Viva Las Vegas!
By Anna Dawson
Auto glass pros flock to Auto Glass Week.
By Anna Dawson
Las Vegas hosts a truly staggering array of automotive events in early
November. But for some, there is one event that clearly stands above
the rest: Auto Glass Week, which took place took place Nov. 3-7.
|Jamie Browning during the competition phase of the Pilkington Classic Auto Glass Technician Olympics. Browning eventually took home the gold medal. Technical competitions form a major part of Auto Glass Week.|
Las Vegas hosts a truly staggering array of automotive events in early November. But for some, there is one event that clearly stands above the rest: Auto Glass Week, which took place took place Nov. 3-7.
Held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Auto Glass Week is part of Automotive Service & Repair Week, an annual event that includes the NACE and CARS conferences and exhibitions.
Auto Glass Week consists of a number of different features and events, including the International Auto Glass Safety Conference and the Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) Charity Auction, the Auto Glass Expo @ NACE, the Fourth Annual Walt Gorman Memorial Windshield Repair Olympics, the National Windshield Repair Association marketing conference, Pilkington Classic Auto Glass Technician Olympics, and the Independent Glass Association marketing conference.
The keynote address was delivered by Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. Sullenberger became a household name after safely landing US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River earlier this year. The plane was carrying 155 passengers at the time.
During his speech delivered on Nov. 5, Capt. Sullenberger outlined his commitment to safety, a topic that strikes close to home with many professionals in the automotive glass field. Capt. Sullenberger noted that, “We have a moral and ethical obligation to do the best we can.” He also expressed a sentiment that proved popular with attendees, saying “Integrity means doing the right thing even when it’s not convenient.”
Members of companies registered with AGRSS council and AGRSS affiliate members were also invited to participate in a private breakfast with Capt. Sullenberger.
|Finalists at the Pilkington Classic. From left: Josh Call, Techna Glass; Jamie Browning, Glasspro (gold medalist); Greg Hamilton, Glasspro (silver medalist); and Travis Crebs, Techna Glass (bronze medalist).|
Auto Glass Week officially got underway on Nov. 3, with a number of AGRSS committee and board meetings. The next day featured a full day of seminars, capped off with a cocktail party and the AGRSS Charity Auction.
A key function of any trade event is the chance for attendees to examine new products, innovations, and technologies from manufacturers and suppliers. Taking place inside NACE, the Auto Glass Expo fulfilled this role. Top companies used the opportunity to introduce a number of new products to the marketplace. Space limitations prevent us from providing a thorough review of each product, but a few highlights stand out.
Crystal Glass showcased its newest entry, the Extractor PROV28 Milwaukee. The new model provides up to 50 per cent more power than the company’s 18-volt version, and the company says the battery will run up to twice as long. Two batteries are included in each kit.
GlasWeld provided demonstrations of its Gforce Scratch Removal System throughout Auto Glass Expo. The company’s new president, Dennis Garbutt, was also on hand to meet with attendees.
On the software side, Mitchell International introduced its GlassMate 6.0 and GlassMate Mobile, while Quest Software premiered its new WebQuoter.
Auto Glass Week also includes two events designed to test technicians’ skills in a practical setting.
The Walt Gorman Memorial Windshield Repair Olympics is a competition designed to find the auto glass repair technician who completes the best auto glass repair. Judging will covers six major areas:
- Customer Greeting
- Technician Comportment
- Vehicle Preparation
- Products to be Used
- Repair Technique
- Post Repair and Clean-Up Procedures
In the Pilkington Classic Auto Glass Technician Olympics, contestants compete through 10 sections of extensive techniques, beginning with their initial contact with the customer and ending with the final mechanical checks and signature on the work.
Brian Fenner was declared the winner of the Fourth Annual Walt Gorman Memorial Windshield Repair Olympics, with Jamie Browning taking home the gold medal at the Pilkington Classic.