Ask a few people to define "influence" and chances are you'll get a multitude of answers. Take for instance these definitions: "something or someone that has an impact on someone else's behavior," or "the ability to lead unintentionally by example …" A few years ago Time magazine defined influential companies and people as those "who have accomplished something subtle and difficult. They have gotten other people and businesses to follow their lead. They don't necessarily have the maximum in raw power, instead they are those whose styles are imitated, whose ideas are adapted and whose examples are followed. The powerful twist your arm. The influential just sway your thinking." Keep these ideas in mind as you read through the USGlass Most Influential People in the Glass and Glazing Industry list.
The annual list was originally developed with input from hundreds of people in the industry in response to thousands of questions and industry watching. People making this year's list were sent a form, which they were asked to fill out and return to us. They were asked to answer the following questions: How many years have you been in the glass industry?; Experience prior to entering the glass industry; What are your hobbies; Who are your heroes; What things make you most angry; What is your biggest industry fear?; What is your biggest personal challenge?; What should the industry watch for in the coming years?; and How would you like to be remembered?
Individuals are listed in alphabetical order. A few chose not to participate, but we still consider them influential (see box "Avoiding the Spotlight.")
The Durons from left to right: David, Rodney, Dolores, Freddy Sr., Freddy Jr. and Russell.
Who is David Duron and why is he on the cover representing all the “Most Influential” people in the glass industry? Duron, 31, is president and CEO of Freddy’s Glass in Waco, Texas. This Hispanic, family owned business was founded in 1979 by David’s father, Freddy. With $1.5 million in sales per year, it provides full-line residential and commercial glass replacement, electronic door repair and auto glass and motor home glass replacement.
We made David our “cover boy” because he embodies a lot of the characteristics our most influential possess. In addition to holding a bachelor’s degree in political science, David and his family are driven-entrepreneurs who run a medium-sized business that is firmly entrenched in the community. Duron’s influence extends beyond the community, however, as he also serves as the current president of the Texas Glass Association.
So what brought David’s father into the business? Not surprising, family. “I had just gotten married and wanted to find a trade I could learn and make a good living,” said Freddy. “My brother-in-law was in the business at the time and he asked me if I wanted to learn the trade and I jumped at the opportunity.” In 1979, when the company he was working for decided to close, he and his wife, Dolores, made the decision they would start their own business. “It had always been in the back of my mind that I’d like to open my own business one day,” said Duron.
Today the company truly is a family affair, as Freddy’s four sons, Freddy Jr., Russell, David and Rodney, are all employees of the company. David has been with the company since he got out of college (about eight years ago), but claims he was “born into the glass industry.”
As a family owned and operated business, Freddy’s Glass and Mirror prides itself in its strong commitment to treating customers like family. “We are committed to classic hospitality and service,” said David. “We treat every customer like they are family and not just a number.”
The importance of family is the backbone of everything that is done at Freddy’s Glass and Mirror. “Family comes first,” said Dolores, who handled the company’s office work. “And we honor everyone’s opinion.”
With his four sons following his steps and working in the glass business, it’s obvious that Freddy has been influential in their lives. “My father is my hero,” said David. “He worked really hard to make the business what it is today. He taught us to not only do our best, but to back up our work with a quality product. The work ethic he instilled in us is to be the best we can.”
After more than 40 years in the industry, Freddy and his wife retired last year, leaving the business to their sons’ entrusted hands. As David and his brothers continue on with the business, their work will not be without their father’s influence. “I’ve learned from my father the value of friendship,” said David. “Treating customers like a friend—that’s what keeps them coming back.”
Renald D. “Ren” Bartoe
Product line manager-Americas, Vesuvius McDanel, Beaver Falls, Pa.; 48.
Experience: 26 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Fly fishing, wine making and vintage British cars.
Heroes: The men and women of our armed forces and civil service dedicated to protecting our country and preserving our values and freedom. I only regret that it took a national tragedy to recognize the heroes among us.
Most Angry: Compromising business ethics for any reason, but especially just to get a contract. Not anger, but disappointment with pretenders—those who go through the motions but fail to make constructive contributions.
Industry Fear: Failure of the industry to recognize and promote the value of sophisticated glass products that could stifle profits and growth.
Personal Challenge: I travel extensively and enjoy the opportunity to be involved directly with the tempering and float lines. Maintaining a balance with time spent in the field, managerial responsibilities and family is a constant challenge.
Watch For: An exponential increase in value-added glass products and formulations from the primaries, providing continued growth opportunities. As the volume of horizontal glass-tempering furnaces continues to increase and quality expectations build, look for the companies with the highest quality and technically competent people to flourish.
Like to be Remembered As: I hope to be remembered for my contributions to the glass industry and for my integrity. A hard competitor, but never a sore loser.
Technical director, Primary Glass Manufacturers Council, Topeka, Kan., 50.
Experience: 20 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Tennis, hiking, music and I just started glass blowing.
Heroes: Rudy Giuliani for his leadership and courage and Michael Jordan for his willingness to take on new challenges.
Most Angry: Terrorism, acts of violence and bigotry.
Personal Challenge: Solving computer glitches.
Watch For: A demand for higher performing energy-efficient products.
Like to be Remembered As: An effective facilitator who learned from others around her and had a lot of fun in the process.
President, REBCO Inc., Paterson, N.J.; 57.
Experience: 22 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Racquetball, the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle and travel.
Heroes: The Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will always be a hero to me. Anyone who perseveres beyond overwhelming obstacles and comes through a winner will always earn my admiration and respect.
Most Angry: Dishonesty is the one thing that will always make me mad. In business and in personal life, when I accept a project or agree to certain terms, I live by my promises. When others don’t, it both saddens and infuriates me.
Industry Fear: I am concerned that our industry is reacting always to the lowest dollar rather than the highest quality. In many areas, I fear quality is losing ground. Are we doing enough to nurture the craftsmen of the future, or are we going overseas for the least expensive labor? Are we going to use the cheapest metals and thinnest walls, or create a durable product that will stand the test of time? It is my belief that quality should be one of our primary goals.
Personal Challenge: Keeping REBCO moving forward, growing and maintaining our reputation for quality. REBCO is celebrating its 50th year in business. With the many changes in our industry since the 1950s, it’s a real challenge to anticipate what changes will occur in our industry in the next 50 years. It’s a time to reflect on the past, to celebrate the present and to harness our imaginations to move our company through the next half-century.
Watch For: Competition from abroad will continue to be a concern for our industry. Perhaps the greatest trends in storefront and windows deal more with the glazing material than the frame. Energy-efficient glass, low-E coatings and UV-protected glazing, laminates and polycarbonates will experience growth, as will tinted glass.
As the World Wide Web has moved into retail markets, it will also make some inroads into the business-to-business, commercial window, door and storefront markets.
Like to be Remembered As: I prefer that people get to know me right now. I guess my friends and co-workers will remember me as a down-to earth, diligent worker and fun-loving person … someone who loves his family and enjoys life!
Some in the industry may be a bit camera shy, but this doesn’t make them any less influential. Each individual chosen by USGlass was sent a questionnaire to complete. While some opted not to complete the form, we still count them as influential and they are listed below:
Bob Aldridge, vice president/general manager, Door & Glass Services.
Bill Aubin, president, Queen City Glass.
Adrian Ayotte, president, E-Skylight.
John Barker, president.
Russell Belle, vice president and general manager, specialty chemicals, Solutia.
Karen Colacino, president, Hal’s Glass.
Susan Dickert, president, Klein-Dickert.
Don Friese, president, C. R. Laurence Co. Inc.
Chris Fuldner, president and CEO, EFCO Corp.
Gavin Gaskins, president, Nashville Tempered.
Wade Harrington, president, Precision Glass and Mirror.
Tom Harris, president, Vistawall.
Robert Hartong, president, W.A. Wilson.
Ted Hathaway, president, Oldcastle.
Jim Helgoth, president, Elward Construction.
John Hossli, president, Hafele.
Joseph J. Hunt, International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental & Reinforcing Ironworkers.
Joseph Karas, president, Karas & Karas.
John Kent, administrator, Insulating Glass Certification Council.
Tommy Lee Jr., president, Lee & Cates.
David Macelheinny, president, SIGCO.
John McGrory, president, McGrory Glass.
James “Murph” Murphy, vice president, Strybuc Industries.
Roger O’Shaugnessy, president, Cardinal IG.
Rinaldo “Renny” Pierangeli, president, Strybuc Industries.
Bob Randall, president, TRACO.
Pat Rome, president, Brin/Northwestern.
Greg Saroka, president, Goldray.
Yoshi Yamamoto, president, YKK.
Mark A. Burke
President and chief executive officer, VVP America Inc., Memphis Tenn.; 53.
Experience: 14 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Golf, boating and fitness.
Heroes: My dad—he personified integrity.
Most Angry: Arrogance.
Industry Fear: Loss of entrepreneurship. Growth industries are characterized by entrepreneurial, decentralized organizations. As our industry consolidates, we must be careful to benefit from the advantages of size while not being slowed by the weight of centralization. This balance is difficult to achieve and maintain, but, as the head of a large, growing, decentralized, entrepreneurial organization, I know it can be done.
Personal Challenge: Continuing the profitable growth VVP America has enjoyed over the past decade. The company has more than doubled in size; growth in profit has greatly exceeded growth in revenue and investment has been leveraged effectively.
Watch For: Complacency. I am encouraged by the new products developed over the past several years and hope we, as an industry, will continue to grow demand through innovation. It would be easy to become complacent and base our future on past successes.
Like to be Remembered As: The head of an organization that provides its employees with the security of a well-managed company the opportunity of a growing company, and the respect that comes from being an integral part of success.
Richard J. Carroll
President, Sommer & Maca Industries Inc., Cicero, IIl.; 61.
Experience: 25 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Golf and model railroading.
Heroes: Ronald Reagan.
Most Angry: Individuals’ lack of interest in performing a good job; not taking the liberty to work outside of the required task.
Industry Fear: Fewer individuals learn the skills to become experienced tradespeople.
Personal Challenge: Develop new and different machinery for the glass industry.
Watch For: Foreign competition and government control.
Like to be Remembered As: Honest, sincere and trustworthy.
Director of sales and marketing, VVP America Inc./ACI Distribution South Division, Memphis, Tenn.; 64.
Experience: 31 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Golf and fishing.
Heroes: Arnold Palmer and Ronald Reagan.
Most Angry: Loss of a sale and failure to honor a commitment. Also, to miss a putt.
Industry Fear: Failure of the mirror industry to resolve the over-capacity situation in our market.
Personal Challenge: Satisfying the needs of our customers and contributing to building a strong company and one that earns the respect of our industry. Also, breaking par in golf.
Watch For: Ways to improve sales of glass and mirror products.
Like to be Remembered As: Someone who has creditability and respect in the business.
William (Bill) Cralley
President, Kawneer Co. Inc., Norcross, Ga; 44.
Experience: 22 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Family activities and water sports.
Heroes: The men and women who risk their lives daily to save lives and rid us of terrorism.
Most Angry: Indecisive people and lack of integrity.
Industry Fear: The proliferation of industry businesses that choose to work for wages or lifestyle rather than capturing the value of what they create and making a solid return on investment.
Personal Challenge: Time. In addition to being president of Kawneer, I am president of Alumax Bath and Alcoa Cladding Systems, the producers of Reynobond aluminum composite panels. The challenge is having enough time to spread myself across 38 locations, 3,900 employees, 4,900 customers as well as my family.
Watch For: Our industry is not advanced technologically. Eventually, our industry will begin to catch up to technology and it will be interesting to watch which leaders embrace it and how this changes the face of the construction market positively.
Like to be Remembered As: It is not so much how I’d like to be remembered, but that I’ve led my life in such a way that I’ll be missed.
One of the most important players in the realm of product development is also quickly becoming one of the most influential: the product manager at primary glass manufacturing companies. Traditionally speaking, the product manager’s role has involved finding the right product, quantity and price to service the market’s requirements. Paul Gore, business segment leader with Pilkington North America and Mike Rupert new product manager-MSVD Technologies with PPG Industries are two individuals representing their companies in product-manager-type roles.
But what exactly does the product manager do? “The role of the product manager is to effectively … introduce new products from the development to complete commercialization,” said Rupert. “It involves working with research and development, marketing, etc. to communicate the launch. The product manager is involved the whole way through.”
“The success of a company is determined by its ability to meet existing and future customer needs and to have the product meet those requirements,” said Gore.
One of the main aspects of the product manager’s job is to see the product through developmental stages, and in today’s fast-paced marketplace that can be a challenge. “The success of a new product is based on early acceptance,” said Gore. “So the product manager looks to get into the market early.”
Rupert added that product managers are important to the industry because it is they who bring the “voice” of the customer to the market and the developer. “The last thing we want to do is spend a lot of our resources on the wrong product,” he said. “The product manager needs to bring the market focus back to the developer.”
But possibly most important, is that the product manager must serve as the company’s “source” of information. “You have to be able to present the case—whether it’s good or bad—that what’s being considered as a product makes sense,” added Rupert.
Administrator, National Fenestration Rating Council, Silver Spring, Md.
Experience: Nine years in the industry.
Hobbies: Reading and grandchildren.
Heroes: Personally, my mom. Professionally, those early visionaries of NFRC for their foresight, patience and dedication.
Most Angry: I’m tempted to say products that aren’t NFRC-certified. I don’t think anything really makes me angry—I don’t have time for that—but I do get frustrated. I get frustrated some times with NFRC’s pace, which can border on the glacial. We’ve done very well at bringing large and mid-sized manufacturers into the system, but our inability to find ways to appeal to small manufacturers frustrates me. And, of course, we can always use more resources to help administer the system and communicate with our various customer groups.
Industry Fear: My biggest fear is that we’ll forget the reasons why we came together to form NFRC in the first place. The industry is once again in an era of rapid technological development and ever-increasing product choices, much like the period during the mid-1980s that preceded the formation of NFRC. We have to make sure that we maintain the integrity of the NFRC system, and continuously communicate the benefits of uniform, independent ratings. Otherwise, we risk falling back into bad habits.
Personal Challenge: NFRC is unusual in that it consists of two, almost completely, separate organizations. The first is the association itself, which is made up of about 170 members that meet four times a year to develop procedures, address outstanding issues and make policy. The second is the rating and labeling system, in which more than 375 manufacturers participate and which includes dozens of simulation and testing labs and independent inspection agencies. Day-to-day, coordinating the activities of these distinct groups is my biggest challenge.
Watch For: My first answer relates to my biggest fear, to watch out for any complacency and institutional amnesia that might undermine all of our good work. I also believe that the industry needs to re-think the very idea of a “fenestration product.” Today, even with the latest whiz-bang technologies on the market, windows, doors and skylights are still essentially static devices. That’s going to change. We’re already beginning to see the introduction of electrochromics and other dynamic glazings. Eventually, fenestration products will become true “appliances in the wall.” The industry will find itself in competition with the HVAC industry and perhaps even the telecommunications industry. It’s not too early to begin thinking through the strategy for how fenestration can win its share of these brand-new markets.
Like to be Remembered As: First, I’d like to say that I still consider my best years to be ahead of me. So my answer to this question might change. At this point, however, I’d like to be remembered as having played an important role in bringing NFRC through its adolescence and into maturity. We’ve been around now for 13 years. Just eight or nine years ago, when I first came on board, I think most industry observers probably questioned NFRC’s staying power. I don’t think that’s true anymore. For all of our customer groups, from manufacturers to code officials to homeowners and builders—and even the Energy Star®Windows Program, we’ve become an indispensable source of valuable information. I’m most proud of that.
James J. Dorst
Owner and secretary/ treasurer, Padua Glass Enterprises Inc., Montclair, Calif.; 70.
Experience: 42 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Collecting Southwestern Indian pottery and jewelry, remodeling residential and commercial buildings.
Heroes: Any glass contractor that has been in the business for more than ten years, and 90 percent of all police officers.
Most Angry: Tardiness, lying, clock-watchers, union feather bedding and bad personal grooming.Industry Fear: Governmental rules limiting the type and amount of glass; costly, unnecessary safety rules, liability and workers compensation, insurance availability and cost.
Personal Challenge: To train and educate our installers on the proper procedures for fabrication, on-the-job installation and safety.
Watch For: Same as biggest fear.
Like to be Remembered As: A glass contractor that was honest, knowledgeable and skilled in his trade and still able to make a dollar.
Russell J. Ebeid
President–Glass Group, Guardian Industries Corp., Auburn Hills, Mich.; 62.
Experience: 32 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Backgammon, reading, traveling and charities for minority children.
Heroes: My parents.
Most Angry: Needless waste, poor attitudes, meetings and a fear of doing the “right” thing.
Industry Fear: That the old-time veterans, who are the salt of this industry, will not change their paradigms as rapidly as the industry develops new products that will require different and more sophisticated techniques.
Personal Challenge: Developing the next generation of global leadership in a more complex business environment without sacrificing the attributes that have been instrumental in Guardian’s success.
Watch For: A need to analyze the attributes of new product developments and their effect on the cost and behavior of inventories and their speed-to-market.
Like to be Remembered As: Since I am not the smartest guy in the industry, I made up for it with sincere effort, a challenging work ethic and being a good listener.
Executive vice president, United States Aluminum Corp., Waxahachie, Texas; 47.
Experience: 25 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Golf and fishing.
Heroes: Ralph Ellerbrock (father).
Most Angry: People who make commitments and do not fulfill them.
Industry Fear: Lack of competent individuals entering the glass, glazing and aluminum industry.
Personal Challenge: Taking the appropriate steps each day in order to provide steady and consistent sales growth with a fair amount of profit returned to the shareholders.
Watch For: Once again I think the biggest challenge in our industry is attracting and hiring good, quality people. When I travel I ask customers and suppliers what their biggest challenges are and the answer is almost always people.
Like to be Remembered As: A person who always treated people fair and who maintained a high degree of honesty and ethical behavior.
An increasing number of curtainwall subcontractors, general contractors, architects and others involved in construction projects are seeking the guidance of curtainwall consultants. “Consultants bring to the job a fresh set of eyes,” said Glenn Heitmann, president of Heitmann & Associates of Chesterfield, Mo. “We are able to step back from the project independently to say ‘these areas can be a problem,’ and we work to minimize post-construction problems,” he said.
Another consulting firm is CDC Inc. located in Dallas. According to Jeff Bayer, vice president, drafting with CDC, the company has two departments. “One handles production work; it works with subcontractors on drawing, engineering and designing,” he said. “The other half works directly for architects, building owners, developers, etc. So, we bring expertise and experience to subs to make sure their product is structurally adequate, and then [we also] bring a level of confidence to the client that what they have specified will deliver the performance they seek and add to the overall integrity.”
“Sometimes the architect, glazing contractor or designer wants to do a special application or something unique. We can assist on the specifications that capture what he wants,” said Bill Lingnell of Lingnell Consulting Services in Rockwall, Texas. “We can also take part in facilitating the construction process, [meaning] we may actually take a hand in the fabrication or erection of all components that go into a wall system.”
There’s also what Lingnell refers to as the “problem-solving” aspect of consulting. “[This] involves something [on the project or product] not being right or being broken or not meeting requirements,” Lingnell said. “So the consultant comes in and evaluates and renders a recommendation or solution to fix the situation.”
With so many areas of the construction field turning to consultants, many of those influences are reflected in the overall project. “We try to push the level of quality higher,” said Bayer. “One way we are able to do that is through [educational seminars], such as GANA’s, that help to bring information together.”
“We have credibility and we have dealt with both the good and the bad, so we have both knowledge and professionalism,” added Heitmann.
“Consultants help maintain the project’s intent and make sure the job is done correctly or the product is made correctly,” said Lingnell. “Hopefully we help to minimize warranty claims and callbacks. We can also be influential to the architect in terms of what can and can’t be done.”
And while the consultant’s job may be demanding at times, it is not without its rewards. Heitmann said the best part about what he does is being able to add value to a project, and to be able to walk away [from it] and know there are now problems.
Bayer agreed. “The satisfaction and accomplishment when you see a building you worked on … that’s a very rewarding part of construction.”
“There are a lot of challenges; a lot that needs background and assistance that consultants can provide,” Lingnell said, referring to some of the high-performance glazings that are available. “[In a way] this is also one of the worst aspects … having to create some designs based on the tragedies we’ve seen in the United States and abroad in recent years. Some of the new designs for glass incorporate design techniques that allow a building to withstand blasts or other types of natural disasters when loads and circumstances are defined.”
General manager, Royalite Manufacturing, San Carlos, Calif.
Experience: 25 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Outside of the activities of my children for the past 30 years, I enjoy reading, writing and making things.
Heroes: The “innovators” in any field of endeavor.
Most Angry: Laziness and incompetence.
Industry Fear: That we are evolving into an industry being run by accountants and bookkeepers instead of manufacturing and marketing “glass people.”
Personal Challenge: To raise our small company to the next level with new ideas and new products for new markets. In the next few years the glass industry will see the further consolidation of power in the hands of the big companies as they continue absorbing and acquiring the small independents.
Like to be Remembered As: Well, I will be remembered by those I want to be remembered by.
Vice president, Dependable Glass Works Inc., Covington, La., 38.
Experience: I have been exposed to the glass business all my life. My maternal grandfather owned a glass company for more than 30 years until the time of his death in 1982, and my father opened Dependable Glass Works Inc. 35 years ago. I have worked for Dependable Glass for 17 years.
Hobbies: I started making pottery for relaxation and now my work is sold in art galleries. I also like to fish and be outdoors.
Heroes: In my personal life and in my business life my father is my hero. He has taught me so much about business and work ethics. I have been lucky to have such a strong influence in my life.
Most Angry: A large group of people in the glass industry have a lack of concern in doing quality work for a customer and giving customers what they requested. Some glass companies underbid projects without doing the proper research and expect customers to settle for less than they wanted.
Industry Fear: Many of our predecessors are retiring and we are losing experience and knowledge in the glass industry. The ability to replace them with a new work force that is loyal, hardworking and willing to learn is difficult.
Personal Challenge: To keep changing and stay ahead with innovative products, yet still remain competitive in this industry. To keep myself, and those around me, educated with the changes and new products in the industry.
Watch For: With the technology and access to information over the Web the consumer can be more educated than the supplier, this means that the glass industry needs to seek to educate themselves more aggressively. In all coastal areas there are changes being implemented for a unified building code that requires more stringent wind engineered products.
Like to be Remembered As: Honest, hardworking, helpful and successful.
Greg Abel: Fighting the Singular Fight
For the past year and a half, Greg Abel of Eugene, Ore., has been a man with a mission. In January 2001 his son Jarred was injured when his left arm went through a wired glass vision panel in a University of Oregon gymnasium. Since then Abel has worked constantly at getting his message heard, as Abel firmly believes, wired glass is not safe.
His quest began the day after his son’s accident. He called state and local code officials to learn what the codes on wired glass were. He also contacted architectural glazing companies to see if other options were available, and if so, why they weren’t used. “The vision panel [that Jarred’s arm went through] was replaced with another piece of wired glass,” said Abel. “Why,” he questioned, noting that such a replacement could lead to a duplicate of the same incident.
In October of 2001 Abel founded the non-profit organization Advocates for Safe Glass with a primary goal of providing education about the misconception that wired glass is safe. The organization has also launched a website www.safeglass.org. “We are not by any means trying to ban wired glass in its entirety,” said Abel. “But rather in hazardous locations or those deemed hazardous by the CPSC. Or at least see the use limited to reduce the potential for impact.”
Abel’s efforts toward safe glass have taken him far, and generated much publicity. He has testified before the International Code Council as the parent of child injured by wired glass and he has lobbied to remove the exemption on wired glass. He was also interviewed recently by 20/20, and the story is slated to air in late summer. Abel’s efforts also prompted the University of Oregon to apply a safety film over wired glass.
Possibly the most significant milestone for Abel came when both the ICC and the National Fire Protection Association 5000 building codes stated that wired glass can not be used in K-12 new construction or gyms and athletic facilities. “I played a significant part in that,” said Abel. “I’m proud of that.”
President, Thomas Glass Co. Inc., Columbus, Ohio; 32.
Experience: 14 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Baseball umpiring, boating, golfing and biking.
Heroes: Woody Hayes and Jack Welsh.
Most Angry: Laziness, rudeness and Ohio State losing.
Industry Fear: Severe recession and or economic depression.
Personal Challenge: Patience.
Watch For: A continuing trend toward new technologies and a further reduction of a qualified and experience workforce.
Like to be Remembered As: A fair and capable person who put forth 100 percent effort toward everything I did and that I had a positive impact on the people around me.
Regional manager, Mygrant Glass Company Inc., Hayward, Calif.; 50.
Experience: 26 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Backpacking, hiking, gardening, skiing and grandchildren.
Heroes: My father and Ronald Reagan.
Most Angry: People that don’t pay their bills—cash flow is the lifeline to every business.
Industry Fear: The labor component in the auto glass industry remains under-priced, under-recognized, untrained, now and in the future.
Personal Challenge: Keeping the team focused on reliable, friendly sales and customer service.
Watch For: Technology will keep on moving forward. Don’t let yourself or your company fear it—embrace it in your organization.
Like to be Remembered As: Direct and honest with associates; my wife, four children and grandchildren are my greatest love.
Lyle R. Hill
President and corporate executive officer, MTH Industries, Chicago; 55.
Experience: 31 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Playing softball two to three nights a week in the summer.
Heroes: Every person who gets up each work day and goes out and completes an honest eight hours of effort regardless of their problems, frustration or aches and pains. This is a tough business and those who have been successful over a long period of time also merit respect and admiration.
Most Angry: People who don’t care; people who don’t try and people that take advantage of other people.
Industry Fear: There are no new fears … after 31 years of observing the somewhat suicidal nature of this industry, there isn’t much that is left to the imagination from a “fear” standpoint.
Personal Challenge: We’re in the process of building a new facility. Getting it done, hitting budget and getting moved in are all quite a challenge at present.
Watch For: Short-term … difficulties in obtaining insurance coverage, including surety bonding. Long-term … shortage of competent people at all levels. As an industry, we have been talking about the need to train and educate people for the past 25 years but we have really done little more than talk.
Like to be Remembered As: This is really not a concern to me. I’m realistic enough to know that within 15 to 20 years of ending my career, I won’t be remembered at all. I guess until I’m forgotten, however, I would like to be known and remembered as someone who was fair and who cared about the people with whom I worked.
Apogee Enterprises Inc., Minneapolis, Minn., chairman, president and chief executive officer; 53.
Experience: 22 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Golf and water sports.
Heroes: John Glenn and Teddy Roosevelt.
Industry Fear: Poor quality and risk failures.
Most Angry: Lack of integrity.
Personal Challenge: Stay grounded and keep open communication going.
Watch For: Knowing "industry" future competitors and what can sub for glass.
Like to be Remembered As: Honest, steady and a leader.
Vice president contract management, Haley-Greer Inc., Dallas; 42.
Experience: In the industry since 1981.
Hobbies: Travel, gold, motorcycles, scuba diving and all sports.
Heroes: The first is my father Tom Hogan. He is responsible for the work ethics within me. These work ethics have given me the opportunity to meet and work with my second hero, Donald Haley. I have worked with Haley for 17 years. He has always made sure that I see both sides of every decision or choice that needs to be made both in business and in my family life. His sincere confidence within me over these years truly makes him a hero within my life.
Industry Fear: Not getting paid for materials and labor, which is contractually due to the companies for which we work.
Most Angry: The unrealistic installation schedules that accompany bid documents and contracts.
Personal Challenge: Being able to identify or create legitimate opportunities for the company for which I work to minimize liability and increase profitability.
Watch For: We have to start watching for project specifications that demand higher performance criteria within our scope of work. Watch out for abnormal increased scope of work requirements in the bid and contract documents. More and more general contractors are transferring their typical responsibility/risk to all of us subcontractors.
Like to be Remembered As: A great dad and husband first and foremost. Secondly, as someone who has remained the same person from the first time you met me to the very day I may no longer be around.
Vice president/general manager, National Auto Glass Specifications Institute (which also does flat glass numbering); Mitchell International, San Diego; 53.
Experience: 15 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Sailing, writing and gardening.
Heroes: Hypatia, Carl Sagan and my sisters.
Most Angry: Arrogance in combination with incompetence, social systems that protect the strong and punish the weak and self-destructive ignorance.
Industry Fear: That the industry will not be able to raise the level of professionalism necessary to attract the quality of workers needed for the continuation of a healthy business environment.
Personal Challenge: Managing opposing market influences in a fair, neutral and professionally respectful manner.
Watch For: More reliance on technology; greater use of the Internet for managing trading partner relationships and continued pricing pressured on commodities such as glass.
Like to be Remembered As: Someone who worked to facilitate improved business relationships, finding new solutions through cooperative methods while providing useful business tools.
President, Glasslam N.G.I. Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla.; : 25 (Twice).
Experience: 30 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Soccer, boating and my pub, The George and Dragon located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Heroes: Michael Owen, David Bechham (English National Soccer Team) and Jennifer Lopez—WOW!
Most Angry: Bureaucracy, government employees with a low IQ, companies in the laminated glass industry who hide behind dishonest consultants.
Industry Fear: The poor practices of some companies in the hurricane glass business that could possibly kill the industry after the next hurricane hits and many windows fail to perform as intended.
Personal Challenge: To keep the (b’s) honest.
Watch For: Glasslam’s new products and processes: The Supreme Commercial Glazing System and Safety-Plus II.
Like to be Remembered As: A controversial innovator of the glass and window business, for I won’t be bullied by dishonest marketing by large companies in the laminated glass industry.
D. Roger Kennedy
President and chief executive officer, AFG Industries Inc., Kingsport, Tenn.; 54.
Experience: 22 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Golf and reading.
Heroes: Business, R.D. Hubbard—The best visionary I have ever known. Personal, C.H. Matherly—My grandfather, who always believed in me.
Most Angry: People who do not accept responsibility and accountability plus people who don’t follow up.
Industry Fear: Our financial returns do not allow us to invest in developing new value-added products, and we can’t attract the brightest young people to our business.
Personal Challenge: To improve AFG’s financial performance in tough market conditions. Also to become more able to attract capital for growth.
Watch For: Continued consolidation, more technical products and tough business conditions.
Like to be Remembered As: One of the management team members who helped change AFG to a value-added, product-driven company that still remembers where we came from—the industry leader in customer service.
President, Floral Glass, Hauppauge, N.Y.; 54.
Experience: 35 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Antique cars, water sports and computers.
Heroes: Volunteers for any good cause; Mr. Karl Lenhardt—the technical genius who perfected the “TPS” Thermo Plastic Spacer System and Seinfeld.
Most Angry: Making the same mistake twice.
Industry Fear: Specifiers and consultants that don’t keep up with new and progressive glass industry technology.
Personal Challenge: Creating the correct future course for our company, including our employees, customers and shareholders.
Watch For: More energy-efficient glazing systems, an increase in security and safety glazing, high wind resistance glazing and a trend toward increase use of color in architectural glazing.
Like to be Remembered As: In life, as a husband, father and son. In our industry, as a person who has vision of the future in glass processing.
Vice president of marketing and sales, Interpane Glass Co., Clinton, N.C.; 40.
Experience: 18 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Weights, basketball and golf.
Heroes: John McCain, Martin Luther King Jr. and Sandra Day O’Connor.
Most Angry: The reckless use of under-designed products as substitutes for specified ones.
Industry Fear: Our unrealized potential for optimizing glass performance and product value in the market.
Personal Challenge: To build upon our legacy of market-driven products as set forth by my predecessors.
Watch For: An ever-increasing focus on exceeding customer expectations as it relates to quality and service.
Like to be Remembered As: Putting people first in business and in life.
Kubler is the business manager, North America, CPFilms Inc., Martinsville, Va.; 52.
Experience: 14 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Gardening, reading and following women’s soccer.
Heroes: Eleanor Roosevelt and Mother Theresa.
Industry Fear: That new building codes will make the marketplace more confusing and fragmented with respect to matching the most effective product to the glass application.
Most Angry: Petty people.
Personal Challenge: Helping small businesspeople to expand/improve their capabilities and grow.
Watch For: Security concerns surrounding the use of glass; more high-performance glass/window film offerings.
Like to be Remembered As: Someone who cared.
President, Craftsman Tempered Glass Inc. (Glass Wholesalers new DBA), Houston.
Experience: 34 years in the industry.
Hobbies: A passion for golf and the character it exposes in its combatants.
Heroes: Ronald Reagan—people are just now starting to recognize the passion of his belief in America and its people, his character and his consistency. We will be a better country for his influence. My rotary friends (many are gone now), who survived World War II and helped us better understand freedom and our wonderful country. And Jim Collin for the fact that he was, before retiring from PPG and AFG, probably one of the most sincere, common-sense communicators the glass industry had, and my friend (and great, though not prolific, golf buddy).
Most Angry: Complacency in people who have the talent to do great things.
Industry Fear: In the quest for a quick buck, lack of character and integrity in rogue “clown” companies that continue to undermine our industry. My biggest fear is that some manufacturers may never see the big picture in whom they support; so responsible businessmen who compete with clowns are pressured unnecessarily to put quality, service and their investment in intellectual customer support, secondary to a cheap price.
Personal Challenge: A shortage of good people is first. Quality benefits are important to recruiting and keeping good people, and it commits you to ensuring that the employee and family feels secure.
Watch For: The new generations of high-performance coated glass, incorporating the benefits of high visible light transmission while neutralizing the unpleasant nature in older technology performance glass. I would recommend that anyone wanting to succeed in this market become immersed in the most innovative and attractive low-E glasses, performance glass and reflective products … study and understand the performance specifications.
Like to be Remembered As: As a person of character, someone who loved and shared the opportunities of living in America, had great friends and a person who loved his family.
Robert (Bob) Long
President, Salem Distributing Co., Winston-Salem, N.C.; 69.
Experience: 25 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Music (play bassoon for classical; sax and clarinet for Big Band) and tennis.
Heroes: Jesus Christ.
Most Angry: Being a “Type A” personality, I confess that many things make me impatient, but injustice, in any form, makes me angry. A pet peeve is any form of “it’s not my job.”
Industry Fear: That the glass industry will cease to innovate and allow our products to become commodities. Competition, both from foreign producers and from alternative materials (such as stone for tabletops), cannot be overcome by cutting prices and trying to make the same old thing cheaper. We need to listen to the ultimate consumer and satisfy his wants, but this requires vision, creativity and a willingness to try new products and processes.
Personal Challenge: In recent years my biggest challenge has been to find a way to exit my company without affecting our employees and customers significantly. I solved this problem through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The employees now own about one-third of Salem and they should complete the purchase of the entire company within the next five years.
Watch For: As our technology continues to advance, new processes, coatings and equipment will allow manufacturers to operate in profitable niche markets. The challenge is utilizing this new technology to produce a product that will satisfy the desires of the customer at a price that is fair to the consumer but profitable to the manufacturer.
Like to be Remembered As: Having treated my employees, customers and vendors honestly and fairly, and that I kept my word.
Vice president of marketing, Southern Aluminum Finishing Co. (SAF), Atlanta; 40.
Experience: 16 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Keeping up with my four kids, Little League baseball, amateur radio, fishing and hunting.
Heroes: Marcus Aurelius, Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa.
Most Angry: Folks who complain loudly without offering helpful suggestions.
Personal Challenge: Maintaining profitability in a competitive and cyclical marketplace.
Watch For: After all the hype, information technology (IT) will simply become a means to an end, but computers won’t be just another business tool. IT will work best when folks aren’t even aware of it. It should work from the background, optimizing profitability and making it easier to get things done. Last year when I was explaining SAF’s IT systems to one of our reps, I said, “See, Tom, who says glazing can’t be hi-tech?” He quipped back, “Well, just about everyone!” But, in fact, technology is playing an ever-increasing role in making our lives easier. IT has also enhanced innovation with substitute building materials, but substitute materials are also making everything more competitive.
Like to be Remembered As: First, as a good father and husband. Second, in business, as someone who served others, provided value to those around him and worked hard and honestly.
Mark A. Meussner
Director, float glass sales and manufacturing operations, Glass Systems Division, Visteon Corp., Tulsa, Okla. Plant; 47.
Experience: 17 years in the industry.
Hobbies: One of my passions has been community service. I remain active in my church, the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma Governor’s Business Roundtable, and the University of Tulsa, Engineering Advisory Board. In addition to the above, the organization to which I have devoted the most energy and time has been Tulsa’s Center for the Physically Limited.
Most Angry: That the glass industry remains mired in a view that it offers a commodity product, ignoring the technical complexities we face to produce our products and ignores the advances in product offerings. Our challenge is to demonstrate that we can and do offer products with recognized and sought after value added features. My concern is that our industry will not learn to work in concert on issues such as energy, the environment, or our value equation. If we do not apply the joint resources of our industry to expand the products and technologies into value-added adjacencies, we will continue to be viewed as a commodity industry.
Personal Challenge: My assignment as director of commercial glass sales for Visteon is a personal challenge. I have a lot to learn, and I am sure that my competitors hope that my learning curve is a long one. We are fortunate to have a great team and excellent products at Visteon, so that the success of the Visteon Glass team is not dependent solely upon my efforts. Having said this, my personal challenge remains to get to know our customer base, their needs and requirements, and to assure them that we at Visteon are committed to their success.
Watch For: To present our value equation through the introduction of new products keeping in mind the customers who must manage this proliferation of this product. I believe products that provide greater functionality, while still providing the fundamental energy and privacy management will be key to demonstrating that we are a value added industry.
V. Glenn McCoy
President, Fleetwood Aluminum Products, Inc., Corona, Calif.; 66.
Experience: 45 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Hunting and reading.
Heroes: Ronald Reagan.
Most Angry: Over-governing, high taxes.
Industry Fear: The growing intrusion of government into our lives.
Personal Challenge: To keep the company profitable and moving in the right direction.
Like to be Remembered As: One who is honest and fair to employees and customers.
Barry J. McGee
Vice president, flat glass, PPG Industries Inc., Pittsburgh; 57.
Experience: 31 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Travel, reading and golf.
Heroes: Neal Armstrong, Albert Einstein and Arnold Palmer.
Most Angry: The glass industry’s inability to act as a cohesive, single voice on important consumer and governmental issues.
Industry Fear: That the industry does not respond to the opportunities for glass systems in energy, security and aesthetics and those opportunities are captured by other material systems companies.
Biggest Challenge: To capture the inherent value of technologically complex, high-performance glass products within the industry’s commodity mindset.
Watch For: More and more glass/fabricated glass products produced offshore.
Like to be Remembered As: I am not ready to be remembered yet.
President, Western Glass Supply Inc., Denver; 43.
Experience: 18 years in the industry.
Hobbies: My husband and I enjoy working on our home and yard. We decorate, update, build and garden, then relax and enjoy home and family.
Most Angry: The small-business owners that complain about large companies “taking over,” but turn to support them with their purchasing dollar (vote).
Personal Challenge: My challenge is to communicate to the industry that Western Glass Supply exists—that there is a company that still believes in a friendly, helpful, personal response to their needs. On purpose, we do not have voice mail or computerized phone connections.
Watch For: This is related to my biggest industry fear. Every aspect of the glass business is being affected by the DO-IT-YOURSELF mentality from someone handling glass in his home to contractors trying to save money by eliminating qualified glaziers. This D-I-Y retail market is huge with daily signals to the public that prices should be lower and that anyone can do it. This affects the public image of trained professionals and businesses dedicated to servicing the public with knowledge, training, proper insurance for risks taken and very importantly, reputation. The fear of implied quality assurance increases the challenge of the industry’s professionalism and makes us define and defend all that has been done to better it, including increased advertising budgets to compete with those stores whose sales goals are to move product only from self-serve shelves.
Like to be Remembered As: Pleasant, knowledgeable and fair in business.
William F. O’Keeffe
President, O’Keeffe’s Inc., San Francisco; 62.
Experience: 47 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Flying, fly-fishing, boating, hunting and travel.
Heroes: Chuck Yeager (test pilot), Thor Heyerdahl (adventurer, sailor, best known for Kon-Tik voyage), William Shakespeare (author, poet), Burt Rutan (aircraft designer, world-record holder in the voyage around the world flight without refueling), Jacques Cousteau (explorer), Jim Martineau (president of Viracon).
Industry Fear: Too much control of glass production and distribution by a handful of multinational glass organizations.
Most Angry: Dishonesty, inability to take in the big picture, self-centered people and the ability of the wired-glass industries to have many view the battle with them as a commercial rather than the safety issue it is (David versus Goliath and their preaching to the multitudes that the battle is over who has the most rocks).
Personal Challenge: Retiring with health, prosperity and at the right time. Preferably now, unfortunately two of the three need more work, “Yes I am healthy …”
Watch For: The industry’s biggest challenge will be to train and retain the special type of person it takes to operate the average commercial glazing shop. Persons that have an engineering mind, coupled with a risk taker, negotiator, high-tech savvy, a people person and be practical with bottom line emphasis. Other than the problem of finding these new-generation people, our industry is healthy and evolving to be more technical and professional. It wasn’t that long ago when the only materials a commercial glazier dealt with were steel, annealed glass and wired glass. We had the first patent on “putty-less skylights” extruded aluminum instead of steel in the early 1950s. Material choice will continue to expand and fuel the need to read magazines that help educate us and allow us to keep up with these new products.
Like to be Remembered As: A principled person that knows how to fight when threatened or pushed around even when it may not be a sound idea business-wise or financially and one who doesn’t given in when faced with a Goliath that has power to damage me in every way possible. As a person that genuinely loves life, people, and sharing with them of the good things in life, “food, good wine, laughter, a new place, books or a good personal story.”
S.W. “Shirl” Palmer-Ball
President, Palmer Products Corp., manufacturer of Palmer Mirro-Mastic®, Louisville, Ky., 72.
Experience: 50 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Antique/classic cars, gardening and caring for my two dogs.
Heroes: My father and Mark Twain.
Most Angry: Dishonesty and shoddy workmanship.
Biggest Industry Fear: That the certification and licensing of glaziers will not be taken seriously. I believe that the people who install glass and mirrored glass are as important to be licensed as electricians and plumbers. There are liability issues inherent with installing glass and mirror and having trained, certified installers or glaziers is imperative. It is too easy now for just anyone to install glass or mirror.
Personal Challenge: To shift the leadership of Palmer Products from my shoulders to my children’s. For the last 40 years, the buck has stopped with me in this company. The challenge for me is to allow my children to take on part of the burden of the company leadership. Five of my six children work in the business and have plenty of experience of their own. We work together well and although I am not ready to retire, I encourage them to take on more leadership in the company.
Watch For: Changes that will come about because of September 11. This will influence architects and affect building codes. The fears of today and our present war are going to require new approaches nationally and internationally in the glass industry. I hope that our industry will be able to move quickly to meet these challenges with new ideas and standards.
Like to be Remembered As: Within the glass industry, I would like to be remembered as someone who would not compromise my standards and always worked to make a good product better. I want to be remembered for the excellence of my company’s products and as someone who worked to educate installers on the best and safest way to install mirror. That also translates into my life in general. I really believe that if something is worth doing it is worth doing well.
Vice president, PDC Glass of Michigan, Plymouth, Mich.; 33.
Experience: 11 years in the industry (family has been in the industry since 1898).
Hobbies: Watching sports, playing with my kids and doing the dishes.
Heroes: My father and my wife.
Most Angry: People who don’t pay their bills, rude salespeople and people who are not loyal.
Industry Fear: Giving away valued-added products and not getting its worth because people don’t understand their costs or the value to the product.
Personal Challenge: Keeping my weight off. I lost 90 pounds two years ago and it’s a challenge every day not to lock myself inside a Dairy Queen and eat.
Watch For: More consolidation among fabricators—truly only the strong will survive. More amazing product advances from some of the primary manufacturers.
Like to be Remembered As: Caring co-worker and good family man. If I can be held in the same light my father and grandfather were, I’d be extremely honored.
President and chief executive officer, Arch Aluminum and Glass Co. Inc., Tamarac, Fla.; 42.
Experience: 22 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Basketball, skiing and traveling with my family.
Heroes: My father—for raising four good kids and teaching us our work ethic.
Most Angry: Everybody knows I never get angry. I’m just a happy guy!
Industry Fear: Poor/weak senior management within the industry, especially with the large national fabricators and manufacturers. Also, the continued inability to attract young and intelligent individuals toward our industry.
Personal Challenge: Attracting new talent for our company and putting the right people in the right job so both can maximize their potential.
Watch For: Unfortunately, the continued satisfaction with the status quo. We are still a low-technology, low-creativity and low-margin industry. We all are waiting for something to happen.
Like to be Remembered As: A fair and honest person; loyal and trustworthy to my friends, customers and employees; and aggressive and competitive to my competitors.
Frederic P. Shaw Jr.
Experience: 30 years in the industry—30 years of actual employment, but since my father started the business in 1950, I guess I’ve been exposed to the industry my whole life.
Hobbies: Skiing and golf, both of which I enjoy with my sons, Eric and Brian.
Heroes: Since my idol is Jimmy Buffet (who, by the way is one of the hardest working people I can think of), I guess my hero would have to be my father.
Most Angry: People who re-ask questions because they did not like the first answer they received; ignorance, laziness and apathy.
Biggest Fear: The continued difficulty in finding qualified/skilled labor.
Personal Challenge: Being able to pass on to my sons the intuitions and knowledge that I have acquired over the years. I want to give them the same or even greater opportunities that I received from my father.
Watch For: Advances in glass coatings; advances in equipment; energy conservation legislation which would put glass products into use to better our country and the world.
Like to be Remembered As: First and foremost as a good father and husband, next as a good person, and finally as someone who did his small part to better our industry in general.
Jane A. Skeeter
President/chief executive officer, UltraGlas Inc., Chatsworth, Calif.; 52.
Experience: 30 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Enjoying my grandchildren, designing, snow skiing, cycling/spin classes, weight training, gourmet cooking, gardening, needle arts (knitting, crocheting, clothing design), traveling and volunteering in my grandson’s classroom.
Heroes: I have many heroes who are individuals whom I admire and respect for their integrity, ethics, intellect, passion for life, how they overcome challenges, how they give to others, their sense of humor, leadership skill, energy, humility, curiosity, innovation, sensitivity to others, work ethic along with life-balance and for their positive outlook. My friends, many staff members and especially my husband of 25 years, Barron Postmus and my mother, Barbara Thacker are my special heroes.
Most Angry: I think I get the angriest with myself, because that’s all I can really control. I am really a perfectionist in recovery, working to be more tolerant of my mistakes and forgiving of others. Anger is really a poison for me and I usually “let it go.” I want to learn from my disappointment and find how I can turn it into something positive, such as motivation for improvement.
Industry Fear: I don’t think I am very fearful about anything in our industry. Since people’s awareness of glass has become heightened and its use and applications continue to increase, I am optimistic that growth in the glass market, decorative architectural glass in particular, willcontinue.
Personal Challenge: For as long as I can remember, I have never had enough TIME to accomplish all things I have wanted to get done. It is always a juggling act to prioritize, delegate and enjoy those activities I like the most. It’s also frustrating that I can no longer get by on just a few hours of sleep without paying the price. Aging sucks! Another personal challenge has been to learn to be a good leader and manager.
Watch For: Technology will surely play an important role with coatings, films and improved fabrication technology.
Like to be Remembered As: Professionally, I would like to be remembered for being a driving force behind bringing kiln-formed glass to its height of popularity. My passion for glass is infinite!
Jerry and Jeff Razwick
Technical Glass Products, Kirkland, Wash.
Title: Jerry, president; Jeff, specialty glass sales.
Jerry, 58; Jeff, 26.
Years in Glass Industry: Jerry—25 plus in own business, several additional years in the industry prior to that. Jeff—third generation of glass family. In the business since he could push a broom.
Hobbies: Jerry—fly-fishing and reading. Jeff –fly-fishing and skiing.
Personal Challenge: Jerry—Balancing work and personal life. Also trying to completely rehabilitate left arm to pitch for the Mariners again if needed in their quest for the World Series. Jeff—Gaining as much industry knowledge as possible so I can provide outstanding, credible service to people who have been in the business much longer than I have.
Watch For: Jerry—Continued product innovation, greatly increased levels of glass performance. Jeff—In terms of the fire-rated glass niche, products are beginning to catch up with design requirements. More choices will be available to meet a wide variety of needs.
Like to be Remembered As: Jerry—As someone who helped to introduce the industry to high-performance alternatives in fire-rated glass and framing materials. Jeff—As a catalyst for positive change within our company and the industry.
Executive director, International Window Film Association, Martinsville, Va.; 55.
Experience: More than 20 years in the window film industry.
Hobbies: Golfing, fishing and reading.
Heroes: Woodrow Wilson, James Monroe and Robert E. Lee (exceptive his racial views).
Most Angry: People who constantly pose problems or criticize others’ efforts but who are unwilling personally to be part of a solution.
Industry Fear: That the small core of dealers and distributors who are interested in addressing and accepting market and technology changes will become complacent and unwilling to seek challenges for the future.
Personal Challenge: Balancing my personal needs (health, downtime, spiritual [not religious] growth) with professional and family demands.
Watch For: Trends in combination technologies, such as expanded use of glass-clad polycarbonates, new solar power and electrochromic research.
Like to be Remembered As: Someone willing to help others help themselves and/or discover that they had more capabilities than they alone would have realized.
President, AFGD Glass, Atlanta.
Experience: I entered the ceramic business on the research and development side working first for a manufacturing firm, Joslyn Manufacturing and Supply, and then for a leading refractory firm, Magneco/Metrel both in Illinois. Subsequently, I accepted a position as division manager for Arnold Engineering Co., a division of Allegheny International. After working there for ten years, I took on a more challenging role in the glass industry, as vice president at USPG, from 1989 to 1993. For the past nine years I have been at AFGD.
Hobbies: Tennis and golf.
Heroes: Jack Welch (GE)—because he represents the epitome of sound business management. Also, Lance Armstrong (‘92 and ‘96 U.S. Olympic team member, Tour De France)—because he has the spirit of never giving up. (This is one of AFGD’s core values.)
Most Angry: People that underestimate their own abilities never realize their full potentials. Every one of us has a gift. We must recognize that gift and give it unconditionally.
Industry Fear: The industry relegates itself to have less than acceptable profitability, resulting in under-investment and the inability to attract good people. Regardless of market conditions, we must continue to invest in our people and equipment.
Personal Challenge: The development of AFGD into a world-class organization with opportunities for every employee to advance. This means retaining customers and employees, leading the industry in service and quality and adapting to market changes quickly and effectively.
Watch For: Change is always coming. We must learn to anticipate change and adapt quickly and effectively. The industry will continue to provide its customers with more technically sophisticated products (i.e., self-cleaning, low-E glass) for various applications satisfying stringent energy codes and design criteria.
Like to be Remembered As: An individual that led by example and set an individual standard of excellence, which positioned AFGD for a long and prosperous future. At the end of the day, I want to have made a difference.
President, Glass Doctor, Waco, Texas; 43.
Experience: 4 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Harley Davidson road trips.
Industry Fear: Lack of understanding how to price your services and make a profit.
Most Angry: People not being honest with themselves.
Personal Challenge: Living every single day in accordance with my values and beliefs.
Watch For: We need to raise the level of professionalism and value from the customer’s prospective.
Like to be Remembered As: For my contribution to the growth, success and happiness of others.
Market manager, UCB Chemicals Corp., Smyrna, Ga.; 32.
Experience: 1 year in the industry (yes, one).
Hobbies: Discovering foreign cultures, exploring the Southeast’s outdoors and entertaining my two- and four-year old daughters.
Heroes: Third-world aid workers and Nelson Mandela.
Most Angry: Injustice and arrogance (but I usually manage to stay pretty calm).
Industry fear: While we at this stage face only challenges and opportunities in the glass market, in general commoditization risks to drive people and companies away from innovation and underestimate its long-term value.
Personal Challenge: Combine raising a happy family and enjoying life with being successful in business.
Watch For: An increased (justified) awareness for environmental pollution, energy conservation and safety.
Like to be Remembered As: Having lived in integrity and honesty with a healthy dose of fun.
C. Craig Washing
Vice president, Norshield, Norment Security Group, Montgomery, Al.
Experience: 40 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Golf, photography and travel.
Heroes: In glass industry—Stan Spencer, Bennets; Art Paska, Hoffers; Bill Black, LOF; Rolly McNichol, DOF; Jerry Anderson, Apogee; Jim Blumer, LOF.
Most Angry: We tend to look upon ourselves as a small industry. We are key to all construction.
Industry Fear: That we fail to try to expand “out of the box.” Security products offer great profit potential and the industry avoids the challenge. Also, always remember the glass industry people represent our greatest allies, even as competition.
Personal Challenge: Continuing to get the glass shop to try new markets, new products and new risks. That’s how we grow in this economy.
Watch For: Growing security market. The glass dealer will get the first call. Continue to talk and sell value-added aspects to the piece of glass you sell or install.
Like to be Remembered As: I spent 40 years promoting the products the industry has to people that needs to know about their advantages.
Jerry C. Wright
President, AAA Glass, Fort Worth, Texas; 55.
Experience: 24 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Fishing, hunting and public speaking.
Most Angry: The failure of men in today’s workplace to take pride in personal responsibility for their conduct.
Industry Fear: The lack of appreciation for training and education. The price for education is expensive, but the cost of ignorance is higher! We need more mentoring for this generation, and emphasis on character building.
Personal Challenge: Time management, balancing faith, family and work and learning to enjoy today!
Watch For: Good people to participate with us in leadership. This is one of the earliest industries in the world, and we should be proud of our heritage as world leaders!
Like to be Remembered As: A participant of life, and not a spectator, that I believed we should bloom where we are planted, and that we should leave this world in better shape than we found it to be!
General manager, Pensacola Glass Co., Pensacola, Fla.; 50.
Experience: 30 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Gold, fishing, hunting and attending college football games.
Heroes: Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.
Most Angry: People with abilities who choose not to apply them and people who want something for nothing.
Industry Fear: The lack of qualified skill labor in our industry as well as in the entire construction business.
Biggest Personal Challenge: Spending enough quality time with family.
Watch For: Continuing requirements for new product development to meet new building code and other regulation requirements. An industry-wide need to train and educate people.
Like to be Remembered As: Someone who loved life, was fair in dealing with people, loved the industry in which he worked and made it a little bit better by his contributions.
President and corporate executive officer, Tubelite Inc.; 46.
Experience: 8 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Running, travel and skiing.
Heroes: Still processing.
Most Angry: When people don’t follow through on their commitments.
Industry Fear: Industry downturn lasts longer than current projections would indicate, resulting in volume-centric versus profit-centric strategies.
Personal Challenge: Balancing short-term and long-term requirements at the same time.
Watch For: Increasing focus on improving customer services—not relying on product alone to add value.
Like to be Remembered As: A person who stood by his word and helped others be the best they can be.
Thad W. Ziegler
President, Thad Ziegler Glass Ltd., San Antonio, Texas; 50.
Thad Ziegler with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Experience: 30 years in the industry.
Hobbies: Weight training, swimming, hunting, fishing, DVD movie collector and involvement with the military locally and nationally.
Heroes: My father, Thad M. Ziegler, who continues to be very involved in the business during his 52nd year in the industry. My three children (26, 22 and 20). They are extremely close to being perfect. My wife, who battled breast cancer with unbelievable bravery, poise and determination and beat the disease.
Most Angry: Customers, vendors and employees who attempt to cheat and are not honorable in their dealings with our company or myself. People who are tardy, dishonest and undependable.
Industry Fear: The out-of-control rising cost of all insurance; government intervention of American business; and increasing business liabilities.
Personal Challenge: To successfully continue this 109-year-old family company for my present and future family, customers and employees.
Watch For: The out-of-control rising cost of all insurance; government intervention of American business; and increasing business liabilities.
Like to be Remembered As: A fair, honorable, dependable and successful businessman. Also, as a successful and good father, husband, son or friend.