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FGIA Fall Conference Kicks Off in Chicago

News, updates and recognitions from the first day of meetings  

Glass and fenestration industry representatives are gathering in Chicago this week for the Fenestration & Glazing Industry Alliance’s 2022 Fall Conference. The meeting kicked off Sept. 25 and runs through Sept. 28. Pre-registration for the conference included more than 250 on-site attendees and 150 virtual attendees.  

Conference activities began in full on Sept. 26, starting with an Opening General Session in which FGIA leaders welcomed attendees, presented notable updates from the organization and recognized several key leaders. The day also included a full schedule of presentations and task group and committee meetings, where attendees heard updates on everything from ADA test methods for hardware to cut-resistant apparel and more.  

Retirement announcements 

During the Opening General Session, FGIA Executive Director Janice Yglesias announced that Donnie Hunter, former chairman of the FGIA board, was retiring from Kawneer after 39 years. Hunter served as chairman of the board from 2019 to 2021, helping to guide the association through the unification of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the Insulating Glass Manufactures Alliance, Yglesias said.  

Yglesias also recognized the leadership and industry contributions of Margaret Webb, who officially retired at the end of 2021 after more than two decades in the industry. Webb served as executive director for the IGMA prior to its merger with FGIA in 2020. 

“Marg has been a strong guiding force within the glass and especially insulating glass industry for many years,” said FGIA's Janice Yglesias in the February announcement of her retirement. “Her exceptional work ethic, strong leadership and no-nonsense approach have paved the way for advancements and growth in that market. Her reputation has always preceded her throughout the industry and her knowledge and expertise are well respected." 

Remembering Bill Briese 

The Opening Session also included a video tribute to Bill Briese, research and development engineering manager for GED Integrated Solutions, who passed away in June. Briese was a longtime dedicated volunteer to FGIA and IGMA, who brought enthusiasm, humor, dedication and problem solving to his work in the industry, describe industry colleagues in the video.  

“Bill was a brilliant engineer, inventor. He significantly contributed to our IG machinery development,” said Steve Lang, president and CEO of GED. “But what we will miss more, beyond technical contributions is his friendship, his humor and his passion. Bill was plugged into everything at GED. Bill didn’t just show up, he was actively engaged.” 

“Bill gave selflessly to our industry, especially to IGMA’s and now FGIA’s education programs, particularly the fabricator workshop, where he generously gave his time, and [where] his passion for ensuring quality in IGU fabrication came through,” says Helen Sanders, co-general manager for Technoform Glass Insulation North America.  

“I miss your ingenuity, and your quit wit, which were often loaded with a hint of sarcasm, your relentless pursuit to solve problems which I would try to present as opportunities to you, your dedication,” says Tim McGlinchy, executive vice president at GED.  

New Canadian region 

The Fenestration Association of British Columbia, FENBC, is now a Canadian region of FGIA, announced Yglesias during the Opening Session. Called FGIA FENBC Region, the region will operate similarly to the pre-existing FGIA U.S. regions, FGIA Southeast Region and FGIA Western Region, and will focus on regulatory and government initiatives, product installation, commercial contractor interests and related needs within British Columbia. The combination went into effect on Sept. 1. 

“We’re very excited about this and I hope you are as well,” Yglesias says. “It’s a great opportunity if you’re doing business in [British Columbia] or in Canada. … I think there’s going to be some really great work done here.” 

Strategic objectives 

The Opening General Session closed with a review of the FGIA’s primary strategic objectives, set by the board of directors at the May 2022 strategic planning meeting. The four objectives include: 

  • Purposeful and valued events and conferences 

  • Excellence in fenestration and glass education 

  • The FGIA as the fenestration authority in North America.  

  • Fenestration and glazing industry research programs. 

FGIA has identified a targeted implementation over the next 12 to 15 months, with specific interim milestones set, Yglesias said.  

More information 

The FGIA 2022 Fall Conference continues through Sept. 28. Follow sister publication @GlassMag on Twitter for live coverage throughout the event.