Volume 13, Issue 4 - July-August 2011

industry insiders
people in the news

Russo Leaves IGA
Mike Russo has left his position as executive director of the Independent Glass Association (IGA). The change took effect May 31.

“I feel it’s time for me to go off and pursue other interests, and those interests are outside the auto glass industry. I expected this to be a transition period. I didn’t expect the contract to be renewed,” says Russo. “I’ve been in the industry more than 11 years and in my experience I think the focus needs to be placed on consumer harm. I believe the only way that the industry’s woes will be corrected is to involve the consumers. I’ve talked to government officials and legislators and they are fully aware of the interference that shops are experiencing, but they are not hearing a word from the consumers.”

Centric Management and Consulting in Topeka, Kan., has taken over management of the association.

Guardian Auto Glass Names New CFO
Guardian Auto Glass LLC has named Tom Waye as its chief financial officer. Waye most recently served as co-owner and founder of Horizon Auto Glass in Albuquerque, N.M.

Waye began his financial career with KPMG, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms in auditing and tax, in 1980, and has held a variety of financial roles in the medical services industry as well.

"We are pleased to have someone with Tom’s experience in both finance and auto glass operations leading our finance team and providing insight into our growth initiatives,” says Jim Latch, vice president, Guardian Auto Glass.

TCG Founding Chairman Arthur Skidmore Passes Away
Arthur Skidmore, the founding chairman of TCG International, passed away on April 16. He was 88 years old.
Skidmore opened Central Auto and Window Glass Ltd. in New Westminster, British Columbia, in 1946. The company expanded steadily over the years with the help of his brother, Herbert. In the 1980s, Arthur Skidmore’s sons, Allan and Thomas, expanded the company, entering the retail and distribution of automotive glass market in the United States and Europe and wireless communications in North America.

Today the corporation has more than 2,300 franchisees, licensees and affiliate partners in over 36 countries across South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Asia, including more than 350 franchisees in North America.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be sent to Mission of Mercy Canada or the Glad Tidings Missionary Society.

Industry Veteran Neil Smith Passes Away
Neil Smith of Portland, Ore., passed away on June 17 at the age of 66. Though Smith held a variety of positions during his 40-year glass industry career, he most recently served as a managing partner in LRST LLC, which was created in 2010 and formed a joint venture, Guardian Auto Glass LLC, in September 2010 with Guardian Industries.

Smith spent more than 40 years in the glass industry and was one of the cofounders of Elite Auto Glass/GlasPro, which was sold to Belron in 2005.

Over the years, Smith worked as both a flat and automotive glass installer, and, upon his graduation from Oregon State University (OSU), he rejoined what was then a family-run business as a glass shop manager, became a wholesale flat and automotive glass sales representative, then a flat and automotive glass warehouse manager, contract glazing manager, and finally regional glass manager for the wholesale/retail glass company in the northwestern United States. That business was sold to Safelite in 1981.

Smith then joined Oregon Glass, a northwest regional distributor as auto glass manager. Later he purchased the auto glass portion of Oregon Glass, and formed Western Windshields in 1983, a West Coast wholesale auto glass distribution business, which was sold to PPG Industries in 1992.

Glass by Daughtry President Recognized by International Honor Society

Glass by Daughtry president John Daughtry recently was recognized for his scholastic achievements at Mississippi College by initiation into the International Honor Society in Business, Delta Mu Delta.

Daughtry, along with company vice president Rebecca Pevey, enrolled at the school three years ago in order “to become more effective glass industry business managers,” according to a statement from the company.

“Our goal was to prepare ourselves for future business opportunities, as the auto glass industry continues to evolve,” says Daughtry.

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