by Regina R. Johnson
More than 400 attendees flocked to Bermuda in March for the twelfth annual Glass Week conferencea week of networking, committee and educational sessions cosponsored by the Glass Association of North America (GANA) and Sealed Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association (SIGMA). Though overcast skies and rain threatened beach plans, the uncooperative weather did nothing to dampen the beauty of the events site at the Southampton Princess Hotel nor the productivity of the conference.
Glass Week 98, held March 22-27, opened with several days of GANA and SIGMA board and division meetings. Keynote speaker C.W. Metcalf was featured Tuesday morning. His session on Humor, Risk and Change focused on humor as a survival skill in stressful business situations. Metcalf encouraged participants of his lively discussion to use humor as a practical means of facilitating problem solving and increasing productivity under pressure.
Architect James Carpenter of James Carpenter Design Associates in New York, NY, followed Metcalf with an overview of the trends in architectural glass use. He discussed the recent interest by architects in more complex, transparent designs that rely on the use of clear glass energy-efficient coatings. Carpenter also described the increasing use of glass as a structural material in architecture.
At Glass Weeks joint dinner, GANAs executive vice president, Bill Birch, presented the associations outgoing president, Leo Karas of Karas & Karas Glass Company, with a Special Recognition Award, honoring Karas for his energetic efforts as GANAs leader. Doug Sampsel, the new GANA president, was also welcomed into the fold.
Among the many technical sessions offered, highlights included an update of ASTM E1300 on the strength of glass presented by Pilkington LOFs Christopher J. Barry and an open panel of aluminum suppliers that featured Pat Rome of Brin/Northwestern Glass Company as the moderator. The panel discussion allowed attendees the opportunity to ask questions of industry authorities that included EFCO Corporations Chris Fuldner; Tubelites Ken Werbowy; and U.S. Aluminums J.D. Williams.
Another well-received session was a presentation by Arnold Sarnow of the Business Source on developing a winning business and marketing strategy.
There were plenty of opportunities to play and socialize, as well. In addition to cocktail parties, breakfasts, golf and tennis tournaments, many guests attended a tour of the islands beaches, gardens, aquarium and zoo and underground Crystal Caves. A beach barbeque with gaming tables was among events that wrapped up Glass Week.
Plans for Glass Week 99 are underway, with the event scheduled to take place January 30-February 4 at the Westin Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage, CA.
Regina R. Johnson is the managing editor of USGlass magazine.
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