If you’d told me as recently as a week ago that I would experience both an earthquake and a hurricane all in the same week—and in my home state of Virginia yet—I would have shaken my head in disbelief at your hubris. Because never in my lifetime would I have imagined that could be the case, especially here in North Central Virginia. And, had I driven just a few miles to the northeast, you could have thrown in a tornado to boot. A trifecta of natural disasters all within five days! Luckily, neither our employees nor I nor any of our collective family or friends sustained any injury or property… Read More »

Just One of Those Weeks

If we at USGlass Magazine hear from each of our 40,000+ subscribers just once a year, that means we hear from an average of 155 or so of them every work day … and some days it feels like it. Good thing it’s one of the favorite parts of my job. Just this past week, three readers contacted me with issues that tugged at me. All of them revolve around the current economic climate and the bankruptcies and closings our industry has endured. Let me share each story with you and perhaps you can help me fashion some advice for them: Reader 1 put a plaintive plea on our architectural… Read More »

The Brand’s the Thing

There’s been a lot of talk lately about “branding,” especially among the glass manufacturers. A number of manufacturers believe that consumers will respond and one day request PPG glass, or Guardian, let’s say on the strength of the brand. I’m guessing the hope is that they will request one of these brands, rather than a no-name product. This has already come to pass in the auto glass industry, where glass manufacturers such as Pilkington, Guardian and PGW are working hard to distinguish their glass from the “generic” products toward which insurers forcefully push their customers. It’s a scenario that has been repeated over and over again in many industries. The… Read More »

Time for the Fix

My blog today was going to be about branding. It’ll have to wait a bit. That’s because of the influx of e-mails I’ve received today from various financial entities with which we do business. I am sure you got some today too—or perhaps a call from a broker or two. The people who administer our pension fund wrote me, and so did the “friendly bankers” with whom we have our checking and payroll accounts. Shoot, I even heard from a major credit card company which weighed in on the subject as well—that subject being the recent downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by one of the agencies that does this… Read More »

A Warm Welcome

I would like to lend my blog space this week to our newest employee. Many of you know Sahely Mukerji from her many years of covering the glass industry for another publication. We are thrilled to have Sahely join our editorial team today. It’s always been gratifying to me how all the best industry writers and editors sooner or later end up here. Welcome Sahely! In honor of your arrival, I thought I’d turn my “blog space” over to you today. Check out Sahely’s first.  

Songs of Angry Men

As has been the case almost all this year, the news just keeps coming and today there is something for everyone. As you might know, our company publishes a number of magazines concerning glass and we have a breaking story in almost every one. So here’s my take on a few of them: 1. To Thine Own Self be Trulite (USGlass magazine)—Sun Capital announced the highly anticipated new name for the trinity of  Arch-UGC-ACI Products (Vitro America’s new name). Which name emerged victorious? None of the above. The company’s new name is Trulite, which is actually an old name that Arch Aluminum acquired when it purchased a company of that… Read More »

Loyalty Oath?

If you are in the East, you know it is sweltering today, and that most human beings who’ve been outside for more than ten minutes share a striking resemblance to a spent dishrag. So it was that the decision was made to forego a more usual luncheon salad for a climate-appropriate small Vanilla Milwaukee Cream Custard. It was the only sensible thing to do. You see, my plan was to eat said custard and write today’s blog. Well, the custard had long since cooled my parched, dry throat as I continued to wrestle with the topic of what to write about today. News wise, we are awaiting a major story,… Read More »

Time Will Tell

Few in our business remain unaware of the announced purchase of U.S. Aluminum by C.R. Laurence (CRL) last week. Actually, the purchase was met with a sigh of relief in many circles because CRL is known as extremely well-run company. And the idea that there will be another quality metal supplier around with knowledgeable industry veterans such as Tom Harris running it is both comforting and exciting to many. It’s a brilliant move by CRL for sure. The purchase, though, has left a fair number of people wondering what the “new U.S. Aluminum” will look like. Certain assets of the company were purchased by UMEX late last month. At the… Read More »

Happy Holiday!

      Happy Canada Day today to our Canadian Readers!              And The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kan., features what may just be the largest stained glass American flag in the world.                   Happy 4th of July on Monday to our U.S. readers!                     We hope everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday weekend from everyone here at Key Communications!

Odds Are

The recent purchase of Vitro America’s assets by Sun Capital got me to thinking about Mickey Binswanger the other day. He was winding down his career about the time I got into the glass industry. Even at that young age, it was easy to recognize what a powerful force he, his family and his company were in the glass industry. So I figure he would be wondering right about now: What’s going to happen to Binswanger? For now, let me just focus on Binswanger the retailer and save the distribution company ACI for another time. Primarily a nationwide chain of auto and flat glass retail locations, Binswanger has particular strength… Read More »

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