7 questions with David Corle of HMI Glass

David Corle, director national hospitality division at HMI Glass, is set to attend the 20th Hotec Design event, an annual conference presented by Questex Hospitality, the parent company of Hotel Management. At the conference, buyers meet one on one with hospitality-focused suppliers like HMI Glass to learn about new products and services and to keep up to date on emerging trends. 

Ahead of the event, Corle shared his insights on how HMI has changed in recent years and what challenges the industry is still overcoming. 

1. How has your segment of the industry changed over the past year? 

We are seeing an increased demand for certain "retro" glass patterns that are becoming very difficult to source. As a domestic manufacturer, we are also still experiencing an increased growth rate as a residual result of the pandemic causing a strain on supply chain.

2. Can you share some ways you and your company have adapted to these changes? 

We have worked diligently to create glass patterns to satisfy the requests we have been receiving for the past couple years. I look forward to debuting our most requested pattern at Hotec Design 2023. We have also added manufacturing facilities to increase production to meet demand.

David Corle, HMI Glass
David Corle (HMI Glass)

3. What are some trends you think will have staying power beyond 2023? 

The pandemic caused many buyers to reconsider their suppliers when their ability to get materials quickly and affordably from overseas was challenged. I think the move toward reliable and fast domestic manufacturing is one that will stick around for many years to come. The value of this is being recognized by our clients as they put their money where their confidence is.

4. What is the biggest challenge you have overcome over the past year? 

Employee shortages have been the Achilles' heel of the hospitality industry since 2020. The same is true for manufacturing. Our human resources department has worked diligently to draw excellent candidates with some of the programs we have implemented over the past year, including many wellness and educational programs that align with one of our company values of placing people first.

5. How have you incorporated environmental, social and governance efforts into your hospitality operations? 

In response to the increasing demand, we added two new manufacturing facilities—one in Boston and one in Reno, Nev. These facilities give us true nationwide coverage that enable us to manufacture and ship from the facility nearest to project, thereby reducing emissions significantly. We have also added programs like recurring company trash pickup days, moving to a text platform for delivery of company news/bulletins to reduce paper use, implementation of fitness challenges, blood drives, weekly wellness tips and meditation classes. In addition to these and many others, we created a Council for Diversity and Inclusion to ensure a safe and accepting workplace where employees are empowered to thrive.

6. What are you most excited about accomplishing over the next year? 

With every new hotel project, I get a thrill of excitement. It's more than the pride of our products' inclusion in an iconic property. It is about bringing the ethos of hospitality into the manufacturing process. I frequently talk with my team about how we want to be known to inside customers (fellow employees) and outside customers (our clients) as a department that makes others feel at ease and appreciated—just like the hotels that our products are installed at. I am excited to continue that work of being known as a company that cares.

7. What is the value of meeting hospitality buyers one on one? 

The value is in the breaking down of boundaries. Being face to face creates a connection on a human level that is difficult to achieve when presenting to a boardroom full of people or a Zoom call. It allows time for questions about products and discussion about real upcoming projects. It makes titles into real people. No longer are you sitting across from "Senior Interior Designer," instead you are talking with Amy from Omni Hotels about how you can solve a problem with a product.

The 2023 Hotec Design conference will take place June 19-22 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. Registration is open for both buyers and suppliers.