The Right One

Special Report

Last week in a fit of nostalgia, I was re-watching the 40th anniversary special of Saturday Night Live (available on Amazon, Hulu and NBC  if you are interested). In one of the presentations, comic Mike Myers imitates show creator and producer Lorne Michaels as Michaels critiqued an SNL broadcast after it was over. Myers got the biggest laugh of the night imitating Michaels saying, “Sure Mike, it got a laugh, but did it get the right kind of laugh?” That line makes me think of glass fabricators. Why? You know finding the right type of glass is not always easy. The tension between performance specifications and named products is almost always… Read More »

A Final Toast from Napa

Reference to events is often by ordinal number—the first annual this or the tenth annual that. I have never heard an event billed as a “Last Annual,” but this may very well be it for the Glass Association of North America’s (now NGA-GANA) Annual Conference. While organizers announced dates for a Fall Conference later on this year and the Building Envelope Contractors Conference next year, no annual conference dates have yet been announced. The GANA Annual Conference was the successor to an event known as “Glass Week.” Glass Week was held in a different time, when strong independent fabricators were in abundance, when the primaries were mostly still domestic with… Read More »

Boiling Up in Napa

I get to spend most of my time in a verdant Dionysian garden this week. The occasion of my visit to California’s Napa Valley is the 2018 Annual Conference. For years, it was the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA)’s annual conference, but now that that group has merged with the National Glass Association (NGA), it’s currently the NGA-GANA Annual Conference. Except that it’s not. NGA’s annual meeting has always been around its GlassBuild show in the fall. I am sure they will get it all sorted out pretty soon. I would also expect at least one or two regular meetings to disappear as a usual consequence of two groups… Read More »

11 Good Things

It’s always enjoyable to get to report happy news, so this month I am having a grand time doing so. That’s because USGlass magazine won a record number of awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) earlier this month, honoring the staff’s outstanding work in print and video. Editor Ellen Rogers won three bronze awards, two in print. One for Best Technical Writing for Moves that Matter in the March 2017 issue, and one for Best Special Section for Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season in the October 2017 issue. Editorial director Tara Taffera, assistant editor Jordan Scott, research editor Nick St. Denis and contributing editor Trey… Read More »

Part of the Problem

It’s the one problem you hear about over and over again–no matter what size, no matter how old the company. It’s a problem almost every contract glazing company has. And unfortunately, we are part of the reason for it. By we, in the broadest sense, I mean the construction industry. By we, in the most narrow sense, I mean contract glazing companies. The problem, of course, is the lack of skilled and qualified labor available to contract glaziers. Time and time again, I hear stories of companies at capacity because they can’t find qualified help. They must turn additional work away because they can’t find qualified people to perform it…. Read More »

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 »

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