Volume 43, Issue 4 - April 2008

News Makers

Harold Ponder, Founder of Economy Glass, Dies
Harold C. Ponder
, 85, passed away on February 9. Ponder, who founded Economy Glass in Escondido, Calif., is survived by his wife, Penny; a daughter, Kate; two sons, John and Jim; four grandchildren, Garrett, Sarah, Kelly and Lauren; two brothers, Scott and Dick; and a sister, Nell.

Ponder was born on July 20, 1922, in High, Texas, the eldest of seven siblings. He attended Crosbyton High School and Texas Tech University. On June 10, 1942, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served for four years. Upon completion of his service, he married Penny Latham on June 22, 1947, and the two settled in Escondido. Ponder worked for Valley Lumber before starting Economy Glass in 1955. 

Harlingen Glass Founder Passes Away
On February 26 Claudio Gonzales, the founder of Harlingen Glass Co. in Harlingen, Texas, passed away at his home. Gonzales also was a founding member and past president of the Texas Glass Association (TGA) and a past president of the Rio Grande Valley Glass Association.

Gonzales, who retired from Harlingen in 2001, died of a heart attack at the age of 76. He is survived by two daughters, Sandra Tovar and Jerry Ingles, and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dora, who died earlier this year.

“We owe Claudio a great deal of thanks for his efforts to help build the TGA,” says Ray Soliz of Harlingen Glass Co., who also serves as a TGA board member and has known Gonzales since 1986. “He was very influential—he was a mentor.” Soliz and Gonzales founded two companies during their time working together, Custom Glass and Coastal Glass, both in Texas.

National Building Science’s Barry Hardman Dies at Age 67
The National Building Science Corp.’s Barry G. Hardman died on February 7 at the age of 67. Hardman died of an aggressive lymphoma that had invaded his lungs and defied two series of chemotherapy. 

Hardman designed and manufactured high-end custom commercial fenestration systems and installation details. His product lines included doors, windows, skylights, sun grilles, X-ray impervious ICU doors and a host of custom products. 

Hardman’s volunteer work in fenestration and building science included serving as chairman of ASTM E06.51.11 and E06.51.06, vice chairman of BETEC (a council of the National Institute of Building Sciences), a member of the Fenestration Manufacturers Association and some work with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association. He helped found and served on the boards of the California Glass Dealers Association and the Bay Area Glass Dealers Association.

Hardman is survived by his wife, Jacqueline Beaulac Hardman, and his children, Susan Jean Grass, Barry G. Hardman II, Jackie Lynne Hardman, Marjorie B. Hardman and Carolyn J. Hardman. 

A Minute With... Brad Austin GANA’s 2008 President
During the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) annual Glass Week (see related story, page 44), Brad Austin, senior vice president of sales and marketing of Viracon in Owatonna, Minn., took the reins as president of the association. Austin is celebrating 30 years in the glass industry, and has been attending Glass Week for more than 20 of them. For the last five years he has been a board member, but Austin admits that there is new territory to explore in the year ahead.

Q. Are there any particular projects you are looking forward to in the year ahead?
A. The one I’ve been most involved in is helping to put in place strategies and strategic plans that will carry GANA forward for the next number of years, that provides the most value to our members and expands the GANA organization. 

Q. Did you receive any words of advice from outgoing president Andy Gum?
A. He wished me all the best! I’ve had the good fortune of Andy and, prior to Andy, Julie Schimmelpenningh, providing me their guidance during my time on the board. More importantly, I have the utmost respect for their continued service to GANA. I believe Andy has served GANA for 11 years in different leadership roles and Julie has served for 12 years in different leadership roles. It’s pretty humbling when you stop and think, ‘There have been so many great people that have come before me that have given their time and talents on a purely volunteer basis.’

Q. Do you find it challenging to balance your work for GANA with your duties at Viracon? 
A. I could not take on this volunteering role without the support of Viracon or our parent company Apogee Enterprises. They’ve been very supportive of my involvement with GANA over the years and encouraged me to be a part of the leadership going back five years. Viracon has a very long history of people participating in volunteer roles for the industry. … I think the other GANA member companies have done the same and that’s really what makes this association so successful and I hope it continues on. 

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