The Massive BEC Recap
Wow. What a week in Nashville. Unreal in so many ways. Get ready, for a happening this big, and two-plus years in the making, it takes an extra-long blog with plenty of name drops is coming your way. First off, thank you to all who attended BEC and GPAD. The energy in the room was incredible and the desire to be in person and connecting was top notch. There were positive vibes on where the market is and where it is going, despite worries about softer markets and the obvious concerns with the issues overseas. The education was strong and networking amazing. Just an epic time overall.
First and foremost, I have to say I am still blown away at being recognized during the conference and given the coolest possible jersey ever—as in BEC MVP. I am so thankful to the NGA for having that faith in me and to all of you in the industry who support me and these events. Thank you.
Now, time to recap the people I saw and more.
- I knew this was going to be a good event when my trip down had me on a flight with industry superstars like Kayla Natividad and Tim McGee.
- Then, the Sunday night reception did not disappoint. Kayla asked Tim and I if we were attending it and we explained that the Sunday night reception is the one thing no one misses, and judging from the packed rooms and halls, we were right. The show was at a hotel that Viracon did the glass on, and it was a beautiful job too—perfect glass from top to bottom. Kudos to Garret Henson, Cameron Scripture and Seth Madole, etc. on it, and it was a blast to catch up with them all.
- And yes, Cameron is still my main man—movie star good looks never get old! (Plus, he had a great book recommendation, “The 5AM Club,” too!) On the recommendation side, the awesome PJ Hilboldt of NGG turned me on to “Bad Vegan” on Netflix, and that was an incredible watch—was great to see PJ and catch up on all.
It is not a BEC for me without seeing one of our greats in the industry, Tom O’Malley. Love the success he and Clover have had—all deserved. Same for seeing “Slim” Rich Porayko—my gosh my man looked spectacular, and his talented fingerprints were all over certain aspects of this event. Loved seeing it. Was cool to see Mike MicKenzie of Glass + Metalcraft, appreciate him stopping me to say hi, and same with Matt Hanna of Glass Coatings and Concepts. Means a ton that you guys check this blog out from time to time!
Texas was in the house, and it was fun to catch up with Joe Lambertson of Country Glass. He and Brian Risinger were sporting fabulous company gear—great taste guys! Visited with Kyle Lamb and Taylor Frizzelle of Universal Glass, and that never disappoints. And no doubt I was thrilled to death to see old friend Debbie Baker of Binswanger Glass. That was awesome, catching up with her and the ultra-talented Jennifer Brereton. Binwanger folks always will be super special to me. Same with seeing first- time attendees Matt Verderamo and Skutch Montgomery of Alliance Exterior Construction. Pumps me up to see sharp young folks attending and being involved.
Can I talk a minute about the Goldray Glass crew? They took this event by storm—the bourbon tasting event looked to be a massive success (and the quick frost glass looked great too)—congrats to Laura Little, Michael Saroka, and Lisa Maragh on a masterclass in great marketing.
Pioneer Cladding and Education
This event is the only time I get to see certain people like the epic Paul Robinson of Pioneer Cladding and Glazing. He’s been a massive player in the BEC programming side and a great guy and he’s now bringing along Kip Larison from the Pioneer side to keep that momentum going. Kip did an amazing job on his remote work panel too—great session there.
Speaking of the sessions, all were strong, but my favorite was the mock up one, and I thought that Szymon Zienkiewicz, of Larsen Zienkiewicz was an absolute rock star. Hope to see him at more of our events. Of course when I talk rock stars I have few that fit that mold that I got to visit with—guys like Rick Alexander of Tom Brown, Brian Thomas of Super Sky, Tim Finley of TFIN, Jon Kimberlain and Stanley Yee of Dow, Barry Sutherland of FHC, and Gus Trupiano of GGI. All never fail to deliver.
Meeting new people
I met a ton of new people too which is always the goal. Anas Al Kassas of INOVUES is an impressive guy as is Miles Barr of Ubiquitous Energy. Both nailed their presentations and had the audience buzzing. Jake Kasbrick and Jon Griggs from Guardian Glass were tremendously impressive and great to chat with. Helped me get by missing my pal, the happily retired Chris Dolan.
Bill Wilson of Kensington Glass Arts I have talked to on the phone but meeting him person was fantastic and loved watching him network the room like the true pro he is. Three future podcast guests of mine in Joey Aragon of Aragon Construction, Ben Jayson of Bendheim and Thomas Cornellier of TSI Corporations were amazing meets for me. Bright guys that I wish I had a tiny bit of their brains and approach.
Blast from the Past
More blasts from my pasts? Brock West of Glass Systems and I go way back to when we both were in Michigan and I tried (unsuccessfully, mostly) to sell him glass. He’s done incredibly well in his career and he also volunteers to help the BEC too. Henry Taylor of Kawneer and Jeff Ziesche of JAZ sales are also ex co-workers who are just crushing it like always and they both are favorites of mine forever.
Will See You Next Time
People I saw and barely talked to and bummed me out were folks like Shelly Farmer of Trex, Lance Cotton and Greg Buczko of Global Security Glazing and the amazing Heather West. Next time folks, next time!
Missed at BEC
Saw fellow podcaster Mitch Hawkins- he and Matt Krier are doing a great job with their work. Matt was not at BEC, probably because he was lining up another great guest or two. Also, not here this year, Jeff Haber of W&W. Not sure if I have been to a BEC without Jeff, but he’s busy and W&W was more than capably represented by Chris Lalonde (super guy too).
Best of the Industry
The draw of BEC is when you can talk with some of the best our industry has to offer like Tom Jackson of Steel Encounters, Omar Maalouf of Momentum Glass, Jim Stathopoulos of Ajay Glass and Tom Nesbitt of United Architectural Metals. Three of those 4 guys did my podcast and they’re working over the fourth for me…LOL. Anyway, the work these folks do to make our world look outstanding and I appreciate them always taking the time to attend and interact! You know who else makes our world look good; the NGA superhero tech team of Urmilla Sowell and Karen Wegert. They along with Tom Culp, Nick Resetar and Thom Zaremba protect our way of life with an extreme passion.
Next Week: GPAD Recap
Next week I’ll hit on the massive success of GPAD—they deserve their own post.
Last but surely not least, the team from the National Glass Association is so amazing. I am so lucky I get to work with these folks, they are the best around. Led by Nicole Harris (who is on a totally different level than all of us) this team totally rocks.
I am eternally grateful to the king of Glass Nerd Nation Andrew Haring. He is a beast, and an amazing human and along with the intense enthusiasm that the incredible Melanie Dettmer brings, I can’t believe my fortune to get to work with them and that they put up with me.
Kudos also to Sara Neiswanger for pulling the levers and putting parts and pieces in place to make these shows go, and the caring, conscientious, and absolutely dogged and determined team of Molly Grenn, Wendy Rochelle, Michele Nosko, and Casey Stafford made sure everything was in its place and flowed, even when an extra couple hundred people just showed up for the party. Plus, Jenni Chase and Katy Devlin—the best in the business when it comes to the content and editorial side of our world.
I know I didn’t catch everyone here in the recap and I am sorry if I missed you…. Thank you again all who attended and supported, it is truly appreciated! Now I am really fired up to see everyone and more at GlassBuild!