Ted Krantz had little reason to suspect some 40 years ago that the sudden closing of one opportunity would lead to the opening of an even greater one.
A young Nebraska police officer who was on disability at the time after being shot while in the line of duty, Krantz worried about how he would financially take care of his wife, Jeanne, and two young children. Unsure what to do, he mentioned his precarious situation to some people from PPG that he had come to know at a restaurant he often frequented following the conclusion of his midnight to 8 a.m. shift.
That was all it took to initiate a brilliant career that spanned nearly 40 years at PPG, covering a series of assignments in the company’s flat glass segment, including commercial contract sales and management, project management, commercial product sales and national sales manager for fabricated products.
Now PPG’s director of skyline quality standards, Krantz has announced his plans to retire as of March 1, capping his rise from his relatively humble beginnings as an assistant warehouse superintendent in the company’s Omaha, Neb., branch to one of the most influential voices in the architectural glass industry.
“I happened to talk to those guys I knew who worked at PPG about needing a job and they were the ones who suggested that I go over to the warehouse at PPG and look into something there,” Krantz recalls. “So I went and applied with the warehouse manager and I got the job. It worked out pretty well.”
For everybody involved.
In 2003, Krantz was promoted to the newly-created position of national manager of the key projects team, where he managed four national architectural managers, as well as directing construction activities in the Southwest.
In October 2008, USGlass magazine named him among the 50 most influential people within the architectural glass industry.
“It’s been great,” Krantz says. “I can’t say enough about a great company that gave me a chance.”
His colleagues lauded his efforts over the years to please PPG customers, while always best utilizing company resources.
“Ted has witnessed and experienced tremendous change with PPG’s scale and scope of our glass operations,” says Patrick J. Kenney, PPG’s director of marketing, in a statement released by the company. “Yet throughout his entire career, Ted has maintained an unwavering commitment to the customer and to doggedly organizing PPG resources to satisfying their needs fully and profitably. He provided a unique voice of the customer that was sorely needed in all his many assignments and will be highly missed. Ted’s long-standing and friendly relationships with the nations’ leading owners, architects, glazing contractors and customers are legendary and facilitated the sale of many PPG glass projects that grace and define the skylines of every major U.S. city.”
Proudest of the many great people with whom he worked over his career, Krantz faced his share of obstacles along the way, not the least of which were increasing energy costs and stiff challenges in finding available financing for projects.
But not even they would prove all that daunting to a former police officer who witnessed first-hand the violence and destruction that came with some of the race riots of the 1960s and early 1970s.
He now looks forward to spending more time with his family after so many years of a hectic schedule and constant travel. Krantz says he’ll probably soon begin looking for a part-time job of some sort to make the conversion into the next phase of his life a little bit smoother for everybody involved.
“I think there’s going to be a transition period from all the meetings, travels and being away from home all the time,” he says. “I hope my wife is ready.”