Volume 13, Issue 5 - June 2012

What's News

Company News
New CEO at Champion; Company Remains Profitable
Champion Windows and Doors, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, has lots of growth planned under new CEO, Jim Mishler. He replaces former CEO Dennis Manes. DWM recently spoke with chief marketing officer Dave Harrison about some of the executive changes, given rumors of late that the company was in trouble.

“Quite the opposite,” Harrison told DWM. “While other competitors have had significant financial difficulty during this troublesome economic environment in our industry, Champion has remained profitable.”

He acknowledged that the company did consolidate a few showrooms to “streamline our operations and to become even healthier.” He added that the company serves more than 75 markets.

In response to rumors that the company is in trouble due to closing a few locations, Harrison said, “McDonald’s closes under-performing stores—are they in trouble? Doesn’t even General Electric close some operations and grow others? Champion is strong—and positioned for significant growth with a business model delivering superior value with an ‘Our Factory 2 You’ capability resulting in a value proposition “Premium Quality—Wholesale Value.”

Mishler brings with him more than 25 years of marketing, sales, service, distribution, operations and general management experience in the building products manufacturing and distribution industries including leadership roles with Lennox Industries and Pella Windows and Doors. Most recently, Mishler served as president of Goodman Sales and Distribution at Goodman Global Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning products for residential and commercial markets.

“I’m honored and excited to join Don and the entire Champion Windows team,” says Mishler. “With the best team in the industry, quality products, and unsurpassed customer service, Champion holds a significant competitive advantage in the industry. I see a tremendous opportunity to both grow the company organically and am committed to expansion into new markets.”

"McDonald’s closes under-performing stores—are they in trouble?
Doesn’t even General Electric close some operations and grow others?"
—Dave Harrison, Champion

Marty Hiatt, former vice president of administration, also left the organization. His position is being absorbed within the current management structure, according to Harrison.

“Denny and Marty have done a remarkable job leading the company through to its current business platform,” says Harrison. “There is a stage at which a company grows to a size that requires differing skills to take the team to the next level. Champion has achieved that stage in its evolution where the entrepreneurial spirit must remain, while embracing shared best practices and processes that can deliver the leverage and manageability required to double in size.”

Cardinal Corp. Turns 50: Focus is the Key
A steadfast focus on customers has enabled Cardinal Corp. to successfully complete 50 years in business, says Roger
O’Shaughnessy, president and CEO. And O’Shaughnessy is uniquely qualified to know; he has spent 49 years with the company. “I became president in 1967 and haven’t had a promotion yet,” he jokes.

O’Shaughnessy joined the company a year after M.L. Gordon Sash and Door Co. in Minneapolis started Cardinal Corp. in 1962. “It was intended to supply sealed insulating glass (IG) units to the founding company that made windows and doors,” he says. “Gordon started the company because IG was becoming popular because of its convenience. Prior to that, storm windows were used and they had to be washed every spring and fall and installed again. It was a lot of work for the consumers. Also, at the time, lead time for IG from established companies, such as PPG [Industries] and Libby Owens Ford (LOF), was about a year.”

There was upward of one thousand IG companies that had sprung up during the period when O’Shaughnessy became the president. “Today we are the only surviving company out of those thousand,” he says.

In 1976-77, after the Arab oil embargo, Cardinal started making large volumes of triple-pane units, which then set the stage for rapid development of low-E coatings in 1983, O’Shaughnessy says. “Cardinal decided to put low-E directly on glass, because they were perceived to be permanent,” he says. “Throughout the 1980s the coatings became more complex in their layer structure, or optical complexities that demand cleaner and more pristine float glass surfaces.”

In 1992, the company opened its first float plant in Menomonee, Wis., and in 1994, Cardinal officials decided that the company’s business model needed to be national and no longer regional. “So we began expanding to all of these centers of residential window production,” O’Shaughnessy says.

Currently, Cardinal has 5,500 employees, 32 production facilities, two research locations, one distribution facility and one corporate office.

“We have half a dozen employees who came to the company in mid-70s and they’re nearing retirement age,” O’Shaughnessy says. “We have a lot of young people because a lot of our growth took place in the 1990s. We built half our factories in the 1990s.”

Mike Tourville, account manager based in Eden Prairie, Minn., is one employee who has been with the company since its early days. “Seeing a small regional glass company explode into a national brand has been the true American dream,” he says.

Bowie Neumayer, vice president of sales and marketing, agrees. “Fifty years is a long time, I am not sure if there are many, if any, insulating glass companies left from 1962 other than Cardinal,” he says. “It is a true testament of always moving forward.”

Door & Window Manufacturer (DWM) Magazine Releases App
DWM magazine, published by Key Communications Inc., released its first mobile application into the Apple-owned iTunes Store and Google Play for the Android market place. Available for the iPad, iPhone, and Android devices the App will deliver the current issue of DWM magazine as well as an archived history.

“We knew this step was a necessary one to continue to provide what our readers need, and we are pleased to be able to present our publication in this format for our readers,” said Tara Taffera, publisher/editor of the publication.

“The free App is available for smartphones and tablets and we look forward to hearing the response from the fenestration industry,” said Taffera.

“DWM had digital editions available starting back in 2007,” said Holly Biller, vice president of media services for DWM. “We continually strive to provide the news and trending information to our readers in whatever medium they are using,” said Biller.

“In today’s digital market, an App was simply the next step in the progression. We’re thrilled at what we can now provide our readers and advertisers,” said Biller.

To download the App, simply search for DWM magazine. To learn more about the publication devoted to the fenestration industry, visit dwmmag.com or contact the Digital Media Services department of Key Communications Inc. at dms@glass.com.

Caldwell Acquires Advantage Manufacturing Assets
Caldwell Manufacturing Co. North America LLC announced the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Advantage Manufacturing of Victor, N.Y., including its Magnum-branded operable window hardware line.

According to the announcement, customers, employees and vendors should not expect any immediate changes and while there are areas of opportunity between the current offerings of both companies.

The company also recognized its Alachua, Fla., distribution center team members for achieving 2,000 days without a lost-time accident. According to the company, the Alachua facility has, in fact, never had a lost-time accident since it began operations.

Masonite Acquires Two Door Companies
Masonite International Corp. announced it has completed a number of acquisitions. The company acquired all of the capital stock of Algoma Hardwoods Inc., a manufacturer of architecturally specified doors, and also acquired Baillargeon Doors Inc., a Canadian manufacturer of wood flush doors for architectural applications.

Headquartered in Algoma, Wis., and with another location in Jefferson City, Tenn., Algoma Hardwoods employs approximately 350 people. Its 2011 revenue exceeded $60 million. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Baillargeon Doors in St. Ephrem, Quebec, Canada, had 2011 revenues of approximately $20 million.

According to the announcement, Baillargeon president, Bruno Baillargeon, will stay on with Masonite for an interim period in a consulting role, to assist with the integration. All other members of Baillargeon’s management team will stay with the company.

Amesbury Acquisition Adds to Hardware Balance Offerings
Amesbury has acquired Unique Balance International, a Montreal-based supplier of window balances serving the window industry in Canada, the United States and Europe. Unique Balance will continue to supply its existing customers from the current Montreal location as part of Amesbury Hardware Products.

According to the announcement, further benefits are expected to accrue from Amesbury’s customer relationships, reputation as a reliable business partner and strong synergies with other Amesbury capabilities. Ross Hemesath will remain with Amesbury Hardware Products’ Montreal facility as operations manager–Canada.

“The acquisition of Unique Balance International’s product range and expertise in the window balance industry is an exciting opportunity for Amesbury to continue its strategy of acquiring companies that broaden our product offering and strengthen our capabilities within the fenestration industry,” says Jonathan Petromelis, Amesbury president and CEO.

Safety News
MI Windows and Doors Receives SHARP Recertification From OSHA

MI Windows and Doors Inc., and its Hegins, Pa., manufacturing facility received recertification of a Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) award from OSHA in recognition of its safety and health management systems. This is the second time that the facility has been awarded the certificate.

According to a company announcement, the SHARP award is presented to employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system facility. Some of the safety improvements that the team at Hegins made to quality for SHARP included:
• Improvements to machine guarding to prevent all types of injuries;
• Designing processes and jobs to be ergonomically friendly;
• Cross training and job rotation;
• Creation of safety teams for more awareness and team support; and
• Train and instruct new and existing employees of all types of hazards.

The announcement notes that one additional objective was to keep the team aware of their surroundings and continually improve all aspects of the program for the best environment for the team.

“I am proud of the strides that all of our team members have made to receive this honor,” says Doug Reed, general manager, of the Hegins manufacturing facility. “The bottom line is that our team members are going home to their families as safe and sound as possible.”

OSHA Orders New Jersey Window Company to Reinstate Whistleblower
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered Jersey Window Factory & Building Supply Inc., of Newark, N.J., to reinstate a truck driver who was fired after reporting safety concerns about the commercial vehicle he was driving.

An investigation by OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program found reasonable cause that the termination violated the whistleblower provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, according to an announcement by OSHA. The agency has ordered the company to pay the former worker back wages and bonuses that cover the period from July 2008 until a bona fide offer of reinstatement is made. The company also has been ordered to pay $18,000 in compensatory damages.

Jersey Window Factory & Building Supply Inc. did not respond to DWM’s request for comment.


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