Wednesday, March 12, 2008
By Sahely Mukerji, managing editor, Glass Magazine/AutoGlass

Look to the Midwest, good glaziers, plumb jobs are reportedly up for grabs out there. California is no longer the only state passionately pushing for environmentally sustainable buildings, good old homeland Kansas has joined the movement too.

Latest in the list of small towns to acquire green as its favorite color is Greensburg, Kan., 109 miles west of Wichita, and the county seat of Kiowa County. Main attractions of the town include the world's "largest hand-dug well," 109 feet deep and 32 feet wide, and a 1,000-pound meteorite, according to a USA Today article. Per U.S. Census Bureau figures, 26.4 percent of Greensburg's population was 65 or older in 2000, more than double the national average of 12.4 percent.

The town, heavily hit by a tornado May 4, has decided to build back and live up to its name, according to an article in Time magazine’s March 10 issue. To get the ball rolling, an entrepreneur from a nearby town, Daniel Wallach, formed a nonprofit, Greensburg GreenTown, soon after the storm blustered through.

When everything falls into place, Greensburg will have energy-efficient homes and offices powered by wind and biofuel resources. Residents of the town are busy working with the Department of Energy and the National renewable Energy Laboratory officials to build houses that are 50 percent more energy efficient than the old ones; and in January, the city council approved a resolution that would make all city building projects meet the platinum rating of the USGBC’s LEED standards. That’s a first among American towns.

Read the full article at <",9171,1720085,00.html"> Read about other U.S. cities doing their bits to fight global warming and turn green <",9171,1081389,00.html?iid=sphere-inline-bottom">
Monday, March 10, 2008
What the candidates have to say about health care, immigration and the economy

—By Katy Devlin, commercial glass and metals editor, Glass Magazine

During the past several months, we issued two e-glass polls about the upcoming presidential elections—one about the issues and another about the candidates. Both received high response rates from readers, indicating that we need to do more to address the election and how it relates the industry.

The Dec. 11 poll that received 375 responses asked about the most searing issue in the election. No issue received more than 20 percent of responses. Education came in on top with 19 percent, followed by health care, the war in Iraq, immigration, the economy, taxes and energy.

The March 4 poll asked respondents which candidate would help the industry most as president. About 54 percent said John McCain; 17 percent, Barack Obama; 16 percent, Mike Huckabee; and 13 percent Hillary Clinton.

I wanted to use my blog today to briefly spotlight the remaining candidates’ positions on several issues that directly affect most, if not all, glass companies.

This information was pulled from each candidate’s Web site, as well as from a New York Times election guide detailing how all the candidates stand on the top issues. Please leave comments below and contact me if you have suggestions on other ways we can cover the election with an industry eye.

Health care

Hillary Clinton: Health insurance for everyone, subsidized by the government and employers. Large companies will be required to provide insurance or help pay the cost; small companies will receive tax credits to fund health care. Rollback in tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000 to help pay for the plan. More information.

John McCain: Health care in a free-market system driven by consumers, available to everyone, without a mandate. Focus on controlling health care costs by promoting drug competition and improving early diagnosis and education. Remove bias toward employer-sponsored programs; provide tax credits for individuals and families. More information.

Barack Obama: Universal coverage by the end of the first term. Require employers to provide insurance or contribute to its cost; exempt small business that meet certain revenue thresholds; reimburse companies for large health costs. Roll back tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000. More information.


Clinton: Secure borders—voted for border fence along Mexican border. Develop a universal, accurate and timely employer verification system. Path to legalization for illegal immigrants. Opposes guest worker program. More information.

McCain: First priority to secure borders—voted for border fence along Mexican border. Provide opportunities for immigrant workers. Path to legalization for illegal immigrants. More information.

Obama: Secure borders—voted for border fence along Mexican border. Path to legalization for illegal immigrants. Supports guest worker program and a crack down on employers that hire illegally. More information.


Clinton: $70 billion jump-start plan to go toward mitigating housing foreclosures, energy conservation grants to create jobs, and unemployment insurance, among others. Tax rebates to working and middle-class families. More information.

McCain: Stimulate economic growth by permanently repealing the alternative minimum tax and reducing the estate tax. Eliminate deficit spending. Make tax increases more difficult. More information.

Obama: Stimulate the economy through tax cuts for the middle class. Keep estate tax. Protect workers’ rights and raise the minimum wage. Support research, renewable energy and technology sectors to boost job growth in those areas. More information.
Monday, March 3, 2008
—By Katy Devlin, commercial glass and metals editor, Glass Magazine

Feb. 24, the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a story about the future of the automobile—specifically, how car designs of tomorrow will adapt to meet the world’s energy efficiency needs. The cars will likely run on alternative fuels, be connected to other cars on the road through Wi-Fi, and possibly feature transparent aluminum as an alternative to glass.

In the article, Frank Markus, technical editor for Motor Trend, Detroit, said the idea of aluminum windows is science fiction at this point. However, researchers at St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M have developed an alumina glass that could evolve into an everyday product in the next 25 years, according to the article.

Transparent aluminum windows would be lighter and stronger than glass, making it an attractive alternative for cars, according to the article.

According to a September 2004 article from Technology Research News, 3M’s non-silica glass product, alumina glass, is also scratch resistant and transmits a broader range of light. Manufacturing methods at the time of the article only allowed for thin film applications of the product.

So, are transparent aluminum windows really the future? Will we start seeing aluminum windows on buildings and in homes? Should the industry prepare? Or, is it just science fiction?

Tell us what you think.

For the Star Tribune article, click here (registration required).
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
By Matt Slovick, editor in chief, Glass Magazine

Matt Slovick
Mike Eruzione scored the game-winning goal against the Soviet Union in the Olympics 28 years ago. He still makes a living talking about it.

And for the demographic at BEC--white, middle-aged men--you can see why he’s still popular. Actually, I talked to a woman from Minnesota the night before who still plays hockey in a co-ed league. She couldn’t wait to see the former Olympic team captain.

Eruzione opened up BEC’s Tuesday program to a packed house. I think more people waited in line for autographs after his speech than stayed for the final session on law.

The title of his speech, “Teamwork: The Winner’s Goal,” had many tips for anyone in any business, including those in the glass industry.

Before Eruzione took the stage, a highlight film recapped the amazing run of those young Americans at Lake Placid, his goal against the Soviets, the gold medal win against Finland and the lighting of the Olympic flame in Salt Lake City in 2002.

“That tape is the story of my life,” Eruzione said. “It’s four minutes long.” Laughs ensued.

Eruzione talked about the work ethic his father instilled as well as the lessons he learned from his gruff Olympic coach, Herb Brooks.

“I have a story to tell about a group of athletes that accomplished something that no one in the world thought we could accomplish,” he said.

Eruzione said Brooks told the team: “If you don’t want to be here then leave, because there are thousands of people who want to be in your shoes.”

Eruzione said you have to be part of it; you have to buy into it. “Surround yourself with people whose goals and objectives are the same as yours,” he said.

He also talked about the intangibles that he thinks successful people have whether it’s in athletics or at a job.

“You can’t measure heart, pride or commitment,” Eruzione said. “Intangibles separate good business from great business. If you believe in something, and you’re willing to work hard for it, you can accomplish it.”

He also said you have to respect your competition and even when things are going well, keep things in perspective.

“Twenty-eight years and one week ago, the president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, wanted to talk to me on the phone in the locker room,” Eruzione said. “I haven’t heard from him since.”

Eruzione still lives near his father and other family members in the Boston area. He said if they didn’t win that game, he’d probably be living in an apartment instead of a house, and he’d probably have eight kids instead of three. “I wouldn’t be traveling as much,” he said.

Eruzione said a few years ago, one of the Soviet players called him and proposed a series that would pit the two teams together again. They would play in different cities, and “make money.” Eruzione called one of his former teammates, Jack O’Callahan, to bounce the idea off him.

O’Callahan’s response: “Tell him that we played once, we won, so just get over it.”

Twenty-eight years later, it’s still enjoyable to hear stories from a man who at the age of 25 helped engineer what’s considered the biggest upset in the history of any sport.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
By Matt Slovick, editor in chief, Glass Magazine

Matt Slovick
BEC started with opening remarks from Max Perilstein of Arch Aluminum & Glass. Max said the 650 attendees arrived from 42 states and all Canadian provinces as well as a few foreign countries.

He began the event with a Top 10 List of jobs people might have if they weren’t in the glass industry.

Each listing included a short clip from movies and TV shows such as dance instructor, “Hitch”; air traffic controller, “Airport”; military, “Stripes.” The No. 1 job was a spot on the Chippendales, which perform here at the Rio (tickets are $40 or $50). The clip came from “Saturday Night Live” featuring a buff Patrick Swayze and a portly Chris Farley auditioning for the male revue.

The opening presentation by Shep Hyken kept the entertainment going.

He talked about Creating Moments of Magic for Your Customers (his book is titled “Moments of Magic”). He had plenty of advice for business owners. “People do business with who they know, like and trust,” Hyken said. He said you need to make sure customers have more than a satisfactory experience. “There’s a big difference between a satisfied customer and a loyal customer,” he said.

Shep shared anecdotes about communication with his wife, going to McDonalds with his children, the lines at Disney, the turnaround of Scandinavian Airlines as well as a taxi driver who sent him a thank you card and at one point made $100,000 a year compared to the national average of $19,400.

“Every moment of truth needs to be a moment of magic even if it begins as a moment of misery,” he said in a moment. His 10 strategies to creating a moment of magic are:

1. Manage the first impression
2. Your expertise
3. Building rapport
4. Enthusiasm
5. Communication
6. No mistakes
7. UPOD: Under Promise, Over Delivery
8. Quality
9. Confidence
10. Appreciation.

He also performed a rope trick and card trick and ended with a “mind” trick. He asked a woman in the audience to write down on a post-it a number from 25 to 50. He asked a man in the audience to look at his watch and shout out the time every five seconds. He then began writing what appeared to be random numbers on a white pad. Between 30 and 35 seconds, he finished four rows of four numbers.

He said it took him 33 seconds to finish. Her number: 33 (OMG!). But what were those numbers all about? It just so happens that every row across, down and diagonal added up to 33. So did four-number groupings in each corner along with the four numbers grouped in the center.

It was truly a magical moment.

I wonder if he’ll send everyone in the audience a thank you card for the applause?
Saturday, February 16, 2008
By Matt Slovick, editor in chief, Glass Magazine

Matt Slovick
One of the final presentations of Glass Week in Vegas was a speech titled “Countdown to Teamwork” by Mike Mullane, who flew three space shuttle missions.

He spoke about self leadership and used the term “normalization of deviance,” which he believes led to the Challenger tragedy. He said under pressure circumstances, people will accept a lower standard of performance. If no immediate bad consequences occur, those lower standards become the norm.

In the shuttle’s case, it was the O rings. Documentation showed they were flawed and were getting burned, but flight after flight launched and landed without a major problem.

“The Challenger was no accident,” Mullane said. “It was a predictable surprise.”

He also said the Challenger did not explode but suffered a catastrophic structural breakdown. The capsule holding the astronauts survived intact. However, NASA had not designed an escape method as it did for Gemini and Apollo. Thus, the astronauts plunged to their deaths.

I’m sure everyone in the room learned something they can take back to their workplaces.

I’m also taking back a signed copy of Mullane’s book “Riding Rockets,” which is Rated R according to the astronaut. I won it during a NASA trivia contest.

Mullane asked who the second American in space was. I shot up my hand like the nerdy kid in high school sitting in the front row (I was in the second row). I answered Gus Grissom, which was correct. Alan Shepard was first; John Glenn third.

Mullane’s second trivia question: How many Americans have walked on the moon? Again, my arm shot up like a rocket (ha ha). Mullane told me I couldn’t win again. The correct answer was 12. Apollo 11 was first, Apollo 17 the last, and Apollo 13 never landed on the moon. After three wrong answers, Richard Green, who was giving the next presentation about the point-supported glass in the Bangkok International Airport, answered 12 (he was in the front row).

Mullane signed the book “Dream Big!”

He’s right. I’m going to go downstairs right now and hit the blackjack table.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
By Matt Slovick, editor in chief, Glass Magazine

Matt Slovick
I’m in Las Vegas for the back-to-back Glass Week/Building Envelope Contractors events.

It took awhile to get here. First, my commute home Tuesday night from the office in Northern Virginia to Maryland took three hours in the rain and ice instead of the usual one hour.

Wednesday, the drive to BWI airport was slowed by one accident. The Web site said my flight was delayed but could still leave on time. So, I still had to get there ahead of the scheduled take off of 9:55 a.m. ET.

Well, my plane was sitting on a runway in icy Hartford, Conn. After a 4 ½ hour wait, it made it to Baltimore. Once we hit cruising altitude, everything was fine on the five-hour flight. Touchdown temperature was 73 degrees!

I’m staying at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino. The little notepad here on the desk states “Exotic. Uninhibited. Fun.”

I did see some “fun” on the casino floor. The Rio has five free shows daily. Dancers take the main stage while smaller “stages” hang from the ceiling, moving on a track throughout the casino.

Las Vegas
I’m not here as a show reviewer, but let me just say I could see why theses dancers are performing for free.

A few Chippendale dancers then arrived for photo ops. I passed on the Kodak Moment (have digital cameras and phones made that term obsolete?).

The Rio's VooDoo Lounge is on the 51st floor and has a great view of the city.

Glass Week kicks off today at 7 a.m. PT. Happy Valentine's Day.

At least my commute shouldn’t be bad. Unless the elevators aren’t working. I'm on the 14th floor.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
By Jenni Chase, editor, AutoGlass magazine

During the Feb. 12 “Green Is Good” panel discussion at the 2008 National Auto Glass Conference in Tucson, GlasWeld President Mike Boyle threw out an interesting statistic: Nine out of 10 people admit telling “green” lies in an effort to appear more environmentally responsible. The reason: People want to be green, but either don’t understand the issues or don’t know where to start.
Going green can be an intimidating prospect. I mean, how many windshields can you transport in a Toyota Prius? Yet, just because you can’t replace your fleet of mobile vans with hybrid vehicles doesn’t mean you can’t positively affect our environment. Some simple suggestions from the panel:
• Put battery chargers on a timer so they don’t drain electricity 24 hours a day.
• Replace the old soda machine in your lobby with a new, more energy-efficient model.
• Tint your shop windows to cut down on passive solar heat gain and lower air-conditioning usage.
• Use energy-efficient light bulbs.
• Replace the Styrofoam cups of coffee you give to customers with mugs.
• Install a high-quality water filter so employees can drink water from the tap rather than purchasing plastic water bottles.
• Call your local energy provider and ask them to come out and audit your facility. You’d be amazed at the number of simple changes you can make to improve your energy efficiency.
• Talk to your employees. You might be surprised by the number of suggestions they can offer.

I’d like to add one more: Share your experiences. If you’ve made a change at your location that can help others “green” their business, please let us know. E-mail myself or Matt Rumbaugh at
For more information on the National Auto Glass Conference, visit
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
By Jenni Chase, editor, AutoGlass magazine

For years, I’ve secretly dreamt of participating in the National Auto Glass Annual Golf Classic. In fact, it was the inspiration behind many a golf lesson with my extremely patient husband. A zero handicap, he warned me that golf was a game of practice and patience. He didn’t tell me it was also a game of life and death. Let me explain.
When I walked on to the golf course for the first time, toting my brand-new clubs and hot-pink golf balls, I was both nervous and excited. On the 9th hole, I stepped up to the tee, took a big swing, and topped the ball. Rather than soaring through the air, it went skidding across the grass at a high rate of speed before stopping abruptly. Its target: a squirrel crossing the fairway. On bad days, I can’t hit the broad side of a barn, let alone a 2-pound moving target 150 yards away. Yet, that day my golf ball was destined to meet that squirrel. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to the nickname this incident inspired. And no, it’s not “Fuzzy.”
One of these days, my pink golf ball will be among those on the 18th green at the golf classic. Until then, I’ll leave it to the experts. Congratulations to Rodger Pickett, James O’Malley, Kirk Reed and Brian Clayton for placing first in the 2008 National Auto Glass Annual Golf Classic, held Feb. 11 at the Starr Pass Golf Club in Tucson. Sponsored by Equalizer Industries, the tournament kicks off three days of management-level education seminars at the National Auto Glass Conference: A Forum for Auto Glass Executives at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in that Arizona city. For complete conference coverage, visit
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
—By Katy Devlin, e-newsletter editor

Well, more accurately, "American Idol" contestant Josh Jones loves glass.

Jones, a 26-year-old lead installer at Binswanger Glass Co. in Atlanta, graced America with a lesson on glass before moving to the music during the Feb. 5 episode of "American Idol." "I have a passion for glass," Jones said during the show. Click on the video below to watch the segment.


“When they learned I worked in glass, they were really intrigued,” Jones said during a phone interview. “People from all backgrounds audition for the show, but apparently they’ve never had a glass guy.”

Jones, a seven-year industry veteran, started working in a glass shop in Jacksonville, Fla., before moving to Binswanger Glass in Greenville, S.C. He transferred to Atlanta in January 2007. “I install frameless shower doors—that’s my expertise,” Jones said.

Jones’ passion to glass is rivaled by his devotion to music. He has been singing since he can remember and heads up the Atlanta three-piece band Josh Jones Machine.

“If you were to throw Coldplay, David Bowie, Dave Matthews and Yes into a bucket, shake it and pour it out, that would be Josh Jones Machine,” he said.

Marty Mahoney, Binswanger Glass branch manager in Atlanta, said Jones finds a way to make music at the shop. “We knew when he transferred to our branch that his aspirations were in music,” Mahoney said. “We have quite a few musicians and from time to time they stay back in the shop, set up equipment and play. … He’s very talented.”

Watch "American Idol" at 8 p.m. Feb. 12 on Fox to see Jones hit Hollywood for the final round of auditions.
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