William Greiner, the chief investment officer at Mariner Wealth Advisers, delivered the keynote address on Thursday to open Fenestration Day and Glass Expo West at the Hotel Irvine Jamboree

William Greiner of Mariner Weath Advisers.
William Greiner of Mariner Wealth Advisers.

Center in Irvine, Calif.

Greiner’s presentation covered the latest economic outlook both globally and in the U.S. He pointed out that the developed economies will only rise 1.9 percent in 2015, while the globe’s emerging economies will increase 5.4 percent. He called those hot spots “pockets of volatility.”

As for the U.S., he said, “small businesses are behind the growth rate in this country. Plain and simple.”

Greiner noted one item of interest for the fenestration industry: By January 2017, household formation is expected to jump by 68 percent as the “Echo Boom” generation—aka Millennials—matures and moves into the housing market.

However, there’s a downside.

“The good news is that households are being formed again,” Greiner said. “The bad news is that young people are moving from their parents’ basements into apartments, not homes.”

Greiner also discussed the reindustrialization of the U.S. and the globalization of industrial activity.

Also early Thursday, Welton Hong of Ring Ring Marketing hosted a roundtable discussion with door and window dealers about strategies for boosting business. Later, he gave a presentation, “What’s Working Now in Getting More Door and Window Leads.”

Hong emphasized generating leads via the Web. He shared strategies for paid Google ads, what companies can do to get noticed on social media, strategies for search engine optimization (SEO), and the importance of positive publicity via consumer review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List.

DWM Publisher Tara Taffera and Mike Collins of Building Industry Partners gave a presentation on the state of the residential door and window industry.

Later, Collins hosted a seminar on how companies can generate cash and access credit. He discussed strategies for securing loans and investments, common mistakes to avoid when trying to get capital, and ways to improve your company’s capital position.

Chip Gentry of the Call and Gentry Law Group gave a presentation entitled “Patent Trolls: The Monsters Under Your Profits Bridge.” Patent trolls are individuals or entities that try to enforce patent rights for products they didn’t create to extract money from companies. According to Gentry, more than half of all patent lawsuits filed in 2013 were from trolls, including 28 suits against door and window companies.

Gentry said patent trolls cost firms lots of money and time. He laid out strategies for lessening the effects of these nuisance lawsuits. Among them were insurance and joint defense groups, early settlements, challenging the patent itself and designing products to avoid any asserted patents.

He also said all three judicial branches are getting involved in the issue.

Brian Smith of Dave Yoho Associates presented Fenestration Day’s closing session, “Going from Good to Great in 2015.” The presentation, subtitled “Changing the Mind-Set to Change the Results,” focused on forcing organizations to rethink how they do their work. One slide, “Differential to Dominate,” summed up a key takeaway: “Master the basic thing so well that your customers don’t see you in the same category as your competition.”

Early on Thursday at Glass Expo West, Mary Hester and Leigh Ann Page of JLM Wholesale, Inc., held a seminar on hardware. Richard Voreis, the CEO of Construction Collaborative, gave a presentation on trends in building construction with a special emphasis on the exterior building envelope.

Marketing and sales expert Brian Offenberger was Glass Expo West’s keynote speaker on Thursday. He discussed ways to use social media to boost business.

Later, Carl Christ, director of onsite services for Diamon-Fusion International, gave a presentation on hydrophobic protective coatings.

Now in its fifth year, Fenestration Day is an educational event hosted by DWM magazine. It runs concurrently with Glass Expo West, a two-day trade show and educational event that’s hosted by USGlass magazine.

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