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That’s Rich: On the road

Man, it’s fun to be back at live events again

June 13, 2023  By Rich Porayko

Want to further your career in the glass industry? Adopt a growth mindset, work hard, join an association, participate in member meetings, attend trade events, go to seminars, network, share about it on LinkedIn and don’t give up if things don’t click overnight. Rinse and repeat. Many of these activities are now virtual, however, nothing beats the tribal knowledge passed along during a live event. 2023 has been a busy year for tradeshows and conferences making up for lost time. Conflicts happen and I was only able to attend one full day of the National Glass Association’s 25th anniversary Builing Envelope Conference in March. I woke up at 3:00 a.m. at home in Coquitlam and walked into the first presentation, the State of the Industry panel at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas a few minutes late at 9:50 a.m. In what has become a trend, this was a first, almost surreal experience. 

Tom Culp, NGA codes consultant, presented an informative update on the evolving codes and regulations in light of new standards including ASHRAE 90.1-2022 and IECC 2024, empowering manufacturers and installers to stay ahead of proposed changes while driving innovation. Facades of the Future panelists Matthew Price of Deceuninck MPS, Daniel Sutton from Vitro Architectural Glass and moderator Adrian Lowenstein of Skyline Windows explored how VIG technology and fiber-reinforced polymer tech provides powerful solutions and that put meeting stringent code requirements is within reach.

During the State of the Industry: Eye on the Horizon panel, Kelly Whittingham of Ubiquitous Energy, Sophie Pennetier from Enclos and Trent Thiry with Isoclima navigated present
conditions with moderator and NGA content director, Katy Devlin, who led the discussion on potential disruptors that are reshaping and revolutionizing our ever-evolving market. “Safety and security is what we are focused on,” said Thiry. “They can sometimes be thought of interchangeably. From the safety perspective, as we think about glass, we really have to think about it from the entire value chain. This goes all the way to the manufacturing of the materials themselves.”

I was also fortunate to attend Glass Canada’s Top Glass for the first time ever. Top Glass was an eye-opener. I was born and raised in Vancouver, however my primary sandbox has always been from Alaska to Texas and the southern U.S. facilitating hundreds of trips to over 20 different U.S. cities. Top Glass was my second domestic business trip within Canada, ever! It was so worth it. 


Doing a deep dive in Canada is really a whole new experience for me. New companies, new faces and products. I was hustling at Top Glass spreading the word about FenCan’s new commercial chapter but was able to squeeze in Luc Paquet of Unicel Architectural Corp’s presentation “Full Circle: The promise of wood glazed facades for tomorrow’s energy-efficient buildings,” which was a great opportunity to learn more about tall timber buildings. 

Garibaldi’s GlassDay X kicked off May Mayhem in B.C.: an unprecedented lineup of glass events in Vancouver and Kelowna. Garibaldi’s GlassDay is a spectacular event unlike anything else in the industry. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was no other glass business in the world that puts on an event like this. No exaggeration. Every newby is blown away and shares that they didn’t expect the event to be so big. That’s just the way Garibaldi and the Mobius family do things.

Another first for me was Vitrum Glass Group’s Glass Talks 2023, a phenomenal educational platform held at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver. The focus of Glass Talks is to connect commercial glass leaders with architectural and design professionals. 

Up next, and also new to me, is the Zak World of Facades Vancouver and Fenestration Canada’s Spring Conference in Kelowna. Stay tuned for more in the next issue and please shoot me an email if you are having a glass industry event. •

Rich Porayko is a professional writer and founder of Construction Creative.

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