Volume 7, Issue 2, March - April 2003

Dear Reader 
    Penny Beverage

Faces Old and New

I admit it, my favorite thing about a trade show is not going to a new city or learning about the new products. Though both of those are nice, they both remain secondary to my very favorite thing: getting to meet more of you every year. At every International Window Film Conference and Expo™ (IWFE) I’ve attended, with this one being my third, I get to see a few new faces and some familiar ones.

Among those I met was Alice Wilson of Austin Car Protection in Pflugerville, Texas. Alice was one of the contestants in the second annual International Tint-Off™, and I had the pleasure of interviewing her (see "The Woman in the Window").

I also met Lawrence Streidel of Interior Guardz, just north in Rockville, Md. Streidel, who told me modestly that he once wrote for the sports section of the Washington Post, and his wife Charlotte will soon be our newest columnists, as they begin writing a column called “From the Shop” about the daily goings-on in their growing film shop. Look for this column in the May-June issue.

Madico’s marketing director Tom Niziolek was one of the familiar faces that I got to see again. When I cornered Tom while waiting for the results of the tint-off, he was kind enough to let me pick his brain for story ideas. Tom suggested we do a story focusing on decorative film, and that is now in the works for the next issue. If you have any comments, please let me know.

I also spent a good deal of time talking with CPFilms Inc.’s national sales manager, Lewis Pitzer, who gave me tons of handy information and suggested another story idea—a profile of their company, which is just about a 4-hour drive from our location here in Stafford, Va. Assistant editor Kris Tunney and I have a fun road trip ahead of us to travel there in March.

In the way of familiar faces, last week I had the pleasure of running into a familiar face in an out-of-place location: the Independent Glass Association’s Glass Show and Convention, held in Reno, Nev. The show is held for independent auto glass shops and we cover it for Window Film’s sister publication, AGRR. However, as I sat down at one of the seminars, I noticed a familiar face near the podium. It was your very own Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA.

It was a pleasant surprise to see Darrell, a familiar face, in a different location, but it was even more interesting to learn why he was there. He was explaining to the shops that window film is a viable add-on solution for an auto glass shop. I was fascinated because I’d heard the same thing—reversed—at the IWFE just three weeks before. Dick Bass of Ziebart International and John Byron of Glass Doctor held a seminar about diversification of window film shops and suggested that you add auto glass repair and/or replacement on to your businesses for further profits (turn to "Branching Out" for complete story).

To those of you that I got to meet at the IWFE, thank you for all of your ideas, and for those I didn’t, please mark your calendars as soon as the date is set for next year. I know I am. 


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