Volume 44, Issue 12 - December 2009



The Best of the Year
A Look at the Best 2009 Had to Offer
By Max Perilstein

With 2009 almost in the books it’s time to break out some awards: the Best of the Year, according to me (please don’t blame the fine publisher or editor of this magazine; these are all mine).

2009 surely was an interesting year as the market started to see some of the effects of a slowing economy and the glass industry saw many players downsize and cutback. I am here, though, to play up the positives and promote the good parts of 2009 and beyond. Some of this may seem familiar to some of you because I have hit many of these themes during the year on my blog, but many people only read this article and have not gone digital with me. So here we go …

Product line that took another step in 2009: The world of dynamic glazing continued its march to mainstream relevance in 2009. With the glass industry under siege from code and energy concerns, dynamic glazing becomes a very important product line for the long-term.

The best return to health of 2009: Greg Carney, formerly of the Glass Association of North America (GANA) and industry veteran, had a major health scare earlier in the year. But his many friends and acquaintances never gave up hope and Greg got healthy and back at it. Everyone wins, especially our industry with a healthy Greg back in the game.

Best ad campaign of 2009: The gang from Glassopolis won this one by using creative images and messages that really stood out. Simply tremendous stuff.

Best new leader of a GANA division: When my time as head of the GANA Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Division was up, my hopes were that Henry Taylor from Kawneer would be next in line to replace me and those desires were realized. Henry will be a tremendous leader of GANA’s largest division and will do a tremendous job in keeping the annual BEC Conference as the “place to be” in March of 2010.

The top 10 names you need to know because they are very good people in our industry and get too little publicity: Scott Surma of Decotherm, Jay Phillips of Oldcastle, Tom O’Malley of Doralco, Marc Deschamps of Walker Textures, James Bogdan of PPG, Joel Smith of Arch Aluminum, Kris Vockler of ICD, Rosie Hunter of Guardian, Garret Henson of Viracon and Matt Sampsel from TGI/UGC. All are classy people who do tremendous work for their companies and also are just very good for the health and welfare of our industry.

Best addition to a strong team in 2009: The addition of the Energy Committee to GANA and the appointment of Stanley Yee of the Façade Group as its chair. Our industry is on the spot all over this issue so adding this committee was a must, but the election of Stanley as its leader was pure genius. Stanley mixes in the right amount of intelligence, class and couth that our industry desperately needs these days as we fight battles on several fronts.

The guy whose retirement most bummed me out in 2009: Pat Pickrell called it a career in mid-2009. I am both jealous and mad. But Pat gave pretty much his entire adult life to many aspects of our industry and I am happy his biggest decision now is whether to look at the lake or take a swim in it.

Best industry magazine of 2009: No brainer … the one you are reading once again raised its game and had a great year. Plus, the online presence of usgnn.com™ and the monthly newscasts have become a favorite for many in this industry.

2009 person of the year: Julie Schimmelpenningh of Solutia. Plain and simple, there’s no one else like her in our industry and there’ll never be anyone like her ever again. Julie gives up so much time (and kudos must go to Solutia too for being able to allow Julie to do what she does) to be involved in the improvements of our industry. She works with task groups that feature information that could bore an 8-year-old who just drank a Mountain Dew to sleep. She is able to juggle so many responsibilities it just boggles my mind. So without a doubt, she is well deserving of any and all props that come her way.

Max Perilstein serves as the vice president of marketing for Arch Aluminum and Glass. Mr. Perilstein’s opinions are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of this magazine. His column appears bi-monthly.

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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.