The latest Building Envelope Contractors Conference is now in the books, and the biggest news coming out of it was the announcement of a joint task force between the National Glass Association and the Glass Association of North America. The charge for that task force is to explore the options to work more collaboratively and possibly combining the two organizations. This is HUGE. I have been firmly in the camp of pushing a combined entity for a long time. Both organizations are favorites of mine, and I have been involved with both for many years. I know the pros and cons of both. And I can tell you this is a perfect match. From an industry standpoint, we need a more efficient and effective approach to events. We also need to have a clearly defined voice. And that’s just the start. This collaboration also has the ability to supercharge our training and education needs, something that is a massive issue for our world. We as an industry need this, and full credit goes to the leadership of both groups for starting this important process. Obviously, this is just a jumping off point, but I am hopeful this will grow into something great.
So, back to the actual BEC Conference recap…
- It was a very strong event, and first congratulations have to go to Gus Trupiano of AGC Glass Co. North America, who is the chair of the division and driving force of the conference. Gus is not only an incredibly nice person, but a great leader as well. This was his first BEC in charge and he delivered a tremendous event.
- The content this year was very strong, there was something for everyone. Julie Schimmelpenningh of Eastman delivered a fabulous keynote speech despite crazy technical interruptions. The keynote is a tough spot, but Julie nailed it. I thought that Matt Johnson and Paul Gary were super on the legal piece, and world famous architect James Carpenter really was a fascinating guy to listen to. The celebrity keynote was from former NBA player Mark Eaton, and that too landed nicely, with a memorable approach, and one that had many attendees debating some of his core messaging long after he was done.
- I had the amazing honor again of moderating a panel. This year it was a glazier challenges theme, and my panelists were simply awesome. While I think the theme was meant for other glaziers in the crowd to learn from their peers on stage, I learned a ton during their session, and my respect for everything the modern contract glazier has to deal with grew immensely. Thank you, Bill Sullivan, of Brin, Stephanie Lamb of Giroux, Ted Derby of LCG and Joe Clabbers of National Glass. You all are incredible credits to our world, and I am grateful for what you all do.
- To finish this post off, I will cover some of the folks I ran into at BEC. Remember, the big key of BEC is the networking. If you go to this and you are not making friends, you are doing it wrong … (and if you are not going, be there next year!)
Bill Coady of Guardian Glass let me know this will be his last BEC, as he’s retiring soon. That is a loss for Guardian and for all of us. Bill is the epitome of a class human being. He has great knowledge and care, and he will be missed. Enjoy retirement, my friend! While still on the Guardian track, I met Samer Abughazaleh for the first time, and that was enjoyable. He is a very interesting guy who probably was wondering what I do in life. (Don’t worry Samer, most people are still trying to figure that out, too).
Jon Kimberlain of Dow is always a favorite visit for me. He’s incredibly smart and put together, I just want some of that to rub off on me. Another example of smart? Dr. Tom Culp and Urmila Sowell meet that description every time. I thank them again for all they do for our world.
It was great to see a smiling and healthy Greg Oehlers of TriStar, along with his cohort Rob Carlson. Thanks for noting you read the blog Rob; I appreciate it! Speaking of reading, Cameron Scripture of Viracon always gives me great books to read, and he did it again this time. And yes, he still has those movie star good looks! I was also able to congratulate Ron Hull of Kuraray in person on his new position.
It was nice to talk for a few minutes with Joseph Holmes of EFCO, as well as my old friend, the incredible Shelly Farmer of SC Railing. Catching up with past co-worker Bob Cummings of Hartung will never get old for me, and same with talking sports with Joe Carlos of Triview. And speaking of guys named Joe, Mr. Erb of Quanex was there, and he always has a smile on his face and positive approach. I always am in awe of the talent of people like Heather West and Rich Porayko. They do things every day that make our industry (and the groups they work with) look great and that is appreciated.
I had the pleasure to meet GlassFab’s Barbara Russell for the first time, and was able to visit with Mike Goldfarb, too. That company just recently passed the 10-year milestone in business, and the sky is the limit for them. Clover Architectural Products Tom O’Malley is always a constant at events like this, and I think he knows more people in the crowd than anyone, so getting 5 minutes with him was a great deal for me.
There were many more folks that I just can’t get to here…maybe next post! In any case, this was a good event that served its purpose once again. I look forward to the next opportunity to network and learn amongst the best and brightest in our industry!
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.