TODAY’S BLOG: A Report on the Auto Glass Show

MarioErcoliniIf you attended Auto Glass Week in Tampa then you know how great it was. If you did not attend, you should consider attending next year because, I believe there is a resurgence in our industry and you missed a great show in Tampa, Fla.

Highlights as this old man saw them: 

First of all when you checked in, you were given a complete listing by day of all activities, and if you wanted, a complete listing of all attendees. You should have grabbed a seat and decided which activities and presentations you wanted to attend. You might have checked the attendee listing to know which of your acquaintances were at the show so you could make contact. 

I decided right off the bat that I would listen to Jim Abbott, the one-handed baseball professional, speak. I was so happy I did. Jim gave a motivational speech. I have heard many such speeches over my 40-plus years of business, but Jim’s was A-plus. Maybe it is because I am a diehard baseball fan, but Jim made it all real … because it was. 

I also decided to listen to Richard Picciotto, the highest-ranking firefighter to survive the WorldTradeCenter collapse. The fire chief did a great job. He, too, spoke from the heart. He was there, he almost lost his life, and he told it as it was. 

I can not thank the auto glass industry enough for allowing me to hear these two stories. These two stories I will take with me through the rest of my life. 

I also elected to hear a man speak about the need to evaluate your company’s performance—Steve Baxter, senior vice president of worldwide sales for Satmetrix. What a fine job he did. His presentation made me want to start another company just so I can put what he taught into action and bring my company to the head of the class. 

I was also fortunate enough to speak as a presenter. I spoke along with two attorneys and a former Connecticut House Speaker. I think our presentation on legal and legislative issues was worth hearing. I hope it inspired other states to take up the gauntlet and work on getting a bill passes in their state. 

The vendor exhibit hall was well done. Frankly, I think many more vendors should show up and display their wares. The vendor booths probably displayed more than 75 products. I toured the booths three times and learn a lot. 

Lastly, the auto glass replacement competition was well done. It truly is amazing how so many will compete to be the best …w hen we all know those competing are the best and the very best is only separated by a bit here and a bit there. Congratulations to the winner … another fine installer from South Carolina. Danny Kale is from Glasspro in Summerville, S.C.

If you did not attend Auto Glass Week 2013, you should find out about Auto Glass 2014 and make plans to attend. And, if it is close to your operations, you should try and get your entire staff to attend. 

The auto glass industry is very fortunate to have such a professional organization behind us helping us succeed.

If you do not participate in these functions, then you don’t have an industry, you have a company. Email me anytime to discuss how and why you should work to be a part of a bigger team.

Mario Ercolini is the general manager of branch operations for Wholesale Glass Distributors. Early in his career, he and partner started a California-based information management company called fileTrac Corp. He eventually sold his half, day-traded the New York Stock Exchange and consulted for the U.S. Department of Energy in Siberia, Russia. Years alter, after moving to Greenville, S.C., he joined Wholesale Glass Distributors, where he current works. Email Ercolini at Mario.Ercolini@wgdinc.com.

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