Strength in Numbers: Joining Together to Learn, Network and Support

By Craig Carson

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference in Nashville, Tenn. It was a great opportunity to see and visit with old friends, have a wonderful meal or two, and see the local attractions. But my purpose in being there was to learn about new products, revisions and additions to existing product lines, and to see where the industry is headed. I was glad to see the tabletop area has grown and I could learn about new products and equipment that’s now available.

Nashville Strong

One of the best features for the BEC Conference is the networking. This was a well-attended event, and there were several opportunities to talk to suppliers, competitors and professionals throughout the three days.

But it wasn’t all good. Sadly, we were woken early morning Tuesday to the sound of the hotel’s alarm system alerting us to leave our rooms, and walk down the stairways to the main floor to seek safety in the central core of the hotel. A tornado had just passed very close by and there was concern of smaller ones that could be in its wake. Those of us in the hotel were fine, except for an occasional twisted ankle or noticing you had two different shoes on. Who cares? We were safe.

Unfortunately, the tornado did strike some residential areas and there was loss of life, injuries and major property damage. My heart pours out to the Nashville community. I hope that the recovery efforts are in full swing and that the city’s residents will be able to return to their normal lives. I will be looking forward to returning to Nashville one of these days.

Facing Challenges

While we’d all known about the Coronavirus and its origin prior to the event, most of us had just started keeping a watchful eye on its progress. The following week I was in Chicago and concern had increased a bit, and then bang! Everything escalated to new and higher levels. We all need to be aware of what is being presented by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control.

At press time, in Colorado, restaurants, taverns, movie theaters and public gatherings of more than 10 people are banned. Most states have taken similar measures. Schools are closed and students are working remotely with their computers. As of this writing, some of our jobsites are still going, others are not, and some suppliers have their employees working from home.

This is a very fluid situation and we need to stay flexible and listen to our leaders for advice to help all of us. Certainly, we will face some hardship together, but as Americans, what we do best is band together in times of crisis. Help your neighbors and we will endure.

Craig Carson is the director of preconstruction for Alliance Glazing Technologies Inc. in Littleton, Colo.

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