From the Fabricator: The Complete GlassBuild America Recap

Overall, 2018 GlassBuild America was very strong, and it matches the overall attitude I heard from many on the floor. People are very busy and doing well. I am very encouraged about how things are headed in our world.

I thought the floor was incredible with regards to the exhibits. I was simply blown away at designs and layouts and how many companies went the extra mile to stand out.

The education and demos did not disappoint, and I think the networking potential was easily realized. So many people were meeting all over Vegas. It was surely a productive week for most.

Now on to my personal awards and my annual recap of seen and not seen on the floor.

The Best Booths and Best Dressed

The show does its Best in Show, and the winners were great, but I wanted to give kudos to a few others. I loved the carpet in Vitro’s booth. It was laid out like a piece of glass and then a piece of oversize behind to show the new size capability. Pure brilliance from Rob Struble and Glen Miner as always. HHH’s booth caught the eye of many with very effective marketing pieces. It was super. The duo of Mike Synon and Melissa Blank really came through with a win. I continually love Quanex’s classic booth that is always front and center and is a great show piece. I just wish I could’ve actually visited the team there, but I ran out time.

In the end there were tons of others that deserve congrats, too, but this blog will be extra-long as it is, so I’ll stop there. By the way, in an upset, best shirts went to Tubelite. Love the colors! Unique and cool taste choice. The former champ Salem had great ones again, as always, but Mary Avery and company win it in 2018. And best dressed non-company division, Chris Fronsoe of ICD, including the most stylish shoe choices this industry will ever see.

The People

As for the folks on the floor, I was so busy this year with Express Learning, the Glazing Executives Forum and the Knowledge Bar that I did not get around like in the past, and I missed some folks I hoped to see. I was happy to visit and meet in person Heather Monroe of Machines and Wheels. She’s got great products, and she brought Cheerwine soda for me to try (I wrote about it a few months ago). It was awesome, and I am thankful! Also, thankful for the hospitality of Bill O’Keeffe and Diana San Diego of Safti First. Bummed that my schedule got in the way of spending time with them. Same with Joe Dressler of Tremco. Wish I could’ve broken away, but just couldn’t pull it off. 

A Happy Anniversary to Heather West! Heather’s incredible company (best PR in the industry) celebrated its 20th year in business during the show! Congrats, Heather, and here’s to many more years on top. Speaking of major leaders in their field, getting to moderate a panel at the Glazing Executives Forum with Garret Henson was great, and seeing the guy with Hollywood looks, Cameron Scripture of Viracon, is always a fantastic moment for me. Speaking of the panel, it was remarkable to be on stage with Allen Mathis of YKK AP and Jeff Rende of Guardian Glass as well. Those guys (including Garret) were OUTSTANDING—three really smart, classy guys carrying me for an hour. Thank you!

I also missed spending time with Bill Sullivan, Sam Benowitz, Dan Wright and Joe Staffileno, all of whom I saw on the floor but could not get anything more than a “hello” out. Pretty much same for my pals Ian “Nic Cage” Patlin and Max Hals of Paragon. I’ll see them more at glasstec. I did, however, run into a ton of my past-life favorites like Jack Wickstrom, Jon Johnson, Cliff Monroe, Bret Summers, Cliff Helterbran, Erik Stumpf, Mike Hossley, the awesome Wardi Bisharat, Jackie Audette, and in a stunner, Ashley Charest. So cool to see her once again! Tom O’Malley of Clover Architectural is always here, and I always appreciate whether I get to talk to him for one minute or one hour. Great guy. I only got a few minutes with marketing and business development virtuoso Andrew Haring. Such a terrific person. I am a huge fan and it was nice to just catch up without any specific marketing need or video to shoot attached.

I was blown away that this was Chuck Knickerbocker’s first GlassBuild America. It was great to see him and catch up. Speaking of first-time GlassBuild attendees, Tessa Miller, the superb marketing lead from Trex Commercial Products (formerly known as SC Railing), was also making her first appearance at the show. I loved hearing her thoughts on the show floor.

The Highlights

Work was getting done on the floor. Every time I saw Ralph Aknin and his talented crew from Glass 3 Enterprises they had a crowd around them hanging on every word from Ralph’s mouth. Same also for Tom Donovan of Suntuitive Dynamic Glass/Pleotint. He was flying high after his product was featured on Treehouse Masters last week. (More on this on my post next week.)

I enjoyed chatting with Dustin Anderson of Anderson Glass. He was a rockstar here this week again. Every presentation he did just had the crowd completely engaged and enthused. While we are on the subject of fired up, the team at IGE Glass Technologies fit that bill. They packed their pavilion to the point where I had to come an hour before the show started on day three to even get a chance to chat with them. 

I love meeting new people at the show. This time I was honored to meet several. Leading the way was Kahala Knoop of Pacific Mirror and Glass. She was a huge help to me while I was moderating the GEF session mentioned above, and then we had a great talk on social media; really sharp. Kristin Thomas of Tab Glass stopped by my spot at the Knowledge Bar to say hi, and I am so glad she did. I’m really impressed by everything she’s accomplished, and Tab is an awesome company. I ended up talking her ear off, and I hope she made her flight in time!

Last to mention, my utmost respect to the entire team at NGA. This is a monumental event to pull off and this year there were more moving parts and pieces than ever before. The team there is awesome, and I am grateful to get to work with them. They all deserve kudos for an incredible effort!

Obviously, I probably missed some big ones, so I may mention a few more next week. In any case it’s on to the next ones, starting with glasstec in Germany at the end of October and the Annual Conference and BEC at the start of 2019. I look forward to it all!

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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