Good Tidings

Well it’s almost Christmas, a joyous (though often stressful) time. And to add to that joy and stress, we are vacating the offices we’ve had for the last 19 years and moving. More stress, hopefully followed by joy. More on that next time though, because here are my picks for some of the top stories of the year:

  1. The sale of C.R. Laurence (CRL) to Oldcastle Building Envelop®(OBE). This may have been the deal of the decade, let alone the year, as OBE chose its acquisition targets with skill and strategy. And its acquisition of CRL is akin to Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise or the Muppets in that OBE recognized a legacy brand and went after it. And just like Disney, each will complement the other nicely.
    The size of the deal and Don Friese’s generosity to his employees was also staggering. It helped remind all of us that there is growth in the industry and profit to be made here, despite what the Wall Street types sometimes say.
  2. Glass comes of age. By this I mean that glass has moved from being a material that you design around, to a material created to meet design. Designers and engineers have stopped accepting glass as it is and have begun asking manufacturers to design glass to meet the properties they want. This is true in some of the new products you see, ranging from “bird-friendly” glass to the large curved lites slated to adorn Apple’s new headquarters.
  3. Glass comes home, meaning that the United States has finally decided to be a hotbed of glass development and not sit in Europe’s shadow any longer. Apple CEO Tim Cook proudly displayed the aforementioned curved lites on 60 Minutes last night, bragging that they were “the largest pieces of curved glass ever made. They were made by a German company.” He didn’t say it, but that company was seele.) Our U.S. glass industry has decided it no longer wants to be design also-rans. Events like the upcoming Glasscon Global  (with which USGlass magazine has become involved) are dedicated to that type of design innovation.
  4. Safety. This is our saddest story because our industry was ripe with deaths and injuries this year, including those of some prominent people who lost their lives or were injured through accident or neglect. All of the trades, including glass and glazing, need to make this better. The case of the contractor who went to jail this year for lying to OSHA should resonate on every jobsite.
  5. The newly revised ANSI 97 Standard was the sleeper story of the year. It didn’t get too much attention but was chock full of important changes that resulted from an industry consensus that took quite a while to achieve. You will want to learn them  because they will influence your work for years to come. Congratulations to the Z97 committee members who made it happen.

This is my last blog this year, one of the most memorable years in my life. It’s had some good and some bad, but through it all there are two constants to it. First, I love getting to work (and write) for you. It’s a privilege and a responsibility that I don’t take lightly. Secondly, I love getting to work for you with the talented group of people I work with every day. From our sales managers and vice presidents on through, they each add their individual talents to what we try to do for you. They are the best. I wish you a wonderful Christmas and holiday season and a new year full of health, happiness and prosperity. On to 2016!!!