New Year, New Pod and Lots of News
Looking back and looking ahead
Happy New Year! We are off and running into 2023! Kicking it off in style with a great new podcast featuring three very interesting people all doing good things in our space.
First up massive heavy hitter in our world in Arty Feles, President of CR Laurence. CRL is one of the most important companies in our space and a leader through and through and spending time with Arty gave me, and you when you listen, great perspective on their approaches and bright future.
Then on to the tremendous Tom O’Malley of Clover Architectural Products. Tom’s company is making moves, so we find out about that and also his ways of doing things which has obviously been very successful.
I end this month with Sam Olson of J &A Glass in Minnesota. Younger and energetic guy and the sort of future force we’ll be hearing a lot more from in our industry. So please get the year off right and check it out!!
International Year of Glass
At the end of 2022 our industry wrapped up the International Year of Glass in style with an amazing session at the United Nations in New York City. Glass Magazine had an excellent rundown of it, but I also wanted to point out how amazingly cool it was for two of our own that had major roles during the event.
First Urmilla Sowell appearing at the UN and having an impact is something that just makes me beam with joy. Urmilla worked hard to make this all happen but from a personal level, coming from her youth in Guyana and now speaking at the UN? That is absolutely awesome. She said to me that “Island girls don’t speak at the UN” Well this one did! Way to go Urmilla!
Also in that same category, Katy Devlin, one of the most talented humans I have ever known, moderating a crucial panel there and also landing memorable quote after memorable quote is incredible. Katy showed the world her skillset and made our space and industry proud. Congrats to both Urmilla and Katy and props to everyone who took a part in the IYOG effort of 2022. Now though we don’t stop, Glass and Glazing Advocacy Days return this spring, so let’s keep banging the drum for our product of choice!
AGMCC new board members
The Architectural Glass and Metal Certification Council (AGMCC) announced six new members of its board before the end of the year and it was a nice mix of talent. One of my all-time favorites made the cut too in Kyle Sharp of Sharp Glass in San Antonio. Kyle is brilliant person who really “gets” what our industry can be and I think he’ll do a great job here.
AGMCC oversees the extremely important North American Contractor Certification (NACC) and Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (AGMT) programs. These programs are making a difference in the way we are viewed from the outside and improving our quality and approaches. Jeff Dalaba, Ben Beeler and team have done a fantastic job leading this and this board and Kyle will continue that effort.
Architectural Billings Index
The last Architectural Billings Index for 2022 was down again, so we now know that the trend line is here and the predictions from people like Connor Lokar are looking true. 2023 will be solid, 2024 looks dicey. Now the question is how long will this negative trend go?
Some analysts are saying 8 months, others more. For me, I tend to be more negative, so I am in the one-year camp. Now, this doesn’t mean business just goes away, it just means it’s going to get slower, which means if you haven’t been diversifying your approach, communicating up and down the chains, and working to make your business the best it can be, time is running out, so hop to it.
Building Design + Construction Awards
Big time kudos to Kevin Roth of Privacy Glass Solutions and the team at Vitro along with Michael Spellman of VIG Technologies. These folks won acclaim in the year end Building Design + Construction Awards. Kevin and his folks in Florida are building an absolute monster there with some excellent specialty products.
Meanwhile, Vitro was sharp and on the spot by working with Michael on the VIG Vacu-Max product that is a gamechanger in that space. With a showstopping product and the flow of the future pushing towards higher performance, this award is just the start of the recognition coming to Vitro. Congrats to all on the awards!
Consumer Electronics Show
Also kudos to Viracon and Halio after picking up some serious “best in show” recognition at the gigantic Consumer Electronics Show last week. Not often does a glass related party appear on that stage, but to come away with people raving and winning awards? That’s massive. Great for them, their product and our industry. Awesome news for sure!
Field Notes blog comes to an end
Bummer on this one. Chuck Knickerbocker of Allegion, a great guy, past industry MVP, and really one of the main tech figures in our space ended his blogging career at the end of 2022. Chuck was doing his Field Notes blog since 2009 and it was always a must read. Chuck was able to deftly mix technical terms into great prose, and always gave you a takeaway or three to work with. Chuck is just stopping his blog though, he’s still working and will be out and about, but his online messaging will be missed!
Last this week, what to look for in the next blogs from me. Next week, my review of the 2022 predictions I made a year ago. How did I do? We’ll find out. Then in the following week, my fearless predictions for 2023. Plus, more news to catch up on, including a certain recent MVP runner up with news, and more!