All About It

So the first Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference under the auspices of the newly-combined Glass Association of North America-National Glass Association (known for now as NGA-GANA) is history. And it was, as just about every BEC has been, a good one. When the economy is robust, as it is now, it’s hard to fit everything into a day-and-a-half program, because people need as much time to network as they do in the sessions. So it did seem that everyone was starved for enough time to fit it all in. Still, it was nice to hear things like this: “Amount of glass work has about doubled in the past few years,”… Read More »

The Proof is in the Proof

I can’t imagine anyone who watched the children of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on TV not being moved by their determination to stop what happened from ever happening again. It was especially moving to see so many of the journalism students there convey their message with poise and grace beyond their years. I think of them, and the parishioners in the South Carolina and Texas churches who forgave their assailant, the first responders in Las Vegas and the parents at Sandy Hook who go forward despite their loss. At the same time, I draw inspiration from them, I am drained from sadness that such inspiration is born from tragedy—over and over again. This… Read More »

Some Changes Made

Happy New Year! Our blogging schedule this year is such that this is my first one of the year, even though it’s late in the month. But just because this happy New Year greeting is probably among the last you’ll receive, it’s not any less heartfelt than if it was the first. I wish you and your company a very happy, healthy, profitable and peaceful year. And, as with most new years, comes some change. That is true here at USGlass magazine, as well. We are making a few changes. When our company was born some 25 years ago, the name “Key Communications Inc.” seemed a good one for a… Read More »

Having an Impact

It takes a lot to impress me. I’ve gotten to see and do a lot during my career in the glass industry, so I don’t impress too easily. Therefore, it’s a bit humbling to admit that I was blown away by a visit to the offices of IMPACT a few weeks ago. While the offices were full of historical and ironworking memorabilia, and sported an unforgettable view of the Washington Monument and National Mall, it was the organization’s genesis and programs that impressed me beyond belief. IMPACT stands for the Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust, a unique partnership of labor and management. That’s right, a partnership of labor and… Read More »

Insuring Success

What’s the biggest factor affecting insurance rates for glazing contractors these days? Is it all the litigation by condo boards about leaky windows? Their financial health? Nope. The answer may surprise you. Auto-related losses are among the most significant losses, says Rick Keegan, president of construction losses for Travelers Insurance in a recent issue of National Underwriter magazine. Keegan goes on to say that distracted driving is one of the biggest factors in such accidents nowadays, as a result of employees talking or texting on their cell phones while they drive. Liability for such communications is murky, too. By now, most companies have a policy against employee texting while driving… Read More »

A Show in Two Parts, Part Two

Now that the Glassbuild America (GBA) show has been in the rear view mirror for nearly two weeks, it’s even clearer that the first half, thanks to Hurricane Irma, was pretty much a proverbial wash-out. But the second half, Wednesday afternoon through Thursday, was quite respectable. Not to overdo the two-show analogy, but I have always contended it’s actually two shows anyway. The odd years in Atlanta attract more serious buyers and more machinery manufacturers; the even years in Vegas still get buyers, but also attract people who don’t mind combining a bit of business with all that Las Vegas has to offer. So it makes sense that the serious… Read More »

A Tale of Two Shows

Mother Nature showed everyone last week, including the glass industry, that we are not the boss of her. In the form of a tempest named Irma, Mother Nature managed to extinguish life on at least one island, kill and injure scores, cause property damage in the billions of dollars and split a major glass industry show into two. This is a tale of those two shows. Before I go there, I want to tell those in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and the Caribbean who were affected that you are heavy in our hearts, on our mind and in our prayers. Though our hearts break for you, we know that your… Read More »

Natural Causes

So the phone rang ten days ago, and the caller had such an amazing tale that it would be hard for most people to believe—but not for those of us in the glass industry. Given that most of you know the caller quite well, you probably won’t have too much trouble believing it either: Me: Deb Levy, may I help you? Him: Deb, it’s Lyle, sorry to bother you, but I need to talk to you about the next deadline. Now, all editors who have worked with writers and bloggers for a long time know that the phrase “I need to talk to you about the next deadline” usually means… Read More »

Just a Shame

This is my end-of-summer patchwork-quilt of a blog, with a few pieces of this and that, stitched together in such a way that they accomplish the purpose for which they were designed. They are thoughts precipitated primarily from our industry’s news stories of the past few weeks. 1- It’s raining glass in Bethesda, Maryland–Well, not quite “raining,” but glass has fallen from the city’s only LEED Platinum-certified building more than once during the past few months. In fact, building management issued a statement saying that it had “identified six exterior panes of tempered glass that were affected by a ‘defective condition.’” The owner of a downtown Bethesda high-rise building is… Read More »

Glass Vacations

Since it’s August, here’s two fun blogs I did recently for our consumer info site,, about glass vacations and glass museums. Glass Vacations and Glass Museums

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