Monday, November 12, 2018

It’s that time of year that we start to look back, and for me that includes determining my annual glass industry MVP. In one month, with my last post for 2018, I will make the announcement of the runners up and the award winner. I have been recognizing people for this honor since 2013 (list of winners below), and it’s one of the most rewarding things I do. All the people that I name go above and beyond for this industry and represent our interests extremely well. 2018 has once again made it extremely challenging to choose a winner. Since I have been doing this, I have recognized 40 people, all of whom made major impacts. I am excited to point out five more next month. If you have someone (or a company) that you think deserves consideration, please drop me a line. Our past winners:

2013: Tracy Rogers

2014: C.R. Laurence

2015: Jon Kimberlain

2016: Chuck Knickerbocker

2017: Joe Erb

2018: To be announced in December


  • Reminders

  • I am behind, so my latest Glass Magazine review is for the “Robot Revolution” October issue. Obviously the recent glasstec event—and GlassBuild America before that—was a major showcase for robots and automation, so this issue from Glass Magazine was very timely and helpful. In-depth articles on maintenance, robots, and technology advancements were strong as was Marco Terry’s excellent piece on when to grow a business. Good stuff as always! My favorite ad of the month actually goes to GlassBuild America for their piece recognizing all of the sponsors at the show. All of these companies not only advanced their brand by sponsoring, but they also did right by the industry by supporting the effort. It was great to see them all listed on one page.

  • I have covered previously the race to be the host city for Amazon’s HQ2. That contest is over and apparently the winners were Long Island, New York and Arlington, Virginia. This was stunning given cost of living, traffic, etc. in those areas. Those choices have not gone over well publicly, as some of the tenets that everyone expected from Amazon when it started the search were not considered in the end. 

    Will Oremus, tech columnist at Slate, summed it up well with this tweet:

    “I know I'm late to this, but the reason Amazon's HQ2 was a farce is not just that they picked two cities. It's that they raised the hopes of cities across the country that could really use an infusion of economic vitality, then picked the two that need it least of all.”

    That really nails it. Why have 300 communities do this when this is where you end up? In any case, Amazon also now has detailed planning information on every city in the United States, deep intel really, that I am sure they will utilize to keep growing. From a business side, it was brilliant. From a human side, it left me cold. 

  • Check out the design of this building. I sure hope when it comes to the engineering someone really smart like John Wheaton is involved, because looking at this blows my mind.

  • Last this week, note there is no blog from me next week as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday. As I have noted here many times, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I can’t wait to enjoy it yet again. But even more so this year: we need to give thanks for what we have and take heed that it does not last forever. Life can be short, time absolutely flies, so next week, when you gather with your friends and family, take it all in a little deeper. Thank you.

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.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Limited labor has been a core issue for the glass industry for years. Recruitment, training and retention are at the heart of a company’s concerns, as evidenced by Glass Magazine’s Workforce Development series, which has shone a light on these issues.

While creating a great company culture is just one aspect of attracting and retaining employees, it is a critical one. Millennials are the largest generation to hit the workforce and research shows they are more engaged and inspired by a company culture centered on a purpose other than making money, and a focus on community involvement rather than compensation.

As you aim to create a great company culture within your business, a focus on community involvement should be top of mind—going beyond profits and productivity to make a positive impact on the communities in which you work, and in turn, creating a culture of service within your business. Here are some key steps to making this a reality for your company.

  1. Focus your efforts. A philanthropic mission brings clarity to what your business hopes to achieve within the community. It can be as simple as creating an area of philanthropic focus like the environment, for example, and then identifying and becoming involved in relevant events and activities within your community.

    At YKK AP, our “I Am an Architect” platform helps us to remain focused on our industry while better educating young children and students about the importance of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM). We sponsor the AIA Atlanta High School Design Competition, as well as local robotics competitions in the Macon and Dublin, Georgia, areas, where our manufacturing facilities are located. 
  2. Empower your leaders. According to Deloitte, “71 percent of Millennials are likely to leave the workplace within two years if they are dissatisfied with their leadership development.” Empower your employees to become leaders in creating a culture of service. By having autonomy to lead outreach efforts, they gain leadership skills while becoming “champions” for the cause, breeding a culture of service within the organization.

    YKK AP recently created “Foundation Crewe,” a group of employees that regularly initiates and plans community events. Recently, the Crewe participated in the Keep Cobb Beautiful Adopt-A-Mile Program, in which employees and their family members gathered to help improve their stretch of adopted highway in Cobb County, Georgia.
  3. Engage your employees. Engaging employees of all skill levels is critical to creating a company-wide culture of service. At YKK AP, a “Voice of the Employee” survey takes the pulse of our workforce, so that we are better informed in how to best engage them. Employees can become involved when you welcome their ideas for involvement and recognize them for their efforts. They may also be more engaged in the company by joining a committee to help plan events or participating in events.
  4. Recognize your team members. By showing that you value individual and team efforts, you are showing appreciation while enforcing your company’s dedication to serving the community. A little goes a long way, whether it is a company-wide email or a social media post to show your company’s strong sense of teamwork and community; your employees will be encouraged knowing their efforts are appreciated.

Creating a culture of service takes time to develop, and it’s important to regularly share with and engage employees in finding their higher purpose. By focusing your efforts, empowering and engaging your team members, and recognizing the small wins throughout you will have a positive impact on the communities in which you work.

Patrys Wiid is vice president of organizational excellence at YKK AP America Inc.

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.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Recently, it’s not been the best of times. First, the tragedy in Pittsburgh, my hometown, at a place of worship that I know so very well, shook me to my core. I still can’t even process what went on and I can only hope we can all stay strong and push forward. Then, early last week, I got the word that Nick Barone of GGI passed away. That was another massive blow to the gut for me. Nick was a very good man. He treated me and so many others incredibly well, always with a smile and a story. I knew Nick as a customer of his and for a short time a coworker. He was always a guy you could count on to improve your mood. He took the time to get to know everyone he met and could hold a fun conversation with anyone. He was incredibly good at what he did and it’s devastating to lose him so young. Our industry, GGI, and especially Nick’s family lost a great person way too early. My thoughts and prayers to all of Nick’s family and friends. I know I won’t easily forget what he did and how he did it. Rest in peace, my friend.


  • We have to all keep moving no matter what, and to that end, a few notes on must-attend industry events that just opened registration. 

    • Coming up on November 15 is the next Thirsty Thursday webinar and this one is open to all! More info can be found here, but this is a rundown of everything the National Glass Association has going on right now. If you want the insight of what is happening at the trade level (you should), don’t miss it. Membership is not required to attend, so click the link and join in.

    • Annual Conference is January 22-24 in Naples, Florida. It’s the premiere technical event in our industry. If you want to stay on top of the guidelines and approaches that are going on in the glass world, this is one to attend. To register and learn more, click here.

    • The annual BEC Conference is set for March 3-5 in Las Vegas. I have been honored to be a small part of an amazing team that put together the program for this year and it’s fabulous. If you are a glazing contractor, this event is for you. The agenda is what your peers have determined include the issues that affect you and your business daily. Meanwhile, for all others, it is a networking bonanza. I visit with more people in two days at BEC than I can anywhere else (outside of GlassBuild America, of course). That value is off the charts! Register now here.

  • The latest Architectural Billings Index stayed above 50, but the analysts are starting to hedge their bets, some seeing a potential slowdown in the near future. Positive metrics are still out there, and the Midwest region posted its best monthly score in a very long time. I think the stock market’s volatility may be playing into these numbers as well. It would be nice to see some sort of calming of the markets overall as the herky jerk of the index really does cause some angst.

  • This Deer doesn’t like glass. Wild story.

  • My pal Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP had this first on his great blog, but I wanted to also share here. The ENR Top 600. It’s a good and interesting poll.

  • Last this week, in my glasstec coverage I left out some very important people: the folks from NGA that I had the honor to work with while there! This group really is amazing, and I am thankful to even be in the same room with them. So many good things are happening at NGA with Glass Magazine, GlassBuild America, education, advocacy and more. The NGA contingent led by Nicole Harris and including Andrew Haring, Katy Devlin, Urmilla Sowell, Sara Neiswanger and Jonathan Watson brought an intense work ethic to the floor each day and it blew me away. What NGA is doing right now is a massive benefit to our industry and I am excited for the future and next steps!

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.

Monday, October 29, 2018

The global glass industry gathered in Düsseldorf, Germany, last week for the 25th glasstec, the International Trade Fair for Glass Production, Processing and Products. The event stretched over nine large halls at the Messe Düsseldorf fair grounds, hosting 1,280 exhibitors and 42,000 visitors.

Glass Magazine was on site for the four-day trade fair, which highlighted the leading trends and innovations in glass. Automation took center stage, with machinery and equipment suppliers demonstrating the next level of technologies for glass companies, including robots and a growing range of virtual reality and augmented reality possibilities. In terms of glass product solutions, companies showed the multi-functional possibilities of glass and systems. Suppliers continue to push the envelope with products that offer performance, aesthetics, flexibility and more.

Check out highlights from the show in the videos and photo galleries below. For additional coverage, check out the @GlassMag and @glassnation Twitter feeds, with coverage from the glasstec floor.


Photo gallery

Katy Devlin is editor in chief of Glass Magazine. Contact her at Follow Glass Magazine on Twitter.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Settle in folks; this is going to be a long one. Lots to cover!

Last week was my third glasstec, and by far it was the most impressive and intense. It is amazing how much has changed in four years. The biggest takeaway for me was the available automation options for fabrication plants. The advancement in this area was striking. I am not only talking about the robots or the automated forklifts, but also the technology and intuitiveness behind them. With virtually every piece of automated equipment I saw, it came with a backend intelligence plan that keeps the user alerted on everything from its production performance to its health. Being old school myself—and I know many others had this thought too—the fear is if you automate too much and equipment goes down, you are in trouble. But the backend intelligence is a huge guard against that worry and the detail it provides is nothing short of amazing.

I was able to see the way it worked with FeneTech at the Bystronic booth and at Grenzebach, and I simply was blown away at the visibility these machines and software provide. (Many other software and machinery companies offered this as well; I just did not get to see them like I did these.) The future is here with regards to plant automation, and when you add in the advancements in the machinery itself, this really bodes well for our industry. Higher quality products are something we all strive for, and it’s nice to see the efforts there on all levels to get us further on this path. 

Other big takeaways:

  • Forecast: There is positivity about the economics of our industry, but there’s no doubt worry about a slowing. It’s something to continue to monitor.

  • Railings and Balustrades: I have never seen so many styles and choices. I knew this was a busy business segment but was not aware how much so globally.

  • Go Big or Go Home: Two years ago, the theme was jumbo and oversize, and this year just continued that trend by showing large glass in different fabrication styles including amazing bent, decorative, etched, painted and laminated options. We may only be touching the surface in North America with oversize, but there is no doubt the rest of the world is full speed ahead.

  • Vacuum Insulating Glass: This product appeared in more stands than I have ever seen before and the push to grow its commercial footprint is significant.

  • Dynamic Glass: The advancements for dynamic glass continue. Sage had a very impressive stand and launched Harmony, its latest groundbreaking product. Relative newcomer Halio was in the courtyard of the halls, showing faster transition time and a product that could be easily used inside. Pleotint/Suntuitive had its product all over the floor thanks to several international partners pushing it and showing the way a thermochromic approach can work. Eyrise was also a new one to me. The company had an incredible setup in the Glass Technology Live area showing a skylight in action with its product. 

  • Smart Glass: I am estimating maybe 25 companies (probably more) were showing one form of a switchable interior glass or rear projection material. I know there are a lot of folks who make this product, and I think most were on the floor at glasstec.

  • Safety gear/clothing: This product market is moving toward lightweight and safe, something the folks in our plants and jobsites will go crazy for.

  • Technology: The technology area was the best I have ever seen with interesting concepts. This is similar to the auto shows in the United States that show futuristic visions of vehicles, and this year at glasstec we had that with architectural glass. Craziest one for me was a solar piece that used algae to generate electricity. But other items in this area included great advancements on structural glazing, curtain wall material, thin glass usage, laminated stacking and hardware. 

To see a lot of what I mentioned, check out the twitter feeds of Glass Magazine and Glass Nation, along with coverage from Videos from the show are also up, including my video of the week. And if anyone is curious on anything specific, please reach out to me; glad to chat with you about it.

Elsewhere (but still glasstec)…

  • Guardian Glass had a marvelous stand that showed a wide range of products and innovation, both in concept and also ready to go. Of course, the team there could not be any nicer to me. Getting to see the one, the only, the great Amy Hennes is easily the highlight. She is always going full speed, so the fact I get a couple seconds with her is an honor. I love talking with Chris Dolan; we’ve been through a few of these now and it’s always great to hear his insights and opinions. Folks like Matt Hill (who I have seen a bunch in my life but never in the States for some reason), Joe Butler, Samer Abughazaleh and Sarah Wansack are incredibly classy and cool. Thank you all for the amazing hospitality you always show me.

  • At every glasstec I have visited with Bernard and Linda Lax from Pulp Studio, and it’s nothing short of awesome. Plus, this year, old pal Kirk Johnson was with them, and that made it even better. Also seemingly a glasstec visit tradition is seeing Thomas Martini of Vitrum and his talented crew. Tara Brummet was at the show for the first time, and it was great to chat with her on her experiences, and seeing Adam Byrne and Tyler Boult again was enjoyable. I spent some time in the very innovative Schott booth and got to see Rob Botman and Jordan Richards from Glassopolis while there and catch up with Dan Poling as well. Such cool folks, and I’m humbled to get to spend time with them. Speaking of Schott, they win the “great call by the marketing head” award as they were told their dress for the show would include jeans and tennis shoes. Folks, there is basically no carpet anywhere in the halls at glasstec, and the show runs from 9 to 6 daily. Dressing your team casual/comfortable was the call of the year! 

  • The Tristar Glass team was there, and I will never pass a chance to talk with Greg Oehlers. I also met his fabulous wife. Greg is an industry great and with more knowledge about glass in his pinky than I’ll ever have the rest of my life. My friend Mike Synon of HHH was there and smiling despite his beloved Brewers not making the World Series (probably for the best that he missed game seven of their series with LA while flying to the show). I just stepped back and watched Max Hals and Ian Patlin of Paragon Architectural work a portion of the floor and was in awe. Those two guys know everyone. They don’t need an exhibit; everyone came to them.

  • Wrapping up, I enjoyed seeing Mark Seaton and Glenn Davis from Vitro, but I think it was obvious (as it should be) that they would’ve preferred to see my brother Steve versus me. (Most would; that is the better choice.) Still, was nice to see them and also see Ricardo Maiz for the first time in several years. Great man he is. I did not get to see Michael Spellman like I usually do and that was too bad. But, I know he had several IGE partner companies on the floor, so I think every time I went to Forvet to see him he was at Landglass or Tecglass, etc. But I did see Manny Borda from IGE, and that’s always an absolute pleasure.

I probably missed a bunch, and if so I’ll hit it on my next post. Overall though, it was a positive experience, and I sincerely hope to make it back in 2020.

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.

Monday, October 22, 2018

GlassBuild America has come and gone, yet it remains equipment season with plenty left to see. Even as 2019 capex numbers are starting to be prepared, we are at a time when many are looking to make that final purchase to close their year. With glasstec 2018 opening today in Düsseldorf, Germany, there is one more opportunity to see everyone in a single location and address that last purchase. It is also the perfect place to start planning for 2019 and well beyond. 

If you’ve never been to this biennial show, I highly recommend putting it on your glass bucket list, because it is truly a must-see event. Anything and everything in the glass industry will be on display, from smaller art glass products to the most recent technological innovations. In addition, most equipment suppliers are in full force often displaying much more than they do in the States. Finally, there is no better place to be educated on glass. Europe tends to be a few years ahead of the domestic market. A trip to most European countries, if you’ve not experienced, will shed light on how they use glass in different and more inclusive ways. 

There are two things I’m personally looking forward to seeing this year:

  1. One, Diamond-Fusion’s horizontal coating system, the Fusewave, which will be debuting during glasstec. Putting DFI technology in-line for large production machinery (most commonly in horizontal position) could be a game-changer.
  2. The other is simply strolling through the glass technology live section where you can find the latest and greatest innovations in the global glass industry. Two years ago, I saw a smart shower there that was simply unbelievable, and a completely clear LCD monitor.

If it’s your first trip to glasstec, we look forward to seeing you in the Altstadt (Old Town) because everyone from the show ends up there at some point. With plenty of restaurants and pubs, as well as football (European football) on every corner, you’re certain to have an enjoyable time experiencing their culture. It is also a great place to network with others in our industry that you may never have run into elsewhere. 

Though I may no longer get excited about the long travel, I still get excited to be a part of this show. Plus, I have an opportunity to eat a Schiffchen pork knuckle and it is certainly not every day you get to dine somewhere Napoleon has! Hope to see you all there in the final stretch of the year and the end of equipment season. 

Pete de Gorter is vice president of sales and marketing at DeGorter Inc. Contact 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.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Glasstec week is here, and it should be an interesting event yet again on several levels.

  1. First and foremost, this a great opportunity to take the temperature of the industry from an international standpoint. I know I sometimes lock myself into a North American bubble; getting takes from all over the world will be helpful.
  2. Next up is the technology. I will admit that I was not very impressed in 2016, so I am very hopeful to see some advancements on this end. I have gone down the entire exhibitor list and there are companies that I am expecting to have products and services that will make a difference.
  3. In addition, the opportunity to network is a big piece for me. GlassBuild America was an absolute blur, so the opportunity to hopefully catch up with people I either missed in Vegas or only spent a few seconds with is huge. In any case, it’s going to be a good week.

Please feel free to follow my Twitter feed for updates and insights. Also keep tabs on Glass Magazine’s Twitter and Instagram feeds and follow @GlassNation as they will be pumping out great content, too! 


  • Note: I was going to originally post this from Düsseldorf but decided to upload before I left the states. If I have one irrational fear, it’s having bad or no WiFi. Such a first-world problem person I am! In 2016, after the show, I would go to the Apple Store in town to use WiFi so I could catch up on work and email. I hope that is not the case this year.
  • Good news from Dr. Tom Culp and Urmilla Sowell via the National Glass Association, as they attended and participated in the ASHRAE 90.1 meetings. Usually those events could have some consequences for our industry. This time around, though, in the three main areas of discussion—Window Criteria, Thermal Bridging and Envelope Backstops—our industry was in a positive position going forward. I cannot stress enough how lucky we are to have people like Dr. Culp, Urmilla and Thom Zaremba working on our behalf at these functions. They do incredible work in some very challenging areas. I am sure you will be seeing more on these efforts in the pages of Glass Magazine.
  • Interesting article on green building and architects taking the process to a new level. The article also mentions five new(er) rating systems, most of which I have never heard of. But if they are better and more legit than LEED, sign me up!
  • Funny on this one: some people say the lodging and hotel side is slowing down, then you get this report that says the opposite.
  • This proposed new soccer stadium in Cincinnati looks wild.  It also doesn’t look like it would be a fit in the style of Cincy or the Northern Kentucky area.
  • Last this week, as I noted last post, there was an industry bet on the Red Sox vs. the Astros and Dan Pompeo’s team came through. So somewhere in the social media realm I am expecting to see a picture of Javier Sanchez Gil donning some Boston gear. Congrats, Dan. Happy for you as it is about time teams from Boston win something. Good luck in the Series!

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.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Engineering is a blend of math, science, physics, artistry, with applied creativity and some “magic”; a blend of the intuitive with quantitative analysis. It is a miraculous endeavor really, and of great worth when expressed properly. Because of properly expressed engineering, millions of square feet of glazed and paneled façade hang above our heads and safely house occupants throughout the world.

Modern tools make it more convenient than ever to “analyze” and obtain numbers, but that’s only part of the story. It’s the solutions, the collaboration, the alignment with project criteria, the efficiency of design and purpose that really matter. Assumptions matter. Boundary conditions matter. Field quality and improvement matter. Helping clients save time and money matters.

But what about the array of variables and questions we all face? Here’s a sample narrative in no particular order. Perhaps it will resonate with some.

  • “Is that fixed or pinned, wind load or dead load, expansion or fixed pocket, twin span or single, composite or additive, hard stacked or not, shear splice or moment splice? How can we optimize; reinforce or kick; what’s the in-plane deflection; can you explain 'delta fallout'? Is that thermal break 'partial-composite' really 85 percent of full value; where’s that test data? Don’t forget to use effective Ry to increase allowable stress so we don’t penalize the client. How can we shave metal off that flange; does case 15 or case 11 control on that one, (please excuse the old code reference); what’s the max stock length that extruder can push; is the alloy T6 or T5; can they really bunk that; how will this fit on a truck? Pony tube or corner anchors; can you run me an FEA on that? How much diaphragm action versus frame action around that corner; chevron plates in the corner for moment continuity, you say? Can we do three-sided support on that glass? How about we do a 'fly-by' and cantilever the frame outside of the building structure?”
  • “Sure, we can perforate that fin; attach those 3-foot deep sunshades to the front of the mullion? Hmmm, let me check. Glass fins? Oh, we love glass fins. No problem." 
  • “The unit picking mechanism, you say? Sure, we can handle that as well.”
  • “Wait, now you’re telling me there’s a signage system? Why did they wait this long? Hold that fab while we check the attachments and re-check the framing members.”
  • “Field fixes? No problem. We’ve got that. What do you mean you’ve got glaziers standing around in the field? Ok, we will get to it right now. Nope, no problem; we weren’t working to any other deadlines, you’re good. Didn’t someone realize it’s a post-tension slab while they forgot to place the embeds correctly? What do you mean the concrete isn’t the same strength as designed? The slab elevation is off 2 inches? What, there are voids around that anchor?” 
  • “Yes, we can handle the deferred submittal. Sure, I can review the consultant’s comments, too. Have they ever actually engineered a curtain wall (sorry, I couldn’t resist)? They want it when? How about with a cherry on top?”
  • “No, if I only sign the cover sheet of the calculations it won’t cost any more or less. That’s right; it’s going to take some time to review 400 pages of shop drawings.”

There’s never a dull moment, not since the day I started. The work is fascinating; the effort is worthy. There’s value to be provided and passed on to the client, the owner, the occupants and the onlookers. And in the end, our primary obligation as professional engineers and designers is to protect health and public welfare; all while being paid by the client, held to competitive fee and scope, providing value in the process, and while working to a higher calling for the benefit of the human race. It’s a constant balance.

It’s good to remind ourselves of this at times. It’s good to remember that we aren’t just “doing calculations.” We are working together. We are collaborating. We are creating something of value. At least that’s the goal.

John Wheaton is the founder & co-owner of Wheaton & Sprague Engineering, Inc., also known as Wheaton Sprague Building Envelope. The firm provides full service design, engineering and consulting services for the curtain wall/building envelope/building enclosure industry, and works at “Creating Structure” for clients. He can be reached at and on Twitter, @JohnLWheaton1.

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.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Last week’s blog brought a lot of conversation. First, I heard from many that the quiet period post-GlassBuild America was spooky and they were experiencing it as well. Though incredibly, this week things started to break free and the rumor mill went into overdrive with a lot of tantalizing possibilities that probably will never come true. Regardless, it was like a seal was removed from the jar and communication started up again. However, there was one piece of scary news. 

I heard from several people that there is a worry that we are headed for a slower-than-expected 2019 in the glass industry. None of the metrics that we follow support this concern (or any of the details I gained at GlassBuild), but I have to say I found it odd, and yet compelling, that this fear exists. Possibly the rough waters the U.S. stock market experienced mid-week started this, or the fact that many bigger companies are strategically planning 2019 right now and possibly they don’t see things as positively as others. I did follow up and talk to a few other folks to ask what they thought, and they are still very bullish on the next year. In any case, this was an interesting carry over from things being “quiet.”


  • By the way, the Dodge Momentum Index went down in September, so maybe that is playing into possible concerns. Even with it down now, it still does not match the metrics going into 2019 at this point. But we’ll obviously pay attention. The next Architectural Billings Index comes out October 24. I will be on the floor at glasstec, so hopefully I’ll catch it and tweet it out with any initial opinions.
  • Speaking of glasstec, that kicks off next week in Düsseldorf, Germany. I am excited to once again attend, and I am looking forward to seeing what’s new on the international stage. Also, it will be a good time to take the temperature of the attendees and exhibitors on the market, too. I will have some initial thoughts on my post next week, which, if the Wi-Fi there cooperates, will be posted from the hall in Düsseldorf. 
  • The other item from last week that brought a LOT of discussion were the airport rankings! The most contentious was my appreciation for the Atlanta airport. I heard an earful on that one. I also heard that I was too rough on Orlando and way too positive on Seattle. Las Vegas and Minnesota also were discussed, again picking on my positivity there. I think it may be time to do a full-fledged piece on this and get some more insight from all.
  • Good piece on four cutting-edge technologies that are changing the construction industry. I see the growth in all of these areas and many people within our industry are taking advantage of the innovation.
  • Coming up next month, the beginning of Glass Industry MVP season. I have been keeping a list and monitoring the potential candidates. But if you have someone you think should be recognized in this race, shoot me a note.
  • Last this week, baseball is moving quickly towards the World Series and there’s a pretty cool bet going on between some industry heavyweights. Dan Pompeo is one of the best manufacturers’ reps out there, and he’s a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan. He’s got a friendly wager with Javier Sanchez Gil, director of sales and operations at Cristacurva, who happens to be a big-time Houston Astros fan. In the American League Championship Series, the Red Sox are taking on the defending champion Astros. If Dan’s Sox win, Javier will have to sport a Sox shirt and share on social media. And if Javier’s guys deliver, Dan will have to wear their gear. Personally, seeing Dan in a bright orange Astros shirt may be worth rooting for Houston in this one. Sorry, Dan! Either way, should be a good series and same with LA-Milwaukee in the National.

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.

Monday, October 8, 2018

The recent news of Don Friese’s retirement from C.R. Laurence is the end of an era and a monumental change to the glass and glazing industry, which he has influenced for so many years. With his retirement, the North American glass and glazing industry will lose one of the most remarkable business leaders with a truly exceptional career. Don proved the American Dream to be true by starting as a young man with only $125 in his pocket and building a global multi-million-dollar business. It was an honor for me to work in the same industry with him and serve him as a customer, battle with him as a competitor, and to meet him personally during various occasions. I truly respect his impressive achievements as entrepreneur and influencer, and though Don has retired, his legacy will certainly continue for many years to come.

But as the industry continues to move on to the beat of Don’s legacy, so does this year’s busy show season with a back-to-back GlassBuild America and glasstec, and a whole lot of marketing dollars spent in good faith. For me, this six-week period in September and October is especially treacherous because Bohle exhibits at both GlassBuild America and at glasstec, which takes place just a stone’s throw away from our corporate headquarters, so obviously it’s a big one. 

With that in mind, I wanted to share some helpful experiences and approaches when dealing with trade shows and planning in general: 

  • Organization and communication. We’ve done the “wait until the last minute” approach before and it’s never successful. Getting together and game planning months in advance is the way to go. In those sessions we plan out our theme, the products we’ll focus on, the look of the booth and so on. The real trick is figuring out how to balance the staffing of the booth while making sure we have enough coverage from the inside team.
  • Patience. You will need it by the bucket load. In planning for these events, you will be bombarded with emails and calls from all different areas. You need to calmly review and make sure you are staying on top of the important ones and not the daily pitches that are trying to sell you any old mailing list or freight quote or hotel block. 
  • Enjoy the moment. Honestly my favorite part is when the show doors open and people work their way to our stand. I love catching up with customers and industry connections, but really enjoy introducing people to our products and services. This year in Vegas was very busy for us, but I did take a step back and admire the folks I work with as they were engaged with customers and enjoyed a deep sense of pride for what was accomplished in our show effort.
  • Follow up. Follow up. Follow up. You’ve spent months getting ready; you’ve spent a ton of money. Now you have to make sure you spend the time and effort in the follow-up. After you complete a long week at GlassBuild, you’re tired and swamped the moment you get back to the office, but you have to drive through it. Same goes for the upcoming time following glasstec. Make sure to have a team of people who do not let opportunities pass you by.

In the end, if you can be proactive overall, you can drive through the show efforts and keep everything else in your world on track. By the way, if you are attending or exhibiting at glasstec, please come by our stand for a coffee or a beer and say hello!  I intend to be the one standing there organized and patient, enjoying the time and preparing for eventual follow-up.

Gareth Francey is the president of Bohle America, a supplier of glazing & handling tools, hardware, consumables, and machinery, for all levels of the glass industry. Francey has been with the Bohle organization since 2001 and led the American division since 2010. Contact 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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