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Spring 2001

Ones to Watch         people in the news


NFRC Elects New Board Members and Committee Chairpersons
The National Fene-stration Rating Council’s (NFRC) board of directors recently elected new board members. The NFRC’s four newest board members are: John Hogan, City of Seattle, representing the architect/design community; Duane Larson, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., representing energy services companies; Tom Mew-bourne, AFG Industries Inc., representing glazing and in-fill manufacturers; and Garrett Stone, Burchette & Ritts P.C., representing the building industry.

In addition to selecting new members, the NFRC Board chose its new officers. Jim Krahn of Marvin Windows and Doors will continue his role as the board chairman. To assist him, the board elected vice chairman William Lingnell of the Sealed Insulated Glass Manufacturers Association and treasurer Tony Rygg of the California Energy Commission.

Presiding over the council’s technical committee will be Jim Larson of Cardinal IG. Likewise, Marvin Stover of Mikron Industries Inc. will serve as chairman of the public relations committee. Both also will serve as ex-officio members of the Board, along with Richard Karney of the U.S. Department of Energy and John Mumaw of Integrex Testing Systems.

Franklin Fitzgerald

The National Safety Council recently honored Frank Fitzgerald, executive vice president of the Screen Manufacturers Association (SMA), with its Distinguished Service to Safety Award.

Fitzgerald has been involved in safety issues involving the glass industry for 48 years.

Were you shocked by your receipt of this award?
I see so many deserving people around that I wondered how they picked me. I was just doing what came naturally, but I guess we tend to underestimate ourselves.

What changes have you seen during your 48 years in the industry?
Probably the first and most significant change I’ve seen is that when I was a product design engineer and I was given the project of designing the sliding glass door. I was reminded by the company lawyer that the glass was dangerous and there was a liability to the company. In those days, there was safety glass around, but not large enough to put into doors. So, I set out with other people to try to make that happen. After a period of time, the glass manufacturers were convinced to invest large amounts of money for research and development to temper glass large enough to be used in doors. Then, they had to build factories to make this glass and then some of us set out to educate the public to ask for this glass. We lobbied for legislation to require that this glass be used—now, you can’t get sliding doors without it. It took a lot of years to see the evolution of that entire part of the industry and I was at the leading edge of it.

What has been your biggest accomplishment as executive vice president of the SMA?
To convince people that screens are to keep insects out, not to keep children in. At one point, companies started to get lawsuits filed against them that their screens were unsafe and I said, “What do you mean unsafe? They’re not unsafe.” Insect screens are what they are, they’re insect screens—they’re not designed to keep children from falling out of windows. So, we set out on a major campaign to say screens are to keep insects out, not kids in. That’s now on the National Safety Council’s website and the day they decided to put it up there was a milestone for me.

What are your future plans for the association?
We try to keep the industry well-informed on product-liability litigation and what they need to do to keep themselves protected. For the customers, we try to keep them informed that screens are not safety devices. That’s an ongoing program, to think of new ways to keep consumers informed.

Truth Gains New President and Two VP’s
Truth Hardware of Owatonna, Minn., has a couple of new leaders in its midst. 
The company has named Greg Wobschall as its president. Wobschall will preside over all of the company’s facilities, including its operations in Hazle-ton, Pa., Pacoima, Calif., Toronto and its headquarters in Owatonna.

“Wobschall’s 20-year career with Truth, which began in 1980 ... makes [him] uniquely qualified to lead Truth Hardware on continuing our market leadership of window and patio door hardware products,” said David Ewing, president of FKI Hardware Group.

The company also has selected Paul J. Rogers to serve as its vice president of sales and marketing. In his new position, Rogers will be responsible for the overall sales, product development and marketing aspects of the company’s complete line of products.

Rogers was previously employed by Dayco Products, a Division of Mark IV Corporation, with whom he spent 28 years.

Tim Pelton has been promoted to the position of vice president of operations for the company. In his new role, Pelton will be responsible for all manufacturing activities for the company’s facilities in Brampton, Ontario, Pacoima, Calif., West Hazleton, Pa., and Owatonna, Minn.

Recently-Merged Peachtree and SNE Announce Personnel Changes
SNE Enterprises Inc. and Peachtree Doors and Windows Inc. of Norcross, Ga., have announced the promotion of Mark Rieser to director of marketing and business development for the two companies, which recently merged their senior management teams. As corporate director, Rieser will manage one marketing team for both SNE and Peachtree. He will be responsible for the execution of all brand management, advertising, marketing communications, sales training, market research and pricing. Three individual brand managers will report to Rieser from the Crestline® Windows & Doors, Vetter® Windows & Patio Doors and Peachtree brands.

In addition, the companies have named two sales vice presidents. George Tremblay has been named vice president of corporate accounts and Michael Farris has been named vice president of sales and distribution.

As vice president of corporate accounts, Trem-blay will be responsible for the Crestline® Windows and Doors, Vetter® Windows & Patio Doors and Peachtree products and will focus on national accounts, OEM customers and national builder program development. Previously, he served as vice president of sales for Peachtree.

Farris will have responsibility for all sales and distribution activities for the Crestline, Peachtre and Vetter brands in five newly-created sales regions: Northeast, Southeast, West Region, Great Lakes and Midwest Region. Each region will include a general or regional sales manager and brand-specific sales staffs. In addition, Farris will be in charge of the customer service and job site services departments at the company.

Retired WoodWare President Passes Away
Memphis, Tenn.-based Wood-Ware Systems’ former president Ed Kallaher died on October 27, 2000 at his home in Memphis after an extended battle with lung cancer. Kallaher had been with the company from the early 1980s to 1997, when he retired from his position. He is survived by his wife, Rosalind, four grown children and five grandchildren.

Ed Kallaher was one of WoodWare’s first three employees, brought on board soon after the company’s inception.

“We know that many people in the millwork industry loved and respected Ed as we certainly did,” said WoodWare president Nick Carter. “His religious faith, his integrity and high morals, his relationship with God, and his compassionate heart all brought strength to him and to those around him. Ed’s sense of humor, his work ethic and the combination of his Southern warmth and Irish charm endeared him to all who met him. Ed Kallaher will be greatly missed.”


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