Volume 42, Issue 9 - September 2007

Gateway to Glass
Grand Rapids Rolls Carpet for 
Glass Expo Midwest 2007
by Tami Faram

One of the glass industry’s best regional showings of flat and auto glass—Glass Expo Midwest™—is making its 14th appearance October 9-10 in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Expo is being held at Grand Rapid’s DeVos Place with host hotel Amway Grand Plaza, and is co-sponsored by the Michigan Glass Association, Detroit Glass Dealers Association, the Ohio, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin Glass Associations, Illinois Glazing Contractor’s Association, the Association of Glazing Contractors and USGlass magazine.

Past attendees and exhibitors say their companies benefit greatly from the regional exposure that Glass Expo Midwest provides. 

“I’m hoping to get a few good leads, build on our name recognition and strengthen our relationships with our current customers,” says Dan Lesniak, national sales manager for Gunther Mirror Mastics, headquartered in South Bend, Ind. Lesniak says he expects a large attendance at this year’s event. “It’s good to have the show in the Midwest because it really is our nucleus, it draws them [customers] close to home.” Gunther Mirror Mastics also is sponsoring a cocktail “meet and greet” that will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9. 

Midwest Dedication
Glass Expo Midwest 2007 is dedicated to the late Christian A. Haller, whose long career in the glass industry began in 1960 when he became a salesman for Cardinal Glass Co. He went on to become general manager and vice president of the company. Haller then moved to Weather Shield Manufacturing in 1976, where he opened a plant in Wyoming, Mich. In 1978 Haller served as a glass manufacturer representative serving the regions of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.

His life and career will be remembered as Haller’s family participates in a dedication ceremony that will begin at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9. The dedication and welcoming ceremony will kick off Tuesday’s afternoon events.

“Never Be Average”
Just after the dedication ceremony, former NBA player Tim McCormick, now an ESPN and ABC Sports college basketball broadcaster, will take the stage at the gathering. McCormick played ten seasons for the Seattle Supersonics, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks and the New York Knicks. He is in his 11th year in broadcasting and provides color analysis for both networks. At Glass Expo Midwest, McCormick will focus on his belief that NBA stands for “Never Be Average.” McCormick says that throughout his basketball career he learned that success is available to everyone who is willing to make a commitment to excellence. 

Success in glass is the name of the game at this year’s conference, where attendees will be able to participate in a number of seminars that will be held Tuesday and Wednesday. In the seminar titled “Developing Expert CSRs” attendees will learn how to turn their calls into jobs, how to handle difficult customers and how to make the call “stick” for their business. The seminar will be conducted by former glass shop owner Neal Golding. 

Golding will provide examples of “what works” and “what doesn’t” in customer service. Lyle R. Hill will present the seminar “What Were You Thinking? Can Contract Glaziers, Glass & Metal Suppliers All Just Get Along?” The “no holds barred” session pulls a glazier and a metal supplier together to talk about their “beef” with each other and discuss ways they can get along. 

In addition to the seminars, conference attendees also are invited to tour Tubelite Inc., a Michigan manufacturer and distributor of architectural aluminum entrances, storefronts, mid-rise curtainwalls and operable windows for commercial construction. Guests will tour Tubelite’s door and frame operations, offices, warehouses and distribution facilities from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Transportation will be provided from the hotel, but tour attendees must register in advance. (A registration form is available at www.glassexpos.com/gems.php).

The Midwest at its Best
Outside the show halls, the city of Grand Rapids awaits. Located on the banks of the Grand River, Grand Rapids’ sophisticated charm and Midwestern friendliness make it one of “America’s Most Livable Communities,” according to the Partners for Livable Communities. The city is known as a “walking city” and is safe and clean. 

Its downtown features a new convention center with many hotels and restaurants just minutes away. Grand Rapids also is home to many art and cultural events, such as plays, exhibits and museums like the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and the new Grand Rapids art museum. The Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is another not-to-be-missed site. The beautiful botanical garden complex currently is housing Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker. The world-famous statue is on temporary loan from the Detroit Institute of Arts until October 31. 

In addition to its culture, the city of Grand Rapids is fast-becoming a mecca of green construction. “The city is very proud of its status as a leader in building green,” says Claire Bunker, marketing project manager for the Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention & Visitors Bureau.  “On October 5 our new art museum opens – it’s the first LEED certified art museum in the world.”

“Also, Grand Rapids is the first and only U.S. city to be recognized by the United Nations as a Regional Center of Expertise (RCE) in Education for Sustainable Development,” adds Bunker. “This means community and business leaders, researchers and the media are committed to taking a leadership in role in educating and changing the behavior of others to achieve sustainable development.”

For more information about attending or exhibiting at 2007’s Glass Expo Midwest call 540/720-5584 ext. 115 or visit www.glassexpos.com/gems.php

 

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 
7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. 
Registration 7:30 – 9 a.m. 
Morning coffee break (sponsored by JLM Wholesale Inc.) 8 a.m. – Noon. 
Seminars and workshops 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
Exhibitor move-in Noon – 1 p.m. 
Lunch (on your own) 1 – 3 p.m. 
Seminars and workshops continue 3 – 8 p.m. 
Glass Expo Midwest™ 2007 6 – 8 p.m. 
Welcoming cocktail party on show floor (sponsored by Gunther Mirror Mastics)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 
7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Registration 
7:30 - 9 a.m. Morning coffee break (sponsored by JLM Wholesale Inc.) 
8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Seminars and workshops 
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Glass Expo Midwest™ 2007 
1- 3 p.m. Tour of Tubelite’s new plant 
3 – 7 p.m. Exhibitor move-out
To register visit www.glassexpos.com/gems.php

 


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