  • Reminders

  • I am behind, so my latest Glass Magazine review is for the “Robot Revolution” October issue. Obviously the recent glasstec event—and GlassBuild America before that—was a major showcase for robots and automation, so this issue from Glass Magazine was very timely and helpful. In-depth articles on maintenance, robots, and technology advancements were strong as was Marco Terry’s excellent piece on when to grow a business. Good stuff as always! My favorite ad of the month actually goes to GlassBuild America for their piece recognizing all of the sponsors at the show. All of these companies not only advanced their brand by sponsoring, but they also did right by the industry by supporting the effort. It was great to see them all listed on one page.

  • I have covered previously the race to be the host city for Amazon’s HQ2. That contest is over and apparently the winners were Long Island, New York and Arlington, Virginia. This was stunning given cost of living, traffic, etc. in those areas. Those choices have not gone over well publicly, as some of the tenets that everyone expected from Amazon when it started the search were not considered in the end. 

    Will Oremus, tech columnist at Slate, summed it up well with this tweet:

    “I know I'm late to this, but the reason Amazon's HQ2 was a farce is not just that they picked two cities. It's that they raised the hopes of cities across the country that could really use an infusion of economic vitality, then picked the two that need it least of all.”

    That really nails it. Why have 300 communities do this when this is where you end up? In any case, Amazon also now has detailed planning information on every city in the United States, deep intel really, that I am sure they will utilize to keep growing. From a business side, it was brilliant. From a human side, it left me cold. 

  • Check out the design of this building. I sure hope when it comes to the engineering someone really smart like John Wheaton is involved, because looking at this blows my mind.

  • Last this week, note there is no blog from me next week as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday. As I have noted here many times, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I can’t wait to enjoy it yet again. But even more so this year: we need to give thanks for what we have and take heed that it does not last forever. Life can be short, time absolutely flies, so next week, when you gather with your friends and family, take it all in a little deeper. Thank you.

Read on for links and video of the week…

Max Perilstein 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

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.

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