I had always wanted to visit Savannah, but never had the opportunity until recently when we made a stopover on the way to the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) Annual Conference, which took place a short drive away in Hilton Head, S.C. I was immediately drawn to the city and the historic architecture, the fountains (dyed green in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day) and the quaint little parks or “squares” that make up the downtown area. It turns out that I, along with a good number of other glass industry folks, was unaware that Savannah is home to one of the country’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Around 300,000 people took part in the festivities—and let me tell you—Savannah isn’t that big.
So it’s no surprise that one topic of social conversation during the annual conference was Savannah and the upcoming celebrations. Several people I talked with said they’d made plans to extend their trip and visit Savannah for the weekend. Those plans, at least for a few people, changed when they found out that St. Patrick’s Day weekend probably isn’t the best time to tour the city. That is unless you like shoving your way through crowds and the non-stop party scene.
The conference, though, was the perfect mix of educational and social events. Throughout the day members were hard at work in technical meetings, learning about topics like blast-resistant design, fire-rated and energy code updates and insulating glass. And
in the evenings, attendees got to network and socialize in a relaxed setting. Several members were also recognized for their efforts on behalf of the association and Stanley Yee with Dow Corning, who also completed his term as GANA president, received the C. Gregory Carney Member of the Year Award.
GANA also wanted to keep attendees active, and offered both a golf scramble and a fun run/walk. The golf scramble also raised money for the Deep Well Project, a local charitable organization. A check for $1,125 was presented to the organization from GANA.
This year was also the second GANA fun run. And while the weather and running conditions weren’t quite as pleasant as last year in Palm Springs, we all started our day with a good bit of exercise and felt better for it.
I’d love to hear about your annual conference takeaways. Did you make it to Savannah? Join in on the golf scramble, run or learn something new from a technical meeting? Your comments are always welcome.