“There’s no way this flight will take off on time.” That’s what I was thinking a week ago Sunday while driving to the airport in (what someone raised in North Carolina might call) blizzard-like conditions. It was so bad at one point I thought about turning around and heading home. But I figured best to keep moving forward, rather than turning around and driving back in the same conditions. After all, this flight was not taking off on time … Or so I thought. I parked the car, checked the flight status and yes, even with the all the snow, my flight to LAX was still on time.

And there I was, headed to Southern California for this year’s Glass Conference in Long Beach, Calif., organized by the National Glass Association. And by all accounts, it was a good place to be for those three days last week. Not only was the weather perfect, but I got to see and talk with so many people I haven’t seen in a long time, and I got to catch up on news and updates taking shape in our industry. So for a quick look back, here are a few of my takeaways from Long Beach.

Blue Glass: If you’ve read this blog before, you know I’m a runner. I especially love the chance to run in new places and take in all the views of places I’ve never seen. I also like running when there isn’t a foot of snow on the ground. So getting up early the first morning and heading out for a few miles to start the day was a no-brainer. Along the way I got an up-close look at the beautiful Aquarium of the Pacific. We had an incredibly interesting presentation on the aquarium later that day and it was also the site of our evening reception. Not a bad place to visit.

The Aquarium of the Pacific features a shimmering blue glass rain screen facade.

Schools, Safety and Security: School safety and security continues to be top priority. Discussions focused on the development of an ASTM Active Shooter standard as well as work within the International Code Council Ad Hoc Building Safety and Security (BSS) committee. The group is working on a BSS report that is intended to provide design elements, devices and protocols that hinder those intending to commit violent acts. It will also help facilitate quicker and more effective responses from emergency personnel compared to what’s currently available.

Wine Time: Our favorite glass industry sommelier, Chris Fronsoe with Vitro Architectural Glass, was back for another fun and informative wine tasting event. If you’ve not yet had the chance to experience one of his tastings, you’re missing out. Chris is incredibly knowledgeable and loves to share the experience of wine—and glass. Check out one his tastings if you can. Speaking of fun … how about these orange socks. Some attendees were definitely having fun with their attire. Can you guess the glass guys here?

Chris Fronsoe entertains and educates about glass.
Wine tasting.
Can you guess the guys sporting these orange socks?

Happy Together: One big thing that stands out, is how happy people were to be together. It’s been a long two years of Zoom, and while we may not be through the woods yet, we’re getting there. It was great to talk and catch up—and we even talked about non-glass stuff!

Fun Run (and Walk): The last morning many of us wrapped up the event with what’s become the annual fun run. Whether you choose to walk or run or walk-run, it’s great to get outside and get some fresh air—especially after all those hours inside.