Volume 46, Issue 7 - August 2011



The Top 5 Reasons to Join
GANA Membership Has Its Advantages
by Ashley M. Charest

As you may know, there is an association for everything, and whether you are a funeral director, doctor, florist or in the glass and glazing industry, individuals are taking responsibility to make their profession better while increasing their personal influence and knowledge at the same time. The Glass Association of North America (GANA) is a member-centric association that relies heavily on its members as volunteers for committees and leadership positions, and these members offer their specific knowledge of the industry to better the materials and information released by the association. Our industry, while very specific to glass and glazing, has multitudes of specialty areas within it. Recognizing those areas, GANA has set itself up to mimic the various large component pieces to allow for more participation from the right people in the right specialties.

Membership is a value to all companies in GANA, whether a small contract glazing firm or a publicly traded float glass manufacturer. There are so many opportunities within GANA, but we have highlighted what we feel are the top five reasons members join.

1. Online Platforms
Unless you have spent the last 15 years under a rock, you know that technology has integrated itself into our daily lives, whether paying bills online, uploading personal and company videos to YouTube or checking email on your phone. GANA also has adopted technology that allows its members to connect to the association in several easy ways. Glass Reflections is an electronic newsletter that also is directly connected to the GANA members only section of the website. You can also follow GANA on Facebook, connect via LinkedIn or follow the GANA twitter stream @glassnation. The association has released several videos and podcasts in the past three years and will shortly be launching an online educational platform with a multitude of educational programs.

2. Advocacy
Two years ago the association made a strong commitment to advocacy by merging the Glazing Industry Code Committee into the association structure. A house for all code activity, GANA meets to respond to code proposals in relationship to energy, fire, structural and safety code issues. GANA members also focus attention on regulatory issues and make visits to Washington, D.C., or any state in which glazing issues need attention from knowledgeable professionals.

3. Conferences
GANA makes a strong commitment to providing the best educational resources for the audience, dependent upon the event. Whether we are working on technical resources at Glass Week or the Fall Conference, highlighting the needs of the contract glazing industry at the BEC Conference, offering executive level speakers at the Leaders of the Glazing Industry Conference (LOGIC) or teaching those new to our industry at the Glass Fabrication and Glazing Educational Conference, GANA is in constant contact with its members to ensure that what education is needed is provided.

4. Resources
Whether you need a full-detailed manual or a quick two-page informational bulletin, GANA strives to provide the most current technical information for the glass and glazing industry. Our flagship document is the GANA Glazing Manual, which has been referenced in specifications for more than 50 years. Our newest publications include white papers on how LEED® is utilized in points for both mirror and decorative products. All publications can be reviewed (and purchased if not provided as a free download) online at www.glasswebsite.com.

5. Networking
One of the most valuable and popular resources that GANA provides to its members is member-based networking. Whether you email a question to a peer, talk over a drink at a conference reception or talk over the phone, being able to converse to your peers about industry trends, problems you are encountering or just making strong relationships that you will be able to use for the rest of your career is an enormous benefit.

Membership in GANA is always open and additional details can be found online at www.glasswebsite.com/join. We invite you to contact current members and find out why they belong to and participate in GANA. Join us for a conference and see the types of activities that GANA supports. But, most importantly, join any association that supports your daily work and contributes to its success.

Ashley Charest is the account executive for GANA.

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