Monday, April 30, 2018

We’re just at the beginning of our journey combining two impactful trade associations—the National Glass Association and Glass Association of North America. I’ve learned a lot this past year, and even more since Feb. 1 (the official merger date), and again more last week during our Annual Conference in Napa, California.

One realization has not changed. After 28 years in the glass and glazing industry, my deep appreciation for what the legacy GANA volunteers have achieved and continue to strive for at meetings only intensifies.  

Intensifies is the operative word. Our global industry is ever more complex and demanding, and the impact is felt first on the technical stewards of glass technology, processes, codes and standards.  One way to recognize what we fight to protect is embodied in the annual awards dinner.       

Focused and aware industry volunteers drive the association’s technical activities. The following stand-out volunteers were recognized for their contributions.

The organization’s highest recognition, the C. Gregory Carney Member of the Year Award, went to Rick Wright, director of technical services, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope. Wright has decades of experience and leadership in the glass industry. He has been a longtime dedicated contributor to association technical activities. The award is named after industry leader and former GANA Technical Director Greg Carney, who passed away in 2013.

"Rick exemplifies all that Greg Carney represented in the glass and glazing industry," says Urmilla Sowell, NGA technical director. "Rick tirelessly advocates for glass in several standards and codes bodies—ANSI Z97, IGCC and SGCC, ASTM AND GICC—not just the association. He has served on the GANA board and is a great asset to the association and glass industry."

Kayla Natividad, architectural technical services engineer from ‎NSG Pilkington received the Energy Division Member of the Year Award. “This is only her second Annual Conference, but she has jumped in eagerly to the association activities since last spring,” says Mark Silverberg, president of Technoform North America, who presented the award. Natividad “has participated in the Energy Applications [Glazing Informational Bulletin] specifically, but has also contributed to multiple other task groups within the flat glass and insulating divisions.”

Bobby Chestnut, sales project manager, Standard Bent Glass, was recognized for his work in the Decorative Division. Chestnut has chaired the task group on How to View and Assess Decorative Glass Products for the last two years. “He signed on for this task at one of his first meetings, choosing to jump right in,” according to James Wright, sales director, glass division, ICA North America, who presented the award. “He has also used in person meetings such as Annual and Fall Conferences to convene his task group to make headway together in person,” Wright says.

Jeff Haberer, director, technical services, Trulite, was recognized for his contributions to the Laminating Division. “A long-time member of the glass family, [Jeff] has contributed to various organizations continuously throughout many years. His contribution to NGA/GANA has helped us probe issues deeper and more thoroughly due to his ability to look at issues and opportunities with various perspectives,” says Julia Schimmelpenningh, industry technical leader, customer applications and service lab manager, for Eastman Chemical Co. Schimmelpenningh presented the award to Haberer. “Jeff’s contribution to the laminated glass area over the recent years has proved to be just as valuable to the industry as his previous concentration on the insulating glass side. We honored Jeff with the Laminating Division Member of the Year award because he not only drives us to be better, but he provides the background for the laminated glass industry to thrive.”

The Tempering Division Member of Year Award went to Ren Bartoe, director, glass and industrial technologies, at Vesuvius. Bartoe has been a long-time supporter of the legacy GANA organization, with active involvement in both the tempering and marketing committees. He also serves on the Integration Task Force, a group of association volunteers dedicated to successfully integrating the NGA and GANA. Bartoe was unable to attend the Annual Conference; Marcus Bancroft, sales manager, Americas, at Vesuvius, accepted the award on his behalf. 

Mitch Edwards, technical manager of Guardian Glass, was recognized for his work in the Flat Glass Manufacturing Division. “Mitch has been an excellent resource to the association with his 10 years serving as the FGMD Technical Chair,” says Sowell, who presented the award. “Mitch also collaborates on several task groups within the tempering, insulating and decorative divisions.”

Joe Erb, commercial sales specialist for Quanex Building Products, received the Member of the Year Award for the Insulating Division. Erb has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, with an in-depth knowledge and awareness of the high-performance glazing industry. Erb has been a long-time volunteer within the legacy GANA organization, and is a regular contributor to Glass Magazine. Erb was unable to attend the Annual Conference. 

The final division award went to Ted Derby for his work in the Building Envelope Contractors Division. Derby, of Intertek, previously served for a decade in business development at glazing contractor LCG Facades. “Ted has been attending the BEC Conference for over a decade. Over time, he has taken on leadership roles within the BEC membership’s task group, most notably as a member of the task group updating the Blue Print Reading and Labor Estimating Course,” says Sara Neiswanger, NGA’s senior manager, GANA member services. “He has also acted as the grader of the Blue Print Reading Course for the past four years. He has taken a true interest in the students’ progress and understanding in completing the course and has also played a key role in helping translate the manual content into a complimentary online platform.”

Nicole Harris is president and CEO of the National Glass Association.

Monday, April 30, 2018

A couple of very important stories not getting enough coverage are now hitting my radar: the shortage of aluminum and California’s CAL GWP measures. I will cover CAL GWP next week as I am still learning more about it and I want to get feedback from the presentation at the NGA Annual Conference that covered it. As for the aluminum situation, that one is real, very real. This release from the AEC explains it in more detail… Bottom line is: this thing is real, and it is scary. The shortage is already starting to affect the aluminum folks who manufacture storefront and curtain wall, and as it proceeds, it will obviously trickle down to the installer community as well. It certainly bears watching and as I get more information, I’ll surely pass it on.


  • It truly is award season in the glass industry. I mentioned a couple last week, but the big one to get your nominations in for is the annual Glass Magazine Awards. 
    These honors are the best in the industry and I love the mix of categories for this year. Innovation takes the lead role, as it should, in what the judges will be reviewing. So I advise all of you to click the link and see what you have in your world that may fit. And remember, you can’t win if you don’t apply!

  • Time for the monthly Glass Magazine review. Interior glass focus this issue. Nice cover shot with material from C.R. Laurence. Inside, the Glass and Metals 301 Guide to Interiors was excellent. Once again that approach provides such a tremendous resource. I also really liked the approach Joe Bazzano took in his column on the tax cuts and jobs bill. Again, same theme of an excellent resource. Last, and most important, the coverage of the merge of GANA and NGA is well defined in an excellent piece by Bethany Stough. This section that included some great pictures and timelines, clearly lays out what is going on in our world with such a monumental move.

  • Ad of the month. Yet another challenging one to choose. But, after going cover to cover several times to break down the candidates, I just couldn’t deliver a clear-cut winner this month. There were a lot of solid pieces but none to stand out. So, I’ll save this choice and use it for a month when I want to name two winners.

  • The AIA show is coming up in June and they are promoting it pretty extensively. Recently, they sent an email blast with the “Top 6” reasons to attend the show. Number 3 was “tour iconic architecture,” which, for sure in NYC is going to be good and AIA noted more than 200 tours would be available. So that said, I can only imagine the effect that will have on a show floor that already struggles to get architects to the exhibits.

  • Great blog post last week by Pete de Gorter. If you did not see it, please check it out.

  • Last this week, one of my favorite subjects over the years has been the volatility of gas prices. We are on the upswing again with the prices gaining nearly daily. Not good, personally or professionally with summer driving season and the busy summer deliveries for fabricators and glaziers. Maybe we were spoiled by a few solid years of lower prices, but all I know is I am feeling the pain at the pump and it’s getting worse.

Read on for links and video of the week…

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

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, April 23, 2018

Time has enormous value. Today, as we receive data at increasing speeds and make connections in the blink of an eye, this has never been more true. Have a look at any ISP commercial or the constant upgrading of cellular capacity. Faster evidently means better. When I was a kid, I’d wait days to download a 12-track CD. Today, I complain if Netflix takes a couple seconds more to stream a program in HD. And I like to think I am an exceptionally patient person.

Time is finite. If we find what we’re looking for quickly we can move on to other things. Faster information leads to faster decisions and an ability to get more done.

But, with almost infinite information available instantly, as well as a focus on time-saving measures, I have noticed the buying process changing. Continuous improvement in technology has raised the acceptable standard for the businesses we will continue to work with in the future.

There has been a shift, where power has moved from the supplier to the customer. Days of door-to-door sales seem to be phasing out and marketing budgets swing to targeted online channels. I personally don’t want to take half-hour appointments to learn about the latest widgets. If it is as good as they say, it’s already been online for months with scores of reviews. We’re still required to be where our clients are, but this increasingly no longer means face-to-face, rather a form of online communication (websites, social channels and email).

All of this makes the playing field more competitive. Not only do prospects expect to discover an almost endless amount of material regarding products on their own, they can and will find an equal amount of information regarding your competitors’ products. It is almost as if prospects are qualifying themselves. They’ve researched, know more than ever, and are reaching out directly.

How do we continue to thrive in a marketplace where knocking on doors and making cold calls are dying? A possible source of visibility can be online communities where others talk about your product without interjections by you. Do not underestimate the power of user-generated content: one viral post can make or break you. For many, the most trusted source of information is other peoples’ opinions. Focus on providing pertinent information and, more importantly, make the information they’re seeking extremely easy to find. After all, time is money for your customers, too.

Pete de Gorter is vice president of sales and marketing at DeGorter Inc. Contact 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, April 23, 2018

Thirteen years ago, I decided to start a blog. I wanted a place to vent and educate and be able to network with others. I launched in 2005 (when blogs were very rare) and started slowly, but then picked up and started to post every week (usually 48-50 times per year). And now with this post, I have reached number 700. Yes, 700 posts covering subjects from my overall observations of the glass industry including: NFRC, China, solar, acquisitions, bankruptcies, trade shows, products, codes and more. I am amazed that it has lasted this long! It is an absolute thrill to run into someone and they note they’ve read my blog. For those of you who read me weekly or read me once in every blue moon, thank you. I truly appreciate the support and I look forward to blogging for many years to come!


  • One of my favorite subjects in those 700 posts was GlassBuild America—either previewing it, commenting on it, or noting everyone I was lucky enough to run into. So on that note, it makes sense for me to mention that registration for the 2018 show is now open as of the end of last week! You can go ahead and get registered and get your hotel and housing taken care of. This show is going to be very strong this year. The combination of last years’ effort being hampered by Irma (people unfortunately unable to attend) and an incredible line-up of exhibitors (tremendous variety and continuing to grow each day!) means everything from top-notch networking to incredible education and growth opportunities will be there for you September 12-14 in Las Vegas.

  • The Vanceva World of Colors contest: if you have a job that meets the parameters, hurry and get that submission in by April 30!

  • Speaking of job submissions for great awards, the Glass Magazine Reader Photo Contest is now open for submissions. Every year the pictures get more interesting and intense and they are great to show how our industry operates. Check out the link, and if you have a great shot, get it in!

  • I noted last week I would be watching the latest release of the Architectural Billings Index closely. And, unfortunately, the ratings while still on the positive side were shaky compared to previous months and the political adventures with the tariffs were starting to have an effect. “Anxious” is the word the experts are using, and it will now bear watching if that anxiety finally pushes the index down to a negative level across the board next month. 

  • Last this week, the China Glass expo was last week and there were many from North America in attendance. I was not since I am not sure if I would be allowed, but that’s another story for another time. (Those of you who saw me at GlassBuild America 2007 would probably know why.) In any case, I am curious to get feedback from those who were there to get a feel for the marketplace with regards to importing, the tariffs and the overall economic atmosphere.

Read on for links and video of the week…

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

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, April 16, 2018

At the recent Window and Door Manufacturers Association’s Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference, held March 19-21 in Washington, D.C., Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, spoke on the continuing challenge of finding and retaining a skilled labor force, and outlined initiatives companies and associations are implementing to address the situation.

In his presentation, “Workforce Development: Helping Employers Close the Skills Gap,” Moutray characterized NAM members as very pleased with the current economic outlook. He attributed at least part of this positive feeling to the recently passed tax reform, as well as the improving global economy. “These are the best numbers out of Europe we’ve seen in seven years, in some cases 20 years,” he said.

The U.S. manufacturing sector mirrors this growth. While manufacturing businesses continue to run more leanly than they did pre-recession, Moutray said that the sector is much more competitive than it has been in the last two decades. 

While he assessed that 2017 manufacturing production has been “choppy,” at least partly due to the volatility of last year’s hurricane season, Moutray characterized manufacturing’s year-over-year growth as strong overall. He reported that 12.61 million workers are currently employed, and an average of 18,000 jobs were added in 2017. “It’s almost like someone flipped a switch,” he said.

While the growth is encouraging, it also exacerbates the sector’s need for a skilled workforce. According to an often cited study conducted by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, 2 million manufacturing jobs are expected to go unfilled between now and 2025. While the study attributes the shortage to the skills gap, Moutray also described the problem of attracting a skilled workforce in terms of a perception gap: “We need to get people to see manufacturing not just as blue-collar work, but as a very good, high-paying pathway to the middle class.”

As part of this campaign, Moutray outlined some of the initiatives that NAM and its member companies have organized or sponsored, including the following programs.

  • Manufacturing Day: Observed in October, this annual celebration of modern manufacturing saw 3,000 facilities hosting events for high-schoolers and parents in 2017, according to Moutray.

  • Heroes Make America: Started by the Manufacturing Institute, the program is a 10-week career skills program for military veterans that are ready to discharge, built on the idea that the military educates its personnel with many skills that can be applied to manufacturing. The first class recently graduated at the facility’s in Fort Hood.

  • STEP Ahead: Also launched by the Manufacturing Institute, the STEP (science, technology, engineering and production) Ahead program celebrates the achievements of women in manufacturing by honoring them at a formal gala.

  • Dream It. Do it: NAM partnered with the Manufacturing Institute to engage students, parents and educators to promote manufacturing careers to the next generation.

While these programs are designed to help address the skills gap, this challenge is certainly not the only one facing the manufacturing labor force. Added to these issues, Moutray highlighted the recent increase in the practice of poaching, as companies struggling to fill necessary positions head hunt skilled labor from other industry companies. He said that the result has been wage pressure increases, as well as price pressure increases.

As Glass Magazine continues to explore those mentioned here and all concepts regarding labor, staffing and training in its Workforce Development series, we encourage our readers to share their thoughts and experiences that we can share with the industry. Leave a comment below or email our editor with your insights.

Norah Dick is the assistant editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at

Monday, April 16, 2018

The latest Dodge Momentum Index was recently released, and March posted a strong result, especially on the commercial side. That is welcome news since commercial had been lagging some. I had previously mentioned some softness in the markets and hopefully between the optimistic metrics and maybe the weather breaking in the Midwest and Northeast we’ll be rolling strong for the rest of the year. (As I write this, we are under a winter storm warning and my friends in Minnesota have a FOOT of snow on the ground. In mid-April. Ugh.) Anyway, the next Architectural Billings Index is out on April 18, so we’ll see what sort of detail we can glean from that one and continue to always monitor everything.


  • I hinted to it last week that a deal was in the works in our industry and it happened with Coral Industries being sold to Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope. I have always been a fan of Lewis McAllister and I am happy for him and his family. It’s great that the management team there will continue forward. Heck of a year in Alabama: the Tide wins the title and now this. 

  • I was thrilled to see my friend Danik Dancause get a promotion at Walker Glass. Danik is one of the best guys around and extremely talented. I have noted many times that his clothing tastes are easily one of the best in the industry. Now with this promotion, does Danik raise the bar style wise? Can’t wait to see what he breaks out at GlassBuild.

  • This was an interesting article on construction corruption in New York City. Those who have done work in the city know it offers a ton of challenges on a lot of levels, but how deep the rest of those issues go is well spelled out in this piece. I have to think that the overbilling happens everywhere, but New York just has so much more noise surrounding every major project that it surely attracts more of the negative element.

  • Sat in on an interesting webinar on building projects and the stress that comes from them. The intriguing part for me was learning the pain points and then seeing what some of the ideas were to address them. One of the main issues is late or incomplete design. I know many glaziers deal with problems along these lines all the time and they are counted on to come through for all involved. The tips for dealing with the problems hit a key theme that I have harped on: communication. Basically, when it comes to messaging, the more focused and clear you can be with expectations, schedules and approaches the better. Obvious, but probably not done like needed.

  • Last this week, I was researching an upcoming trade show and I was blown away at how many companies did not have a website. It just amazed me that someone could be in business in 2018 (and be doing a decent-sized trade show) and not have at least something up online. I haven’t touched mine in years, but I still have something up there. Maybe I am just hypersensitive because I am a communication strategy guy... 

Read on for links and video of the week…

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 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, April 9, 2018

If the June 2014 issue of Sports Illustrated ever landed on your desk, chances are good you either laughed or said “yea, right” when you read the cover story about the Houston Astros: “An Unprecedented Look at How a Franchise is Going Beyond Moneyball to Build the Game’s Next Big Thing…Your 2017 World Series Champs.” The Astros’ performance drought had been well advertised.  I’m not a baseball guy, and even I knew they were bad.

How could this team make the World Series, let alone win it?

The answer lay with the approach. When Jeff Luhnow came on board as the Houston Astros’ general manager in 2011, he knew fans expected a quick turning of the ship. A record close to .500 seemed attainable, and would allow them to watch a fair amount of wins. But, Luhnow and analyst Sig Mejdal decided to focus on the long-term win instead of a more immediate and respectable record. They avoided expensive free agents, put more resources into their farm system, traded away some of their most mature assets, and developed a controversial analytics-based approach to drafting players.

The initial cost for the duo’s approach was high. The Astros lost game after game, some of which received local TV ratings of 0.0. By 2013, their record of 51-111 was the worst in franchise history and tied for the majors’ worst in a decade. But in 2017, their strategy paid off. The Houston Astros won the World Series.

Thinking beyond the immediate win isn’t easy, not in baseball or in the glass industry. To get the job done, we are often focused on landing the next project or getting the next shipment out on time. There are always pressing matters competing for our attention. Looking beyond these urgent needs to reevaluate internal processes, reconfigure programs, shift employee roles and make other beneficial changes takes time and resources. Since the initial investment is high and we are already busy, we don’t take action. But, like the Astros, the pay-off for strategic, long-term adjustments can far outweigh the initial cost.

A recent example at TGP took place during the build out of some of our machining programs. To effectively build out the new program, we had to shift engineering resources normally used for shop drawings and reallocate them to machining for a one-month period.

It was a major effort to manage these resources. Did we experience short-term discomfort during this period? Yes. But, the net-gain is expected to be huge. To put it into perspective, it would have taken two engineers and one programmer over a year and a half at one day per week to complete the same amount of work that our team was able to test, verify and program during that one-month timeframe. It also left our team in a great situation for those specific machining programs going forward. Perhaps more importantly, it reminded me of the value of thinking beyond the here and now, of experiencing a little discomfort for a bigger gain.

So, my question for you is this: are you thinking beyond the immediate win?  

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, April 9, 2018

I am always studying trends and directions that our world will go into, and when I come across lists that interest me I love to share them here. This week I ran into a great piece on the TMD Studio blog that broke down the future of design and architecture. Of course, I had some comments on the list of trends.

Check them out.

  • Collaboration. There is no doubt that this area is growing, and the article did not mention integrated project delivery, which is absolutely a growing movement.

  • VR and Immersive Architecture. VR and AR are both items that benefit design teams. As that technology grows, so will the usage. Residential glass shops are already seeing value, but costs are still very high to use.

  • BIM. Is this the future? Isn’t it here and hasn’t it been here for a while? The article does do a good job of explaining the situation here.

  • Parametric Architecture. This is intense and deep; too much for my little brain.

  • Robots and 3D printers. To me this is the best bet for massive usage in the future. I believe we will see more robotics in our world in many different areas.

  • Internet of Spaces. I have heard of Internet of Things, but I can’t say I remember this concept and when I read more I just don’t see it… yet.

  • Vertical Cities. Isn’t New York a pro at this at this point?

  • Sustainability. It is listed as a trend, but I think it’s beyond a “trend” and more an accepted practice for most. 

If you are an architectural geek, the whole article is very interesting, though in some areas it’s deeper than I like to go. Still, it is worth the discussion of where we are now and where we are going.


  • Speaking of items that fall under “trends,” there’s been a push for timber as a curtain wall framing product. It’s evidently popular in Europe. However, a job in Oregon that was going with wood all over the project instead of conventional products had a rough go recently. This could surely slow momentum.

  • Last week, I hit on the awesome map that Glass Magazine included in its latest issue, and it reminded me of the site Tremendous site and if you are a member of the NGA, it is free with your membership. 

  • Hearing rumblings of a couple of mid-size glass company acquisitions in the industry, one on the eastern side of the country and one on the west. I think we will see a few more of these sorts of deals over the next two years with the way the industry landscape is lining up. I don't see the major monster deals happening, though. See I just did it. Watch, some massive deal will be announced tomorrow! In any case, with the economy showing some extra volatility, it could move people off the fence and into “sell” mode.

  • Last this week, the musical artist Zedd did all of the design for his gigantic home and he used tons of glass throughout. As an industry we really do make, fabricate and install an awesome product. Take a look at what he did, and obviously not only does he have musical skills but he is not a bad designer either!

Read on for links and video of the week…

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 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, April 2, 2018

My company has been a sponsor for the Women in Design & Construction event, a leadership conference for women—of all roles, fields and career stages—within the construction industry. My experience at these conferences made me reflect more on women in the workplace. With women making up 57 percent of the labor force, according to the Department of Labor’s website, it is pretty clear that women are here to stay. And, a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review showed that “as more women joined the workforce, they helped make cities more productive and increased wages” for both men and women (between 1980 and 2010).

How can the glass industry attract and retain the most promising female workers?

I wanted to explore this from the perspective of an emerging female professional in our industry, so I reached out to Sabrina Kanaley, an architectural representative from Crawford-Tracey Corp. While pursuing a degree in Information Technology, she used her semester breaks to intern at Crawford-Tracey.

“I walked through the door with absolutely zero concept and understanding of glass, glazing and construction,” she says. “I dove right in, absorbing all the knowledge I could and along the way I realized I was developing a passion for this industry and this job.”

After graduating from college, she returned to Crawford-Tracey because of this passion, which is apparent from her explanation of her job role.

“Though I’m an architectural rep, I’ve really got my hands in many ‘cookie jars.’ I work closely with the president of CTC in our design assist department. We collaborate with our engineering and drafting team to put together project specific system details and takeoffs, which we then provide to architects and GCs interested in utilizing our system as their basis of design. I also work closely with our director of sales and estimating and I frequently estimate projects that I’ve worked on since the schematic design phase.”

As someone fairly new and developing a real passion for her work, Sabrina’s perspective on what would  incentivize her to stay and grow in this industry is interesting.

“Truly, I would like to see not only myself, but more women in roles of leadership and management. Gender needs to stop being a decision factor. Work ethic, qualifications, education and performance need to be recognized and rewarded accordingly.”

When asked what the glass industry can do to attract more women, she said, “networking is a must. The glass industry needs to make itself known. Partner with universities, be present during career days and offer intern programs for college students. Start making more of an effort, be bold and show women that there is a place for them in this industry; give them a reason to be interested!”

Sabrina’s story is not unique. There are many talented and hardworking women in our industry who thrive in their roles when given the opportunity. It is up to us as an industry to encourage women to choose the glass industry—and decide to stay.

Diana San Diego is vice president of marketing for Safti First. Contact her 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, April 2, 2018

Every month I review the latest Glass Magazine and I am always excited to learn something new. As always, the knowledge growth was there, but the amount of insight in this latest edition is stunning. The March issue is the annual Top Glass Fabricators edition and it’s loaded from start to finish. The first major takeaway is that it comes with a pull-out map of the 2018 Top Glass Fabricators. It is old school and awesome and I am sure now hanging in glass shops and glazing operations throughout North America. Next is the rundown and detail of the Top Glass Fabricators. I always enjoy the project profiles that come with it. I mentioned last week the fabulous Vitrum Glass Group job and that was joined by several other amazing pieces of fabrication. Add in the details of some of the poll questions and you get excellent visibility into the world of the fabricator. In addition, this issue had outstanding pieces on buying a tempering furnace from a finance point of view, an incredible interview with Jeff Razwick of TGP on his deal with Allegion, and a nice piece on glass in health care. And selfishly, I was pretty excited to be included in a superb piece by Olivia Parker on best booth practices for trade shows. Overall, a tremendous issue. Please make sure you check it out!


  • Ad of the month was a tough one yet again. Lots of companies really raising their game with creative pieces, but the winner was Consolidated Glass Holdings and its “line card” ad that was included in the issue in a special way: it was on thicker stock that was attached to another page, so that immediately caught my eye. And then the info on there was very in-depth. Nice work, and congrats to Angela Beach at CGH to make that all happen!

  • While I am talking about good detail and insight, I need to give credit to Rob Struble and the team at Vitro on their email blasts. Their “Vitro Glass Insider” consistently delivers quick and helpful education. I know we all get tons of emails, and it’s tough to stand out, but they do with this approach.

  • It looks like the AIA show is following the lead of Greenbuild by pushing celebrity approaches and concert settings with the news that DJ and musician Questlove will be featured at their opening party. If you watch the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Questlove is his musical leader and is pretty well-known in the musical space. Whether this helps the always-frustrating issue of a lack of architects on the floor and in your booth remains to be seen…

  • For my friends in eastern Canada, are you attending Top Glass later this month? Looks like a solid day of education and information. Two guys that I am a big fan of will be on stage. Cody Thomas of Glass Renu will be there talking on glass restoration and Chris Fronsoe of ICD Coatings will be breaking down the spandrel world. So those sessions and others will make it a good one overall.

  • Last this week, it is now baseball season and while I don’t follow the day-to-day happenings as close as I used to, I still enjoy the sport and it always signals the beginning of an awesome sporting stretch. Baseball opening, NHL and NBA playoffs, NFL Draft, College Spring Football, The Masters, and the Indy 500. Lots of great distractions from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Oh, and just for the heck of it, for baseball I’m going Yankees to win it all. That lineup is pretty awesome.

Read on for links and video of the week…

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 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.