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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 »

Favorite Things

It’s one of my favorite things to do at work, and it only comes once a month. And sometimes, a month even has to be skipped. But when it comes, I sure do enjoy it. Am I talking about our monthly “ice cream days” in the summer? Or the picnics on the patio? Oh no, I am talking about something that’s even more fun for me. I totally and thoroughly enjoy our monthly editor’s meeting. Led every 30 days or so by our vice president of editorial Tara Taffera, these meetings bring together the entire editorial staff to discuss the proverbial good, bad and ugly—but ultimately, to learn. We train… Read More »

No Cure for This

tarandgirls

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 »

The End of an Anno Domini

Okay, okay, we’ve been talking about it for the past few weeks so I’ll just come out and say it. Here are my picks for the top five glass industry stories of the year. Now when I say “top five” I don’t mean in terms of popularity or shock value. These five are my picks for the stories that will have the most impact and effect on the industry. Here they are in order: ASHRAE’s withdrawal of its addendum to 90.1 that would have reduced the amount of glazing allowable in buildings.  (See the story here). That addendum had the potential to do more damage to the glass industry than any… 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 »

Please Help

Over the course of the past week, I have learned some sadly amazing and horrific stories of loss as a result of the hurricane that walloped the Northeast last week. And my most beloved glass industry, we have got to step up. I have heard tale after tale of people who have lost all as a result of the storm and it’s heart-breaking. Consider this email we received today from Mark Knapp of the BL Group who said: “How can we … help these folks? There are glass shops that have lost everything !!!!!!! There were a about 6-7 glass shops wiped out in storm and maybe more. These are… Read More »

Things We Can’t Even Imagine – But Did

Happy New Year. Welcome to another year of things we can’t even imagine that haven’t happened yet. I guess that’s true every year, but last year was especially so. Some of those things will be good, and some will not, but most of them will be full of surprises and change and that’s what makes news, so let’s get to it. A New Home for Binswanger It took about only six months from when I predicted that Binswanger would be sold til it was. Grey Mountain Partners of Boulder, Colo., acquired Binswanger Enterprises LLC of Memphis, Tenn., from Sun Capital last week. It’s nice to see this story have a… Read More »

The Story is Always in the Glass–and Happy New Year too!

You know, sometimes it takes a customer to remind you what you are doing wrong. And if you read this blog regularly you know I will do so when I am and hope that it not too frequently. So it is with humble heart that I bow to Earnest Thompson of Guardian Industries, who reminded me of my own motto–that the story is always in the glass. See our robust editorial staff of eight has been running around trying to ferret out the last stories or come up with those hard-hitting investigative pieces and we missed …. yes, I must say missed …. the biggest stories of the holiday season…. Read More »

Road — and Glass — Warriors

It seems like just minutes ago that the kids were heading back to school, the baseball play-offs were weeks away and Kim Kardashian was getting ready for a life of wedded bliss. What a difference two months makes. The past quartet of fortnights have flown by for our staff as well. That’s because they constitute an annual phenomena known as “trade show season.” We’ve been everywhere, man: Atlanta, Memphis, Toronto, Nashville, Milan, Seattle and Las Vegas, all since September 10. The Win-door show  in Toronto next week closes out trade show season 2011. While each show had its own distinct style and, in many cases, served different audiences, there were… Read More »

Five Things that Really Scare Me

Yup it’s Halloween. I just read how Halloween has now surpassed Christmas as the holiday for which people buy the most outdoor decorations. Sometimes I look at all the hoopla around this minor holiday with great amusement. I know that people love dressing up for it (we do it too. Take a look at our own annual Halloween Costume participants here). Other times I think the devil must be laughing his horned head off in you-know-where as he shouts with glee at how it’s grown. After all, cute little goblins and friendly ghosts have a way of just taking the edge off real evil, you know? So, for lots of… Read More »

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