Passing the Smell Test

Well in the “hell as frozen over” category comes a bulletin I received Friday from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) announcing that organization’s intention to submit certain NFRC rating procedures to become recognized as ANSI Standards. The release invites interested parties to join a standing committee designated as the ANSI Standards Committee to oversee the review process. Now this, in my humble opinion, is going to be very, very interesting. The ANSI process is designed to ensure fairness and openness in the development of standards. In fact, many organizations in the glass industry create committees under ANSI’s essential requirements and those committees develop standards, procedures, etc. Throughout the entire… Read More »

Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the United States and I wanted to take a moment to share  some of the things for which I am thankful: For God. Not much I can say here that won’t sound woefully inadequate on my part; For my family, especially my Mom who has had a very tough year and is the strongest and most tenacious person I know; For my office family. You know them too. They are wonderful people and it’s an honor to work with them and to watch them grow professionally and personally. They help me grow every day; For our customers. We appreciate you so. Our goal is to… Read More »

Throw-away Industry?

“Look at all those cranes out there. Are you seeing activity like this anywhere else?” The question came toward me from the delightful Margaret Webb, the executive director of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance , who was kind enough to share a welcome cup of coffee with me last Wednesday afternoon at the Win-Door show. The subject of her query was Toronto, the city hosting the show, and Marg was right. There seemed to be building going on everywhere. Big, tall buildings. “When was the last time you saw that many large cranes?” she asked. “Fairfax County, Virginia in the late ’90s” was the answer that immediately came to my… Read More »

Super-Sized Heroes and Super-Sized Mistakes

Oops. I just had to say it because it is the word of the week. But I forgot why. All kidding aside, the most memorable part of Rick Perry’s “senior moment” was not that it happened. Heck, it can happen to anyone at any age—especially under bright lights with a minor thing like the presidency at stake—but the surprising thing is how institutionalized the recovery from such a moment has become. Make a potentially campaign-ending gaffe? Get on all those early morning talk shows, be humble and contrite and let people know you are well aware you “stepped in it.” Be sure to deflect attention away from the actual comment… 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 »

Profiles in Courage, and One in Cowardice

Whoever said honesty is the best policy obviously did not work in the glass business. For years, companies—and not just those in the glass business—have remained relatively quiet when faced with certain business challenges. But that is starting to change. I’d put a hat on just so I could tip it to Kris Vockler for sharing what her company, ICD, is going through in trying to defend against a preferential payment claim by the creditors of Arch Aluminum. Oh and get this, ICD is also an unsecured creditor in the bankruptcy. So not only will Kris not see most of what the old Arch owes her company, the company’s attorneys… Read More »

The Long and Short of It

If I tell you when they are short, and I do, then I sure should tell you when they aren’t. And if you read this blog with any regularity you know that I usually don’t miss a week, even on Mondays of holiday weekends when I could skate by. But I didn’t write last Monday, No, it wasn’t in honor of Columbus but rather of something much bigger in my world (more on that later). The upshot is that I have two weeks worth of news so it’s a long blog this week. Here goes. First Up: Our News Last spring, USGlass magazine commissioned an industry research firm to create… Read More »

Seasons of Change

Well, hunting season may be upon us in many parts of the country but in the glass industry, it’s mating season. During the past year, a number of primary manufacturers have set their sights on some pretty attractive conquests. A deliberate hello was followed by some “getting-to-know-you” dating and then, an all-out dance of courtship, all led by these same primary manufacturers. The result? Everyone is hooking up with someone. Why? Because the primaries need what they don’t have—or rather need to have access to what they don’t have. It all began with Saint Gobain’s acquisition of a fifty percent equity stake in SAGE Electrochromic, a manufacturer of electrochromic glass… Read More »

Twofer the Road

Two things happened earlier this month that reminded me why I have faith—make that why I have an unending faith—in the glass industry. The first was a visit to the GlassBuild show (GBA) in Atlanta last week. It reminded me that even though we are in some very volatile economic times, people in the architectural glass business continue to move forward. “Glass is very lucky,” said an architect to whom I was speaking. “Very few buildings are built without it. It is a material everyone wants to use.” He was emphatic that, even in tough times, glass will always be a material of choice. “No other building product is as… Read More »

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