From the Fabricator: Free Agency

The NBA is in the middle of free agency, when players’ contracts expire, and they can move to a new team. It also seems to be the same way in our industry, with a ton of folks moving from one company to another in the last several weeks.

Change can be good and refreshing but I have to say this is the most movement I have seen in a short time in my years in this industry. It will be interesting to see if our movement continues or if this was just a blip on the radar. And meanwhile, yes, I am thrilled that Kawhi Leonard went to the Clippers versus the Lakers.

Elsewhere…

  • The Architectural Billings Index barely stayed in positive zone last month, but it did. The Northeast is the drag right now, which will be something to watch next year to see if they get softer in those areas. The big news? Firms that specialize in commercial and architectural were up nicely, so that bodes well for the majority of our industry.
  • If you are coming to GlassBuild America, now is the perfect time to register, because of the awesome contest currently running. Register before July 18, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for a custom VIP Tour of the fascinating Mercedes Benz Stadium right next to where GlassBuild is held. This stadium is incredible and well worth seeing. Major props to the great folks from Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope and Clover Architectural Products. They supplied their products on and inside the building, and are sponsoring the contest and helping with the tours. This is a great way to round out your Atlanta trip, so register, and get in the contest!
  • Also on GlassBuild, the initial schedule for Express Learning is out. There’s a ton there, but the one right now that I think will draw a massive crowd is Chris Phillips laying out “Best and Most Interesting Shower Enclosures” of 2019. I have been seeing some of the candidates he may show, and if you’re in the shower game, it’s worth seeing what made the list. Plus, Chris is all over the trends. Don’t miss it.

Big 3 Interview

Wardi Bisharat, architectural glass sales at PRL Glass Systems and Aluminum

I was really lucky to get to work with Wardi when I was at Vitro America years ago. Wardi is not only one of the most talented people in our business, but she’s also a really cool person. To me she was always upbeat and positive, and she has an energy about her that just exudes greatness. When I asked her to do this interview, she noted she’s different in person than on paper, but I disagree. She’s right on track with the insights. (The rise of laminated—so on target). And she’s solves the debate that some people may have on who’s got the best French fries out there.

What are some of the biggest differences in architectural glass space now versus when you started?

  • The quantity of furnaces and glass fabricators.
  • The vast variety of low-emissivity coatings and the availability of coating on various substrates; exotics (I love that word).
  • The rise in demand for laminated options.

I have had the privilege of exceptional training over the years to keep up with the changing products.

You’ve been at PRL for almost two years now, after several years at companies owned by large ownership groups. What’s it like to be back in family business style of ownership? Was there any adjusting needed to settle in at PRL?

We have four owners and over 500 employees at one location. It is a very impressive operation with an amazing amount of talent. The owners are hands-on and work as hard, if not harder than the rest of us here.

I did not bring a backlog with me and started from zero. As you know in our commercial world, it can take two plus years from time of bid to start of a project. That was really hard for me.

Fun one to end: Top three “must have” food choices and why?

#1 Salads—they are not always healthy or low calorie.

#2 Avocados—love them on everything

#3 McDonald’s French fries. What can I say, I have a weakness for them.

Thank you Wardi. You continue to be one of the best around!

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 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. 

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