The Work Doesn't Stop
April 27, 2020
As we all know right now, even with lock downs and shelter in place rulings, work still continues in many ways. Some of that action is going on full speed led by Urmilla Sowell and her team at the National Glass Association on advocacy for the industry. Among the areas the team were involved in this month were several ASTM subcommittees, covering a wide range of glass products and various standards. Laminated glass, anisotropy, bird collisions, color measurements, roll wave distortion and a lot more. Big time subjects that do affect every level of the glass industry. Why am I pointing this out? It’s because the NGA is doing serious work to continue to represent our best interests, even while so much of our world is in flux. I am in awe of their efforts and passion and appreciate it all.
- The latest Architectural Billings Index was released, and I think we all expected bad. And dreadfully bad is what we got. The index came in with a 33.3, which is way below the break- even index of 50. Brutal record level drop. But, surprisingly, I am going to take a positive spin on the new product inquiry rating. That came in at 23.8. Seriously, I expected that to be almost nothing. New projects! Anyway, it would be nice if both of those ratings are at rock bottom right now, but unfortunately, I think both will slip again in next month’s release. Hope I am wrong!
- Time for the latest Glass Magazine review. The cover is a stunning picture on a project at UCLA that was installed by Giroux Glass. The inside featured several excellent pieces, best among them Katy Devlin’s latest installment in the “101” series, which is now at Glass and Metal 501! Really nice dive into that space and in a great and easy to read layout. In addition, the article from one of my favorites in this industry, Tammy Schroeder of Linetec, on finish options nailed it. Tammy and Linetec just keep providing winning approaches. Overall, great issue as always and was a good diversion from the current world.
- Ad of the month was a tough race once again… tons of excellent creative this month. Kudos to everyone out there who had an ad in this issue. Bar was raised yet again. That said, I have to pick a winner and I am going with CRL. New logo. New Look. Great-looking ad. Well done by the team there!
- News from Okalux North America reached me this week as their parent company is now a part of the large European producer, Glas Trösch. Some names will change making it Okalux Glastechnik, but all else in North America will stay the same. Okalux North America President Donald Press is a good man, and he’ll continue to lead his team as before. I was happy to hear that because Okalux actually puts out the best customer newsletter in our industry in my opinion. I always learn something so I appreciate their efforts and am also obviously glad that the good people there can continue on!
- One fun one this week, a TV Series to watch―how about “McMillions,” which is on HBO right now. (It’s on free HBO streaming if you don’t subscribe). It’s a 6 part series on McDonald’s and the scam that was pulled with their game in 2001. Really well-done documentary series.
- Last this week: sad news once again. One of the nicest and sweetest people in our industry, Doug Sampsel, passed away. Doug was most recently a vice president at Trulite, and before that owned TGI in Georgia. Doug was a staple at every industry event and was a popular figure with pretty much anyone he came in contact with. Doug was passionate about his company and this industry and he was loyal and wonderful man. He and I were on the same side of the fence for a bit but mostly we competed, but that never got in the way in how he treated me or anyone else. Just a good person. My sincerest condolences go out to his friends and family, especially to his son Matt, who in my opinion is a ton like his Dad personality and class wise. Top notch. It has certainly been a tough run losing some incredible people in our little industry over the last few weeks. Thoughts and prayers out to Matt and all of Doug's family and co-workers.