Volume 46, Issue 4 - May 2011


Ebeid to Retire; Guardian Names Scott Thomsen President of Flat Glass
Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Guardian Industries has named Scott Thomsen to president of the Guardian Flat Glass Group, Guardian Glass, effective September 1. In this position, Thomsen will oversee the worldwide operations of Guardian’s float glass manufacturing, marketing, distribution and product development.

Thomsen succeeds Russ Ebeid, who will retire September 1 after 41 years with the company.

Thomsen most recently served as group vice president of North American Flat Glass, reporting to Ebeid. He will immediately assume the new role of chief operating officer during this transitional period, working closely with Ebeid.

“Scott has been instrumental in making Guardian a world leader in glass coating technology and increasingly has been involved in our global glass and coating business,” Ebeid says. “During this past year as group vice president of North America, he has succeeded in building a highly effective and energized team with a powerful focus on enhancing growth. Everyone at Guardian looks forward to Scott expanding that success around the world.”

Thomsen came to Guardian in 1999 to establish the company’s Science and Technology Center.

“Scott has a unique understanding of Guardian’s product, marketing and business development opportunities around the world,” said Ebeid. “He is the right person to take on the challenges and opportunities that face our global glass operations.”

Ebeid, who has been with Guardian since 1970, is well-known and well-respected in the glass industry.

“There is a book called ‘The Legend of Guardian Industries’ and Russ is truly one of those, [a legend] in the glass industry—known throughout the industry and around the world,” says Earnest Thompson, Guardian marketing and brand management.

Ebeid will make an industry farewell address during Glass Performance Days in Tampere, Finland, June 17-20, 2011.

Quanex Announces Management Changes
Houston-based Quanex Building Products has announced several management changes in its Engineered Products Group (EPG)
as a result of its acquisition of Edgetech on April 1 (see January/February 2011 USGlass, page 6).

August (Gus) J. Coppola
will assume the role of senior vice president, corporate development, reporting to David D. Petratis, chairman and chief executive officer of Quanex Building Products. Coppola is now responsible for managing the company’s acquisition process, its solar adhesives and aftermarket businesses. Coppola was formerly senior vice president, Quanex Building Products, responsible for launching Project Nexus, a company initiative that successfully brought together the sales and marketing teams of EPG’s three disparate fenestration businesses: Mikron, Truseal and Homeshield. Prior to that, he was president of Truseal Technologies.

Michael B. Hovan, who previously served as president of Edgetech, will assume the role of senior vice president, sales and marketing, EPG, responsible for EPG’s national and regional sales initiatives as well as overseeing Edgetech’s international operations and global sales. Hovan will report to Petratis.

George L. Wilson will assume the role of general manager of Edgetech. Wilson will report to Petratis and is now responsible for Edgetech’s U.S. operations. Wilson was with Lauren International for two years and held senior positions in human resources and operations.

Edgetech also announced the appointment of Dylan Seats to quality engineer. Seats has more than five years of experience in related roles at LuK LLC and Nissin Brake.

Ken Wayman has been promoted to R&D technical specialist. Wayman has been employed by the company since 2000, having most recently served as a technical service representative.

The company also has promoted Ibrahim Issa, to regional sales manager, Middle East. His office is in Beirut, Lebanon.

new hires

Wheaton Sprague Hires Herchek as Project Manager
The building envelope engineering and consulting firm of Wheaton Sprague Engineering Inc. in Stow, Ohio, has hired Chris Herchek as project manager. In this new role, Herchek will provide client management, technical direction and responsibility for work products on curtainwall projects. He will be responsible for managing the interface between client and team, and providing project oversight.

Herchek has held project manager roles with MK Architectural, Harmon Inc., Architectural Wall Systems and PPG.

John McGrory Passes Away
John J. McGrory, owner of McGrory Glass Co. in Paulsboro, N.J., died of cancer April 1. He was 76.

McGrory and his wife, the late Mary Rita, founded their glass company in 1984. Originally located in Chester, Pa., they relocated to Aston, Pa., in 1996 and into a larger facility in Paulsboro in 2008. McGrory was recognized by USGlass as one of the most influential in the industry in 2001 and as one of the industry’s “People to Watch” in 2002.

In addition to his time in the glass industry, McGrory was a youth baseball coach for the Springfield Athletic League, as well as coach for the seventh- and eighth-grade football team at St. Francis of Assisi School in Springfield.

He is survived by sons John Jr., Christopher, Chuck, Gary and Michael; daughters Nancy Houtmann, Jane Kraiza, Barbara McGlinchey, Marianne Rafter and Clare; two brothers; and 23 grandchildren.

Industry Publisher Bud Glasberg Passes Away
Oscar (Bud) Glasberg, former publisher of Glass Digest (defunct) magazine, died on March 16 in Scottsdale, Ariz., at the age of 87. Glasberg had joined Ashlee Publishing Co. in New York as publisher and editor of the magazine in 1959. In 1975, he also founded the interGLASSmetal International Trade Exposition.

Charles Cumpston, a contributing editor for USGlass magazine, began his career as a glass industry journalist at Glass Digest and remembers Glasberg well.

“Bud was respected by all for his knowledge of the industry, which he had accumulated over his many years of involvement through Glass Digest magazine. He attended every industry meeting and loved to talk to everyone. He was valued not only for what information he got and printed in the magazine, but also for his insights into the industry that he loved so well,” Cumpston says.

In addition to his years in the glass industry, Glasberg was in the U.S. Army and served in WWII. During his time in service, he was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, Combat Infantry Badge and European Theater medal with four clusters. After the war, Bud returned to Ohio University in Athens, Ga., and graduated in 1947 from the School of Commerce with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with high honors.

He retired in 2005. He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Marilyn.

AMinuteWith … Lisa Huntsman President of Lauren Manufacuring
Lisa Huntsman was named president of Lauren Manufacturing in 2007, and is responsible for the direction and growth of the company’s operations in New Philadelphia, Ohio. She began her career at Lauren as a chemist, working her way up over 14 years to technical director, then business unit leader and, lastly, as vice president of operations. She recently spoke with USGlass about recent changes at the company, and her advice for young colleagues.

USG: Among the year’s big announcements was Lauren’s sale of its Edgetech business to Quanex (see January/February 2011 USGlass, page 6). What does this mean for Lauren Manufacturing?

LH: Because Edgetech was part of our parent company Lauren International, we had a lot of synergies. The good news is, with Quanex we still have a great relationship. Lauren does not have a competing product line to Quanex/Edgetech, so there are definitely synergies that we can leverage moving forward. We still have a very open relationship and very strong communications between both companies.

USG: Does this sale give Lauren room to take on a new business, or are you focusing on core businesses now?
LH: Lauren International has always been very forward-looking, and anytime we see opportunities for business we like to have new start-ups and acquisitions. I don’t think any of that has really changed. I think it was a great opportunity for Edgetech, and if it hadn’t been [a great opportunity], it wouldn’t have happened. Timing was everything. But, yes, this allows us to continue to do what we do … we’re always growing Lauren Manufacturing and our start-up sister companies, and we’ll continue to look forward on what other things are out in the marketplace.

USG: Lauren International covers a number of diverse areas; what are some products that the company offers that might surprise our readers?
LH: Our iDea™ seal technology … really started off into in the door and window market marketplace because we saw a need. Actually that spurred off into the other business that we serve here at Lauren. I think the one thing about Lauren Manufacturing is that we are very diversified in terms of the industries we serve, door and window being among them, of course.

We’ve always been very proud that Lauren has always birthed new companies. Edgetech came out of Lauren because we have the ability to see such a wide variety of industries and emerging opportunities, as happened with Edgetech …

USG: What do you think is the best development in the glass industry in the last five years?
LH: From the standpoint of Lauren, I think that is being able to provide engineered design seals for door and window clients that are having seal failures. We can help with our design, and our application engineering, which is how iDea seal came out …

USG: Where do you see the glass industry heading in next five years?
LH: I know from a green aspect certainly that’s going to be on the focus … Materials are always a very important part of this industry, and I think that we can revolutionize it to not just have cost competitive [improvements], but I think improve performance…

USG: What is your biggest professional pet peeve?
LH: I think with Lauren, and I know with Edgetech, you’re really trying to build relationships … Some of the values that you’re bringing are services and your resources to help your client, and sometimes that does come at a cost premium, but in the big picture it’s well worth it. I think [it’s important] really trying to understand who through their actions really walks the walk as a supplier-partner, versus being just a vendor.

That would be representative of all industries. You see an opportunity, you go above and beyond, because you understand that it’s not just a commodity that you’re trying to provide. You’re trying to provide service—quick lead times, turnarounds, engineering support, things like that—and so when you invest resources into that, to find that you’re just going to get put out to bid, it’s very disheartening.

USG: You started out at Lauren as a chemist. What did you originally want to be when you grew up?
LH: I when to school at Eastern Michigan University in the 1980s and they had one of the few programs in polymer science. I came to Lauren back in ’87 as a chemist, … [but] I had a little more of a sales personality. When you’re young and you’re starting a career you don’t really know what else is out there for you. I guess the knowledge I’d pass on to our young professionals is: you know what, you don’t know yet. Other things will pique your interest as you get into business and in areas where you thought ‘wow I never thought I’d go here.’ That’s what happened to me.

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