BEC Conference Hosts Nearly 800 in Nashville

Attendees gather at The Omni Nashville for BEC Conference 2024
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Attendees gather at The Omni Nashville for BEC Conference 2024 | Photo: NGA

Date: 7 March 2024

The BEC Conference 2024 attracted more than 800 contract glaziers, fabricators, and suppliers, solidifying its status as the premiere education and networking opportunity for the glazing industry.


  • BEC is a favorite glass event of the year for me. Such community and connection among a dynamic and passionate group of folks.--Katy Devlin, Glass Magazine
  • It's one of the great industry events and one that Tom and Clover never miss!--Clover Architectural Glass
  • It's the perfect opportunity to reconnect with peers and stay updated on the latest industry innovations.--Eastman Chemical Company
  • Great day attending the BEC Conference in Nashville with some of Anderson Aluminum’s team members. Lots of great networking and learning opportunities!--Helena Anderson, Anderson Aluminum


On the first full day of the Conference, Troy Johnson, president of Harmon, Inc. gave the conference keynote, "Disruption is Coming? Are You Ready?" Johnson says that new entrants to the industry will be "the disruptors." To prep for disruption, companies need to have a strong foundation; including organizational health and a solid business strategy. Companies should also strengthen their operating systems and identify unmet customer needs; individuals should embrace a growth mindset; including skill acquisition, digital literacy and embracing change.

"Change has to come in some form. At best, it will be transformational. At worst, it will be disruptive," Johnson says. "View this as an opportunity; not an obstacle."

Ricardo Maiz, president of Vitro Architectural Glass, gave a presentation on the state of the flat glass industry. Maiz says float glass for solar energy is expected to see a large increase between now and 2032, with float glass in general anticipating an 8 percent per year growth in that time frame.

“Glass is expected to do a lot more now than fill a hole in the building and allow light to come through,” says Maiz. Glass has more functionalities than ever before, including thermal performance, dynamic glazing, technology, sustainability, safety and well-being, and more.

In the presentation, Recruiting the Next Generation, Jenni Chase and Jodi Martinez said it’s vital for the glass industry to engage with high school students when recruiting the next generation. They encouraged attendees to participate in career fairs and trades nights, and to bring materials like stickers and brochures. To help, NGA developed the Guide to Recruiting at High School Career Fairs, plus stickers and postcard giveaways. 

Cal Beyer of SAFE Project and Dave Argus of Karas & Karas Glass addressed substance misuse in the construction industry. They say you should always have an open dialogue on substance misuse disorder within your organization or company. In a poll, 76% of attendees say they have been impacted by the opioid crisis, in one way or another. 

The final day of the Conference focused on AI and next-gen technology. Stefanie Couch addressed embracing AI. She says AI has the power to “completely change the face of your business,” and provided attendees with a live tutorial on how to use ChapGPT. She advises using voice prompts and being as specific as possible. Couch's advice to companies is to "just start small" by signing up for ChatGPT and playing around with it for a few hours on more tedious tasks. You can automate things like FAQs, Google review responses, missed calls and more.

Ricardo Maiz presents State of the Industry during BEC Conference 2024
Ricardo Maiz presents State of the Industry during BEC Conference 2024
600450 BEC Conference Hosts Nearly 800 in Nashville

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