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BEC Host City, Nashville, Struck by Overnight Tornado 

A tornado moved through Nashville and East Nashville around 1 a.m. on Tuesday, March 3. Per reporting from the Tennessean, 19 deaths have been reported in the four middle Tennessee counties most affected by the storm, according to Tennessee emergency management authorities. Nashville police have reported two fatalities. The storm hit during the second night of the 2020 BEC Conference, hosted by the National Glass Association. The conference is being held at the recently opened JW Marriott, located in downtown Nashville, about two miles south of the path of the tornado.  

“Our thoughts go out to the victims and to Nashville as it begins a period of rebuilding,” said Nicole Harris, NGA president and CEO, speaking at the BEC March 3 morning session. “As far as we know, the 680 attendees of the BEC are safe.” 

Harris also noted the efforts of JW Marriott hotel employees, who worked to ensure all guests were safely evacuated from their rooms and able to find safe shelter in the hotel. 

The fatal storm sheds light on the importance of the work done in the glass and glazing industry to protect building occupants during disasters, Harris said. “We manufacture and install a great number of products that keep people safe,” she said. “I know our industry will be actively engaged in helping to rebuild after what happened here in Nashville.”