From the fabricator: Putting GlassBuild America 2011 in the books

The 2011 GlassBuild America event is now history, and what a wild and enjoyable time it was. The show continues to cement its place as the networking event of the year, and it was great to see everyone. In case you missed my other recaps, you can read about day one here, day two here and day three here. Fun stuff in all of them, especially the incredible hair on one of our industry's most talented guys. Who knew Fabio was a consultant?

Some concluding thoughts on this year's GlassBuild America:

  • Machinery dominated the floor and attracted the most interest. I spent a lot of time at the Erdman booth and was lucky enough to get a private tour of the GED booth, where the awesome Bill Briese and Dan Reinhart showed me just mind-blowing technology. Click here to watch a video of the GED's Automated Tri-Lite Assembly System in action.
  • The news of people trying to steal intellectual property was part of the buzz at the show and should be taken seriously. Sadly, other trade media chose to make light of this incredibly serious, immoral, unethical and basically criminal situation. People work way too hard to create and build products, and giving crooks who are trying to steal intellectual property a forum is despicable.
  • Chris Mammen was elected chairman of the NGA board of directors and will do a tremendous job. Chris is the owner of M3 Technologies and a classy guy through and through. He will be a wonderful leader for the organization.
  • In case you missed it, Glass Magazine released an app for iPad and Android tablet users. Very, very sharp stuff here. Go to your app store and download it for free. I have, and it really is very cool.
  • Last for the show stuff: this year, I had the absolute honor of getting to work with the GlassBuild America organizers. For years, I was an exhibitor and/or attendee and took a lot of things for granted. And I even took some unfair shots too. Well, all I can say is, when you get in the middle of it, you are blown away about how it all gets done and comes together. Putting on an event to take care of thousands of people and hundreds of exhibitors takes time, precision, care and talent. And, the folks at GBA showed all of those skills and more. Thank you for letting me get a taste of it!


  • A major congrats to Jennifer Duemler Donahue on the birth of her son Henry Steven. Jennifer is a PR and writing goddess, and one of my favorite folks around. I'm very happy for her and the expanding empire at the Donahue World HQ.
  • The Solyndra solar story has been pretty prominent in the national media, but those of us who have been following the solar world for awhile are not surprised. This company had been taking heat from the solar community for a long time. I give them credit for trying to buck some systems, but shame on the DOE and those who kept on approving cash here, because the signs were very clear that this was not anywhere near a slam dunk that deserved a half a billion in funding.
  • Another positive forecast about the flat glass industry hit the streets last week as well. This report is calling for a 9.1 percent surge in demand thanks to emerging technologies and recovery from the recession. Hopefully, this one is on target.
  • Next up show-wise is Greenbuild in Toronto, in just a few weeks. That show continues to grow, but this edition will be very interesting to watch for two reasons: How will the mix of attendance be with the event in Canada for the first time? And, will the older, more seasoned architects be more in attendance than in the past?

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. 


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