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And so we begin!

Has there ever been a new year where there is an absolute unanimous agreement that it is great to move on to the next? I think obviously this is the one with all of us now looking forward with hope and positivity to 2021. I know the start of this year promises to have some bumps but as we get rolling, I do feel like things around us will improve and by mid-year, we’ll be rocking. So, buckle up and let’s go!

  • One of the keys I stress constantly is education and the more you can gain, the better off you will be. Registration is now open for the one-day NGA Glass Conference, presented online Feb. 9. This event has two sessions that are huge for your overall knowledge base. One is a deep dive into the codes, which for all of us, is an extremely important area of focus. The other is an incredible session pulling back the curtains into the insight of the GSA. I hear from people all the time on trying to get more government work, and this session is a great start to learning on what they want, care about and are focused on. Register now, and also take advantage of the Fun Run and Networking―even though both are virtual, still will be worthy. Here is the link, get 2021 off to a great start by signing up now!
  • The last Architectural Billings Index of 2020 was released after my last blog of the year posted. Remember, break-even is 50. The main score lost a tad of ground going from 47.5 to 46.3. Contracts also lost momentum dropping from 51.7 to 48.6. Inquiries stayed in the positive for the fourth straight month, though, and that is always nice to see. A little bit of a pullback which I think was pretty expected. 

Analysis from the AIA showed optimism heading into 2021, and I am on that train too. Though I think the score that drops later this month won’t be great, as it will have the remaining effects of the end of 2020 attached to it. For us, as industry, what’s next is experiencing the downturn that the ABI is built to call out, which means the next few months could be lean. So far, though, we’ve been resilient and with sliding backlogs and projects moving forward, we’ve hung in there and I expect us to continue to do so.

  • Big people news in our industry during the holidays. Apogee named a successor for Joe Puishys and Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope appointed a new president. The new CEO at Apogee is Ty Silberhorn and he comes to the role from 3M. He has huge shoes to fill with regards to support of our industry as Puishys really championed for our products and way of life. I am excited to see what Silberhorn does and what he brings to our world. At OBE, Liz Haggerty takes the wheel and while I don’t know Liz, many people who do know her have reached out to me with glowing reviews on her skillset and care for the industry at large. That has me obviously pumped and looking forward positively. Congrats to both!
  • Did you catch the latest edition of Glass Magazine? It is the annual Top Metal Companies edition, and it does not disappoint. The list of Top Metal players is always a great draw and it’s more than just a list of companies; it features trends, challenges, and other insight and data that really educate. Also in this issue, Katy Devlin with a cool look at working with a challenging install and one of my all-time favorites, Tammy Schroeder of Linetec, has a great piece on finishes. That piece featured Super Sky’s wild “Circus Circus” skylight which surely was a nice add to an already good article too! This and so much more in the latest November/December 2020 issue.
  • Ad of the Month is always so hard because there’s usually a handful or more great ones in each issue and this one was filled with them. But I am trying to only pick one, and this month the nod goes to Banner Solutions. It was the color choices in the ad that really worked, along with the font style. It really worked and drew me in. No idea who at Banner did this one, but if you know that person or team, tell them great job for me!
  • One of the best comebacks on TV was “Cobra Kai.” If you watched the Karate Kid movies back in the day, you’ll love this series. It is a light and easy series for the most part with some excellent nostalgia along the way. Anyway, the new season dropped on Jan. 1 and in the final episode, glass―yes, our beloved product―is in a major scene and I think the filmmakers got it wrong on how the used it. I won’t spoil it, but if you watched the episode and caught the mistake, hit me up. I’ll circle back to this down line to explain to the rest of the world Hollywood’s mistake… despite that, an awesome season 3 from Cobra Kai with hopefully more to come.
  • Last this week … as is tradition at the start of the year, I will be recapping my previous year predictions on next week’s blog (I should get a pass because of COVID right?) and then in two weeks my fearless predictions for 2021. Plus, I’ll soon be announcing something new, and I think pretty interesting, to add to your menu of items to follow. So, like I said above I head into 2021 knowing it’s going to be a little rocky but I know this year will be great and I am excited to take it all on and have all of you on the journey with me. Thank you!


Max Perilstein

Max Perilstein

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. Contact him at Opinions expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the position of the National Glass Association or Glass Magazine.