Volume 44, Issue 10 - October 2009


Industry Loses Two Legends in One Day: John De Gorter and Ray Rickles

John De Gorter, former president of De Gorter Inc., died the morning of September 16 in North Carolina at the age of 81.

De Gorter was an active member of the flat glass industry, where he worked for more than 60 years. He and his father, Daniel, were responsible for the importation of glass from Belgium and France. Later, they founded Franklin Glass Co., which held the patent for manufacturing the first bronze sheet glass in the United States. Franklin Glass has products in such well-known buildings as the Seagram Building in Manhattan and the United States Air Force Academy just outside of Colorado Springs, Colo. In the early 1970s, De Gorter began importing glass fabricating machinery from Europe and became a leader in that field until his retirement from De Gorter Inc. in 2007.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Denise; his daughter Deborah and sons Dan and Peter; his sister, Francine Chrisler-Moloney; and nine grandchildren.

Also passing on September 16 was a man who called on John De Gorter for many years selling advertising in glass industry publications. Ray Rickles, age 90, passed away in Florida, after a brief illness. He founded Ray Rickles and Company, a media representative firm that for many years represented the now-defunct Glass Digest and which has continued to represent USGlass magazine for the past 16 years. Rickles is the father of USGlass sales manager Scott Rickles.


Thomas Lee Jr. of Lee & Cates Passes Away

Thomas D. Lee Jr., former president of Lee & Cates Glass Inc. in Jacksonville, Fla., passed away on September 7. He was 85.

After attending Carson Newman College and Stetson University, and serving in the Navy during World War II, he returned home to run his family’s business, Lee & Cates Glass Inc. He retired at the age of 80 after serving as president and chair of the board of the company.

Lee was active within the glass industry, having participated in several industry associations, including the Florida Glass Dealers Association, of which he was a founding member. During his time in the industry he was recognized for his contributions to both the glass industry and his community at large.

Lee is survived by his wife of 62 years, their six children, including Tommy Lee III, who currently runs the family business, as well as 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Three sisters and many nieces and nephews also survive him.


Lisec Founder and Owner Dies at Age 73
Kommerzialrat Peter Lisec, founder and owner of the Lisec group of companies, passed away August 17 at the age of 73.

During a 48-year career, Lisec built the company from a one-man operation to an international group with more than 2,000 employees and more than 50 foreign branches.

The announcement issued by the company states: “He led his company as the chairman up to the very last day. Under his leadership, and with the entrepreneurial spirit of an excellent technician, he succeeded in continually surprising and convincing the professional world with innovations later defined as state-of-the-art in the world of flat glass. His worries and work in the company related to his business partners and employees and he always found the time to take care of every concern. We will always remember Peter Lisec for his personality and as a role model.”



AEC Elects New Vice Chairperson
Duncan Crowdis, president of Bonnell Aluminum in Newnan, Ga., has been elected vice chairperson of the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC). Crowdis has been on the AEC board of directors and held the position of extruder director since 2006. Traditionally, the vice chairperson moves forward to the position of AEC chairperson after serving a two-year term.


new hires
Edgetech Brings in Three New Employees
Edgetech I.G. in Cambridge, Ohio, has appointed George Wilson to director of business development. Wilson comes to the company with more than 15 years of experience in high-level, strategic positions. He is active in the American Management Association and is the past-president of the Ohio Mid-Eastern Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants.

Tony Thiret is the company’s new regional sales manager and commercial sales manager for the Western United States and Canada. Thiret spent 12 years as Western division manager for Graham Architectural and has been an active American Architectural Manufacturers Association member for more than seven years.

The company also has appointed Sarah Edwards as its newest customer service representative, serving Western North America and Mexico. Edwards joins Edgetech with extensive sales and service experience within large corporations.

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