From the Fabricator: Quick Hits

Quick hits this post, leading into the biggest week of the year in Atlanta next week…

  • Congrats to everyone who picked up the most prestigious honor in our industry with the announcements of the winners of the Glass Magazine Awards. Some incredible projects and products noted, and I am sure the judges had their hands full in the voting process. 
  • Is there a big move happening on the shower door side of our world? I keep hearing about one but not seeing anything official. I guess maybe at GlassBuild America we’ll get some clarity?
  • Next week I’ll be posting from the site of GlassBuild with a preview of the big show. I am so excited for it, as positive vibes are everywhere headed into the event and I am pumped to see old friends and network with new ones!
  • The drawings for the new Kansas City Airport are out. I have written about this project a few times because of all of the controversy around it and now it’s getting closer and closer to fruition. They have a goal of being done by 2023…we’ll see about that. Until then these drawings look good.
  • I saw that Greenbuild is having President Obama speak at their convention. Exhibiting there is absolutely awful, and while the former president may draw some additional people it won’t help the floor or exhibitors there. Greenbuild now has had Vice President Gore, President Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, and Colin Powell as some of its past keynote speakers, which is great for the egos of the people putting on the event but still astounds me on how it helps the environment or the event.
  • Last before my latest interview: the NFL season has started so it’s time for predictions. I think every year I pick Carolina and I am going to do so again this year, especially since I heard my brother has Cam Newton as his QB on his fantasy team. Cam and Stevie P can’t go wrong. Carolina beats the Ravens in the big game.

Big 3 Interview: John Vissari, director of sales and marketing, United Plate Glass 

This was a cool one for me. I am big fan of United Plate—Mike and Joyce Cully are simply two of the best people alive—and of John Vissari. John is one of those talented people who hustled and hustled and hustled some more to really become and major force in our world. Hard working and an absolute class act; it was fun to get background and perspective from him.

I noticed on LinkedIn you’ve been at United Plate for 21 years (Did you start there when you were 5? You don’t look old enough to be anywhere for 21 years.) How did you end up there and what’s it been like as UPG has grown so much during that time?

I originally walked into UPG just looking for a temporary summer position. I didn’t know anything about glass at all. Right from the start, I was immediately impressed with the Cully family—Bill, Mike, Bart and Joyce. And I met all of them, because they were all there working side by side with everyone else. They were some of the hardest working, nicest, down to earth people I ever met. And that made me want to be a part of their team and help them be successful. I tried to show them I was a go-getter from the start. And I sure did … in my very first week I managed to unintentionally steal a customer’s Jeep and illegally endorse a company check! But those are stories for another day.

Through it all, they stuck with me. And it’s been a whirlwind of a ride. Mike’s commitment and drive has been a wonder to see. The glass business truly is his passion, and that becomes contagious. But through all the growth and success, that family feel at UPG, which was immediately apparent from the start, has remained the same.

Any new product trend that have caught your eye out there or is it still the tried and true high-performance glazing still owning the marketplace?

You hit the nail on the head with the high-performance glazing. And I don’t see an end in sight on that front. But, speaking from a fabricator’s point view, another trend we’re seeing is bigger and bigger glass sizes. One of the most common questions I get is, “What’s the biggest _____ you can make?” Typically followed up with, “OK, how fast can you get it to me? I needed it yesterday.”

Fun one, since I know you are sports fan: what is favorite all-time sports memory and why? Could be you personally playing or a favorite team. I’m curious on what made the cut for you!

Nov. 13, 1993. South Bend, Indiana. No.1 ranked Florida State coming in undefeated to face my Fighting Irish, who were also undefeated and ranked No.2 in the country. Game of the century ensued. Final score: Notre Dame 31—National Champions 24. That’s what I thought my answer would be. But it has since been surpassed by the joy of watching my two daughters be involved in sports. Too many great memories to list, but the ones I always go back to in my mind: my oldest daughter was seven and feeling under the weather on the day of her team’s championship game. When my wife asked her if she was too sick to go, she said fighting back tears, “No, I just want to be there to contribute to my team.” And my youngest daughter, when trying out for a new 12U travel team, was asked what position she plays. She answered, “I normally play shortstop, but I’ll play whatever position you need me to play.” That’s when I knew they got it, and they’ll be fine no matter what they choose to do in life. I’m so proud of them.

Thanks Johnlove it all especially the sports thoughts!

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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