Is It Really September?
Well yes it is. It’s 10:50 a.m. on Labor Day here in the States and, as I write this, about half our staff is in the office with me and hard at work. Why? Because we have a perfect storm of events coming up next week, our annual company-wide 2012 planning meeting, followed by the GlassBuild America show (visit us in booth 2411) and the inaugural Auto Glass Week Conference and Competitions (visit us there too.). All three events are next week, hence our work here today, on final details, shipping and all.
Labor Day has caused me some reflection in two areas. First one is how much I like and enjoy the people with whom I work everyday—and no, I am not just saying that because many of them are in here today. I think that is one of the major advantages of owning or managing a company. You get to choose those with whom you work. I feel very fortunate to be part of a wonderful team. Many of us have grown up together, learned and continue to learn a lot together and been through a few wringers together as well. I cherish them. Those of you who have the same in your company will know the feeling, and it’s a really good one.
Second Labor Day thought comes in response to all various “are labor unions relevant?” reports from the media today. Are labor unions relevant today? I say yes, and maybe even more so than they were when they started. In many cases, they have succeeded in their goals in the United States, and their efforts could be particularly beneficial in other parts of the world where working conditions and practices are deplorable. Problems with access, location and safety probably may make such an effort seem insurmountable, but I have a feeling that’s how the first union organizers felt here in the States too.
Tornado of Results
As I mentioned last week, we just couldn’t shake the image of the post-tornado St. John’s Hospital in Joplin, MO and our editors quickly realized that Joplin had implications for the readers of all of our magazines. What followed was the development of an unprecedented company-wide special report about Joplin across each of our publications. On page 30 of the September issue of USGlass, you’ll see Megan Headley’s detailed report about Joplin, tornadoes and glass. It’s an excellent piece from which I am sure you will benefit. “Some people said there’s not much that can be done for glass in tornados; others reminded me that’s what they said about glass and hurricanes years ago,” commented Megan.
If you make or sell doors and/or windows, you will want to read the in-depth two-part investigative series that starts in the July/August DWM/Door & Window Manufacturer Magazine by Tara Taffera. Tara also traveled to Lubbock, Texas, to the Hurricane Research Center to see how glass fares in high winds. (You can also catch her video newscast about it at www.dwmmag.com).
Editor Katie Hodge looked at film as a possible solution for keeping glass in place during tornadoes in the September/October issue of her Window Film magazine (www.windowfilmmag.com). Ellen Rogers of Architect’s Guide to Glass is developing an article that educates architects about the use of glass in tornado-prone areas. And Penny Stacey of AGRR Magazine is in the process of writing a feature about what happened to the auto glass industry in Joplin. It was a never-before seen effort across all our publications to bring the news to readers in a way that relates uniquely to the readers of each magazine.
When you read the article in USGlass, you will see there are technologies that can help glass mitigate damage in a tornado. So maybe some good will come from Joplin after all.
Is the 30th Anniversary Silver or Gold? No, It’s Pearl.
This is my 30th consecutive show (it’s gone by a variety of names over the years) and I believe only Dan DeGorter of DeGorter Inc. beats me in terms of consecutive attendance. (But then again, I started going as a teenager and Dan was in grade school.) I will be there September 12-13 this year, so if you are there, please say hi. You just might go home with an iPad to boot.