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Schools and National Overwatch

Improving school security 

The school shooting issue is still top of mind for me. When the possibility of interviewing a person who is out there trying to help schools do the right thing came up, I jumped at it. So I did a special one off podcast with Victor “Sal” Salazar of National Overwatch.

Sal’s group is a non-profit dedicated to improving the security at schools and doing it with an experienced intel mindset. It’s a really needed approach that I hope more schools take advantage of. It was great to get to know Sal and hear his approach and his passion for this area just comes through in waves. So a special edition of the From the Fabricator podcast, focused on schools with National Overwatch, is now live for you to watch or listen to, Apple, Spotify, Google etc., and hopefully gain something from.

And before I leave this subject, I just wanted to share a note from an old co-worker of mine Jeff Kirby. Great passionate take here on the school situation and I appreciate Jeff allowing me to share.  

I, as many, get disheartened and angry every time there is a school shooting for the exact reason you stated. We have products to keep kids safe and refuse to use them. It started with convenience stores and some office buildings. I leave Government buildings out of this because they will always find a way to keep themselves safe. Over the years I have looked at and quoted more than I care to count and at the end of the day a human life is worth about $5,000.00 regardless of what is said.

I have also installed some schools that have “secured entries” as a deterrent but when ¼” over ¼” laminated insulated glass is what is used there is a false since of security and the only thing they really deter is break ins.

To a point we as an industry have failed with educating architects and spec writers because they quit listening when they hear laminated glass and when a set of plans come out, all the time spent with face to face, and continuing education luncheons is lost. Manufacturers should take those plans back and say this is wrong and force an addendum to be issued with what is really going to keep our kids safe.

Cost is also an issue, remember $5,000.00 per life. I believe new and existing schools can be drawn and renovated with focus on entries and the project truly being secure and windows that are in a “shooters path” be bullet resistant and those that are not can be regular annealed and tempered glass. We still get maximum light and keep our kids safe with a reduced cost. Parents and voters also need to be educated. They are asked to vote on a school bond to secure the buildings their kids are in and then something like Nashville happens and they don’t really know that the school wasn’t secure to begin with. They are less likely to vote for the next bond because they were not educated.

Sorry for the rant but I believe this is not a cost issue and CM’s, GC’s, school boards, superintendents, architects, engineers, and spec writers need to do a better job of educating voters and parents as well as themselves on how to keep the next shooting from taking lives!



A loss in the industry

Sad news as well in our space with the passing of Joe Gudenburr, CEO of Syracuse Glass. Joe had really taken to our industry in a short two years at the helm and in the times I communicated with him, he was a person that “got it” when it came to our world, approach and cultures. He really was breath of fresh air. My condolences to his family, friends, and the team at Syracuse Glass. 

Vitro news

Ok on to some lighter news. Two takes on Vitro Architectural Glass. First off, its CEO Ricardo Maiz, past great podcast guest, blew me away recently when he went on a huge listening tour visiting facilities in eight locations over five days. Ricardo is tireless. Love that he has continued to get out there and see people and he never stops for a second.  

Then the news that Vitro launched the “Vitro X” program which identifies and then supports next generational materials and services.  That is huge- and a vital next step and no surprise to me to see Martin Bracamonte leading the charge there.  Martin is always on the leading edge, and this is surely one.  Nice work Vitro to push things forward both culturally and in the product space.

NGA news

Congrats to the National Glass Association on it being named to the “2023 Best Nonprofits to Work For” list by The Nonprofit Times (NPT), a leading national business publication for nonprofit managers. I have been honored to be associated with the NGA for many years and I can vouch for the fact it is a great organization with tremendous people. Kudos to Nicole Harris and the team there for building a wonderful place to work and for always being at the front of every industry need.

Baseball predictions

Last this week- Baseball is back and I need to get my predictions in…and by the way I love the new rule changes with the pitch clock speeding the game up dramatically. It has made a difference in watching that is for sure. So, my call for the World Series this year is San Diego and Cleveland with the Padres (sorry Ron Crowl) taking the title. 

Links of the week


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