From the fabricator: Seismic change for our industry
No doubt the big news of the week was the announcement that the chairman and CEO of Apogee, Russ Huffer, intends to retire once his successor is named. In what could be the first of a few very high-profile retirements in 2011, Huffer's announcement caught many off guard, including me quite frankly. In any case, this is a tremendous unsettling of the industry, and we'll have to see who Apogee puts in to fill some very large shoes. Huffer was a very active industry participant, speaking at many events and really pushing the proper gospel that put our world in a positive light. Russ also never went with the masses. When everyone was pushing solar, Russ steadfastly held to his data that the material was not ready for prime time. I believe his stance on that forced people to go back to the drawing board, and when solar matures, I think Russ will be one of the folks to thank. All in all, this is a seismic change and I hope that Russ stays involved in our world in some capacity, because we really do need it.
- Speaking of an Apogee company, last week I noted Viracon's amazing influence to get politicians into their plants. Afterwards, I got an e mail that asked me why I always prop Viracon while dinging "everyone else." So on that note: I believe I give Viracon the props they deserve. They have some of the best people in our world and they truly try to be a good and active industry player. And really--with the exception of a few cases that I am emotionally involved in--I have become a kinder, gentler blogger.
- Another good month for the Architectural Billings Index... Even the West is starting to show signs of life. No doubt it is promising, but even the analysts are urging caution since December can be pretty funky. So we will see, but if this holds, then the predictions of an improved second half of 2011 will be dead on.
- Meanwhile, in current times, January looks bleak thanks to the brutal weather. Quite simply, when glaziers in the East and Southeast are losing entire WEEKS to bad weather, well that is just not good. Oh, and then I ran across this story where scientists think a "Super Storm" may hit California. Wow. Wonder when the new codes to guard against a "Super Storm" are coming.
- PPG capped a great year with record sales in the fourth quarter. It's nice to see this on a few levels... hopefully that health will run downstream to more of the industry (and remember, PPG is much more than just glass these days). There are some fantastic talents within PPG that work very hard to reach the heights those numbers showed. I'm happy for them.
- Solutia introduced a new logo recently and I love it. (see kindler, gentler... when Kawneer broke out the big red K I panned it or when Visteon brought us Versalux). Seriously though, kudos to all at Solutia who worked on it--great colors, great look and style.
- Last and not least... my ability to NOT pick teams reached a new high... and honestly I am thrilled. The Steelers are back in the Super Bowl.... and I did seriously think the Jets (and the Bears for that matter) would win. I am glad I am not a sports better for a living... but I'd love to be anyone who goes against my picks... they have to be making a ton of money. So two weeks... two great franchises.. the Pack and the Steelers. I think you know right now I am all over the Packers to win....LOL (And note, the game wasn't over 5 minutes before my Mom e-mailed and said "PLEASE, PLEASE pick the Packers to win).
Read on for links and clip of the week...
Max Perilstein is chief marketing officer for Vitro America, Memphis. Write him at email@example.com.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.