Solar Glazing, USGlass

A Pressing Problem

It was the New York Post calling and they wanted us to lend them a picture, but who did they want? Arthur Berkowitz. My mind was racing. What had the president of J.E. Berkowitz  (JEB) done that New York’s most famous tabloid wanted to cover? Had Rupert Murdoch’s machine been tapping his phone? Or had he written the ultimate letter to the editor?

No, I decided, the Post had gotten smart. It had decided to cover JEB’s efforts in the green building. Why the Renovate  product that Berkowitz developed has garnered tons of accolades; it has even won a USGlass magazine Green Award last year. Its solar rooftop showed a tremendous commitment to energy-efficiency as well. As PPG’s first certified fabricator in the Northeast JEB was on the energy map for lots of reasons. The Post must have noticed, I thought, confident my reasoning had led me to the right conclusion.

Nope.

It had nothing to do with the glass industry, but was still a topic to which almost everyone can relate. Turns out Berkowitz had a very memorable return trip on US Airways from Alaska at the end of the summer and ended up in a three-person row with a 400+ pound passenger in the middle seat. He was forced to stand for almost the entire plane ride home – seven hours – and felt that US Airways had not handled the situation properly. Seems he had complained to the airline and they didn’t feel his pain, so to speak, and offered only $200 (considerably less than the cost of his ticket) as compensation. Then a consumer advocate blog wrote about it and the rest, as they say, is history.

Though the original was in the Post, it was also in the New York Daily News

On ABC News and CNN

In the Boston Herald  and dozens of other media locations. In total, I counted more than 810 stories about the incident.

“I don’t even want to talk about it,” said Berkowitz when I reached him the other day. “The guy was really nice. He apologized profusely over and over again. It just wasn’t possible to for him to fit in the seat.

“It was US Airways that behaved badly,” he said. “If anyone in the glass industry tried to run a business they way they do, they’d be out of business pretty quickly. I just want to put it all behind me and talk about other things.”

“Was the publicity a bad thing?” I asked.

”Well,” he said, “I hated that picture the New York Post ran.”

Ouch.

Tis the Season

Key Comm Employee of the Year Tina Czar

We held our annual Christmas party Friday night and I just want to take a moment to congratulate our events manager Tina Czar who received the Key Communications Holly X. Biller Award for Extraordinary Service. Tina, who is actually Key Comm’s longest serving employee, won for her dedication and determination and for everything she does to make all Key Comm events a success. Look for her at the upcoming Glass Texpo ’12 and Auto Glass Week next year. Ally Curran of our staff took home the Key Comm Green Award, with special recognition provided to Katie Hodge as well. Congratulations ladies!

This is my last official blog til the New Year – though I might pop something on in the next week or two if  a topic strikes me. I want to thank you for reading it, for your support of our publications and other products and for being part of an industry with some of the best people in the world.

It is, and has always been, an honor to work for you.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and the best for a wonderful New Year.