Living the Dream – Attending Dreamforce!

Hastings’ Director of Operations, Bruce Meekin shares his first time experience attending Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce conference held in San Francisco.

From the home of the Patriots to the home of the Niners…it was all about the experience!

I had the pleasure of attending our retailer forum at Patriot Place in Foxboro earlier this month. In Foxboro we spent two days with some of our Retailer Partners with a focus on enhancing the experience of our end customers. I left the forum impressed with the strength of our relationship with our partners and the wide range of resources our partners and our company bring to our market. It brought to mind the challenge of coordinating all of these resources; marketing, education, sales, and operations to ensure the brand experience for the end user.salesforce-logo

This past week at Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce conference held in San Francisco, the challenge was answered. Salesforce is the cloud database we use at Hastings to manage our customer interactions and relationships. I had never been to Dreamforce, so my initial thought was that I was attending a software convention. Dreamforce was far more than that. There were over 140,000 registered attendees all looking for ways to enhance the experience for their customers. I was excited to see the focus was right in line with ideas we discussed at our retailer forum.Dreamforce 2014

It would be impossible for me to cover all that I learned in this short article, so I will focus on The Salesforce Customer Success Platform. The Platform connects marketing, sales and service as a team to provide a personal brand experience for every interaction with every customer. An important part of the Platform is Communities that engage customers, partners and employees enabling communication and information sharing across previously perceived boundaries.The Customer Success Platform

Salesforce introduced WAVE as a component of the Platform capturing data from every interaction and providing easy access to key analytics for all team members.

Applications (Apps) were also introduced to the Platform to create personalized experiences for the customer. Apps can be built quickly and can be used on any mobile device.Field Service

The following link will connect you to the opening film for Dreamforce:

It describes a connected community of resources working together to provide personalized experiences for our customers, experiences that today’s customers expect.

The theme running through the presentations at Dreamforce was to be disruptive in the market. To create change and do it quickly, and be ready to do it again, and again. The WAVE analytics cloud was introduced to a live performance of the Beach Boys singing Catch a Wave. It struck me that waves tend to come crashing down. Rather than catching a wave, Salesforce is creating waves. At Dreamforce, the challenge was for all of us to do the same.

Bruce MeekinBruce Meekin,
Director of Operations, A.W. Hastings

Street Smart – Driving Tips for the Fall Season

images-2Longtime Hastings truck driver Tom Skarzynski has put in a lot of miles over the years – and he has some timely advice about fall driving in New England.

Hi folks! I’ve been a professional driver for over thirty five years now and I thought I’d share some of my accumulated wisdom with you. As the fall season is in full swing we should all be making adjustments in our driving habits to counteract the new challenges nature has in store.

Several things come quickly to mind. One of the most dangerous and most easily unnoticed is that the roads are often covered with leaves. Wet leaves can be as slippery as ice! Take extra precautions when approaching traffic lights or stop signs. Use the winter strategy of allowing added stopping time between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

The sun is now at a different angle. And it is rising and setting right around the normal rush hours. This can cause blinding conditions! The hilly New England landscape adds to the danger, putting the sun in your eyes unexpectedly as you crest a hill. There are a few things you can do to help with this. Most important is to make sure your windshield is clean. This can make a huge difference! Also, a really good pair of sunglasses is essential. Buy the expensive ones – your life is worth the investment! A baseball cap can help as well. The visor on it gives you a lot better glare protection that your car visor can. If your vehicle has power seats, sometimes raising or lowering them can help as well, by changing your angle of perception.

While on the subject of sun glare, be aware that it is affecting other drivers around you as well. Even if it’s not immediately affecting you, other drivers may be blinded and not able to see you! Or they may not see a red light because of the way the sun is hitting it. A few weeks ago I had this happen three times between Springfield and Enfield! In fact, one of them was a cop. I saw where the sun was as I approached a green light and anticipated the problem, coming to a stop and avoiding a major accident!

We’re not far from freezing weather. It can change drastically this time of year. Elevations can and do amplify the problem. I’ve seen a wet road turn to ice at just over five hundred feet! Good old hilly New England. Again, be aware! Also, changing temperatures often breed fog. If you have fog lights, use them! Even in daylight, lights can make you visible to other drivers.

Happy trails!






Tom Skarzynski, A.W. Hastings
“Sir Drivesalot”

Installation Series Part Five: Weatherproofing & Insulation: Your Best Friend

This video is part 5 in a 5 part series, summarizing the key steps and best practices when installing your Marvin or Integrity windows.

In this video, Marshall Baser shows the final stages of installing a window: Weatherproofing and Insulation.

Watch Part 1: House WrapPart 2: The Opening: No Cutting CornersPart 3: Sill Panning: Protecting & Draining, and Part 4: Window Placement: A Square Deal.

If you misplace the installation instructions that come with your windows, visit or to print them out.

Vision, Views and Vistas – Marvin Architect Challenge “Best In Show” Winner Has It All

“Obviously windows and doors set the tone and character.  Here we wanted to create a romantic notion of a house, balancing the amount of glazing and wall surface to maintain character, but by the same token take advantage of the views and vistas. Marvin worked really well with us to create unique windows and door that we incorporated into this house.”    - Patrick Ahearn, Architect, 2014 Marvin Architect Challenge Best In Show Winner


2014 Marvin Architect Challenge Best In Show Winner – Shingle-Style Sanctuary

Quiet on the set! Architectural Digest recently created a pair of videos about the 2014 Marvin Architect Challenge Best In Show winning project “Shingle-Style Sanctuary.”

Terry Hills from Marvin Design Gallery by MHC did a great job as a representative for the Marvin brand, while winning architect Patrick Ahearn shared how Marvin helped him achieve his vision for the house. This beautiful project will also be highlighted in the October issue of Architectural Digest.

In the first video, Patrick discusses the details of the winning home’s design.

The second video takes a closer look at the challenges of—and solutions for—designing a waterfront home on Martha’s Vineyard.


We are proud to work with Patrick, our other Top Ten winners Michael Waters, Russ Tyson, and Mahdad Saniee, and all of the talented architects who participated in this year’s Marvin Architects Challenge.  You inspire us every day with your vision, passion and creativity!


Installation Series Part Four: Window Placement: A Square Deal

This video is part 4 in a 5 part series, summarizing the key steps and best practices when installing your Marvin or Integrity windows.

In this video, Marshall Baser demonstrates how to place the window in the opening, and shim it properly.

Watch Part 1: House WrapPart 2: The Opening: No Cutting Corners, and Part 3: Sill Panning: Protecting & Draining.

If you misplace the installation instructions that come with your windows, visit or to print them out.

Installation Series Part Three: Sill Panning: Protecting & Draining

This video is part 3 in a 5 part series, summarizing the key steps and best practices when installing your Marvin or Integrity windows.

In this video, Marshall Baser discusses talks about Sill Pans and demonstrates how to install one.

Watch Part 1: House Wrap and Part 2: The Opening: No Cutting Corners.

If you misplace the installation instructions that come with your windows, visit or to print them out.

Installation Series Part Two: The Opening: No Cutting Corners

This video is part 2 in a 5 part series, summarizing the key steps and best practices when installing your Marvin or Integrity windows.

In this video, Marshall Baser talks about the best way to cut an opening in your House Wrap.

See Part 1 of the Installation Series here.

If you misplace the installation instructions that come with your windows, visit or to print them out.

Installation Series Part One: House Wrap

When it comes to ensuring the best long-term performance of Marvin and Integrity products, proper installation is key. Hastings is pleased to support your installation efforts by offering this special five-part series dedicated exclusively to Marvin and Integrity Product Installation. This series is designed to be a summary of the key installation steps for Marvin and Integrity products.

Our installation expert Marshall Baser walks through each step of the process from start to finish, including house wrap, working with the opening, sill panning, window placement, and weatherproofing & insulation.

In Part 1, Marshall Baser discusses the importance of House Wrap and how to install it.

If you misplace the installation instructions that come with your windows, visit or to print them out.

Congratulations To Our Marvin Architects Challenge Winners!

The winners have been named in the sixth annual Marvin Architects Challenge – and we are excited to share that four of them are from Hastings’ territory!

Congratulations to Best in Show winner Patrick Ahearn of Patrick Ahearn Architect LLC, and Michael Waters of LDA Architecture, Russ Tyson of Whitten Architects, and Mahdad Saniee of Saniee Architects – all winners in the general top 10 judging. While these projects demonstrate a wide range of architectural style and creativity, it’s easy to see the dramatic incorporation of natural light and the innovative use of Marvin Windows and Doors as the common threads that bind them.

Best In Show winner Patrick Ahearn said,  “Winning the Marvin Architects Challenge was a wonderful opportunity to showcase our firm’s work and celebrate the meaning of architectural inspiration.  It is especially significant to be recognized for the function and beauty of our timeless design aesthetic and our unique story-driven approach.  With each and every project, we strive to make our clients’ dream homes a reality and this recognition has elevated this notion.”

Architects Challenge winners will participate in an AIA tour of Minneapolis and spend time at Marvin’s headquarters in Warroad, Minn. for a tour of the factory.

This year’s winners, and all the entries, demonstrate how Marvin products can truly bring an architect’s vision to life – and we are proud to work with each and every one of these talented architects!  Congratulations!

Best In Show:
Patrick Ahearn, Patrick Ahern Architect, Boston MA   “Atlantic Drive”


Michael Waters, LDA Architecture of Cambridge, MA   “Berkshire Farmhouse”


Russ Tyson, Whitten Architects of Portland, ME  “Oceanfront Cottage”


Mahdad Saniee, Saniee Architects of Greenwich, CT  “Boxwood House”


Tales From A Hastings Internship

My name is Taylor Perry. I am 18 years old and I am a Marketing Communications Intern at Hastings. Throughout this summer internship, I have been asked many times what it is like to be an intern at Hastings. This sparked the idea for a blog post, so here I am. However, I thought this question could be better answered by getting the perspectives of all the other Hastings interns as well. Take Marissa, for example – she also works in the Marketing Department as a Marketing Research Intern but her job description is very different from mine! So, I drafted up a short questionnaire and talked to the other three interns about their perspectives about Hastings in general and about their specific jobs. Let’s start with my brother…my younger brother (despite the fact that I am the shortest person in the picture below).

Summer Intern 1

Photo left to right: Austin Perry, Marissa Chapdelaine, Taylor Perry, William St. Marie

Austin Perry is my 16 year old brother and the Information Technology (IT) Support Intern. He is going into his Junior year at Westfield High School. He would describe Hastings as a productive, family-oriented work place. When I asked him about his first day as an intern, he said, “I felt overwhelmed yet welcomed by people. I got a tour and met everyone. They all seem like fun people who enjoy work and do it efficiently and effectively. They were very welcoming to me and seemed excited to have me as an intern.” Not only is his job description much different from mine, but he works in a whole different building! On a daily basis, you can find Austin documenting inventory of server rooms or providing internal IT instruction and support.  He says that Hastings has been “a fantastic opportunity to expand my knowledge and prepare me for the years ahead.” If given the choice, Austin hopes to return to Hastings next summer. After talking to Austin in the other building, I talked to someone whose desk is not more than a few feet away from mine.

Marissa Chapdelaine (21) works at Hastings as a Marketing Research Intern but will be attending Western New England University as a senior this coming fall. On her first day, she said that she was nervous before she arrived, but quickly felt welcomed and comfortable. “Everyone was extremely nice, helpful, and made me feel as if my position as an intern was very important,” she says. When I asked her to describe the people she works with (we work with the same people and I could not agree more with what she had to say about them) she said, “The employees here at Hastings are wonderful. I could not have asked for better individuals to have worked with this summer. You could tell everyone was genuine and friendly to all. My favorite quality about every employee I met was that it did not matter which position you held in the company, or what your specific job was, everyone was so friendly and willing to help each other.” Some of her daily tasks include reviewing & researching the Architectural Database to update contact information, determining active vs. inactive firms, and obtaining social media accounts. If Marissa was not graduating from college in the spring, she would definitely want to return as a summer intern next year. “I would have to say that Hastings has such an astounding group of people working there. I am very grateful for the opportunity they have given me this summer. I cannot thank them enough. I am certainly going to miss interning at A.W. Hastings.”

Summer Intern 2

Photo left to right: Marissa Chapdelaine, Austin Perry, Taylor Perry, William St. Marie

I am, as I said before, the Marketing Communications Intern. Something you may not know about me? I am starting my freshman year at Florida Southern College! But, while I am here, I do not take inventory of storage rooms and I would be afraid to go near the architect data base! My daily tasks include curating information, internal media posting, and…you guessed it…blog posting. I also help with a variety of organizational projects within the marketing department. I would describe my first day as an intern as an overwhelming, but an awesome learning experience. My favorite thing about Hastings is its employees. I have never been exposed to a group of people as kind and genuinely good-hearted as the ones at Hastings. There is a sense of camaraderie among the employees here that I have never felt before. In my opinion, Hastings is a great place to work and I would, without a doubt, return if given the opportunity.

As much as my job, Marissa’s job, and Austin’s job differ; William’s is far and beyond the most different. William St. Marie is 17 years old and he will be a senior at East Longmeadow High School when school starts again. His internship responsibilities exposed him to a different part of Hastings than us office workers. William works in the Distribution Center or DC. As an intern he is responsible for safely and efficiently loading and unloading trucks and handling materials being shipped, received, stocked and moved within the DC. That’s about as different as you can get from writing a blog! William said he was not very nervous on his first day on the job. He says he was “excited and ready to work.” Personally, I have only met a handful of the employees at the DC; however the ones I have met have the same Hastings spirit and overall wonderful-ness as the people I work with every day. William also likes the people he works with at the DC, “the employees are really fun.The guys always keep me on my toes and they have a lot of funny stories!” He says. When I asked him about next year, William enthusiastically replied, “of course I would come back! It’s fun!”

After talking to the other interns, it is clear that being an intern at Hastings has been a positive experience across the board, in all areas of the company we were exposed to. We all agree that Hastings’ employees really make the difference. Whether it is their work ethic, vast knowledge, or friendly personalities – there is always something to like. All four of us interns would like to thank our respective managers and coworkers for a great summer!


Photo left to right: Marissa Chapdelaine, Austin Perry, Taylor Perry, William St. Marie