Volume 47, Issue 12 - December 2012

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Backwards and Forwards
A Look Back … and Ahead at GANA’s Annual BEC Conference

In 1997 fewer than 100 individuals from contract glazing firms around the country traveled to Las Vegas for the first ever Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference. Over the years the event, organized by the Glass Association of North America (GANA), has grown to become the association’s largest and an industry-wide must attend. In 2013 the BEC Conference will take place March 17-19 once again in Las Vegas at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

BEC today is very different compared to what it was in the beginning. While it still takes place annually, the size of the event has grown tremendously, with hundreds attending, including contract glaziers, consultants, suppliers, fabricators and even architects.

“Now on average we have between 400-500 people,” says Ashley Charest, GANA account executive.

Greg Carney, president of C.G. Carney and Associates and a consultant for GANA, was in attendance at that first meeting.

“From the development stage of the GANA Building Envelope Contractors division and conference in the late 1990s through better economic times of the early 2000s the BEC Conference grew from 74 participants to more than 750,” says Carney, speaking of the group’s largest event ever, which took place in 2008. He adds, “The BEC Conference remains the conference totally devoted to the glass, glazing and building envelope industry.” “We have placed a focus on providing marketing venues for suppliers such as tabletop displays and the Take 5’s, an opportunity that provides a supplier with a five-minute time slot to share information about products, services, etc.,” says Charest.

She explains that the program is designed and created specifically to bring the most relevant topics and information to the contract glazing industry. In addition, it includes ample networking opportunities.

“For the contract glazier the BEC Conference provides them with quality education in a short period of time, along with putting them in the same city with most of their valuable suppliers,” she says. “This three-day event helps them network and learn in a very short period of time.”

Carney agrees.

“Every year the conference focuses on providing educational, networking and reunion opportunities for every aspect of the glass, glazing and building envelope industry. There is value in participation in every minute of the conference, whether it’s keeping up with new technologies, seeing old industry friends or finding new resources.”

Henry Taylor of Kawneer says the conference provides an opportunity for a wide cross-section of stakeholders in the glass industry to gather together to discuss topics that are relevant to everyone.

“It is a safe environment in which all members of our industry can share ideas and have a larger discussion with the goal of raising the standard of excellence for all of us,” says Taylor, who serves as chair of the conference. “As a manufacturer and chairman of the BEC, I have always seen the conference as another avenue that I can use to serve our customers. [It] has given me an organized agenda of speakers and topics to address what I have seen as [key] points in the industry. BEC meets a critical need in our industry. We might be competitors and we might bid against each other for work, but at the end of the day, our success as individuals is impacted by our success as an industry. If [we] do not tell our story about energy efficiency, the benefits of natural daylight, sustainability of our materials and defend our position in the contract, we all get hurt.”

Charest adds, “The average person does not know what a contract glazier does, so when you talk about your business at a local Chamber event, they don’t understand the nuances. At this event though, the people in the room intimately understand the others’ opportunities, challenges and can give feedback on their jobs.”

Schedule Highlights
Just what can the industry expect from the 2013 conference? Lots. The event will include informative sessions and presentations from a number of industry leaders. While the schedule is not yet finalized, those attending can expect presentations about leadership, codes and standards, legal contract issues, as well as a panel discussion with various members of the project team, such as the owner, general contractor, architect and contract glazier. Stay tuned to www.usgnn.com for event news, schedules and event highlights as they are made available.

In addition to the sessions, the BEC Conference will also feature a number of networking opportunities. These include coffee breaks, lunches, receptions and the ever-popular afternoon beer break/communications break. A golf outing is also planned for the last day of the conference.

Keynote Sessions
The program also includes three keynote sessions. These will open with Scott Thomsen, president of the global flat glass group of Guardian Industries, who will discuss “The State of the Glass and Glazing Industry.” The session is scheduled for Monday, March 18 at 8:15 a.m. Before being named president in 2011, Thomsen, who has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of North Dakota and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of California, was group vice president, North American flat glass operations for the company. He also served previously as chief technology officer for the company’s Science & Technology Center where he was responsible for directing research and development initiatives. He has authored more than 40 publications and holds more than 60 patents in the areas of displays, sensors, coated glass and glass materials.

Rich Drinon, M.A., president, Drinon & Associates Inc., will lead the Monday afternoon session, “Stepping Up to Leadership.” According to Drinon, the need for leaders has never been greater—and the challenges for leaders have never been more complex. His session will examine the awareness, attitude and actions required by today’s leaders as they work to build their team and organization. This session is designed to help attendees recognize the standards to which leaders are held and the neverending importance of communication in leadership roles. And just what will attendees gain from this presentation? Drinon says they will be able to recognize the diversity and complexity of leadership and communication views; understand the value of leverage, influence and authority to the leader; examine issues of character, commitment and credibility in leadership; explain three levels of leadership consciousness; and recognize three continuous leadership actions.

His presentation is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Spotlight Speaker
The BEC Conference is also not without one “famous” presenter. In years past, for example, attendees have heard from former Pittsburgh Steeler Rocky Bleier among others. In 2013 Lee Corso, one of college football’s most knowledgeable, opinionated and entertaining analysts, and a member of ESPN’s college football production team, takes the stage Tuesday morning with his presentation, “Striving for Excellence, Not Success.”

Corso, who joined ESPN in 1987 after 28 years of football coaching experience at the college and professional levels, including 17 seasons as a head coach, serves as a game analyst for Thursday night telecasts and as a studio analyst for College GameDay and the half-time and scoreboard shows.

Corso also has served as head coach at the University of Louisville from 1969-72, where he compiled a 28-11-3 record, taking the Cardinals to their first bowl game ever.

Corso, whose college roommate was actor Burt Reynolds, received four varsity letters in both football and baseball at Florida State and is a member of the FSU Hall of Fame. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1957 and his master’s degree in administration and supervision in 1958. He is also the director of business development for Dixon Ticonderoga in Maitland, Fla., an international diversified manufacturer and marketer of writing and arts products.

His presentation is scheduled for 8 a.m. Schedule and program plans are still being finalized for BEC 2013, but you can still learn more about the conference or other GANA events at www.glasswebsite.com.

GANA Hosts Northeast Roundtable Discussion Topics
The Glass Association of North America (GANA) hosted a Northeast Roundtable meeting on November 8, which was attended by about 40 people from within the glass industry. The event took place in Newark, N.J., at the Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel, and was hosted by John Dwyer of Syracuse Glass and Arthur Berkowitz of J.E. Berkowitz LP, two veterans of the industry and the former GANA Squaretable meeting.

Discussion topics included:
• Viability of vacuum insulating glass units;
• Advantages, disadvantages of decorative glass products;
• Fourth-surface low-E;
• Outlook for float glass products;
• Seller beware—the impact of consultants and architects on specifications; and
• Industry tolerances: the value of GANA’s Glass Informational Bulletins.

“We were very pleased with the way the meeting went,” says Dwyer. “Attendance was strong, especially in light of the power, gasoline, wind, snow and flight cancellations. Bill Yanek and Urmilla Sowell led with very strong presentations on GANA activities and technical and advocacy efforts. An open forum session followed including a discussion of topics suggested by the attendees ahead of time. One particularly interesting topic was a discussion among the fabricators, a curtainwall consultant and a design professional concerning specifications, standards and resolving disputes.”

In addition, Chris Barry, director of technical services with Pilkington North America (who is retiring at the end of this year), was also a presenter and was recognized for his years of service to the glass industry. An avid tennis fan, those in attendance took the opportunity to present Barry with a Wimbledon tennis towel.

“Chris, always a fantastic speaker, was at the top of his game, with his presentation on insulating glass edge seal stress in double and triple IG units including gas and coatings in various sizes,” says Dwyer.

Speaking of the entire program, Dwyer adds, “several of the attendees told me they got a lot out of the meeting. I know I sure did.” For next year, GANA is tentatively planning to hold roundtable events in the Northeast and Northwest.

Talking with Tracy Rogers, 2013 GANA President
By Kaitlan Mitchell

Over the course of his eight year tenure with the Glass Association of North America (GANA), incoming GANA president Tracy Rogers looks to continue the association’s efforts to spur positive industry change for 2013. Rogers, director of industry relations and advanced technology at Quanex Building Products, is chairperson of the marketing committee as well as a member of the association’s energy committee. In addition, Rogers is a part of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) where he helped develop guidelines for the use of capillary tubes in insulating glass units.

USG: What are some of your goals/projects you will be working on for next year as GANA’s president?
TR: Next year I’ll primarily be tied up as the incoming president and that goes hand-in-hand with the marketing committee. One of the challenges associations in our industry face is trying to differentiate yourself and displaying your value to members. That’s on the top of our list, to really create an understanding so when someone hears “GANA,” [that name] is recognized as being the source of blank, and now we have to fill in that blank. Obviously it’s a source of information for glass and a source of information for networking but now we really need to establish what is that Coke brand that everyone immediately recognizes and then sees why they should be a member and why they should really participate.

USG: Why do you believe it’s important for industry members to be involved with GANA?
TR: There’s a sustainable amount of influence that the association provides within the industry from the code side, the technical side and the information that’s being provided to glaziers and architects. It’s an extremely valuable organization. Internally we understand that. Now we just have to be sure everyone grasps its value as well.

USG: I know GANA organizes several meetings each year. What are some details of these upcoming events to which the industry can look forward?
TR: We have our annual meeting coming up in January. This was actually rebranded as the annual meeting, and was previously known as Glass Week. This will be our second annual meeting, which will take place in Coronado, Calif. One of the big things we focus on is getting speakers in for luncheons on the economic and technology side. Next year’s schedule is filled with the hard work that goes into the different divisions and committees. For example, you have the Glazing Industry Code Committee (GICC), a committee of GANA, which is going into the next round of international codes. Our energy division is currently working on the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) in regards to 90.1, the building code and ASHRAE 189.1, the green code. You’ve got eight different divisions working on a multitude of issues.

USG: What are you looking forward to the most as the incoming president?
TR: Well I hear you get a better room in the hotels … but seriously, it’s really a joint effort. The president is a position that is dependent on everyone else in the organization, particularly the board of directors and the executives. It takes everyone to determine the direction the organization is going to take. I don’t see anything substantially different from the activities I have to take on now.

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