GC: IGMA has partnered with Facade Tectonics to offer an educational program before the conference. How has that worked out?
Thibault: The Facade Tectonics institute was very interesting. It provided us with a good idea of what is coming and the stakeholders provided questions to get us to think about what is next. Then we could say "This has been brought up, should we start lookiing at these things?" Oversized glass was mentioned and we brought that up in the Emerging Technologies Committee. There's going to be some new things, some new technologies coming on. How do we address this, how do we develop new methods and standards that will be revolving around this. The conference was interesting in this regard because we had a good opening session that was related to our industry, then we can get into the details of what we want to address."
GC: There was a presentation on a proposed merger that would see IGMA become part of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association. What would you tell someone who was looking at this plan and wondering if it is a good thing?Thibault: There are synergies with an organization like AAMA. You aren't just going to be looking at insulating glass, you will be lookiing at the whole chain. Flat glass, other subcomponents, all the way to assembly and installation. I would encourage people to see this as an opportunity to be part of the whole supplier food chain.
GC: Margaret Webb [long-time IGMA executive director] has announced her plans to retire in three years. How hard is it going to be to replace her?
Thibault: We started working on the continuity plan when I came on as president. At that time she said she wanted to retire in four years; it was four years then, now it's three. We had to start thinking at that time what are we going to do because we know the association relies a lot on her. That year went by really fast. We need to understand there is some kind of a sense of urgency here. There is a transfer of knowledge that we need to ensure and that takes time as well. She has this combination of capabilities that not everybody has and she's developed it over the years. She does financial, she does technical and not everybody has that kind of knowledge.