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What’s Essential Nowadays?

Throughout the pandemic through which we are living, there has been a lot of confusion and ignorance around who or what is considered “essential.” For companies, being considered essential has meant the difference between being able to stay open or be closed in some states. For individuals, it can determine when you will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. So it was with all this in mind that I studied the Department of Homeland Security memo issued December 16, 2020 titled “Advisory Memorandum on Ensuring Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers’ Ability to Work During the COVID-19 Response.” The memo details which workers, by function, are considered essential during the pandemic. This… Read More »

Stop, Hook and Listen

I started this blog yesterday afternoon and was just putting the finishing touches on it today, when I stopped to listen to something that hooked me in immediately. Then I tore up my blog. (Well, actually, I put it away for another day.) The reason for the change in plans is because I listened to the podcast our editorial director Tara Taffera had just completed with Paul Morris, president of Jack Morris Auto Glass in Memphis, Tenn. You might know Paul and, if you go back a bit, you may have known his dad, Jack. Paul, an attorney who also runs the company that was his father’s namesake, has done… Read More »

A Not-So Tempered Response

Broken Glass2

I just watched another story by a TV reporter about glass. This time, the topic was tempered glass breakage. I give the reporter an A for effort, but it’s a tough concept to understand quickly and completely. It seems in this case, the tempered glass in question was in a car sunroof, but it could just as easily have been in a building or on a table. At the conclusion of the report, any rational person would ask why car makers use tempered glass in sunroofs. Heck, they might ask why we use tempered glass at all. It was another attempt to give tempered glass a bad name and yet,… 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 »

Lessons Learned

It was to be a very lazy Saturday morning, just a month ago now. At least that’s how I thought it would go. Except that it didn’t. The week ending was a busy one, as it included the Glass Expo West™ show in Irvine, Calif., which had been exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. But it was Saturday now—the show over—and I could sleep in a bit in my big, fluffy, hotel bed. Then the phone rang. At least I thought it might have, because I heard it while in that semi-conscious state that bops back and forth between asleep and awake. I bolted up, even though I had… Read More »

Jerry Wright

AAA Glass and Texas Glass Association President Jerry Wright passed away last week.

The glass industry is full of men of character and men who are characters. Jerry Wright of AAA Glass in Fort Worth, Texas, was both. Even now, a full week after his untimely passing, it’s hard to talk about Jerry in the past tense. That’s because he was so unique, and such a life force, that imagining our daily world without him is not yet possible. No one who ever met Jerry, even for a passing moment, would forget him. You just couldn’t. He was that unique. I’ve known and worked with Jerry on various different projects and things for more than 33 years. During that time, I never saw… Read More »

No Cure for This


I let out a silent sigh and exhaled slowly so the sound was imperceptible to the caller on the phone. It was her again and she was calling once more to let me know she’d be late. This used to happen occasionally but it had turned into a monthly, and now almost weekly, occurrence. And she always used the same excuse.  I took a long look out the window. Yes, our vice president Tara Taffera was in a situation that no drug, alcohol or gambling rehab was going to cure. In fact, it might not be curable at all. What was I going to do with her? Now before I… Read More »

And the Envelope, Please

Well, it’s almost that time of year again, and we are getting ready.  No, it’s not Christmas or New Year, and Hanukkah is over. Nope, it’s not any of the usual suspects. There are three annuals that hit every December and you won’t find them on any datebook except the glass industry’s calendar. The first is the USGlass Magazine Product of the Year Awards. Announced every December, these highly anticipated awards are given by our readers and editors together to the products we wrote about in 2013 that were so new, so revolutionary or unique that they merited honor. The Products of the Year will be announced in the December… Read More »

The Leadership Thing

It really is the most elusive of qualities. It can’t be taught, yet it isn’t genetic either. So where do the qualities that make a great leader come from? And how do we get them? I’ve been pondering this question a lot in the past few weeks, especially because of an interview I recently saw on the TODAY show. The interview was in advance of this weekend’s opening of a movie about his called “Captain Phillips.” In the interview, the real-life captain of the Maersk-Alabama, who had been kidnapped by Somali pirates, talked about leadership. But the captain, Captain Richard Phillips of New England, did not respond to the question… Read More »

Katie ‘n Me


It took me awhile, decades in fact. I have always admired Katie Couric, especially during her hard news years on the “Today Show.” She is an excellent interviewer and a good journalist with strong skills. Yes, Katie seems to have it all –wonderful job, first sole woman anchor of a major TV network evening news show, hot drummers 20 years her junior following her around and two great daughters. So over the years in my bouts of Katie-envy, I’ve always looked for our similarities. As you can imagine they are few and far between. But now I have found a strong one–an indestructible, irrefutable bond. It’s our navels. That’s right–our belly… Read More »

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