Back Stage Pass
Meet the VIPs of the International Window Film Conference
by Katie O'Mara
Come September you will be seeing some familiar faces. The
International Window Film Conference (IWFC) and Tint-Off™ will be featuring
some industry heavy-hitters in a variety of jobs from judging the Tint-Off™
to being the voice behind the microphone. Without further ado, we present
to you, your VIPs of the 2012 IWFC and Tint-Off.
Holly Biller, vice president, Key Communications Inc.
Master of Ceremonies Hometown: Fredericksburg, Va.
Time in the window film industry: I’ve worked for Key Communications
Inc. (publisher of Window Film magazine and several other publications)
for almost two decades and we started Window Film magazine in 1998 to
ensure there was a publication to provide news devoted exclusively to
the needs of the window film industry.
Film project most proud of: The IWFC and Tint-Off™. This event
has continued to evolve over the years and continually better the industry
as a whole and those of us in it.
If I wasn’t working in window film I would be: Touring on stage
sitting behind the piano singing the songs I wrote.
The Tint-Off is important because: It provides education to all
facets of the industry. From consumer up through supporting manufacturer,
everyone walks away with some new nugget of information when they are
a part of the Tint-Off. It helps to make the window film industry stronger,
better and more professional.
At the Tint-Off I am most excited to see: The top ten finalists
in the finals round for the Automotive Division. There is so much excitement
and the energy is electric when they are filming their backlites.
Advice for competing tinters: Prepare. Read. Test yourself. A lot
of competitors say the crowd and cameras are what breaks their concentration.
It’s one thing when you are in the comfort of your shop, another when
you are under scrutiny of your peers.
Miguel Detres, Solar Gard Judge—Tint-Off Automotive Division
Hometown: Tampa, Fla.
Years in the industry: More than 20.
Film project most proud of: A karate school. It wasn’t a large
job, but it required a lot of hand-cut graphics including a full bodied
dragon. I enjoy the custom stuff the most.
If I wasn’t working in window film I would be: I’d be doing custom
handy-man work like kitchen remodels. It requires a certain skill set
and imagination and it is very rewarding in the end.
The Tint-Off is important because: It provides a platform for competing
tinters from all over to not only display their talents, but also for
the spectators to learn things that may improve their way of working.
At the Tint-Off I am most excited to see: I am very interested
to see the skills and techniques the competitors bring to the table and
hopeful to see something I have never seen.
Advice for competing tinters: Relax—it’s just another car and one
that you have likely done a number of times already. And lastly, have
Ed Golda, Michigan Glass Coatings Judge—Tint-Off Architectural
Division Hometown: Rochester Hills, Mich.
Years in the industry: 33.
Film project most proud of: We did K-Mart storefront installations
on 200 stores throughout the U.S.
If I wasn’t working in window film I would be: Working in the travel
The Tint-Off is important because: It provides a chance for the
independent business person and installers in a larger organization to
compete and show off their skills.
At the Tint-Off I am most excited to see: The people and re-establish
relationships with glass coating owners.
Advice for competing tinters: Understand your costs so that you
can maintain a level of profitability, and then you and everyone in the
Jack Mundy, Ener-Gard Energy Products Inc. Emcee Hometown:
Years in the industry: More than 33.
Film project most proud of: We are distributors and, as such, we
do not do any film installations. Some notable installations that have
been undertaken by dealers, recently, include College Lasalle with approximately
30,000 square feet of EnerLogic 35, and the Calgary Courthouse, where
one of our dealers installed 28,000 square feet of 8 mil security film.
If I wasn’t working in window film I would be: Retired and playing
The Tint-Off is important because: Industry events such as the
IWFC offer an opportunity to catch up with colleagues and friends within
the industry and there is also the opportunity to network with all of
the various attendees.
At the Tint-Off I am most excited to see: Very few tinters with
a good deal of experience will ever admit that they are not the best tinter
in the world. A Tint-Off competition, such as we will be having in Louisville,
offers tinters the opportunity to compete against their peers from both
the U.S. and Canada and around the world. There is nothing like a hard
Advice for competing tinters: For competing tinters, practice and
make sure that you have the basics covered for the different aspects of
the competition that you will be taking part in. More importantly, work
hard to keep your nerves under control!
Bryan Roades, Eco-Tint Judge—Tint-Off Architectural Division
Hometown: Santa Monica, Calif.
Years in the industry: 26 years.
Film project most proud of: Installing film on the Venetian hotel
in Las Vegas, Nev.
If I wasn’t working in window film I would be: Hanging out on the
The Tint-Off is important because: It raises the standard of quality
for window film installations.
At the Tint-Off I am most excited to see: All of the different
styles that the tinters use to install film.
Advice for competing tinters: Remember, quality before quantity.
Bill Stewart, Madico Window Films Judge—Tint-Off Automotive
Division Hometown: Treasure Island, Fla.
Years in the industry: More than 25.
Film project most proud of: Too many to single out just one and
that was a number of years ago.
If I wasn’t working in window film I would be: Working as the sales
development manager for Madico.
The Tint-Off is important because: It brings installers from different
parts of the world together to share techniques and trade tips.
At the Tint-Off I am most excited to see: A large turn-out!
Advice for competing tinters: Take your time.
Scott Wells, Starco Distributing Judge—Tint-Off Architectural
Division Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.
Years in the industry: 30.
Film project most proud of: NBC Towers in downtown San Diego, Calif.
We removed 22 floors of film and re-tinted the building, while occupied.
If I wasn’t working in window film I would be: Full-time stock
The Tint-Off is important because: It gives the window tint installers
an opportunity to see how they compare to the best in the industry, and
also gives the industry a chance to see how creative and inventive installers
can be. The industry has been built primarily due to the needs and innovation
of the installers in the field, and the Tint-Off is a recognition and
testament to the contributions the installers have made over the years
to the industry.
At the Tint-Off I am most excited to see: Both the architectural
and automotive Tint-Off competitions and awards to the winners!
Advice for competing tinters: Focus on being calm and don’t get
ahead of yourself—install as if you are in a standard work environment
and not in a contest. If you rush your style or worry about what the other
guy is doing you will lose concentration. Loosen up your tint muscles
before the competition and be sure your head is in the game!
Steve Wood, HanitaTek Window Films Judge—Tint-Off Automotive
Division Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Years in the industry: 28.
Film project most proud of: I’ve been involved in so many over
the years—it’s hard to pick just one. But, if I had to, it would be hanging
12 mil film on a bank in south Israel, with the No-Bar attachment system.
I never thought when I started tinting cars in a little shop in 1984,
that I would be responsible for protecting people’s lives, on the other
side of the world, with window film.
If I wasn’t working in window film I would be: Probably opening
some kind of franchise business somewhere.
The Tint-Off is important because: It is a great opportunity for
those in our industry to network and learn from each other. What better
way to pick up a new technique than watching or participating in the Tint-Off.
At the Tint-Off I am most excited to see: The people within the
industry with whom I don’t speak often enough, to attend the seminars
on energy savings and advancements in glass and to get to judge the competition
with a couple of guys that I’ve known for a long time.
Advice for competing tinters: Have fun! Do what you do best and
do not let the competition throw you off of your game.
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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.