Catching Up

The last few weeks have been a real whirlwind… so time to get caught up and clear off my desk…  Here goes…

–  The annual “Top 50 Glazier” issue is coming soon from Glass Magazine and to make the 27th annual list as best as it can be, please take a few minutes to do the survey. (if you are a glazing company of course) Click HERE for link.  I love that issue- always great to see the who’s who on that list!
–  The Dodge Momentum Index went down again in its latest report.  That index has been pretty volatile of late but I think the one takeaway here for sure is that things are a bit murky in the construction world.  I am staying positive but I would like to see this index find some consistent trends.

–  I am enthralled with the whole “college entrance scandal” that broke this week and ended up in the arrests of high-powered businesspeople and entertainers.  It really is amazing that when you have the sort of money and power that these people have you would go to illegal lengths to get your kids in to college.  In many cases the kids DID NOT WANT to go to college but the parents wanted them to go…  It’s an incredible story that I have feeling still has a few more chapters to it.

My pal Ted Bleecker had a tremendous quote on this whole scandal:

“Considering what people are doling out just to get their kid’s into college, I feel content paying six figures the old fashioned way… No entrance fee required”

Considering what people are doling out just to get their kid’s into college, I feel content paying six figures the old fashioned way… No entrance fee required

— Ted Bleecker (@TedBleecker) March 13, 2019

–  Off topic- one movie to see and one to get excited to see…. First up “Free Solo” the Oscar Award winning documentary about a guy who free climbed “El Cap” was incredible.  The last 20 minutes will have you on the edge of your seat.  Insane.  The other is coming in the next month or two- called “Yesterday” it’s a creative look at a world without the “Beatles”- check my video of the week for a preview!

–  Speaking of videos… go to this link and see a glass door in “action”… thank you to my good friend Jon Johnson for sharing.   The glass “worked” the hinges and install?  No so much!
–  Thirsty Thursday alert… March 21 the legend Bill Lingnell and the great Urmilla Sowell will have a presentation on edge grinding of laminated glass.  I was honored to work on a session with this topic at the 2018 GlassBuild with Bill.  It’s a deep, interesting and important topic if you are dealing with laminated glass.  Register HERE
–  Last this week…  We as an industry and the world itself lost another great person recently with the passing of Ruben Huerta of Glasswerks.  Ruben was a part of the management and ownership at Glasswerks and was absolutely loved.  Great guy and a huge loss.  My thoughts and condolences go out to Ruben’s friends and family and the entire team at Glasswerks. I know Ruben will be sorely missed.


–  Best owner ever and when I am Raleigh next I am going to this restaurant!
–  It amazes me how people ignore boundaries with regards to animals.  This lady is lucky to be alive.
–  Really fascinating story on the “fine print” on contracts and agreements. 

Here it is the trailer for “Yesterday” – and yes my excitement for this may be because I love the Beatles but my gosh its an incredibly cool concept and I can’t wait to see how they pull this off.

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Recap- BEC 2019

BEC 2019 was like a blur to me.  One moment it’s starting and the next I’m in a crazy cab line at 3:30AM headed back to the airport.  Thankfully I took notes along the way to share with everyone…  My overall feel was the event was a huge success at every level.  Networking is always top notch and it did not disappoint this year.  More on that below.  The educational content was off the charts incredible.  We had a lot of new voices and personalities on stage and they brought a great energy to the event.  There was so much detailed info that it almost was too much (if that’s possible!)  The planning committee has its work cut out for it for 2020.  One person I hope is back at the next BEC is Cynthia Paul of FMI- her forecast and sharp presentation was a major highlight for me.   On a personal note, I was very fortunate to host a panel that featured some serious brilliance.  Paul Robinson of Pioneer, Brian Filipiak of Alliance Glazing and Neil Opfer from UNLV were fabulous.  Getting to work with industry guys like Paul and Brian was a thrill for me- they are superstars. 

–  The tabletop area was really interesting- so many neat products- main ones that stood out were the handrail glass and IG with glass spacer from sedak.  The other one was the new safety clothing from Bohle America.  I saw this material at glasstec and fell in love and now its advanced from what was on the floor in Germany.  Game changer for safety.

–  So now on to the networking and the folks I got to run into and visit with… and I’ll say it up front, it is an honor to share an industry with these folks and all that attended.  Class acts everywhere!

–  So the industry MVP from 2018 was there and getting a few minutes with Nathalie Thibault of Prelco is awesome.  As is reminiscing with her co-worker Greg DiVona.  Greg remembers me when I was breaking in and he treated me just as great then as he does now- I will always be grateful for that.   It was great to Darand Davies who just started a new company Black Line Glazing and was 150 pounds lighter- he looked tiptop!   Meanwhile seeing Keith Stockman of Glassworks was very nice, a reminder of a great friend from past work history.

–  Dan Pompeo, one of the best manufacturers reps around was a bit down in the dumps, after all it’s been like 28 days since one of his Boston teams won a world title.  Poor guy.  LOL.  I always love visiting with Mike Gainey of Ensinger.  Mike’s knowledge base never fails to impress me and I always learn something when we visit.  The same goes for Dr. Helen Sanders, as it doesn’t matter what she’s focused on- I am learning. 

–  It was very cool to meet Josh Wignall of EFCO for the first time in person.  He is a force online with a great marketing mind, so to meet him face to face was an honor.  Same with Steven Brooks of Smart Lift USA.  His energy level is infectious!  Not the first time I met him but it was Tom Donovan of Suntuitive’s first BEC and it looked like he was doing well with tons of people interested in his growing product.

–  A blast from the past was Brad Austin of Harmon- this event and its success can be sourced back to the support that Brad gave it in the early years when he was at Viracon.  And of course speaking of that great company, once again my admiration for Garret Henson, Cameron Scripture, and Seth Madole could not be any higher.  Such good people and I appreciate them giving me just a few seconds of their time.  Same with Jim Stathopoulos of Ajay Glass who is always welcoming and classy.

–  This was the 2nd BEC where NGA and GANA were combined and I thought about the commitments that people like Stanley Yee of Dow made to make this industry better.  Stanley is always ten steps ahead of the rest of us.  So is Julie Schimmelpenningh of Eastman.  We were on same flight out and got to catch up at the airport because once we get to the conference Julie gets mobbed by people and I never see her again.  Same scenario with Chris Dolan of Guardian- airport catch up and then not again.  Their popularity is awesome.

–  It wouldn’t be a BEC without celebrating a birthday for Jerry Moser of RA Kennedy.  Jerry is an absolute legend.  Love the guy.  And if I didn’t include Max Halls and Ian Patlin is that same category I’d be doing a massive disservice to them.

–  It would not be an industry event if I didn’t see the great Tom O’Malley from Clover Architectural and the amazing Shelly Farmer from Trex Commercial.  Both of them do such a great job working the room and event- they get it.  I should put Chuck Knickerbocker of TGP in that same group too!

–  I was bummed that Jon Kimberlain of Dow could not make it to the event.  Jon is another one who had such a major role in BEC’s past; it was noticeable not to have him there.  Hopefully he followed along on social media. 

–  Last this week a quick story.  Twice during the event I was confused for Max Halls.  Both folks who confused me for Max had a bit too much to drink but I have to say I was pretty pumped to be confused for a very skinny, tanned guy with great hair.  I guess I should hang around folks drinking more?  Anyway this event is now done, now my focus show wise will be on GlassBuild America in September.  Get ready folks we have an event like no other coming in a few months… and we are going to pack the A-T-L with thousands of glass industry professionals who all want to advance their businesses and careers.


Swept out to sea on an iceberg?  Could’ve been bad- thankfully not in this case.
Developing a flu virus.  They could come see me since I think I have a post BEC flu…
My friends in Columbus- let me know if there are any updates to this story- this is really dumb management. 
If you didn’t catch the first season of Cobra Kai on YouTube last year you missed out.  Now comes the trailer for season 2 and my gosh it looks good.  Plus I’m loving the remix/remake of Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer.”

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BEC WEEK- 2019

It’s finally BEC week and 600 others and me will be learning the latest details in the contract glazing world while networking all the way through.  As I always do next week I’ll have a complete recap with everything I learned and those folks I was lucky enough to bump into.  Events like this are so crucial for our industry and our future.  So if you have missed this one, I’ll let it pass (LOL) but we have Fall Conference coming and then the Granddaddy of the them all- GlassBuild America in September. That is one you simply cannot afford to skip- especially this year.  A lot more coming on that and the new exciting events scheduled at North America’s largest glass and glazing event!


–  Congrats to my friend, the brilliant Rob Struble and the folks at Vitro on the launch of a new brand identity.  The look is super- love the color and the texture aspect to the logo. The tag line is different and creative.  All in all a great job by everyone involved there.

–  Also kudos to Tara Brummet of Vitrum on her recent promotion to Business Development Manager.  I have known Tara for several years and she’s a tremendous talent and person.  I am very happy that she continues to move up the ladder- a great call by Thomas Martini and the team at Vitrum.

–  Good read from Alex Carrick of ConstructConnect this week on the hottest labor markets.  This list is pretty much what you would expect if you follow the construction world though some in the top 10 surprised me.  Here are a few:

Orlando was #1 and given what I have seen when I have been there recently, makes sense.  I was surprised to see Phoenix at #2, I thought they were lagging- I guess not.  Austin and Houston were tied at #3 and Dallas-Ft Worth at #8 means the great state of Texas is still indeed- great. 

On the ones that were a lot lower than I thought- Nashville & Charlotte tied at 21 and Washington DC at 34 were surprising.  Whole breakdown and explanations are HERE.
–  From all accounts the IBS show in Las Vegas was strong.  Once again the big door systems caught the eyeballs of the crowd.  That has been a trend for a while now and hits on the same theme we have on the commercial side. Large spans that allow natural light are the key.  Attitude on the floor from what I am told was positive about the economy and market as well.  So I’ll take that any day of the week. 

–  I saw an article on the potential upgrades to the PittsburghInternational Airport.  The upgrades look great but my mind raced back to when this new airport opened in the early 90’s.  I was new to the business but our family company fabricated a TON of the glass work there.  (Remember my brother Steve can sell better than anyone- that’s how a fabricator our size did a job like that) Once the job was complete and airport opened my brother and I went out to see it.  This was obviously pre-9/11 and the Pittsburgh Airport was built like a mall- a heavy retail presence unlike any airport before.  You could come and go as you wanted with minimal security.  We walked around the entire terminal bending over and looking at logos and markings on spacers.  Celebrating when we saw “PDC” and getting bummed when we saw others.   Anyway the updated airport renderings made me think back to those truly different times… and my gosh if we did the searching for logos (on our hands and knees, standing on chairs etc.) and markings in todays security climate we’d be sent to jail!!

–  Last this week- not glass related but interesting nonetheless.  A contest to come up with new drinking cups… for me I didn’t realize what the make up of the current “disposable” coffee and soda cups were and what they are potentially doing to the environment.  So this contest seems fascinating.  We’ll see what happens next.

Incredible, accidental explosion caught on tape.  Thank goodness no one was around!
Impressive kid- all I know is filling out that many applications and writing that many essays had to be crazy!
Incredible and good to see justice served!

This is not something you see every day….

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Virtual Reality is Here

A little different lead this time out… so a the IBS show this past week one of the bigger plays was showing Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) in action.  I have been following this space for our world for a while and I am huge fan of the potential.  The issue is the costs are so far in the stratosphere that putting this into play is just not realistic at this point.  But someday it’s going to be and when that happens, it will be a game changer.  The technology is incredible and it will allow the potential customer to see the end product in place and in action and that excites me.  I thought about this also during a recent trip to Florida.  I did the “Void” at Disney Springs and it is a truly immersive VR experience.  In this case I was in the middle of a Star Wars battle and I will tell you… It. Was. Real.   The detail was incredible.  Between that and seeing some of the tests with building products, I just can’t wait.   (Note there is a Void in Las Vegas, I may have to sneak to that before or after BEC)

If you’ve experienced the Void or have thoughts on VR or AR in our world, please drop me a line…


–  Last week I covered the beauty of the new Glass Magazine.  This week its time to look at the brains of it and also give out my “ad of the month.”  The articles this month feature detailed and intense reporting.  The World of Glass and Industry Forecast pieces were loaded with insight and I loved the “Trendhunter” piece by Ron Crowl of Fenetech.  I could see that series becoming a favorite of mine.  All in all a loaded issue content wise!

–  As for the ad of the month, I mentioned last week the ads just “popped” more and so this month it was tough to pick just one winner- so I have a few.  I really liked Swisspacer’s piece of cold and warm- really excellent use of an image and story.  I have no idea who deserves the credit from Swisspacer so please if you are reading this and you know the person- pass along my kudos!  I liked HHH’s new ad- it used color and image perfectly and jumped off the page.  Props to you Melissa Blank and Mike Synon!  FuseRocket from DFI was a fabulous ad.  Stopped me in my tracks.  Syndi Sim well done!  Last but not least the creative Q&A that Consolidated Glass Holdings caught me perfectly.  Great work by Angela Beach from CGH, who nailed it on a cool 2 page spread.  Overall this may have been the best magazine for ads I have ever seen.  May it continue!

–  The latest Architectural Billings Index came out and reported a huge positive jump last month. A massive score of 55.3 was posted and folks I will tell you I am stunned.  That is an amazing and unexpected report.  Obviously I’m thrilled with it, it’s the highest total in quite a while, but I surely did not expect it.  Let’s keep rolling.

–  Fellow road warriors… how about these new airplane seats?  I am always seeing these articles and wonder which major airline will jump in and take a chance with something radically different.
–  A list of the richest cities in the US came out this week…  and you know me, I love lists like this… the rankings are pretty static from last year but a few things jumped out.  Rumson, NJ jumped 19 spots this year to now the 19th richest city in the US.  Which one of you glass superstars moved in there?  (I have never heard of that area) I was surprised to see my former home of Ohio have a few spots in the top 50 including Village of Indian Hill at #11.  I was also surprised that Malibu, CA was at 43rd- I thought it would be higher- just my perception always assumed that.   Anyway the entire top 50 is HERE. 
–  Last this week… a hearty congratulations to John Wheaton.  25 years ago this past week John started his incredible firm Wheaton Sprague.  John is a wonderful, smart and positive voice in our industry and I am happy to see him celebrate the silver anniversary.  Well done John and here’s to many many more successful years ahead!


–  Interesting take on the whole Amazon HQ 2 adventure.
–  I have used “hidden city” airline sites before but I have been wimping out on booking tickets- and now I am glad I do.  Story is one to watch here.

–  I am not a scientist or a beer drinker-  but can this be real?  Seems very far fetched.

Coming in March to Netflix… “The Dirt” which is based on the awesome book of the same name about the music group Motley Crue.   The book was incredible- how will the movie be?  I am pumped to see it….

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Great Look!

One of my favorite things is getting latest industry trade magazines and reading them cover-to-cover.  I love the news and the advertisements and I always want to see who may have switched jobs without me knowing.  Plus for the last few years I have been faithfully reviewing the latest issues of Glass Magazine here on the blog, so that added to the enjoyment.  This week, my excitement was brought to a whole new level with the release of the new look and feel of Glass Magazine.  Switching up a look or a brand is always a challenge- I have been a part of a few efforts and I know its not easy.  On this one the Glass Magazine team nailed it.  The look is incredible.  Modern and sleek.  The color scheme really works nicely and not sure what how the layout changes did it but the stories and ads pop off the page more.  It really is a beautiful piece and full congrats to the team at Glass Magazine who I am sure worked tirelessly on it.  So now not only can you get incredible insight and information but it’s laid out in such an advanced way.  Next week I’ll do my ad of the week and story review but for now I just wanted to pay homage to the new look!  Well done!


–  This was a week filled with big moves… aside from the launch of the updated Glass Magazine we had two major industry figures announce new employment.  First Tracy Rogers, past Glass Industry MVP, joined up with OmniGlass out of Canada as their new Director of US Sales and Marketing.  He will do a fabulous job and I hope that position gets him back involved in the overall industry scene.  Next was the news that Gus Trupiano was going to General Glass International (GGI) as National Sales Manager for their Specialty Division.  Gus is a very good friend of mine and I am excited to see what this next chapter brings.  GGI has amassed some serious talent in the last handful of years and so Gus just adds to that overall firepower.  Like Tracy coming back into the national industry scene, I hope Gus is able to still be active for the industry in his new role, though I know he’ll have his hands full getting up to speed with this new position.  In any case I loved seeing two excellent people land in great places.  Congrats to both!

–  I was a big follower of the Amazon HQ2 search and when they picked NYC as one of the sites I was honestly stunned and to me it made no sense.  Terrible fit on so many levels.  In the end I was right as Amazon decided after various levels of pushback to reverse field and not make NYC a site.  It will be interesting to see what happens now because since Amazon had picked NYC, many competing proposals were made more public.  Will other cities now knowing what all the bids were step up their approach?  This one will still be a fun one to watch. 

–  For my many friends in Vancouver… this building with reflective glass blocks looks like pure craziness.  Can’t wait to see what it looks like once built!
–  Just a reminder- BEC is coming… and a quick story on that….  so I am a big fan of Steven Brooks of SmartLift Equipment.  He is an absolute media/marketing machine.  Anyway he reached out to me because he had an interest in BEC and wanting to learn more.  After we went back and forth, Steven is attending.  He saw that the value of learning and networking is an absolute must have in our world.  So if you are on the fence- hop off and register today!  And by the way I must admit that I was thrilled to help push Steven’s decision to a yes as I may be the worst sales guy ever.  (My brother got every single sales gene in our family)
–  For my dynamic and blinds between glass folks… this news on “corded window coverings” being phased out has to be positive news right?
–  Last this week… anyone headed out to the IBS show this week?  I’d love a recap if you are… I did see though that Vegas jumped the prices for hotel rooms this week… captive audience/supply & demand and “poof” welcome to $400 a night rooms….  Anyway, those that are going enjoy and feel free to drop me some insight please! 


–  I have followed a lot of the past of Pablo Escobar but this was one thing I had no idea about and it’s a legacy with no end in sight.  Wild!
–  Crazy and sad at same time- ultimate helicopter parent
–  Yet another reason I love dogs!

Winter is tough and roads can be very scary.  This is from Kansas City I believe and the highway had serious ice under the snow- so stopping was not easy- add in some extra speed and you have a recipe for a bad pile up.  Please folks- stay safe out there!

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Time for my annual pitch about the value of coming the BEC Conference next month… BUT WAIT… this year I am going to focus it a little differently.  In the past I really played up the networking and deservedly so… this event is off the charts in that area.  Seriously if you don’t believe ask one of the 500+ people who consistently attend.  No this time my focus is on the group of people that the conference is built for… the glazing contractor.  If you are a glazier, you need to attend.  Simple.  The access to 1-1/2 days of targeted educational content that was developed passionately by your peers and the ability to advance your business awaits.  I know many of you are very busy and the thought of taking a few days out of the office is not something you relish, but believe me this is worth it.  Take a look at the agenda.  If you want to learn more and want to talk to a fellow installing company that attends to get more insight, let me know, I’ll broker introductions.  This truly is a conference that deserves your attention.  And as for the non glazier folks out there- obviously you deliver the networking and additional flavor that makes this event complete.  In any case that’s my plea… and while I stand proudly on the fact that I oversaw the largest BEC in history several years ago, I would love nothing more than to see that record shattered…  So check it out and make plans to join your peers March 3 in Vegas.

–  I’ve noted here in the past I am not a fan of LEED at all… but I do enjoy stats about the process and the one I always like to run are the top 10 lists of adopters of the program.  This list is for the top 10 states for LEED building in 2018.  This rundown is based on green square feet per resident.  To my surprise the #1 state was Illinois and furthermore #2 was Massachusetts.  I really expected Washington state and Colorado to be 1 and 2 but they were 3 and 6.  I was shocked to see the great state of Texas check in at #5.  I don’t think people associate Texas with sustainable building and obviously those folks are wrong.  The rest of the top ten was Hawaii, Virginia, California, and Maryland. 

–  I am probably alone on this one but it bums me out that movie named “Glass” is a bizarre and intense horror movie.  Plus people use the hashtag #glass on social media and its killing my searches for interesting stories about our industry…

–  With both of my kids now residing in Florida I have had to spend some time here and there in that state and I am floored over the fact that seemingly no one uses turn signals there.  The biggest stunner- I was following a school bus… and the school bus failed to use a turn signal!  A school bus- where signals for safety are the law and huge, yet even this driver failed to throw on his left turn signal.  Insanity….

–  An important post a few days ago from the always-great Kerry Haglund (Efficient Windows Collaborative) on LinkedIn.  She linked to the news from the DOE on 42 million dollars being earmarked for study into innovative building products.  Windows are a part of this.  My sincere hope is that people like Kerry or other organizations that can take advantage of this are involved in the developments.  We’ve seen in the past grants come through the DOE that to me were not put in the best and most capable hands glass wise.  I’ll be following this the best I can and keep everyone updated… and if you are reading this and are involved- good luck and make positive innovations happen!
–  Last this week… I do still try to enjoy the commercials shown during the Super Bowl (Congrats to the Pats fans out there!) but each year the batches get worse.  This year a few were fun and enjoyable but most weren’t.  The oddest one?  Burger King with an Andy Warhol look alike working a sandwich for 30 seconds.  That was 5 million bucks.  Why?  Also while everyone in the media seemed to love the Washington Post spending 10 million for an ad, personally I thought that was a terrible waste of money… Obviously the Post is flush with cash so the whole “please subscribe or we’ll go away” narrative is wrong.    Anyway I guess it is what it is these days- but I’ll at least note the 4 that were solid in my opinion were the Hyundai one with Jason Bateman, Avocado’s, Planters, and Google/Queen.  Time for everyone else to come to the glass industry and steal brilliant marketing brains like Tessa Miller, Mary Olivier, Rich Porayko and so on to get better commercials!! 

I know this is for marketing- but wow it is stupid.  So this plus my Burger King comment above shows the fast food world is hurting for good marketers!
Your completely idiotic but viral story of the week
Florida is more than my complaints about turn signal I guess…

By now you know I love the band Queen and I am huge fan of the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” so it’s only natural that once I found this video it would become my video of the week! 

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Growing Our Base

So I have hit this before but a great post on LinkedIn by Tim Widner of Lippert Components got me going again.  Tim shared a story about high school students doing a “Signing Day” ceremony for kids joining the trades.  If you are not a sports fan, signing day is a big event in high schools for students picking a college to continue their athletic careers.  Some of the events are very lavish and the kids make it a show, but in the end it’s a very cool way to announce what is next for them.  Until now it’s been limited to sports scholarships… so it’s nice to see a group pushing something new.  We as an industry have to find our way into that mix, we need to keep promoting the greatness of the glass industry and the incredible opportunities we have throughout our ranks.  This continues to be a goal and something to work on- building our image as an industry so we can attract youth.   Any ideas I am open for it… and Tim, thanks for the post- good stuff!

–  So did everyone survive the Polar Vortex?  I checked with many of my Minnesota friends and when people from Minnesota say “its cold” it must realllllly be cold!  That was a tough week for the Midwest and East and I am sure it will have an effect on business levels.  I have heard of delays on jobsites that became significant so there will be some backlog jams coming up.

–  While not everyone is a fan of Apple Computer, as glass people you should probably at least like them.  The latest news is they filed for a patent for a glass sheet keyboard.  Obviously that’s something none of us will be into, but could it grow the glass brand?  Seeing our product in yet another very functional place?  It also made me think of the video that Guardian Glass had on display at glasstec that showed glass in a myriad of different ways for the future.  More publicity and recognition for our product can only help!

–  In case you missed it… the Annual Conference keynote I heard raves on was perfectly reviewed by Katy Devlin… here it is…
–  HEADS UP- Best hotel rates for BEC end on 2/8.  Get yourself booked asap.  The agenda of this event is off the charts, and as always the networking is awesome. 
–  Want to get stopped in your tracks?  Check out this headline and story on Vacuum IG growth.  Wow.  Huge prediction of upside here… surely one to monitor.

–  I really do love the “Great Glazing” section on Glass Magazine and the recent one on the Oregon Zoo is a favorite of mine.  What Walker Glass and Vitro did there with the bird friendly glass was fabulous.  Super looking job!

–  Last this week… a great read about Bagatelos ArchitecturalGlass Systems.  Presented as a case study it provides a great insight into one of the top glazing contractors in our world.   I will wholly admit I am biased because I really like Chris and Nick Bagatelos but this story is a fantastic look at the approaches they took to improve a company that was already doing quite well.  To me a lesson is that you can always get better and you should never settle… good stuff here and props to Chris and Nick for opening up and sharing!

This is the way to clear the ice from the tracks!
Kid stuck in a toy… wild.
Big story here… headlights are already super bright, this would make it even tougher.

Bradley Cooper… who may be the most perfect man ever created… shows up to sing with Lady Gaga in Vegas.  Rumor is he’ll be back for BEC… maybe my dream will come true and he’ll do a duet with me!

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Almost Right

So the latest Architectural Billings Index came out and I was almost correct with my prediction of it being under water this month.  The ABI came in at 50.4, which is barely beating the break even 50 mark.  I knew softening was coming, just not as much as I thought.  The analysts pointed to the tariff issue, the US Government shutdown, and a feel for an unstable business landscape as the reasons why.  So now the watch continues into next month- the overall attitude in the field has been on the positive end, but there is a bit of malaise to start the year.  There was solid news in that the project inquiry number stayed robust at 55- so that is good.  In any case I am not at all surprised about the main number but I am pleased to be wrong in this case- no matter how small the margin is on the plus side, I am glad to take it!

By the way with all of the forecasts in… AIA’s “consensus” forecast for 2019 non residential construction is a 4.4% gain.  For many that is not impressive or meaty enough, for me I can’t see how you could complain about positive growth…


–  Annual Conference looked to be a major hit- I heard from many that said the keynote was incredibly interesting.  I hated missing it.  Lisa Rammig, of Eckersley O’Callaghan & Partners gave the talk about glass and trends and according to this tweet from my friend Andrew Haring- it was pretty awesome but still scratching the surface:

“Despite dropping jaws with transparent IGU’s, flexible thin glass vent windows, 3D printed shading integrated directly into an IG unit, and a freaking all-glass slide (!!!)… she claims “we’re not where we want to be.” Fantastic presentation!”

Despite dropping jaws with transparent IGU’s, flexible thin glass vent windows, 3D printed shading integrated directly into an IG unit, and a freaking all-glass slide (!!!)… she claims “we’re not where we want to be.” Fantastic presentation!

— Andrew Haring (@andrewharing) January 23, 2019

I surely hated missing it… 

–  Have you noticed there’s surely a lot of airport remodeling/rebuilding going on and the nice thing is the amount of glass being used is awesome.  Last week the drawingsfor the update to O’Hare in Chicago came out and they all look to really want to take full advantage of the greatness of the glazing!
Scary story about constructions cranes being hacked.  That will be one of the worries with how connected our world is these days and will be even more in the future.
I ran across some interesting numbers last week with regards to website effectiveness.  84% of industry/architectural buyers will check out a companies website before doing business with them.  So when I am on here complimenting folks on their new sites etc. that is a big reason why… it matters.  So that said kudos to Heather Monroe at Machines and Wheels on the re-launch of their site.  Tremendous work- site is smartly done and easy to navigate.  Great work to Heather and her team!
Last this week… back to the Annual Conference and the news that Julie Schimmelpenningh was named as the 2018 winner of the C. Gregory Carney Member of the Year Award.  Julie is flat out awesome.  She so deserves the recognition and I am thrilled she was honored with this amazing award.  Also knowing that our friend, the late Mr. Carney, would be so pleased that Julie was selected makes the day for me.  Congrats Julie!


A VERY creative way to remove snow…. Better than shoveling right?
Wow the Weinermobile in an accident… worthless trivia when I had client in Memphis, the Weinermobile used to be parked in the lot of the hotel I always stayed at…
Sorry- no way can a Gator be an emotional support animal! 

Always awesome when a performer pulls a kid on stage and the kid comes through with an epic performance… here’s one from a Foo Fighters concert.  On a side note I wish I could play an instrument… love music, no skills whatsoever to play it!

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Predictions for 2019


Time for my fearless predictions for 2019…

1.     I may as well get this one out of the way early… Security Glass will continue to grow in 2019.  Yes it’s on my list every year but I am still convinced additional growth is on the horizon.  School security is priority like never before.  More and more private businesses are upgrading and government and municipal are pretty much locked in with desires to go heavier on security. 

2.     Look at Lifting.  The days of glaziers trying to use old fashioned muscle to install and move glass are dying.  The days of installers having to share various equipment to glaze are also coming to an end.  Like never before lifting apparatus is everywhere and its advanced amazingly over the years.  Just visit GlassBuild and be in awe.  I am a big fan of this sector and its importance to our industry.

3.     Speaking of important- the Robot Revolution is here. I predict the usage of robots and automation at the fabricator level will jump quite a bit as the year ends and many fabricators will enter 2020 with a new look and approach to production.  Included is this are terms like IoT and Internet 4.0.  Get ready; innovation is coming fast and furious.

4.     Deals are not done.  Many companies who are thinking about selling are staring into the future and thinking- “this needs to be the year I sell” because we really don’t know what 2020 is going to bring from an economic side.  I see a bunch of smaller deals but we’ve got a doozy or two coming our way and the rumors are absolutely wild.

5.     Talent on the move.  I think there’s a ton of talent in our industry and I have a feeling that we are going to see some of the best folks we have transitioning either into promotions at their current company or moving on to new ones. Any business owner who’s looking to take a leading position going forward has to be looking at making a run at some of the talent out there.

So we will see how these come out… I am always curious on what my dear readers think so feel free to reach out to me and share!  Would love to have the conversation…


–  One of my favorite things each year is when it’s announced that the employees of Viracon donated a huge sum to charity.  Once again they’ve blown me away.  It was announced last week that the incredible team at there donated $116,000 to the United Way.  Kudos to everyone at Viracon and special props to Carla Kern who heads this effort up every year.  Awesome stuff!!
–  The deal on the Project Managers Reference Manual for members of NGA is an absolute steal.  Must buy.  And if you are not a member of NGA, you should join to take advantage of things like this!  For more info…
–  Additional note on Project Managers… I am honored to head up a panel at BEC in March on training of Project Managers.  We have 2 incredible industry brains on the panel in Brian Fillipiak of Alliance Glazing and Paul Robinson of Pioneer Glazing, as well as Neil Opfer, a professor in the construction school at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.  All I can say is in my initial talks with these guys; it’s been an incredible learning experience on their best practices and ideas to keep improving our world.  I think I may just moderate by introducing them and then sitting back and watching them go.   Get registered for BEC today!
–  Great cartoon given to me by my friend Scott Goodman… really sums up our world sometimes:


–  Last this week… for those of you going to the Annual Conference- I sincerely hope to see you there.  My schedule is pretty messy so I may not be there for long or at all depending on how things break.  I am bummed because this will be one the best conferences ever… enjoy and I look forward to hearing about all of the details.


The headline is a winner all by itself.
Simply incredible way to lose weight!


Skipping VIDEO of the WEEK this post… we’ll hopefully return next week!

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2018 Prediction Results

So before we can really look into 2019, time to take a look back at 2018.  Did my predictions come close or did I fail like I do when I try to pick winners in sporting events… let’s take a look.

1.     Trucking will be a bigger challenge:  Well I believe it was tough… but was it a bigger challenge and did the DOT rules change anything?  I am not sure. I know it’s a constant battle but not sure it cratered the way I thought.

2.     Going Big- I felt the sophisticated glazing would be in style and in 2018 it was.  No matter how challenging the project it could be done and there were multiple avenues to get it done.

3.     Security Glass goes wild- I had this in 2017.  I had it in 2018.  Believe me I am putting on the list next week for 2019.  It was a better year for security glass especially in the school segment.  Sadly the need is there.

4.     Private Equity in and out- I thought we’d have some exits along with new players.  No exits but plenty of new and aggressive PE’s are on the scene now.  So ½ right here.

5.     NGA and GANA merge and be great in the end- The merge formalized and slowly but surely the unified voice is really finding its footing.  This was a massive undertaking and I am still extremely confident that it’s going to be a great thing.  So far so good with streamlined efforts in place and this will only continue to evolve and improve.

So I was not too far off overall… better than my pick for the Super Bowl this year… the Carolina Panthers.  Oops.  Anyway next week we’ll have my predictions on 2019….


–  I had a lot of reaction to my overall economic look for this year and into 2020.  Most of the reaction was that the positive indicators are outweighing the negative.  So that was very good to hear.  We’ll keep on it.  Still I think we’re going to see a dip in the next ABI and I’ll be then curious to see a trend develops.

–  NGA Annual Conference is coming up fast!  Have you looked at it or made arrangements yet?  The keynote speech by Lisa Rammig is an absolute must see. Staying ahead of codes, guidelines, and the technical movements in our world is crucial too.  Click the link and be there!

–  I came across an older article about trends in smart hotelsand there’s some specific areas that effect our world- specifically the modular building (which I have noted many times)  It will be fascinating to see how that and some of these other trends take off…
–  Last this week… this story on the pay comparison betweenbeing an architect and managing a fast food joint was noteworthy.  I am sure many in the architectural profession were not happy with the comparison, as they believe themselves to be beyond fast food management.  Still it also shows that it’s a competitive world out there for talent and some jobs do pay quite a bit more than you think.

–  Kind of an interesting story on some High School happenings between Principal and Officer.  Sadly the story leaves out a major question… but then again it’s the USA Today which has woefully become an absolute joke of a newspaper.
–  This is what our world has come to….

BUT….There are good people in this world.  This video shows it… people banding together to save someone in serious peril.

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