Here at GlassBuild America, our editors focus on the products and news of the day but sometimes what is most interesting is the conversations, a look at the trends and, of course, the people. Here are some of my thoughts from day one.

Vinyl penetrating into the commercial market. I talked to two CEOS at two major suppliers, Filip Geeraert, president and CEO, Deceuninck North America, and David Petratis, CEO, Quanex Building Products, and both talked about vinyl inching its way more and more into commercial applications, a trend both would like to see continue.

“It’s happening but not at the pace I would like,” joked Petratis.

“Some aluminum companies are adding a vinyl line to meet the thermal requirements and I expect that to continue to grow,” said Geeraert.

And an architect I talked to at the Deceuninck booth is specifying vinyl in these applications, and both CEOS say that getting architects to specify vinyl in these projects will be the key to its future growth.

Favorite quote: “The strong ones are also investing. The winners in a difficult economy are the ones who make bets in the downturn.” David Petratis, CEO, Quanex Building Products

Best “realistic” news. “We are inching up now,” said Colleen McKeegan, McKeegan Equipment, told me. “This is good news. There isn’t going to be this huge jump up but we are headed in the right direction.”

Busiest booth. EDTM. I walked by the EDTM booth at least five times and there was always a crowd. They must have been looking for the latest tools as EDTM always has new releases each year.

Run-ins. It’s always great to walk to halls and bump into our readers and I was so glad to see Rick Wuest, president of Thompson Creek Windows (which, by the way, was just named to Inc.’s list of fastest growing companies). He said he wasn’t looking for any product in particular but “always looking to improve his products” and on the lookout for new innovations.

Glimmer of Hope?: Let’s face it, things on the residential side are still slow and several people made the comment, “Hopefully things will pick up after the election.”

Made in America. Loved seeing one company’s Made in America sign but slightly saddened to hear that company representative’s response to my accolades. “Yes, we are proud of it and we wish more purchasing managers were, too.”

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