From the Fabricator: Gigantic GlassBuild Gigantic Recap

Another GlassBuild America is in the books. What an incredible time and experience. So much was going on at the show that the three days were like a blur for me, but I tried to keep solid notes so this post show report would be as good as possible. Here goes:

The show itself was a positive one. The floor looked fantastic! The exhibits and their designs were the best I have ever seen at this show and full credit to every marketing manager involved there for jobs very well done! I know a ton of business got done, from new supply deals to machinery and tools being sold left and right. That is a huge component of GlassBuild, and I am thrilled to see it pay off. Overall the attitude about the market was cautiously optimistic—and I think that was the word some press coverage of the event used as well. There are some slowing trends in the economy, and we were also told in some of the education sessions about market softening. Overall the feeling and data presented was that whatever the roadblock, the duration will be short and pain won’t be severe. We’ll keep monitoring all of that, and I’ll address in more detail in next week’s post. 

  • Also, you may have seen the shower door news I hinted about a few weeks ago here. It was announced at the show that Dreamline was grabbing Arizona Shower Door. That will be an interesting combo to watch now. Plenty of other rumors were out there but nothing out of the ordinary at this point. All in all, it was a tremendous three days in Atlanta that has me fired up for Vegas GlassBuild 2020. But before we get there we have Annual Conference and BEC to get through, and we have my annual “who’s who” recap below.
  • I’ll start off with the best exhibits in my opinion. Obviously the HHH setup with the gigantic piece of bent glass—Melissa Blank and Mike Synon never fail to amaze—and Carvart with the 20-foot-high piece of decorative were tremendous. I also really loved what Roto did with its booth, making it look like a home, and I was impressed by Fenzi, IGE, and Salem on the machinery side. CRL’s new booth was a shock to the system, in a good way, as not only was it different but super stylish. Overall though as noted above, tons of absolutely fabulous exhibits! 
  • Best shirts: Fenetech. Props to Samantha Hudeck there for some tremendous taste and style. Best giveaway was a tie between Bohle for their mini suction cups and CGH for their battery charger that was connected to their Express Learning speech. Smart in rewarding the attendees and making them remember the presentation for sure. I must say I also loved how many people did neat drawings for things like Yeti coolers. Excellent ideas.
  • People wise: I’ll start with the GlassBuild Ambassadors who attended and I got to visit with— Rowe Fenestration, Edify Studios, and Tim Finley. These folks are all industry stars and positive disruptors of the norm. Serious difference makers, and I loved spending time with all of them, with special mention to marketing genius Lindsey Parker of Rowe Fen who was at her first GlassBuild. I hope she’ll be back on the floor next year in Vegas.

This show always gets me back to seeing great people from my past. To see a bunch of the current Trulite people like April Oakley, Ken Passmore, Debbie Lamer, Ruby DeRubeis who I worked with in my past never gets old. Love seeing them and miss working with them. I also spent time with former co-workers Jon Johnson, Dan Danese, Rick Kurzweil, Terry Hessom, Scott Goodman and Waylon McCall. Waylon I had not seen since 2011 and that was incredibly cool to visit with him!

I admire so many people for their immense talent including all listed above and also people like the great Mike Cully of United Plate, the spectacular Shelly Farmer of Trex, the brilliant Bob Larson of PGP, and the magnificent Mike Gainey of Ensinger. 

It was great to visit with Devin Bowman and David Vermeulen of TGP, but I missed their co-worker and blogger extraordinaire, Chuck Knickerbocker. That was a bummer. Chuck may have been still fired up his Eagles lost to the Falcons right before the show. 

The energy Dustin Anderson of Anderson Glass brought to the show was real. The guy just cares a ton and his sharing the story of the adventures of his past were the talk of the event. He is a good man who is willing to share the tough lessons so everyone can learn. That is impressive and admirable. 

Adding to my network is a big one: met Luc Boileau of Herzog Glass, and it was awesome on two levels. One—I have always been a fan of Herzog: great company. Two—Luc’s dad was the legendary hockey coach Marc Boileau who was the Pittsburgh Penguins coach in the mid 70s and going down memory lane with Luc was a blast. Also met Billy Britt of Britt and Tilson Glass for the first time in person—good, smart dude who is always hustling. I knew him from social media, now in real life. Same with Chris Phillips of Showcase Shower Door. Chris is the king of the shower enclosure world. He had a tremendous presentation at the show and was so busy that I only got about 30 seconds with him. I think you’ll be hearing and seeing a lot more of Chris in the future. 

  • The show is great for expanding the efforts of big causes, and from that end the NACC/AGMT set up was crucial. Nice to catch up with Ben Beeler while he educated the masses there but hated that I did not see Jeff Dalaba. Stanley Yee of Dow is always on top of major industry challenges and it was great to get caught up on what he’s seeing, some of which could be very big and important for our world. Stay tuned. Usually Jon Kimberlain of Dow is in that same boat, but unfortunately he missed the show this year.
  • As I noted last week, I hated that my brother Steve was missing the show. I can’t tell you how many people asked where he was and wanted to hustle right by me once they found out he wasn’t there. Also missing was my good friend Chris Dolan of Guardian Glass. Chris is always a highlight for me, so it was a bit empty not running into him. 
  • Joe Marini and Tom Olson were at the show but I missed them, and same with Manny Borda of IGE and Matt Ferguson of AGC. Was bummed to not spend any time with them. I barely spent time with Gus Trupiano of GGI but we always were headed in different directions. Was nice though to see marketing and PR master Rich Porayko for a few minutes. 
  • A few of my all-time favorites were there: Tom O’Malley of Clover is awesome, though I think I wear him out. Love Casey Winchell of IDN Global—she is just so cool. The Walker Glass guys were there, but shockingly Danik Dancause did not bring the A-game clothes wise. That bears watching: is he losing his taste? Max Halls and Ian Patlin of Paragon are staples at all of these events, and it was nice to see Ralph Aknin and the team from Glass 3 Enterprises come a very long way from British Columbia to learn and advance their awesome operation. 
  • Last: so this was the first year that I worked GlassBuild with Andrew Haring. Andrew was always there with C.R. Laurence, but this was the first time for him as vice president at NGA. The guy is an absolute monster energy wise. He was everywhere, and his ideas and push are what really helped the show have that “buzz” throughout. It was an honor to work with Andrew and the entire incredible NGA team that just worked tirelessly on this event. I am in awe of all of them!

OK, so back to work we go. If you have feedback on GlassBuild feel free to deliver it to me: if you attended, you did get a survey invite right after the show ended. Please give us your feedback! Thanks for always reading my very long show recaps too!!

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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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