THE BUZZ AT THE BEC
"This is, hands-down, the best networking event in our industry,"
said Chris Knitter of Central Pacific Glass Inc. of Kona, Hawaii.
Knitter and two of his colleagues made the journey to the mainland
for the tenth annual Building Envelope Contractors' (BEC) Conference.
"I used to go to the big glass show, but it has nothing on
this," he added. "Now I just go to this."
Apogee CEO Russ Huffer concurred. "There is no other networking
event like it," he said. "It really brings everyone together.
It is a premier event."
The tenth-anniversary BEC saw the conference explode. More than
550 attended the event in Las Vegas, which closes this afternoon.
"We've gone global," said BEC division chair Max Perilstein
of Arch Aluminum. "We've got representation from 34 states,
three Canadian provinces and Ireland. We've also gotten our first
international attendee this year."
So what were attendees talking about at the breaks? Well, for one
topic, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). "We
can't find any authority for NFRC to be attempting their work in
the commercial industry," said GANA technical director during
his presentation about the organization. Indeed, the NFRC had chosen
to hold its own meeting at the same time-but 1,200 miles away in
Austin, Texas (see related story below).
The re-emergence of Cardinal Glass as a supplier to the commercial
market was also being discussed. "Residential is going soft,"
said one attendee, "so it makes sense."
Some were also talking about the departure on Friday of Fred Fulton
(Jr., not Sr.) from Fulton Windows, which surprised many. The family-owned
Fulton Windows was sold to Oldcastle more than a year ago.
Incoming GANA president Brad Austin of Viracon was excited about
his company's new "baby"-the new plant opening in Utah
in the next few months. And Alyssa Dlubak was discussing the market
on the other side of the country. "We are watching the hurricane
codes head North," she said. "Even New York and New Jersey
will be seeing them soon," said Dlubak, who sells hurricane
protection products in Florida for her Pennsylvania-based company.
"This is my first time here," she said of the BEC Conference.
"It's been a great experience."