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July-August 2002

Ones to Watch

in the

W STUCKY Walter Stucky President and CEO, VEKA Inc.  

Walter Stucky joined VEKA Inc. in January of 1987 as vice president of production. In 1989, he was promoted to executive vice president of the Fombell, Pa.-based company, and in July of 2001, Stucky became president and CEO of VEKA.

Since VEKA’s parent company is based in Europe, you probably find yourself there a great deal. How many times a year do you go to Europe, and do you have a favorite European delight you enjoy while overseas?

Typically, I travel to Europe about three or four times per year. As I spent the first 37 years of my life in Germany, I always enjoy meeting with my old friends for an evening when I am in town. In particular, I always look forward to visiting the soccer club, where I played soccer for about 20 years, and chatting with friends and former teammates about “the good old times.”

What is one item you won’t leave home without each morning when you leave for a day at the office?

I don’t really have one physical thing, like a phone or a laptop, I need to take with me in the morning. I usually establish one high-priority item or issue in which I dedicate myself to accomplishing that day before leaving for the office.

Many of us read books we’ve long forgotten in both high school and college. Is there any book you read in high school or college to which you still refer in your daily work?

I grew up in Germany; therefore, the books I read were all German and wouldn’t mean anything to you and your readers. The only American author I read was Hemingway. I really enjoy his books. 
Over the past 15 years, I have read a few biographies, such as Lee Iacocca’s. From those books I always try to apply something in my professional life.

As the president of VEKA Inc., do you have a motto or philosophy on how to lead the company? What advice would you give an up-and-comer in the business hoping to also reach such heights?

My philosophy is teamwork. Getting the right people in place and developing a vision and strategies on how to execute those visions is my first priority. Then line up the entire company for 

The advice I give young people is they should “dream up” aggressive goals for themselves, then start patiently but relentlessly pursuing them. 

AEC Announces New Officers
The officers of the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) were announced at the organization’s annual meeting that was held March 14-16, 2002, at the Registry Resort in Naples, Fla. Officers re-elected to one-year terms to serve on the 2002-2003 executive committee were chairperson Martin Bidwell, president and chief operating officer of Magnode Corp. in Trenton, Ohio; vice chairperson Robert Peacock, president of Almag Aluminum Inc. in Brampton, Ontario; and at-large member of the executive committee Doug Monk, president of Tredegar Industries Inc. in Richmond, Va. John Wayne Parrish Jr., president and chief executive officer of The Loxcreen Co. Inc. in West Columbia, S.C., was re-elected to a one-year term as immediate past chairperson. Rand Baldwin, CAE, was re-elected to a one-year term to serve as association president. 

The following directors were re-elected to various-length terms to serve on the 2002-2003 board of directors. Independent extruder director Thomas Hutch Jr., president of Aerolite Extrusion Co. in Youngstown, Ohio, was re-elected to a three-year term. Producer director Peter French, director of sales services for Alcan Aluminum Corp.-Alcan Ingot Division in Cleveland, Ohio, and supplier director Lawrence DiFatta, president and chief operating officer of Granco Clark in Belding, Mich., were both re-elected to one-year terms. The following director was newly elected to the board: independent extruder director Craig Werner of Werner Company in Franklin Park, Ill.

Pilkington Announces New Segment Leader
Pilkington North America of Toledo, Ohio, has appointed Richard J. McCurdy to business segment leader in its specialty glass products division. McCurdy has worked at Pilkington since 1988, most recently as manager of process technology at Pilkington’s Ottawa, Ill.-facility, which manufactures Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass.

McCurdy’s new duties include marketing, promotion and sales of the specialty products division at Pilkington, including TEC™ electrically-conducive and OptiTEC™ anti-reflective products for use in photovoltaic, display, refrigeration, appliance and electrochromic applications.

Kempthorne to Take Over CSI Chapter Presidency
Bradley Kempthorne
, a senior consultant with IBA Consultants, has recently been named president of the Fort Lauderdale CSI Chapter.

The Institute provides technical information, continuing education and product shows to enhance communication among all disciplines of nonresidential building design and construction. “It is my goal to continue the growth of this organization and to foster the programs that have helped the organization grow,” said Kempthorne.

Truth Hardware Promotes Two Employees
Truth Hardware of Owatonna, Minn., has promoted Cynthia Bracht and Mark DeSimone to the positions of product managers within Truth Hardware’s marketing department. Bracht, a design engineer for the past four years at Truth is in the process of completing her MBA. Bracht will be Truth’s new manager for double-hung and slider hardware. 

DeSimone, Truth’s new product manager for patio door hardware, holds a mechanical engineering degree as well as an MBA in marketing and operations. DeSimone has most recently worked in Truth’s engineering department. 

In their new positions, Bracht and DeSimone will be responsible for the overall marketing and product development aspects of all hardware and system components used in their respective product lines.

Amesbury Group Promotes Babbitt to Sales Manager
Amesbury Group Inc. of Amesbury, Mass., promoted Howard Babbitt to the position of sales manager for Amesbury Hardware. He will cover the East Coast. Babbitt has been associated with the Amesbury Group since 1994 in a number of capacities, including world-class trainer as well as production manager and sales manager of Balance Systems Inc. (BSI) in Statesville, N.C. In his new position, Babbitt will focus on the sales responsibilities for existing and new product lines for BSI, Sash Controls and Fastek Products. 

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