Volume 42, Issue 2 - February 2007


new hires

Vistawall, Skywall Announce Two New Managers
Paul Wagner
has been named Western region sales manager for Vistawall Architectural Products, based in Terrell, Texas. Wagner, who brings more than 29 years of industry experience, spent the last five years in sales and estimating with Progress Glass in San Francisco. He previously held positions with Kawneer, Amarlite, TRACO and United States Aluminum. 

Based in Sparks, Nev., Wagner will be responsible for managing company sales personnel and independent representatives in ten western states, including Alaska and Hawaii. 

Skywall Translucent Systems, a part of the Vistawall Group, announced the addition of Dan Donihoo as product manager. Donihoo brings 25 years of industry experience having spent the past 14 years with DuPont Tyvek as a commercial and specification representative. He will be responsible for developing relationships with architects, owners, general contractors and consultants on a national basis for Skywall and will focus on large projects.


Industry Legend Turns 80
Edwin Berkowitz
, chairman of J.E. Berkowitz L.P. located in Westville, N.J., recently celebrated his 80th birthday. His birthday party was held on the campus of his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and included many family members, friends and business associates. 

Berkowitz has led the family-owned company for more than 50 years. He stepped down as president in the mid-1980s, when his son, Arthur, took over. He has remained a major part of the company’s long-range planning and still comes to work on a regular basis. 

MTH Industries Celebrates Jerry Braun’s 60th Year in Business
Jerry Braun
, executive vice president of Chicago-based MTH Industries, was honored November 16, on the anniversary of his 60th year in the business. 

Braun, who is in his eighties, began his career in the glass industry 60 years ago, and has spent more than 40 years working at MTH. A lunch was given in his honor by MTH employees. 


GANA Decorative Division Elects First Chair
The Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) decorative division announced that Kris Vockler of ICD High Performance Coatings will be its first elected chairperson.

“Decorative glass has taken the industry by storm,” said Vockler. “The decorative division is a part of the huge potential, and I will strive to provide leadership and understanding to this swiftly growing market.” 

Vockler is the vice president of ICD High Performance Coatings, based in Vancouver, Wash. She previously served as the company’s research and development director, focusing primarily on silicone and urethane coatings for glass. She has a bachelors of science degree in chemistry and environmental engineering from Portland State University, and is pursuing her MBA from Marylhurst University. 


Viracon Promotes Peter Anderson 
Viracon promoted Peter Anderson to director of coating development and process in its Owatonna, Minn., facility. In his new role, Anderson will focus on new product development and oversee the coating process throughout the organization. He formerly served as the company’s research and development manager. 

Anderson holds a bachelor of science degree in ceramic engineering and a master of science degree in glass science from Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y. He is actively involved with the Glass Association of North America, and is also a member of ASTM International. 


Jim Johnson to Retire from Sommer & Maca; Gagen Named New VP
After 26 years of service with Cicero, Ill.-based Sommer & Maca Industries, executive vice president Jim Johnson announced he will retire in March. 

“A long time ago, I decided to set a goal of retiring when I reached 70 years old.  I will reach that goal in March,” says Johnson. “In 1974, I sold a business and had to be available to help the new owner for three months. Having all that free time sounds like fun but it was totally boring. So, that’s when I decided to work until I was 70—young enough to be active and old enough to begin to slow down.”

Johnson began his career at Sommer & Maca in 1980 as national sales manager and later served as vice president of sales before being named executive vice president. In 2001, he was inducted into the Glass & Metal Hall of Fame™.

“I have enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people at Sommer & Maca and treasure having worked with our valued customers, key vendors and leading media people,” says Johnson. “By being active in the industry I have had an opportunity to give back to the industry, having served on numerous flat glass and auto glass committees; the personal relationships formed by committee work have lasted my entire career.”

Johnson has a degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame. While there he was a member of the ROTC and after graduating he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army.

After serving in the Army he began a career in retail sales with JC Penney and then later handled sales for a large oil company. He owned his own franchise consulting business for the petroleum industry for 11 years and during that time he earned his master’s degree in education from St. Francis University in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Upon his retirement Johnson plans to spend more time doing the many activities he enjoys and also with his family.

“Since my three children and seven grandchildren live in the same metro area I’ll be available to attend more family and school events,” he says. “I also plan to do volunteer work for my church, college and local men’s service club.”

Succeeding Johnson, Jim Gagen has been named the new senior vice president. Gagen will be responsible for the sales of all product categories, as well as other tasks. Gagen has 14 years of experience in sales and marketing for PRC Glass Sealants, his last position with the company being that of global business platform manager. From 2002-2006 he served as the vice president of business development for Permatex Inc. (an ITW company). He has a degree in business administration from Lewis University. 

Also new with the company, Bob Granahan has been appointed regional sales manager for the 13 Midwestern states.   

Dick Joyce of Dlubak Corp. Dies
Dick Joyce
, vice president of sales at Dlubak Corp. died suddenly at his home the night of February 2. He was 73. 

Joyce had been in the industry for nearly half a century, spending more than 48 years working for Dlubak in a variety of roles ranging from nearly every shop position to production manager and sales manager before becoming vice president of sales.

Surviving him are his wife, Dolores, and five children. 

Funeral services took place February 6.

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