Volume 39, Issue 8, August  2004

Who's Got the Power
The Most Influential People of 
the Glass and Metal Industry

Influence. While it’s just one word, it can imply many meanings. Think of the people who influence or have influenced you; what characteristics did they possess? Now think about this: is being influential always positive? Don’t answer just yet, and consider this: Adolf Hitler was one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of the century. Interesting, considering that when some staff members of USGlass were asked to define being influential they listed only positive attributes. 

All these words describe those who are influential, as defined in the Oxford Dictionary. People of influence can use that ability for either good or bad. 

Over the next 13 pages you can read about some of the industry’s influential people—some are company CEOs, some are involved in industry organizations; others have been active in codes and standards. The list was originally developed with input from hundreds of people in the industry in response to thousands of questions. Those making this year’s list were sent a form that they were asked to fill out and return to us. Comments from USGlass are in italics. As you read through this section, keep in mind that whatever niche these people fall into, they are helping shape the face of the industry. We also applaud our Most Influentials for being good sports, as we chose to illustrate the careers they might have chosen or avoided if they weren’t in the glass industry.

The Silent Few

While there are some in the industry who may be a bit camera shy, we still consider them influential. The following individuals opted to not complete the form or were omitted for space reasons, but we still consider them influential:
• Alberto DeGobbi, president, Permasteelisa Cladding Technologies Ltd.
• Don Friese, president and CEO, C.R. Laurence Co. Inc.
• Chris Fuldner, president, EFCO 
• Don Haley, owner and CEO, Haley-Greer Inc.
• Ted Hathaway, president and CEO, Oldcastle Glass
• Scott Hoover, senior manager, architectural marketing, Pilkington North America
• Leo Karas, president, Karas & Karas
• Penn McClatchey, vice president and marketing 
manager, Southern Aluminum Finishing
• David McElhinny, president, Sigco
• Robert Price, director of sales, J.E. Berkowitz 
• Jerry Razwick, president, Technical Glass Products
• Vicki Walker, state senator, Oregon
• Randy Wolf, president, Walters & Wolf

Renald D. “Ren” Bartoe 
Business Line Manager, 
Vesuvius McDanel, Beaver Falls, Pa.

Why Influential: With the goal of seeing the industry produce glass without optical distortion, Ren Bartoe has led the way in the creation of a standard and test method for measuring roll wave distortion.

Experience: Twenty-eight years in the technical ceramics and advanced refractories industries, concentrating on glass manufacturing and glass fabrication. I combined a technical degree with a sales and marketing passion and have enjoyed opportunities in sales, application engineering and management. I am presently the global business line manager for glass tempering.

Number one business challenge: Keeping all of the balls in the air. Developing global synergy, developing and mentoring fresh talent, managing travel and balancing commitments to customers, corporate responsibilities and trade organizations. Oh, and did I mention I have a family?

By what standard do you measure yourself: Integrity and responsiveness. I believe that you should treat others as you like to be treated, and I appreciate being treated honestly, fairly and promptly.

By what standard do you measure success? Delighted customers, employees who enjoy their work and recognize their value and exceeding expectations.

By whom are you influenced? My parents for a foundation of ambition, confidence and values. Certain personal and business associates who contribute their time and talents unselfishly for a common good.

Career other than yours you would like to try: Fly fishing guide. Most people don’t think I could stand 
the relaxed pace or solitude, but I think they would be surprised.

Career you’d not like to try: The technical director of the Glass Association of North America—Talk about a firefighter!

Joel Berman
Founder, Joel Berman Glass Studios Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia.
Why Influential: Joel Berman continues to design and develop new glass products, and is becoming a creative force in the industry.

Experience: More than 20 years experience as a glass artist. Began working with glass in the late 1970s and studied at the Pilchuk Glass School. Opened own studio in 1980.

Number one business challenge: Right now it is launching our new Berman Glass editions line globally.
By what standard do you measure yourself: I feel my standards consist of respect, honor, discovery and excellence. These are values I am comfortable with.

By what standard do you measure success? Consistent opportunity to do our work, acceptability of the studio’s designs and directions in glass.

By whom are you influenced? Many influences. Firstly, my family; artists, Ludwig Schaffrath, Johannes Schrieter, Stanislav Libinsky; industrialists, Mogens Smed; my friend and designer Ian Dubienski; designer, Carol Jones; my entire staff, notably Jaime Flatekval and Christina Bombelli; numerous designers and architects and a smattering of hockey heroes. 

Career other than yours you would like to try: Without a doubt, architecture, my first vocational love.

Career you’d not like to try: Anything that involves the sight of blood.

Valerie Block
Senior marketing representative, 
DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions, Wilmington, Del.

Why Influential: Having been the voice of numerous industry organizations and committees, Valerie Block has brought that experience to DuPont and is helping the company market its interlayers.

Experience: Grew up in a family business involved in glass laminating; served as a technical consultant to the laminating division of the Glass Association of North America; technical director of the Primary Glass Manufacturers Council; chair of ASTM, ANSI and ISO committees.

Number one business challenge: To expand business opportunities for DuPont’s architectural interlayers and laminated glass.

By what standard do you measure yourself? Give it my best effort every day, be fair and honest, respect and learn from others and keep learning. 

By what standard do you measure success? On a personal level, respect from my peers. On a business 
level, sales growth.

By whom are you influenced? My mentors in the glass industry who helped me understand the technical and performance issues related to glass, and my family for their support and encouragement over the years.

Career other than yours you would like to try: Glass blowing. 

Career you’d not like to try: Mud wrestling. 

Dennis Csehi
Director, glass operations, Atwood Mobile Products Inc., Antwerp, Ohio.
Why Influential: As part of Atwood Mobile Products, Dennis Csehi is focused on keeping his company involved and up-to-date on its involvement in the glass business. He is also president of GANA and actively involved in the direction the association is taking its members and activities.

Experience: I began my career 35 years ago, joining Libbey Owens Ford as a mechanical engineer. I have been involved in technical and operational processes and systems for float manufacturing, glass filming, automotive glass laminating and tempering, encapsulation, insulating and glass fabrication. In 1997 I joined Spec-Temp Inc. I have been involved with GANA since 1998 serving as a board member and past tempering division chairman.

Number one business challenge: My largest challenge involves customers and employees. We are constantly challenged to provide our customers with products, with improved quality at a reasonable cost, delivered in a timely manner. To achieve this we must provide an environment for our employees to grow and constantly improve.

By what standard do you measure yourself? I measure myself against goals and objectives that I have personally set or have been set for me and how well I achieve those goals and objectives. It is a personal score card for me.

By what standard do you measure success? Success can be measured easily numerically. However, I believe the best measure is how your peers, customers and competitors perceive your success.

By whom are you influenced? My wife, family, friends, business associates and current events.

Career other than yours you would like to try: I would like to try being a residential builder/contractor. I have always enjoyed building things.

Career you’d not like to try: I enjoy learning new things and a challenge. I cannot really think of a career that I would not like to try.

Russell J. Ebeid
President, glass group, Guardian Industries, Auburn Hills, Mich.
Why Influential: Ebeid has directed Guardian’s growth throughout the United States and now the world and has led the way in embracing innovative manufacturing and coating technologies.

Experience: Started in the glass industry in 1970 with Guardian’s first float glass line in Carleton, Mich., and was responsible for the operation of the equipment. Proceeded into various manufacturing assignments leading to leadership of the Kingsburg, Calif., plant. In 1981 I became group vice president for the Western half of the United States, as well as Guardian’s initial expansion into Europe. When the corporation went private in 1985, was named president of the glass group.

Number one business challenge: Developing people who can promote Guardian’s style of business throughout the many cultures of its worldwide operations.

By what standard do you measure yourself: I use my own yardstick to measure my performance against the best that I can be, given the circumstances.

By what standard do you measure success? No longer interested in personal goals; it is similar to raising a family where success is measured by the development of people around me.

By whom are you influenced? I continue to be amazed by the unsung heroes of humility found in all walks of life.

Career other than yours you would like to try: I would like to be a professional student with penny loafers sans socks.

Career you’d not like to try: Any political office or civil servant job, including dogcatcher.

Raj Goyal
Director of marketing and business 
development, Graham Architectural Products, York, Pa. 

Why Influential: As the need for safety and security continues to increase, Raj Goyal has been a leader in bringing the awareness of impact-resistant products to the forefront. 

Experience: I have done just about everything from manufacturing to engineering and sales and marketing in the fenestration industry. I started as a designer and hold two U.S. patents, then to engineering manager at Kawneer Co. followed by director of engineering and then as a national sales manager at Traco. Making the transition from head of engineering to head of sales is my proud achievement. Currently I am director of marketing and business development at Graham Architectural Products. In my spare time I handle development of blast mitigation products. I have been chairperson of many technical committees at NFRC and AAMA, a past member of the board of directors of AMMA and a recipient of their Distinguished Service Award. I am a champion of energy saving designs working with DOE and the industry, founder and chairman of AMC, FMC and marketing steering committee of AAMA.

Number one business challenge: In today’s business, we have a moral obligation to deliver sustainable products with energy-saving features that incorporate safety, security and noise control features at economical prices.

By what standard do you measure yourself: I measure myself by the love of my family and also providing the highest standards of ethics and professionalism to enhance the status of our industry.

By what standard do you measure success? I measure success by knowing what I have done for the industry and the recognition that has come from it by [my] peer group. Educating the younger generation to take the industry to the next level is one of my goals.

By whom are you influenced? Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King—both had humble beginnings and took on causes that were bigger than the times themselves.

Career other than yours you would like to try: I would be a teacher. I taught high school once, and I loved it. I may do just that after I retire. I enjoy helping kids and bringing out the best in them.

Career you’d not like to try: I would not like to be a lawyer. I have a hard time making compromises between right and wrong, and I would not want to defend someone who is wrong.

Tom Harris
President, The Vistawall Group, Terrell, Texas. 
Why Influential: An industry bastion of ability and longevity, Harris has quietly grown with his company to shape it as one of the pioneer metal suppliers. 

Experience: I’ve enjoyed a career in the glass and glazing industry since college graduation in 1975. Most of my career has been spent in the area of sales, marketing and product, all of which are areas I enjoy.

Number one business challenge: I’d have to say the number one is a combination. With so much emphasis on price, managing costs, while trying to achieve our goal of excellent customer service and quick lead times is a challenge.

By what standard do you measure yourself: Number one has to be my faith. Loyalty and support of my associates, along with the reputation of Vistawall are also important.

By what standard do you measure success? Always operating with integrity has to be at the top of the list. Providing excellent customer service, good lead times, a safe work environment and a quality work life, while being profitable are very important.

By whom are you influenced? Ron Rutledge, former president of Vistawall, now president of BlueScope Steel business development, has been my primary mentor. At Vistawall I have an excellent staff of senior managers on whom I rely heavily. 

Career other than yours you would like to try: I’ve always enjoyed areas of construction and manufacturing. The concept of building or making something appeals to me.

Career you’d not like to try: I’m sure there are many. Perhaps the most prominent professions that I don’t feel I would enjoy are medicine and politics.

Lyle R. Hill
President/CEO, MTH Industries, Hillside, Ill.
Why Influential: Widely known and respected throughout the industry, Hill is the glass industry’s most famous celebrity. He began his career loading trucks at the glass company he now runs. He is known for shining a light on the industry’s shadiest practices and attempting, through humor, to improve them.

Experience: Thirty-four years in virtually every area of the glass industry, including manufacturing and 

Number one business challenge: Finding a consistently good metal supplier … my search continues.

By what standard do you measure yourself? My own … which I apparently have set high enough because I never come close to reaching them, or perhaps I’m a bigger flop than I think.

By what standard do you measure success? I’m not sure there is a standard of success as we mortals 
try to define it.

By whom are you influenced: By people I respect!

Career other than yours you would like to try: Any!!!

Career you’d not like to try: I wouldn’t want to be a used car salesman or politician … I couldn’t look myself in the mirror.

Steve Howes
President, Glasslam N.G.I. Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla.
Why Influential: Building codes along the Eastern seaboard and Gulf of Mexico are increasingly mandating hurricane-resistant glazing. Steve Howes has fought and achieved legitimacy for resin-poured laminates. 
Experience: I have been in the window and door industry for 32 years, 20 of them specifically in the laminating glass sector.

Number one business challenge: To stay competitive in a market in which companies sell their products at below real costs, with no profit, but who feel they can make it up in volume.

By what standard do you measure yourself: My father’s standards. He would tell me “ … if you are losing a fight and find yourself down on the ground, then bite the toes of your opponent with your last breath. Never quit!”

By what standard do you measure success? The house, the Rolls Royce, the yacht, the parties … Oh! I almost forgot—My family, really.

By whom are you influenced? Rod Stewart (I like blondes, too); Einstein (he has more patents than I do); and my mother—she still hits me if I don’t behave.

Career other than yours you would like to try: Politics. I would like to be the dictator of Great Britain (or should I say prime minister?).

Career you’d not like to try: Politician in the United States—I would not like my personal and private life on Saturday Night Live. 

Larry Johnson
Executive vice president, Edgetech I.G. Inc., Cambridge, Ohio
Why Influential: Johnson is described as a good problem solver who possesses a strong ability to think outside of the box. Since joining Edgetech, he has helped the company develop innovative delivery systems for products while working closely with equipment manufacturers. 

Experience: I have 22 years experience in the industry, 16 years at Ultrafab Inc. I left there in 1998 as vice president of sales and new product development, and have several patents on their products. I started with VEKA Inc. in 1998 as business development manager then moved over to Vinylsource as president in 2000. I joined Edgetech I.G. Inc. in 2001. 

Number one business challenge: Managing and motivating people. It’s also the most rewarding challenge. 
By what standard do you measure yourself? By the respect that others have for me. 

By what standard do you measure success? By the number of people that I have given the opportunity to grow and try new ventures and have succeeded.

By whom are you influenced? In the early years of my career I was influenced by the owner of Ultrafab, Bob Horton. He taught me about hiring people and giving them the opportunity to grow. The people who influence me now are my wife, Erin, and her creative abilities, my 4-year-old son Alex and his unbelievable energy, and my stepdaughter Kori for the obstacles she over comes each day and the person she has become. 

Career other than yours you would like to try: Something in the boating industry. I have always loved the water and boats. 

Career you’d not like to try: Any career that would keep me in an office with little or no contact with people. 

Ted Krantz
National Manager, Construction 
Market Team, Key Projects, PPG Industries, Lewisville, Texas.

Why Influential: With strong connections to the architectural community, Ted Krantz has worked diligently to break PPG into the solar control market, and was instrumental in the company’s development of SB 60. He’s known for telling it like it is to customers and company alike.

Experience: Thirty years in the glass and glazing building materials industry, all with PPG Industries. I have held a variety of distribution, sales, contract commercial glazing, fabrication and marketing management positions geographically in North America, including area, regional and national responsibilities.

Number one business challenge: Identifying the future architectural design elements from aesthetics to performance so PPG research and technology can continue to provide leadership in new product developments and product implementation into the industry.

By what standard do you measure yourself: My personal integrity. I have many long-term relationships in this industry, from owners and developers to architects, glazing contractors, general contractors, customers and competitors. As far as I know, for 30 years my integrity has never been in question.

By what standard do you measure success? Comments and statements of recognition to PPG from customers and competitors on new products, industry certification programs and creative marketing.

By whom are you influenced? My father, Omaha police chief, my old boss and mentor, Henry Talbert and my wife of 38 years, Jeanne.

Career other than yours you would like to try: Try again is a better question for me—law enforcement. I still miss the excitement, brotherhood and personal reward of helping others. Unfortunately, a gunshot wound ended my career.

Career you’d not like to try: Computer programmer or stock broker.

Virginia Kubler
Business director – window film, CPFilms Inc., Martinsville, Va.
Why Influential: Where, when and how film gets used affects a lot of glass usage, and Kubler directs one of the largest film empires in the world.

Experience: 15 years with CPFilms in window film, sales and marketing manager; Sun Chemical Corp., 15 years, in business management.

Number one business challenge: Creative awareness for window film products and increasing professionalism in the industry.

By what standard do you measure yourself? The most important standard is to be an honest, ethical and good person. In our business, I look at how we have grown over previous years, what innovations have been successful in the marketplace and how we are regarded by our customers.

By what standard do you measure success? I think you are a success if you can positively influence the people and situations you encounter.

By whom are you influenced? The list would be too numerous to detail. Some people create a positive influence in your life, others a negative. I am most positively influenced by my faith in God.

Career other than yours you would like to try: Race car driver.

Career you’d not like to try: President of the United States.

Bob Lawrence
President, Craftsman Fabricated Glass Ltd., Houston.
Why Influential: Lawrence is known for business ethics and morals, strong leadership and steely determination to hold the glass industry accountable for itself.

Experience: 35 years in the industry, going through the stages as a draftsman/estimator/manager at El Paso Plate Glass and Materials Co.; served as a salesman with ASG Industries in Phoenix, then in Houston, manager of Glass Wholesalers Inc. 1978; 1986 I started my own company, Custom Glass Doors Inc., which has been expanded to the company today, Craftsman Fabricated Glass Ltd., a temperer, PPG Certified Fabricator of insulating glass, a manufacturer of heavy glass doors, walls and shower enclosures, a supplier of tools, accessories and consumables, etching and sandblasting, aluminum glazing systems, brake metal and flat sheets, all flat and patterned glass and so forth. Also currently [serves as] a contributor to USGlass and director of the National Glass Association (NGA).

Number one business challenge? Our long-range business plan is in place, so all that is needed now is execution. There is a contribution I would like to make to the industry, however, but first it needs a preface. Typically, the glass industry is manned by good, hard-working people; sincere people who have a tendency to sell themselves short for the value they provide. There are also a large number of fragile markets waiting to be broken, or already broken by aggressive glaziers-turned-glass-shop-owners or fabricators who are inexperienced at how to make a profit. Too often, those people lose everything and their legacy is the dreadful condition they leave the market before going out of business. And from the remnants of their laid-off staff, another business opens and the cycle repeats. I agreed to undertake the task of creating a Guide to a Successful Business for the NGA, whose purpose is to provide an easy to understand guide, with tips and examples for the new entrepreneur to quickly become competent at understanding marketing, costs, overhead and, most important, how to make a profit to survive and thrive. The challenge is to shore up those fragile markets, and this will be a good start. 

By what standard do you measure yourself? I’m just like a farmer behind a tractor—I want to see how those furrows look after a hard day’s work. Did we satisfy our customer with quality and service at a good value? Did we provide a quality environment, benefits and a worthy challenge for employees so they can feel secure at what they are doing and look forward to the next day’s accomplishments? Did we make a profit so we can keep doing this over and over and create new, innovative products that will keep us in front of the parade? Are we doing our part for our families and our community? Those are standards we try to accomplish every time we stop to review our goals.

By what standard do you measure success? All of the above.

By whom are you influenced? People who make every attempt to practice the elegance of challenge and ethical, intelligent fair play. We have a bunch of them in our industry.

Career other than yours you would like to try: I’m happy with the challenges of the glass business, which is full of the most interesting personalities on the planet. If I had to choose otherwise, I would work for the insurance providers so I could dictate all the prices that clueless auto glass people would have to charge me.

Career you’d not like to try: The answer is auto glass …

John Litzinger
President and chief executive officer, AFG Industries, Kingsport, Tenn.
Why Influential: As AFG’s new president, Litzinger has taken over the reigns and will be leading the company in its restructuring.

Experience: Worked on Guardian’s first sputter coater before joining AFG 25 years ago. Worked through a variety of technical, research and manufacturing positions prior to being named vice president, manufacturing. Following four years as EVP, I became president in January of this year.

Number one business challenge: Keeping all of our people focused on their contribution to delivering on our vision.

By what standard do you measure yourself? The “Golden Rule” — treat others as you want to be treated.

By what standard do you measure success? In business, it’s being profitable and growing; personally, it’s integrity and credibility.

By whom are you influenced? People who deliver on what they promise.

Career other than yours you like to try: Racing—either down hill on skis or around a track driving 500 horses.

Career you’d not like to try: Anything requiring a tie on a daily basis.

Bob Long
President, Salem Distributing Co., Winston-Salem, N.C. 
Why Influential: With more than 20 years in the business of glass machinery, Bob Long has a strong hold on the latest developments and recognizes the equipment lines that will be successful. He has also built a successful machinery and sales company. In 2000 he established an ESOP program and within the next few years Salem Distributing will be completely employee-owned.

Experience: I have been president of Salem Distributing Co. since 1977. Prior employment was with Scott Paper Co.

Number one business challenge: I believe a wholesale distributing company should do more than just carry commodity products. Our biggest challenge is to help our customers increase their efficiency and productivity by improving existing products and finding new ones. Finding quality people is always difficult, but with the group of folks we presently have at Salem I believe we’ve met that challenge. 

By what standard do you measure yourself: Jesus Christ and the Bible. If you’re going to use a standard you might as well use the best. However, it keeps you humble.

By what standard do you measure success? Success is not just checking something off of your to-do list. I believe that you must not only attain the objective, but also consider all the transactions related to reaching the goal. If others involved in the events were not treated fairly and honestly and your methods were morally suspect you may have met the objective, but I would say your achievement was not a success.

By whom are you influenced? By many people. Negative lessons (what not to do) are very valuable, but I won’t say from whom I’ve learned! On the positive side, many people in the glass industry have influenced me, especially my colleagues at Salem Distributing Co. I’ve mentioned Jesus, but my next greatest positive influence is my wife, my hero, Joan. 

Career other than yours you would like to try: While at Scott Paper I really had several careers. I started as a machine designer, which I loved. I was also in plant maintenance, production, research and development, sales, general management and mergers and acquisitions. So I’ve “tried” several careers, but I’m most happy with what I’ve been doing for the past 27 years.

Career you’d not like to try: There are many! I’m just glad at my age I don’t have to.

Oak Moser
Manager, Cardinal IG insulating glass business, Tomah, Wis.
Why Influential: In addition to his work with Cardinal, Oak Moser serves as the president of the Insulating Glass Manufactures Alliance, an organization that has been instrumental in helping shape the direction and future of insulating glass.

Experience: This year marks 22 years in the glass industry after graduating from Penn State University as an electrical engineer. The first half was with the glass division of PPG Industries, primarily in the float glass and commercial fabrication operations as an engineer with some supervisory and management experiences. The second half to date, has been with Cardinal Glass Industries, primarily in residential glass fabrication, currently managing the Tomah, Wis., insulating glass business.

Number one business challenge: Satisfying the needs of everyone in the enterprise—customers, employees, suppliers and shareholders. More specifically, keeping 400 individuals motivated with a sense of urgency to meet the demands of the residential window market day-in and day-out. 

By what standard do you measure yourself: Professionally? the standards are customer satisfaction, profitability, business growth and employee commitment, for which numerical values are easily assigned. Progresses, along with new challenges, are readily defined. Personally, the standards are more difficult to quantify. I strive to be an effective Christian influence on my family and in the workplace, perhaps best measured by how others respond and relate to me and to what degree I can help them generate successes.

By what standard do you measure success? I struggle with this issue. Inherently, I am a competitive individual. A current success or accomplishment is just the groundwork for meeting the next challenge. Success is a moving target—you achieve it only momentarily. Some of those successful moments for me would include meeting customer delivery and quality requirements on a day-in, day-out basis, meeting business goals on a monthly or annual basis, being able to promote an individual from within the organization, helping any of my three sons reach an achievement in school or on the ball field, receiving a hug from my wife, Susan, at the end of the day. 

By whom are you influenced? I know it sounds like a cliché, but my parents have mostly influenced me. We are still fortunate to have them with us long after the time I began to understand what it takes to survive in what they referred to as the real world. I understand the individual sacrifices they made in rearing six children. Their direction and example has guided me to some successes in my own life. Ken Sprain, an executive in the telecommunications industry, has been a great friend in recent years and provided business and personal counsel on many occasions. And finally, although I had limited one-on-one time with this individual over the eight years I had known him, I have been influenced by the values represented professionally and personally, the sense of fairness and the incredible balance and calm apparent in the later life of Herb Kolbe, past co-founder and president of a window company. Although the names may not be world renowned and recognizable, I have been fortunate to know some wonderful people. 

Career other than yours you would like to try: A second career might be as an athletic coach for youth sports (hockey and baseball through high school age). I have the opportunity to participate as a volunteer now, and although the rewards are less tangible, they are fulfilling.

Career you’d not like to try: Politician.

Charles Mowrey
President, Harmon Inc. Golden Valley, Minn.
Why Influential: Serving as the president of one of the largest glazing contractors in the country, Mowrey has a strong focus and commitment to keep all employees educated and informed about the latest contract glazing developments. 

Experience: I have more than 20 years experience in the glass industry working with two companies and three market regions. My primary discipline was consultative selling to architects, owners and general contractors. I also have operations experience through managing projects, offices, regions and now a national company. 

Number one business challenge: People! My number one challenge is to allow all people to contribute with their body and mind in today’s operations, as well as tomorrow’s strategy, regardless of their title, position, background, personality, characteristics or beliefs. 

By what standard do you measure yourself? Continuous improvement—I continually want to be improving weaknesses while capitalizing on strengths. Is Harmon, and am I better today than yesterday? 

By what standard do you measure success? I measure success by the ability to set goals and objectives to reach a higher level in the future and then continuously meeting or exceeding those goals and objectives. 

By whom are you influenced? My late mother and father, along with the upbringing they gave me. This upbringing was based on hard work, honesty, equal treatment and respect of all people. The following previous Apogee/Harmon leaders have also influenced me: Don Goldfus, Gary Haider, Jerry Anderson, John Frye and, more recently, Russ Huffer and Mike Clauer. They have helped shape my business career. My wife of 19 years, Kathleen, and my two sons Danny (17) and Nicholas (13), most certainly help balance my work and home life and influence me to be a better person. Also, several shop and field workers whom I respect and who really perform the work that the end customer buys and drive the success or failure of our business. 

Career other than yours you would like to try: I would like to try teaching and coaching (or pitching in the American League). I have a natural ability to teach and motivate kids to be the best they can be, while having fun and feeling good about themselves. 

Career you’d not like to try: This is my toughest question, as I really would try just about anything. The only thing that comes to mind is the medical field.

Bill O'Keefe
Chief executive officer, O’Keeffe’s/SAFTI, San Francisco.
Why Influential: Standing strong as an opponent of wired glass, Bill O’Keeffe has developed wireless, fire-rated glazing products to meet building codes and regulations.

Experience: In 1968 Gene Toffelmeyer and I designed the first curtainwall to sustain a 7.0+ earthquake, which was later real-world tested and proven successful in the Santa Clara Civic Center during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. In addition, to being involved in the design and construction of some of the largest, monumental skylights in the United States, I pioneered the U.S. market for fire-rated glazing in 1979, which remains our core business focus.

Number one business challenge: To create a sustainable infrastructure that rewards all those involved on a non-cyclical basis.

By what standard do you measure yourself: By the standards set by the most principled, consistent and respected people in the business world, both past and present.

By what standard do you measure success? By the ratio of hard work to play and how much money is in the bank.

By whom are you influenced? By my fiancée and the weatherman.

Career other than yours you would like to try: Test pilot.

Career you’d not like to try: Priest.

Douglas Penn
Director of marketing, YKK AP America Inc., Austell, Ga.
Why Influential: Penn has worked tirelessly to build YKK’s business and reputation in the states and has achieved a great deal of success in a short time. He’s developed educational programs in a strong showing of commitment to the industry he serves.

Experience: I began my career with PPG Industries as a management trainee after graduating from Ohio State University. PPG’s training program was very extensive and covered all facets of the glass industry, as well as general sales training. I was assigned to the contract division to learn more about the glazing industry and I fell in love with the construction industry. I worked my way up through PPG ending my career as a regional sales manager when the company was sold. The new company, PITTCO, did not last long and I found myself looking for a job in the fall of 1994. A friend informed me of a position with YKK AP America Inc. and I joined the company in January of 1995. I have held several positions within YKK AP and this spring was promoted to the director of marketing.

Number one business challenge: The glass and glazing industry is changing very rapidly. To succeed in today’s market it is necessary to not only stay abreast of market shifts, but to anticipate and to prepare correctly for them. 

By what standard do you measure yourself: I believe that a person is measured by the way he treats those with whom he interacts, commitment to his moral compass and dedication to achieving personal goals. 
By what standard do you measure success? A successful person is one who is able to achieve personal goals through commitment and dedication. Parents must instill in their children the morals and a sense of personal responsibility that will enable them to be successful on their own. 

By whom are you influenced? My father has been, and always will be, the one person who has influenced me the most. He was born in a very small farming community in Indiana and rose to the highest ranks in the business world, retiring as a vice president for AT&T. My father achieved business success, but was also dedicated to his family and his beliefs. 

Career other than yours you would like to try: I cannot think of a career that I would enjoy more than what I am currently doing. I am working for a great company that is growing and is full of wonderful people who are dedicated to bringing the finest products to our industry. 

Career you’d not like to try: I thank God for pediatricians, but I love all children too much to be able to cope with their sickness on a daily basis.

Don Pyatt
President, Viracon, Owatonna, Minn.
Why Influential: Under Pyatt’s leadership, Viracon has quickly moved to the forefront of the glass fabrication business and is the dominant player within the market of high-performance coated products.

Experience: I became president of Viracon four years ago. Prior to beginning my career here I had a series of management positions in the aluminum die casting and hydraulics industries.

Number one business challenge: Making money at the bottom of the trough of a cyclical business, right where the industry is today.

By what standard do you measure yourself? I think it is very difficult to separate my performance from that of Viracon’s overall performance. It’s especially true over the long run.

By what standard do you measure success? Success in business is primarily measured financially, and again, over the long haul. Exercising good judgment and making sound decisions is what it’s all about.

By whom are you influenced? Early in my career a couple people had confidence in my abilities and gave me a chance despite my lack of experience at the time. I remember that well and try to offer the same help to younger employees at Viracon and other places I have worked.

Career other than yours would you like to try: During college I spent summer breaks working as an electrician. At times I’ve thought about my own electrical contracting business.

Career you’d not like to try: I can’t imagine being an insurance salesman.

Tim McQuade
President, Northwestern Industries Inc. (NWI), Seattle.
Why Influential: Known for his leadership role in glass fabricating, McQuade has grown his company into a dominant force in the Northwest.

Experience: Thirty years in the industry, all with NWI. I started on the production line and worked in many departments [and positions], including quality control, sales, sales manager, general manager, vice president and for the past 11 years, president.

Number one business challenge: There are many challenges in business. Keeping a large group of people, such as in our company, working toward the same goal is at the top of my list.

By what standard do you measure yourself? I do not measure myself against any other standard or person other than myself. You can only do what you are capable of doing and as long as I am satisfied that I am living up to my capabilities, I am fine with that.

By what standard do you measure success? In my personal life, working with my wife, Glenda, to raise our children to become responsible citizens. We are very proud of the lives they lead, so I guess we were successful. In my business life, working with our key managers to ensure NWI remains an ethical and responsible company in the glass business. I believe we have accomplished that also. 

By whom are you influenced? I was fortunate to work with Stan Saulnier when he was sales manager and president of NWI for 13 years before he passed away in 1988. He laid the groundwork for us that we still follow today.

Career other than yours would you like to try: I’d like to be a poolside bartender in Hawaii.

Career you’d not like to try: I would not want to be a politician; they have to compromise their beliefs too much to remain in office.

Julie Schimmelpenningh
Technical Applications Manager, Solutia Inc., St. Louis, Mo.
Why Influential: Not only does Julie Schimmelpenningh work tirelessly at keeping the glass industry educated on the benefits of laminated glass, but she has also been a leader in the development of numerous industry standards and regulations.
Experience: Fifteen years in the industry as technical and applications support to laminators, architects and glazing contractors in the proper use of Solutia interlayers for laminated glass applications. Serving on several industry committees and boards.

Number one business challenge: Keeping up to speed on regulatory changes for various applications and providing data to our customers that will make their jobs easier.By what standard do you measure yourself? If I have to name one it would be integrity—that includes honesty, efficiency and getting the job done as close to perfect as can be humanly done.

By what standard do you measure success? Happiness and contentment—if my family and I are smiling and laughing and we can all sleep at night without remorse or worry, then I am successful.

By whom are you influenced? Bill Gates—if he changes or updates a software program he has more influence on my life than most others! Seriously, by the Russ Huffers of the world. Someone who remembers everybody he’s worked with by name, grown up in the industry and is still a genuinely good person with set priorities while being respected and successful within his company and industry.

Career other than yours would you like to try: Underwater deep-sea exploration or a jet fighter pilot.

Career you’d not like to try: Rodeo (bull rider). I cannot understand why one would want to be thrown from a bull and potentially trampled; jumping out of airplanes is much safer!

Joe Sousa and Kerry Reid
President and vice president of Glass America 
Commercial Services, Providence, R.I.

Why Influential: Sousa and Reid have quietly been building the new "techno-network" of flat glass companies around that country, handling major national accounts and gaining high marks for how their subcontractors are being treated.

Joe Sousa
Experience: I have been in the business of selling and manufacturing glass and doors for the last 15 years. I am certified as an architectural hardware consultant and am also certified in ADA compliance and life safety.
Number one business challenge: Matching my customers with the right person in my organization. If a customer is dealing with someone he feels comfortable with then he will trust us with his business.

By what standard do you measure yourself? Overall company performance. This does not mean just the bottom line, but also customer and employee satisfaction.

By what standard do you measure success? The customer’s satisfaction.

By whom are you influenced? Ray Kroc of McDonald’s, Jackie Robinson and Les Wexner of Limited Brands.

Career other than yours would you like to try: A pro golfer.

Career you’d not like to try: A meteorologist. The weatherman is never right.

Kerry Reid
Experience: I have 25 years experience in the glass and door industry, in sales and manufacturing. I am certified as an architectural hardware consultant and am also certified in ADA compliance and life safety.

Number one business challenge: Maintaining high service levels.

By what standard do you measure yourself? I measure myself by my strong business ethics.

By what standard do you measure success? I measure success by the feedback of my customers.

By whom are you influenced? Bill Gates and Dr. Albert Schweitzer.

Career other than yours would you like to try: I would like to be an astronaut or the CEO of a non-profit agency.

Career you’d not like to try: I would not want to be a sportscaster; I would rather be in the game.

Leon Silverstein
President and CEO, Arch Aluminum & Glass, Tamarac, Fla.
Why Influential: Leon Silverstein is continually growing and expanding his company, making Arch a major player in the business of glass fabrication. When Arch changes prices or business practices the reverberation is felt throughout the industry.

Experience: Started with Arch 26 years ago at its inception. I am proud to have worked my way up through all job responsibilities, and have been CEO for the last six years.

Number one business challenge: Growing talent within the Arch organization so we can continue to grow our company with homegrown people who understand our culture.

By what standard do you measure yourself? Mostly against my own expectations. I want to be able to look in the mirror and not be disappointed with the person looking back.

By what standard do you measure success? By the accomplishments of my company. Have we been a good supplier? Do we treat our employees fairly? Are we good citizens within our communities? If we can answer yes to all three then we have been successful.

By whom are you influenced? Roll model, my father; in business (philosophy), Andrew Carnegie; and in the industry, Roger O’Shaughnessy.

Career other than yours would you like to try: CEO at a primary float glass company.

Career you’d not like to try: Professional wrestler. I’m not that big and I would get pounded!

Robert E. Tunmire
President, Glass Doctor and executive vice president, The Dwyer Group, Waco, Texas.
Why Influential: As the president of the largest glass retailer in the country, Robert Tunmire, knows what it takes to make a business successful. He is now attempting to grow the first large franchise network in the country.

Experience: I have been in the service industry for 29 years now. I started with the carpet restoration business, and then went into plumbing, electrical, heating and A/C and appliances. I became involved in the auto, home, business glass replacement industry approximately six years ago when we acquired Glass Doctor.

Number one business challenge: Helping our franchises to realize that they must follow the proven system and to help them do what they should do instead of what they want to do.

By what standard do you measure yourself? While it is not a worldly measure, it is a true measure to see if I have lived each day by God in all that I said and did, and to be the first to recognize that I fall short.

By what standard do you measure success? Speaking purely from a business perspective, the success of our franchises.

By whom are you influenced? Jesus Christ—he is the true role model. The best way to follow his role is to study his word.

Career other than yours would you like to try: I would like to try a career in full-time men’s ministry, helping other men to know Christ and in turn become better husbands, fathers and businessmen.

Career you’d not like to try: I would not want to be in the restaurant business.

Wim Vanderghinste
Market manager, industrial coatings Americas, Surface Specialties UCB, Smyrna, Ga.
Why Influential: With liquid resins being a relatively new product for the laminated glass market, Vanderghinste has helped push the product into the mainstream, encouraging increased usage. 

Experience: Started in the coatings industry (powder coatings for metal) in 1998 and the glass industry in 2001, both as market manager and for various regions: first Europe, then North America and more recently adding Latin America.

Number one business challenge: Combining innovation with being cost competitive in the market, both required for our customers and our growth.

By what standard do you measure yourself? Don’t do anything my children wouldn’t be able to be proud of later on.

By what standard do you measure success? By achieving good business results through a team effort. We are lucky to have a great group of people working on our laminated glass business and see the results of it. Also, at the end of the day, you need to be able to look everyone in the eyes; integrity is key.

By whom are you influenced? Some of my mentors early on in my career and my wife, who makes sure I keep a healthy balance. 

Career other than yours you would like to try: No regrets up to now, but I wouldn’t mind ending up running a vineyard in Spain.

Career you’d not like to try: My professor of psychology claimed a person could find some satisfaction in any job as you grow into it. Hoping he was right, I won’t rule anything out for now. 

Ray Wakefield
Architectural Sales Manager, Trulite Industries Ltd., Mississauga, Ontario.
Why Influential: An active member of IGMA, Ray Wakefield was a strong voice in seeing the Canadian General Standards Board recognize the Harmonized Insulating Glass Standard.

Experience: Ten years after graduation in general contracting and project management; 27 years in the glass industry, 21 with Trulite.

Number one business challenge: Trying to increase sales in a flat market. As the old joke goes, “business is so bad that even the customers that never intend to pay aren’t buying.”

By what standard do you measure yourself? As one of my first-year professors once told me, “Don’t try and measure yourself against others. Just do the best job you can everyday.” 

By what standard do you measure success? While being recognized by your peers in the industry is nice, 
seeing my grandchildren is what makes me successful.

By whom are you influenced? My wife, Carrol, although I don’t usually admit it—just ask her.

Career other than yours would you like to try: I might try business consulting as a new career.

Career you’d not like to try: Politics. After watching the recent Canadian election I don’t know how politicians can live with themselves. The hypocrisy would kill the average man.

Rick Wallace
Senior vice president, International Imaging Materials Inc. (IIMAK; DecoTherm), Amherst, N.Y.
Why Influential: Recently launching the DecoTherm technology, Wallace was able to bring in two major glass fabricators, Arch and Oldcastle, as licensed manufacturers, and could likely be revolutionizing the industry with the process. 

Experience: I have spent the last 12 years of my career developing and marketing digital imaging equipment and supplies to the sign/screen printing industry. I have spent the last three years developing and commercializing a digital decorating system for the glass industry.

Number one business challenge: Educating the glass industry about the benefits and opportunities digital decorating can bring to the industry and its customers.

By what standard do you measure yourself: Results, pure and simple. There are many great ideas and projects, but if they don’t succeed in the marketplace they are just ideas and projects. I want to see revenues and projects grow as a result of my involvement.

By what standard do you measure success? I believe one is successful if he can bring a passion to his job every day and have just as much passion for life outside of the job. If you are passionate, you will be happy and content.

By whom are you influenced? I have tried to be an innovator, and Geoffrey Moore wrote two outstanding books, “Inside the Tornado” and “Crossing the Chasm,” that have influenced the way I have approached bringing new products to market. But the most successful projects have come from listening to customers/users and letting them influence the direction one takes.

Career other than yours you would like to try: I would like to teach at the college level. I have always involved myself with training and teaching and I enjoy the interaction and challenge of presenting new ideas to an audience.

Career you’d not like to try: Being a local PGA professional or hunting guide. In other words, turning the activities I do for pleasure and relaxation into a job. 


© Copyright Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.