Volume 36, Issue 12, December 2001


Bradford Resigns from UGC; Company in Flux; Headquarters to Move
United Glass Corp. (UGC) chairperson Lawrence E. O’Connell has announced the resignation of Jim Bradford as president and has assumed the position of chief executive officer (CEO). O’Connell says he expects UGC’s corporate headquarters will also move to Louisville, Ky., from Kingsport, Tenn., by the end of the year.

According to O’Connell, Bradford will remain as a consultant to the company, working in areas such as financing, industry trends and new products. “One of the more difficult tasks involved with ensuring the success of a major manufacturing concern with multiple locations is the molding of various business cultures into a cohesive unit, and we thank Jim for leading UGC through that phase of its continuing development,” said O’Connell. Other position changes include David Bartley to chief financial officer and Marc Silverman as president of PDC in Cheswick, Pa.

Originally formed in 1999 as an “acquisition vehicle” to consolidate various areas of the fabricated glass industry, O’Connell says the focus of the company has now changed. According to a company statement, “in light of the September 11 events [UGC] will focus … on operational efficiency, internal growth and continued earnings improvement during the uncertain times facing the U.S. 

“When we [the ten UGC companies] came together as a group, the initial intent was to be in an acquisition mode to be able to acquire other companies, and we were not able to do that because of changes in stock market conditions,” said O’Connell. “We have shifted to an ‘operate-and-optimize’ mode.” O’Connell said that as UGC reduces overall debt and re-evaluates, it will better position itself to acquire additional companies. “The stronger you are financially the easier it is to acquire,” he said.

MTH Industries Acquires Midwest Glass; Announces Relocation 
Chicago-based MTH Industries acquired the assets of Midwest Glass of Chicago on November 12. For more than 75 years Midwest has operated in the Chicago market specializing in contract and replacement glazing. 

“Midwest has enjoyed a significant position within the industry for a long time, has an outstanding reputation and fits in nicely with MTH’s strategic plan,” said Lyle R. Hill, president and chief executive officer. “We are very pleased with the acquisition.” 

In addition, MTH announced it has purchased a major parcel of land in Hillside, Ill., and has plans for an extensive new facility. 

“We are excited about our development and growth plans which will be further enhanced by the new facility we are building,” said Hill. “The new headquarters will have more than 60,000 square feet of combined office and warehouse space and will be located on a very nice 4-acre parcel of land in an outstanding area. We hope to occupy the building by October of next year.” 

Guardian Subleases Excess Space to Two Logistical Services Companies 
Guardian Industries, based in Auburn Hills, Mich., has signed deals to sublease 170,100 square feet at its former plastic manufacturing facility in Prairie, Texas. The location originally housed Windsor Plastics, which Guardian owns. Guardian assumed the lease when it purchased the company, and is now subleasing the property, as it is “excess space.” The prices on both leases remained confidential.

Small Business Survival Index Ranks States
The Small Business Survival Committee (SBSC) of Washington, D.C., has released its sixth annual rankings of states according to their respective policy climates for small business and entrepreneurship in the Small Business Survival Index of 2001. 

“The Small Business Survival Index of 2001
offers a gauge by which to measure and compare how government in the states treats small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Raymond J. Keating, SBSC chief economist and author of the study. “Since small business serves as the backbone of the U.S. economy … every state and local lawmaker should be concerned with the well-being of small 

Rhode Island was ranked 50, followed by Hawaii at 49 and Maine at 48.

The box below lists the top ten in state rankings.

1.  Nevada 6.  Texas
2.  South Dakota 7.   New Hampshire
3.  Washington 8.   Alabama
4.  Wyoming 9.   Mississippi
5.  Florida 10. Tennessee

Goldray Announces its Largest Order Ever
Goldray Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, has received a letter of intent for an order of $2.9 million of decorative glass, making it the largest single order Goldray has ever received, stated a press release from the company. The order includes more than 200,000 square feet of decorative, energy-conserving, high-performance glass that is designed for a new research facility in Boston.

“The current order book provides an excellent starting point for our 2002 growth plans,” said Goldray president Greg Saroka. “The receipt of this letter of intent confirms our progress toward being the dominant player in the architectural decorative glass market.” 
According to the press release, the receipt of this order will increase Goldray’s firm orders for delivery over the next three quarters to approximately $7.5 million.

eBreviate and Home Depot Sign Internet Negotiations Contract
Home Depot has signed an agreement with eBreviate, the eSourcing subsidiary of EDS, to offer Internet negotiations technology. According to a news release, Internet negotiations include online auctions and purchasing efficiencies. The one-year agreement provides Home Depot with unlimited use of eBreviate’s technology, including its total-cost auction and Request for Proposal technologies. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. 

Simonton Windows Honored with Golden Hammer Award

The Wood County, W.Va., Habitat for Humanity recently presented Parkersburg, W. Va.-based Simonton Windows with the first Golden Hammer Award. Since 1996 Simonton has worked with Wood County Habitat for Humanity providing windows for 23 of the 31 houses constructed in Wood County.

“We are pleased to be recognized by Wood County Habitat for Humanity with the Golden Hammer Award,” said John Brunett, president of Simonton Windows. “It is a tremendous honor to be singled out for our contributions by an organization that … makes such a notable difference in our community.”

PPG Place Gets Ready for Winter with Ice-Rink Installation

An artist’s rendering shows the expected layout of the ice rink at PPG Place.

Pittsburgh’s PPG Place, home of PPG Industries, will soon be home to more than just glass. Installation of a diamond-shaped ice rink began November 17, and it is expected to be open for public skating sessions by mid-December. 

The rink, manufactured by Burley’s Rink Supply Inc. of Johnstown, Pa., will offer approximately 9,600 square feet of ice surface. Burley’s also manages PPG Place and will supervise construction of the 104- by 104-foot rink.

The project is funded by Hillman Properties, which acquired PPG Place in 1999 from PPG Industries. Hillman also plans to install computer-choreographed water expression fountains next year at PPG Place.


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