Volume 44, Issue 5 - May 2009

Dear USG

Say It Like It Is
Dear USGlass:
I liked Lyle Hill’s fiery article “You Gotta Be Kidding” in the December 2008 USGlass (see December 2008 USGlass, page 104). Just say it like it is and let the chips fall where they may. Foresight is so scarce it’s a shock when you see it. Lyle’s my man. 

Dez Farnady did a good article on low-E glass as well in that issue (see December 2008 USGlass, page 8).

D.E. Gravelle
Vallecito, Calif.

Fabrication Omission 
Dear USGlass:
I noticed in the December 2008 issue of your magazine, page 16, under Solar Watch, the brief article about the new California Academy of Sciences topped by a massive solar canopy. It refers to the installation by Permasteelisa (actually Josef Gartner) as well as the solar panels as produced by Suntech Power Holding Co. Ltd. It also mentions that PPG Starphire ultra-clear glass was used to make up the panels.

However, it did not mention that J.E. Berkowitz L.P. provided the entire glass package, including supplying to Suntech almost 1,500 lites of the 4- by 6-inch 8-mm Starphire glass that was on all four edges machined and fully tempered by J.E. Berkowitz L.P., suitable for processing and laminating by Suntech. 

Arthur M. Berkowitz
President and CEO
J.E. Berkowitz L.P.

Largely Influential 
Dear USGlass:
I have seen some of your featured glaziers in USGlass magazine. While my father, Keith McLeod, may not be able to compete with many of their qualifications and schooling, he has been somewhat favored by homeowners in Central Florida, as a small business owner providing shower doors, mirrors, closet shelving and bath accessories. We have been able to keep some long-standing relationships with local contractors by providing glazing services anywhere from window repair to commercial storefront installation.  

I am his oldest son, Bill. I have been working with my father for 13 years. I started as a glazing helper, soon advanced to the glazing position and now am working as multi-purpose personnel—bidding, ordering materials and job preparation. I am attempting to broaden my educational and professional skills in glazing with a glazing license offered by the state of Florida.

My father’s story is testament to the opportunity that all people are given in the United States. Where he has been blessed, he has also looked past the comfort of everyday living to bring communication, research and bottom-line labor to work in the form of his own personal work habits and by putting others—especially customers—first.

My mother, Karen, has also contributed to the business. She has past experience in banking and has undertaken the majority of the bookkeeping. She and my father have been blessed with years of teamwork, in raising and caring for their children. I can’t understand how they even began to have the time to work and have success in family life. She also works full-time as a realtor and works part-time at Delta as a ticket agent.

My father has been a solid dad throughout his life. He made these opportunities for himself and for us, his family, choosing of his free will to do business in the United States glass industry. He has almost 35 years of experience, all in Central Florida, as a business owner/operator. He has been starting his workday at 6 a.m. and ending his day around 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, for at least 25 years. 

All Builders Glass is a small, four-employee shop with a devotion to traditional glazing methods and interest toward new developments and product advancement. This business has made it to this point on old-fashioned customer service and traditional American business values. We have always been compelled to call a job finished only once the customer says so. It has been his ambition that has kept All Builders Glass open to the public. We are thankful to have made it through the recessions and building trends (or lack thereof). It is to our return and regular customers that we owe thanks for keeping our business and family with them, through their lives. We also owe thanks to our suppliers, AGM Orlando (Alumax), Combee Insulation (Heatilator), Continental Glass (Kawneer), Deltek (ClosetMaid), Joe Sferrazza (Virginia Mirror), RF Supply (plate and decorative glass) and Venture Circle (bath accessories). 

All Builders Glass & Supply has also been blessed with a history of few accidental incidents. My father built not only his business, but also himself, through the business. Traditional business practices and service, standards in U.S. business and a distinguished group of glaziers who preceded him have led him to remain true to his original business intention—even when times were tough.

Bill McLeod
All Builders Glass & Supply Co. Inc.
Orlando, Fla

USGlass and Paul
Dear USGlass:
I have known Paul Bieber for at least 20 years, although he may not recall me. I called on Paul at Floral Glass and Mirror to serve that company with our line of separator pads for protecting glass during shipment. I have been reading Paul’s column for USGlass, and often send copies of it to our staff, since he began writing it at the end of 2006.

I had occasionally thought of commenting on Paul’s blog (visit www.usgnn.com to read Paul’s blog), but never was sufficiently moved to take the keyboard in hand. After reading his entry “Why Did They Go Out of Business?” from August 24, 2008, I felt compelled to respond.

I think if you ask this question of those who lead companies past a silver, not to mention golden, anniversary, you’ll hear that there is one characteristic that must prevail. I truly believe it is not the desire to return stockholder value (although that is a byproduct critical to longevity); and it is not the family approach to employees, vendors and, of course, customers, as that has almost passed being a cliché; but rather it is the integrity of the management. It is the desire to succeed in business and always maintain the steadfast ability to look in the mirror of one’s conduct and be proud of who it is that looks back at you. Companies are only a mirror of those that lead them.

When I purchased a small, 20-year-old converting operation in 1975, I had the mission to prove that one could run a successful business and be full of integrity in all of one’s business dealings with employees, suppliers, customers and everyone with whom we dealt. Certainly it is easily said, but rather often difficult to pass the test and remain focused on always delivering that level of conduct. A wise associate forever defined for me the meaning of the word integrity. He simply stated, “Integrity is what one does when nobody is looking …” 

There is an old expression that states, “That which goes around, comes around,” and from enormous respect of that truth I have run The Frank Lowe Rubber & Gasket Co. Inc. these past 33 years. 

I do believe that there are companies that survive, and even thrive, in the short term, but when it comes to longevity, only those with integrity will be here tomorrow.

Paul, thank you for your blogs and articles. Please keep on writing.

Ira M. Warren
Frank Lowe Rubber & Gasket Co. Inc. 



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