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USGNN Original StoryGANA Mirror Members Discuss Opening Membership Categories

The future of the Glass Association of North America's (GANA) Mirror Division was discussed this morning during the group's Fall Conference meeting. Bill Yanek, GANA executive director explained that association wide, GANA is looking to make "leaner" changes to the entire operation, and mentioned the possibility of combining the mirror and decorative divisions. Considering some of the group's activity discussions from earlier this morning, such as involvement in developing an ASTM standard on solar, Yanek said this may be something to look at next year, depending on what happens with the division's growth.

Reaction from members was mixed. In recent years, member involvement in the mirror division has gotten smaller, and the since membership is limited to silverers and suppliers the group is limited in terms of bringing in new members.

Jim Ventre with Vitro America, who serves as the division chair, suggested the possibility of opening membership up to mirror installers. Lee Harrison with Walker Glass raised the point, though, that as a group they probably have more in common with other glass companies.

"We probably have more common interests with other glass producers than installers," said Harrison.

Ventre added, "I'd like to see it work out [on our own]. I think decorative is very different than what we do," Ventre said. "The only way we can be a stand-alone group is if we increase membership; we'll have to open membership up to other groups; there's strength in numbers."

Ashley Charest, GANA account executive pointed out that perhaps it's not just gaining new members, but getting more of the current members involved in the group's activities. Yanek added that the group's earlier discussions about getting involved in solar energy projects are a great step toward increasing committee involvement.

Another concern from members was that if the division is combined into another division unique needs of the mirror industry might be lost in the mix. Yanek added that if the two divisions do eventually become one there would still be a place for true mirror activities, such as a mirror technical committee.

For now, though, the group is going to look for ways to increase membership and member involvement. If the division does open up membership it will involve changing the criteria at the board level, so Ventre will ask for board approval during the board's next meeting.

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