Teamwork and Innovation to go Above and Beyond

Posted on February 13, 2017, by
James Bringle with NBA Mark Eaton

What does a 7’-4” former NBA All-Star have to do with Architectural Glass and Glazing?

Something about teamwork, leading to innovation, and going above and beyond.

Mark Eaton was at the 2017 Glass Association of North America (GANA) Building Envelope Conference held in Las Vegas as a Featured Speaker.

At 7′-4″ he didn’t take basketball seriously until he was 21 years old. That’s when one persistent person challenged him to try. So Eaton gave it his all and sought to understand his role on the team. After several years of working out, learning the game, listening to the successful people around him, and not giving up, Eaton made it to the NBA.

Eaton shared this experience as well as the importance of being a team player and working as a team for success. Keys he learned firsthand while playing in the NBA. Empirehouse President Mike Gilbert and General Manager James Bringle took notice as teamwork is how Empirehouse partners with clients, suppliers, and employees.

Over 400 people from around the country and world traveled to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to attend the 2017 BEC conference. It had been eight years since Empirehouse had last attended the conference, and it didn’t disappoint.

For Mike, the most impressive conference takeaway was learning more about innovations like 3D documentation and Virtual Design Construction (VDC). Empirehouse has come farther than most Architectural Metal, Glass & Glazing Contractors in the Midwest. Technology is always changing, 3D scanning is the future, and Empirehouse strives to stay current. “Integrating VDC not only helps with design implementation, it makes scheduling more efficient,” says Gilbert.

The intersection of Architectural Metal, Glass and Glazing, Art, Design and Engineering has brought Empirehouse to the forefront with their System Design and Constructability services. “We may be behind the East and West Coast,” says Gilbert. “But Empirehouse has pushed the envelope in the Midwest.”

For James, one of the most impressive conference takeaways was listening to Featured Speaker Julia Schimmelpenningh of Eastman Chemical Company. She spoke about the State of the Glass & Glazing Industry and laid out a 5-8% increase in commercial construction for 2017 and forecasts continued growth into 2018.

Julia’s presentation covered US glass production through the 31 float lines; mega trends in Architectural Glass such as urbanization, smart cities, trade zones, the virtual world, robotics and infrastructure development; how society, insurance, subsidies, labor, product and service availability, profit regulations drive the glass and glazing industry; and the importance of continually looking for ways to improve as a Company. “Each of these areas will shape Empirehouse as we move into the future,” says Bringle.

Julia said that the most dangerous phrase in the English language is, “We’ve always done it THIS way.” Thankfully, Empirehouse has always been progressive and has looked for ways to improve and become more innovative. “I think this is what makes Empirehouse special,” says Bringle.

Connecting with others was also a conference highlight for Bringle. “I talked with many manufacturers and equipment suppliers about new products and services that will broaden our offerings, as well as talked with peers in the glazing industry,” said Bringle. “Hearing how other glazing contractors do business, what types of projects they use, and learning about the innovations used to produce an architect’s vision, are very helpful to our business in going above and beyond.”

The GANA BEC Conference affirms Empirehouse’s commitment to adopting best practices from lessons learned about complex fabrication and glazing installation. “Always evaluate lessons learned, adapt to change, and deliver on your promises,” says Gilbert. “As well as work together as a Team with clients, suppliers, and employees to bring innovative solutions and go above and beyond. That’s our goal.”

Empirehouse likes to stay connected with the people in the Architectural Glass and Glazing industry and in-the-know with what’s new. It is part of the Empirehouse Proven Process of Quality Service. Want to know more? Give us a call at 763-535-1150.

James Bringle with NBA Mark Eaton

“No, I’m not a Hobbit!” says Empirehouse General Manager James Bringle. “Former NBA All-Star Mark Eaton is just a huge man!”


Written by Jennifer Klitzke, Marketing & Image Coordinator. For more information about Empirehouse, contact jklitzke@empirehouse.com.