From the Fabricator: Recap of BEC 2019

BEC 2019 was like a blur to me. One moment it’s starting, and the next I’m in a crazy cab line at 3:30 a.m. headed back to the airport. Thankfully, I took notes along the way to share with everyone.

My overall feel was the event was a huge success at every level. Networking is always top notch and it did not disappoint this year. More on that below. The educational content was off-the-charts incredible. We had a lot of new voices and personalities onstage, and they brought a great energy to the event. There was so much detailed info that it was almost too much (if that’s possible!). The planning committee has its work cut out for 2020.

Some highlights: 

  • One person I hope is back at the next BEC is Cynthia Paul of FMI— her forecast and sharp presentation was a major highlight for me. On a personal note, I was very fortunate to host a panel that featured some serious brilliance. Paul Robinson of Pioneer Cladding & Glazing Systems, Brian Filipiak of Alliance Glazing and Neil Opfer from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, were fabulous. Getting to work with industry guys like Paul and Brian was a thrill for me: they are superstars. 
  • The tabletop area was really interesting—so many neat products. The main ones that stood out were the handrail glass and insulating glass with glass spacer from sedak. The other one was the new safety clothing from Bohle America. I saw this material at glasstec and fell in love, and now it has advanced from what was on the floor in Germany. It’s a game changer for safety.

Now, onto the networking and the folks I got to visit with. I’ll say it up front, it is an honor to share an industry with these folks and all that attended. Class acts everywhere!

  • The industry MVP from 2018, Nathalie Thibault of Prelco, was there, and getting a few minutes with her is awesome, as is reminiscing with her co-worker Greg DiVona. Greg remembers me when I was breaking in, and he treated me just as great then as he does now. I will always be grateful for that. It was great to see Darand Davies who just started a new company, Black Line Glazing, and was 150 pounds lighter—he looked tiptop! Meanwhile, seeing Keith Stockman of Glasswerks was very nice, a reminder of a great friend from past work history.
  • Dan Pompeo, one of the best manufacturers’ reps around, was a bit down in the dumps; after all it’s been, like, 28 days since one of his Boston teams won a world title. Poor guy, LOL. I always love visiting with Mike Gainey of Ensinger. Mike’s knowledge base never fails to impress me, and I always learn something when we visit. The same goes for Dr. Helen Sanders, as it doesn’t matter what she’s focused on, I am learning. 
  • It was very cool to meet Josh Wignall of EFCO Corp. for the first time in person. He is a force online, with a great marketing mind, so to meet him face to face was an honor. Same with Steven Brooks of SmartLift USA. His energy level is infectious! And while it’s not the first time I met Tom Donovan of Suntuitive, it was his first BEC and it looked like he was doing well with tons of people interested in his growing product.
  • A blast from the past was Brad Austin of Harmon. This event and its success can be sourced back to the support that Brad gave it in the early years when he was at Viracon. And, of course, speaking of that great company, once again my admiration for Garret Henson, Cameron Scripture and Seth Madole could not be any higher. Such good people and I appreciate them giving me just a few seconds of their time. Same with Jim Stathopoulos of Ajay Glass who is always welcoming and classy.
  • This was the 2nd BEC after NGA and GANA’s combination, and I thought about the commitments that people like Stanley Yee of Dow Corning made to make this industry better. Stanley is always 10 steps ahead of the rest of us. So is Julie Schimmelpenningh of Eastman. We were on same flight out and got to catch up at the airport, because once we get to the conference, Julie gets mobbed by people and I never see her again. Same scenario with Chris Dolan of Guardian Glass—airport catch up and then we don’t see each other again. Their popularity is awesome.
  • It wouldn’t be a BEC without celebrating a birthday for Jerry Moser of R.A. Kennedy & Sons. Jerry is an absolute legend. Love the guy. And if I didn’t include Max Halls and Ian Patlin in that same category, I’d be doing a massive disservice to them.
  • It would not be an industry event if I didn’t see the great Tom O’Malley from Clover Architectural and the amazing Shelly Farmer from Trex Commercial Products. Both of them do such a great job working the room and event; they get it. I should put Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP in that same group too!
  • I was bummed that Jon Kimberlain of Dow could not make it to the event. Jon is another one who had such a major role in BEC’s past; it was noticeable not to have him there. Hopefully he followed along on social media. 
  • Last this week, a quick story. Twice during the event I was confused for Max Halls. Both folks who confused me for Max had a bit too much to drink, but I have to say I was pretty pumped to be confused for a very skinny, tanned guy with great hair. I guess I should hang around with folks who are drinking more often? Anyway, this event is done, and now my focus show-wise will be on GlassBuild America in September. Get ready, folks, we have an event like no other coming in a few months, and we are going to pack the A-T-L with thousands of glass industry professionals who all want to advance their businesses and careers.

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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