From the fabricator: BEC recap

Well, last week was the annual GANA BEC conference, and as I have done for many years, I'm sharing a recap of who was there, how it went and so on. Overall, it was good to see some tremendous industry people in attendance. I think everyone there had a positive attitude about the economy and was pushing forward to keep operations in a good place. So, for the most part, below is a very BEC- and people-centric post. It's much more like “Page 6” than normal.
But before I jump into the BEC recap and sightings, a couple of quick thoughts:
  • First, I am so proud to be an Ohio University graduate. What an effort by the Bobcats in this tournament. The team played with heart and grit and represented the university nicely!
  • Also, the video I ran last week on my blog of Emmanuel Kelly elicited more positive response than any video I have ever posted. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out here. Amazing story.

OK, on to BEC….

  • Before we talk people, two comments on the conference. First off, Keith Boswell of SOM was part of a panel on Tuesday morning. His presentation was pretty intense, insightful and relevant; one of the best pieces I have ever seen. On the flip side, there was a speaker on Monday that could have been the worst speaker I have ever seen. His speech was supposed to be about “positioning your business for the upcoming recovery,” and it was nothing close. It was more “how can I drop bizarre clichés and use other people’s words to make a few bucks in front of you folks.” It was disappointing because that title was as misleading as it comes. Put simply, think of a really bad Saturday Night Live sketch of a “motivational” speaker and that’s what you had here. I am still blown away at that catastrophe. He should be sent to interrogate war prisoners. After an hour of that, they’d give up the goods.
  • People-wise, it's time to name drop. Always nice to see Henry Taylor of Kawneer; he puts his heart into this event and I am proud of him. Also chatted with the cool and crisp Jay Phillips of Guardian, who happens to be the incoming GANA president. I was thrilled to get a hug from one of my all-time favorites, PPG legend Jan Rogan. I was also happy to see Stanley Yee of the Façade Group back at this event for the first time in awhile. Stanley is a classy and eloquent voice that this industry is very lucky to have. I always wonder why he even associates with me!
  • Got a few seconds with Greg Carney who is always in demand. He really is the cream of the crop in the consulting world. It was also neat seeing Aimee Davis of Solutia; the fact she jammed in a trip here with her crazy schedule was nice. Making her first appearance at BEC was PR guru Heather West, and getting to catch up with her was a pure honor. Also conversed with guys who are not only great at what they do but also respect and understand the rigors of blogging: Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning and Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP. It was great to meet in person for the first time a couple of guys I have respected from afar: Oliver Stepe of YKK and John Wheaton of Wheaton Sprague.
  • And more: First time in awhile seeing Alex Kastaniuk and Joe Carlos of TriView. Alex sports a very cool Fu Manchu mustache, and both guys were pretty stoked about their business these days. I'm happy for 'em! Didn’t get to talk to Courtney Little of Ace Glass, but his presentations were strong and impressive. Got to spend a few minutes with Mark Spencer of Sapa, and he looked like he could suit up for Army football right now. Fun to see George Petzen of LinEl. No one gets more out of these conferences than George. Plus, he was showing some really cool BIPV images on his iPad that were impressive.
  • The Viracon contingent for some reason still puts up with me. Good to see the tweeting Seth Madole in person, as well the fashion model Cameron Scripture. I did see Garret Henson for a second, but now that he’s a powerful VP, he really can’t be seen in the company of a guy like me.
  • A major congrats to Mike Stroupe of DM Products, who had a hole-in-one while out in Vegas. Rumors are it was an 85-yard hole and he used a 3 wood: Can that be? LOL. Rich Porayko was also on hand, glad he could take a moment away from doing insanely good promotion for Hartung/Agalite to visit.
  • And last but certainly not least, the spacer world was well represented with guys like Joe Erb of Quanex, Mike Gainey of Azon and Mark Silverberg from Technoform. When I saw Mark, he was talking with Stan Yee and it was a reminder that we have great minds working for us in our world.
  • So that was it. I was bummed that I missed a few people. According to the roster, Julie Schimmelpenningh was supposed to be there, but if she was, she did a great job ducking me.

Next week, the post will return to normal and I have a bunch of items already lined up.

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.


Max, First time I saw that video of Emmanuel Kelly, I wonder how many of us could ever relate to being unable to give our age.  Thanks for sharing it. 

Max; Sorry we didn't have a chance to chat a bit at the BEC, maybe next time!  Great event, and we were honored to be involved. Best regards, Don ArmstrongAGC Glass North America

Jeff- Thank you for the post- that video really was amazing- all props to my brother for finding it. Don- Sorry I missed you- we will surely see you at GlassBuild and catch up! Thanks for posting!!

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It is an ugly mug... but you didn't have to tell me twice!  LOL Thanks for the post(s)

Hi Max,I enjoy your articles! I work closely with brother Steve and nephew Josh. Keep up the good work!

Walt Thanks for reading and posting!  And thanks for taking care of brother and nephew. I know they appreciate it.  They have a great thing going on there at WA Wilson.  Happy for them!  

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