Volume 39, Issue 2, February  2004


Down to Five: Sciola Buys Hartung 
Glass Industries Back from UGC


The consolidation that made up United Glass Corp. (UGC) has again gotten smaller. Nick Sciola, president of Hartung Glass Industries Inc., has bought back the Western operations of UGC, which includes Hartung Agalite Glass Co., Lami Glass of Canada and Northern California Glass Inc. The transaction makes Hartung Glass Industries a wholly-owned, independent, local company.

“A return to a wholly-owned and independent basis will re-ignite our entrepreneurial spirit and further create value-added products and services for our customers,” said Sciola.

Northern California Glass Co. was formed in July of 2002, when Randy Steinberg, a former UGC founder, purchased the Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix operations of GlassWerks from UGC. The remaining GlassWerks operations in Northern California then became Northern California Glass Co., which operated under the name Hartung Glass Industries, led by Sciola.

Sciola is the third to buy his company back from UGC. Thad Ziegler was the first in 2000, followed by Steinberg in 2002. 

UGC, which began as a consolidation of eight companies in 1999, now is made up of five companies.

WDMA and AAMA Clarify Talks of a Merger

The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) have each issued letters to their membership clarifying talks of a merger between the two associations. The two entities held talks in 2000 about combining the organizations but ultimately decided against a merger. 

In a letter from AAMA president Richard Walker dated January 23, 2004, he said that in June 2003 the AAMA board decided to approach the WDMA board again concerning consolidation. Several letters were exchanged and negotiating teams were formed to explore the possibility.

“Note the use of the word ‘explore’,” said Walker. “Both groups understand that these discussions are in the preliminary stage and that one of the first decisions is to determine whether and how to proceed.”

The first meeting of the two teams was held in Chicago on December 17, 2003. 

“As in the past, many areas of agreement and several key philosophical differences were discussed. In some cases the differences can be attributed to a lack of understanding or familiarity with operations and concepts,” said Walker. 

Following the December meeting, a task group was established to clarify the differences and expectations of the negotiations. At press time, the board was planning to discuss a future course of action during its annual meeting scheduled for February 8-11 in Palm Springs, Calif., according to Walker. 

Jerry Manigel, WDMA chairperson, issued a letter to WDMA members on January 23, 2004, to “put this matter into a better perspective.” He stated that in August 2003, prior to the WDMA’s summer meeting, there were several phone calls from AAMA board members to members of the WDMA’s board asking if there was any interest in resuming merger discussions. Manigel said there was a lengthy discussion concerning this topic at the WDMA’s board meeting that August. 

“At that time, both boards agreed to prepare their vision statements and key issues that would frame any possible merger/consolidation of the two organizations,” he said. “It was agreed that those documents would represent the fundamental beliefs and core operating principles that each organization felt were non-negotiable.” 

There were questions that arose on both sides regarding an exact interpretation of various items in each organization’s vision statement. Both sides agreed to hold a preliminary meeting to review those issues and to seek clarification. The WDMA board authorized a sub group to meet with AAMA representatives. 

“There was not any commitment on the part of the WDMA board to enter into merger discussions at that time; only to seek clarification on certain key issues prior to ultimately deciding our future direction,” Manigel clarified.

Manigel added that if the board decides to pursue discussions there will be an “open and honest” discussion at the WDMA’s annual meeting in February. 


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