Saying it isn’t So

The caller on the phone sounded exasperated. I just wasn’t giving him what he wanted and we both knew it. He had tried several times and in different ways to get me to go in the direction he wanted to pursue. But I was trying to have none of it. “Okay,” he said with a long sigh, “let’s try it this way. Let’s say, hypothetically, there was a glass shortage, what would the possible cause of such a shortage be?” Ah, I thought, there it is—the hypothetical question. Reporters love ‘em, politicians run from them and I well, okay, sure, I’ll bite. “Well when there is a glass shortage, and… Read More »

Jack Hammered It

What a treat it was to spend time with Jack Welch last week in Reno.

“Debbie, Debbie, did they tell you?” were the first words he said to me. “Are you the one who did it? Did they call you? I told them to call you and tell you. Did they?” The questioner was none other than business rock star Jack Welch, and no, whoever “they” were hadn’t called me or told me anything. He and his wife, Suzy (who is a force of nature in her own right) had just stepped off their airplane and into a van with yours truly. “Uh-oh,” I thought, “here we go.” I’d been in their presence about 30 seconds and had already messed something up for sure. I will… Read More »

Our Friend Paul

You’ll notice that right below me here is Paul Bieber’s blog for the day, and it’s full of his usual, practical advice and helpful thoughts. Well, today our friend Paul could use some of your helpful thoughts and good wishes himself. He was operated on this morning for a recently diagnosed case of colon cancer and, by the time you read this, he should be beginning his road to recovery. If you know Paul, you know he is one of the most positive people on the face of the planet—a good businessman with a great family and strong faith. When I called him yesterday to tell him what I had… Read More »

Five Take-Aways from GBA

The GlassBuild (GBA) show has existed, in some form or another, since the mid-’70s. Its name, focus and venues have changed and continue to evolve, but one thing is for sure: it’s a great place to see your industry colleagues and take a look at some of the newest products. In addition to catching up with friends and compatriots, it’s also a good “looking glass” into the future. Here are my top five trends from GBA: Automation Nation: The robotics seen in Europe for the past 10 years are finally making their way to the United States, particularly in the area of glass handling. Automated efficiencies will reduce the number of workers needed… Read More »

Six Degrees of GBA

The show included a number of impressive scans.

There’s a scene toward the end of the movie Footloose where the townspeople just can’t take it anymore. Their years of decorum and propriety collapse into a frenzy of pent up energy and action. Joyous dance explodes from every corner of the small town of Beaumont, Anywhere USA. Eyes are open, lives are changed, freedom reigns. Well, this week’s Glassbuild America show in Atlanta has such a wave of exploding energy that I swear I saw Kevin Bacon dancing in the aisles. The glass industry is back and the energetic flow of business being done was palpable. “If you are not making money in the glass industry right now, you… Read More »

Glass in Full Glory?

Saint Peter

I saw something last month that really bothered me—so much so that my mind keeps coming back to it over and over again. I try to put it out of my head, but it’s haunting me and I just can’t shake it, because I need your help to fix it. Let me explain. I was fortunate to take two great trips this summer—the first one through some great cities in Europe, which included fulfilling a lifelong desire to visit Vatican City. The second was the annual trip my sister and I (the two crazy aunts) take with their nephew Kevin (who, of course is perfect in every way) every year—but more… Read More »

The Glassiest of Places

The window in the sleeping rooms at the Renaissance Barcelona Fira.

I was fortunate to spend two weeks in Europe last month and got to visit a number of countries and cities. And in the course of my travels, I found the glassiest building I’ve ever seen. I even got to stay in it—and man, was it memorable. Barcelona, Spain is one of my favorite cities to visit. It’s an amazing combination of history and art combined with a modernista vibe and viewpoint. It embraces history and is cutting edge. The city of Antonio Gaudi embraces architecture as its birthright and showcases landmark buildings with distinction and reverence. So I’d like to say that I researched the city extensively and found this… Read More »

Five Things Every Consumer Should Know about Glass

As you can imagine, I spend a fair amount of time discussing glass, and not just in my role as USGlass magazine’s publisher. Family, friends, and almost everyone I meet, asks me something about glass when they find out what I do. Over the years, these very questions and comments have led to my own “wish list” of things I wish the average consumer knew about glass. Here’s my top five: 1. Glass is not just glass. There are thousands upon thousands of different types of glass with distinct properties and performance characteristics. Some, like mirror, are easily recognizable, but most are not. Glass comes in different thicknesses, sizes, strengths… Read More »

Examination and Introspection

In just a few weeks, we will begin celebrating the 50th anniversary of USGlass (full name USGlass, Metal & Glazing) magazine. In magazine years, 50 is, well, a very, very long time and an anniversary that very few publications get to experience. So I feel lucky we begin ours very soon. We’ve been getting ready for this anniversary for more than a year and plan a series of publications and events around it. Maybe you’ve already seen “Throwback Thursdays” on every week in our™ daily e-newsletter (free subscriptions at Or perhaps you’ve perused the “USGlass at 50” section that is running in the magazine this year. Our August… Read More »

The News Today, Oh Boy

Dynamic water testing often is included as part of the BECx process to ensure the building does not leak. (Photo: Intertek-ATI)

The future is a totally oxymoronic concept. It’s anticipated happily, yet at the same time, it’s dreaded. Parts of it are so certain they seem pre-ordained; other parts are completely unknown. The future is for sure, though exactly what it contains never is. It is feared and beloved at the same time. Well, the July issue of USGlass gives us quite a glimpse into the future. Whether you find what it says exciting or unsettling is up to you. I think it’s a bit of both. You’ll want to read the story by Ellen Rogers called “The X Factor.” The “X” in the headline comes from BECx, the designation letting… Read More »