Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2002


A Minute With ...
    Kathy Morris 
        Sunglo Skylight Products
        Kansas City, Mo.


Kathy Morris became president of Sunglo Skylight Products when she purchased the company in August. Morris grew up around the company, which is a division of Plastic Sales and Manufacturing of Kansas City, which is owned by her father, Bill Popplewell. Even though sheís been around the company all her life, she came to embrace it slowly. After graduating from the University of Kansas, she took a job booking motivational speakers for companies and associations in training. After seven years there. Morris returned to skylights and plans on staying there for the homestretch.

What role did the industry play in your life?

Iíve always had a passion for it and when I was little I used to love coming down to the plant with my father. For me, Sungloóthe skylight part of the businessówas the most exciting part.

Even though your family was involved in the industry, you didnít get into it right away after college?

My dad wanted us to go out after college and do our own thing and he didnít want to force us into the business. My sister (who is currently a silent partner) and I started talking to him about this a couple of years ago, though, and itís all just fallen into place.

What do you expect to be your biggest challenge?

Iíd say obviously that a lot of businesses are challenged today with the current economy. With us, itís just the concern of not knowing how strong new construction will be compared with what weíve become accustomed to.

How do you plan to handle these challenges?

Iím going to rely heavily on the people that work here. Iím surrounded by professional people with tremendous talent.

Whatís the toughest part about being a woman in the glass industry?

I really donít think thatís an issue or a challenge. I think that maybe it would have been an issue with my mother or grandmother, but I think today gender doesnít really play an issue and our world is a lot more enlightened to diversity. The way I see it, Iím representing and running a 40-plus-year-old company and Iím confident Iím going to do an excellent job regardless of gender.

Do you have a favorite project youíve worked on with Sunglo?

Itís really hard to pick a favorite because every single job is so different. My favorite part of the process is seeing them come together from the drawing to the manufacturing to the shipping and installation. 


Inventor Penberthy Dies at 85
Larry Penberthy, an inventor and businessman, died November 24 in his West Seattle home.

Raised in a small town by parents who ran a general store, Penberthy left the small town to travel and sell and install electric glass furnaces. 

He held a number of patents and invented items such as a cockpit for a deep-water diving bell made of polished glass and lead-infused glass designed to protect nuclear workers from radioactivity. He also developed a method through his company, Pen-berthy Electromelt, to covert hazardous waste into a glass-like substance.

He was an avid mountain climber and dedicated himself to the development of safer mountaineering equipment through another of his businesses, Mountain Safety Research.

Penberthy also had political aspirations. He ran for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and lieutenant governor.
He is survived by his wife, Alma, three daughters and two granddaughters.

on the move
Adhesives Research Inc. Hires New Midwest Regional Manager
Based in Glen Rock, Pa., Adhesives Research Inc. has announced that Sally D. Groome has joined the company as its new Midwest regional manager for its industrial business unit. Her territory will encompass Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin.

SGroome Sally Groome

In this position, Groome will coordinate product development in assigned markets for industrial pressure-sensitive adhesives. She will also develop market strategies, product line revisions and product forecasts as well as competitive positioning. 

Stirn Named Managing Director of Guardian Flachglas
An employee of Guardian Industries since 1980, Fernand Stirn recently was promoted to the position of managing director for Guardian Flachglas in Thalheim, Germany.

His career began in Luxembourg where he held various management positions in engineering, human resources and production. In 1996 he was promoted to the position of operations manager for Guardian's plant in Germany.

Stirn has an electrical engineering degree from the University Rheinisch Westfaelische Technische Hochschule. 

McCurdy Named Business Segment Leader at Pilkington
Based in Toledo, Ohio, Pilkington North America has announced the appointment of Richard J. McCurdy to the position of business segment leader for its specialty glass products division.

Prior to this position, McCurdy, who has been with the company since 1988, served as Pilkington's manager of process technologies at its Ottawa, Ill., location. Prior to that he spent ten years in research and development positions such as manager of advanced coating technology and senior scientist.

In his new role, McCurdy is responsible for marketing, promotion and sales of the company's specialty products division. 

comings and goings

Chris Lyons

RHausler Rich Hausler

Doug Hantak has joined Harmon Inc.'s Orlando, Fla., office as a project manager ... Nancy McNabb of Dallas has been appointed to the position of regional manager, building code, central field office for the National Fire Protection Association ... Zero International has announced additions to its field sales and support teams. Chris Lyons of L&T Associates Inc. in Cummings, Ga., will handle the company's Georgia accounts and Rich Hausler of the Glezen Fisher Group in Campbell Hall, N.Y., will handle accounts from central New Jersey to lower New York state ... Kathleen (Kitty) Kono has been named vice president, global corporation, for the American Society for Testing Materials.


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