One on One with GANA's New Laminating Division Chair
March 18, 2011

Michael Burriss of Cytec, GANA's new Laminated Division chair.

Divisions within the Glass Association of North America (GANA) are dedicated to bettering and educating the industry, and the annual Glass Week is the pinnacle of meetings, bringing everyone involved together to tackle and discuss new projects and ideas. That said, one would certainly need a good excuse to miss his first Glass Week as a division chair. Fortunately, Cytec's Michael Burriss, the new Laminated Division chair, does - his wife gave birth on March 16 to their second child, a son, Carter, who weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces and was 19 ¾ inches long. Carter joins big brother Mason, who is 22 months old.

"I didn't think my wife would approve of me leaving her alone with a 22-month-old and a one-week old," says Burriss.

Still, GANA is an important organization to Burriss, who has been actively involved in the association for ten years. In addition to the laminating division, he has also been a part of the Fire Rated Glazing, Energy and Protective Glazing committee, as well as the Decorative Division.

"[GANA] has always been an organization focused on educating both the consumer and the industry," says Burriss. "We felt it was important to be involved in that work to better educate everyone about the advantages of laminated glass."

Carter Burriss was born on March 16.

And while he won't be attending Glass Week, Burriss has worked hard to help prepare the division for its upcoming meeting and spoke with USGNN.com™ about some of the efforts on which the group is focused.

USGNN: As the chair of the Laminating Division, what are some projects on which you will be working?

MB: We are always working on projects that help to advance laminated glass use and the quality of laminated glass in the field. For instance, we will be working on updating the "Laminated Glazing Reference Manual" to keep this document as the leading industry reference for all laminated glass information. We are also working on several GIBs that will educate consumers, installers and manufacturers on the safe handling, installation and cleaning of laminated glass.

USGNN: What are some of your goals for the group and what would you like to see it accomplish?

MB: I'd like to see the group continue along the path of cross industry cooperation with other industry leading organizations. Instead of these groups having glass divisions, I would like them to come to or reference GANA as the technical expert for all glass items. There are so many areas where I can see our technical and educational tools as great additions to these organizations' documents and product offerings.

USGNN: What do you think will be some of the division's biggest challenges?

MB: I think one of the biggest challenges facing laminated glass is the increased use of it. As laminated glass becomes more available and in more places, educating the consumer also becomes more critical. There is still little understanding about its benefits and how it differs from other glass types. Consumers are now seeing it in more places, yet are assuming they can install it, store it, clean it, exactly like they have with tempered or annealed glass. An educated consumer is a better consumer.

USGNN: Why do you think it's important for companies to get involved with groups such as GANA? And how can association involvement help benefit individual companies as well as the industry?

MB: GANA is a great organization that provides many benefits for any company in the glass and glazing industry. Where else can you network with hundreds of your peers, customers, and suppliers and also make a positive difference in the advancement of your products and the industry as a whole?

Glass Week will take place March 24-27 at the Pars Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

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