2020: A Point of Reflection
December 16, 2020
A few years ago I was best man at a lifelong friend’s wedding. I knew he had an older brother, but had never met him. When I did, the first thing to come to mind was “Bizzaro Superman.” The character that was created by writer Otto Binder and artist George Papp as a "mirror image" of Superman and first appeared in Superboy #68 (1958). My friend’s brother was his mirror image, much the same but different enough to impact my psyche. As I write this blog, and reflect on 2020, once again “Bizzaro Superman” comes to mind. I am a little nerdy, I know, but I think we can all agree what an anomaly of a year it has been.
The pandemic has shifted our personal and professional lives in ways we could have never predicted. High hurdles have been presented to each of us, and to the glass industry itself, in a multitude of ways. And yet as I think about the tremendous challenges we have faced, I also take heart in how our industry has pivoted to adapt and create more opportunities during such an unprecedented time.
GlassBuild is the biggest example that comes to mind. An industry event we all look forward to had virtually (pun intended) no choice but to move to an online platform. But the traditionally two-day event transformed into one that we were all able to enjoy and learn from for the rest of the year. While there is no match for face-to-face interaction, Glassbuild Connect was pretty close.
As we all know, technology hasn’t just impacted industry events. Manufacturers’ sales teams and glazing contractors who typically thrive via in-person meetings have taken to online lunch and learns and virtual catch-ups.
New safety demands have placed heightened pressure on our businesses across the spectrum to keep our employees safe while remaining productive. And yet, the industry has risen to the occasion with new protocols in place, and in many cases, new investments being made to pursue automation to rethink manufacturing processes, simplifying assembly lines and better protecting employees.
Our industry has continued to pursue growth opportunities, regardless of the unknowns. New strategic industry partnerships have been formed and new offices have been opened.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. In 2020 our industry has demonstrated just how fearless it can be. And while we don’t know just what 2021 has in store, we can be thankful for the fruits and successes we’ve had during this time.