Volume 34, Number 5, May 1999

 

The Most Influential Companies—
and People—in the Glass and Metal Industry

The list below is a compilation of the names mentioned, pointed to (and in some cases, cursed) as those companies that truly influence our industry. It is limited, with few exceptions, to companies that are directly involved in the industry. Companies and their subsidiaries are all included as one listing this year. Supplier companies were excluded from this list unless their influence in areas such as safety and/or education extends across all segments of the industry. Readers will ballot for the best suppliers in our third annual "Readers' Choice Awards" in July.

A-1 Glass
Beaumont, TX
Private corporation; 34 years in business; 15 employees; $1.5 million in annual sales.
A-1 Glass provides full-service commercial/residential and auto glass replacement, industrial glazing and a showroom for products.
Lou Green, president; Jeff Green, CEO; Greg Green, CFO.
Watch for: New consumer awareness of products and services and employee training.
By deciding, along with seven other Texas plaintiffs, to file an appeal in its independent vs. network lawsuits, A-1 continues its legal challenge to networks.

Auto Glass Specialists (AGS)/AEGIS Tools
Madison, WI
Employee-owned; 37 years in business (AGS), 17 years in business AEGIS; 560 employees (AGS)/1 location, 8 employees (AEGIS).
Robert Birkhauser III, president; Jo Greenhalgh, vice president; Lonn Schwartz, CFO; Henri Goudsmit, AEGIS Tools International division manager.
AGS is an auto glass repair and replacement company. AEGIS is a manufacturer and distributor of auto glass repair and replacement tools and equipment.
Watch for: New state-of-the-art integrated software system, implementation of activity-based software system. AGS is the only auto glass replacement service in North America to be ISO 9000-, 9001-, and 9002-certified.
Generally considered one of the best models for successful regional auto glass retailers, Auto Glass Specialists continues to lead the industry with its commitment to education and safety.

AFG Industries
Owned by AGA Inc., a subsidiary of Asahi Glass Corporation

Kingsport, TN
Private corporation; 21 years in business.
AFG says it is the largest supplier to the construction/specialty glass markets and the second-largest glass manufacturing organization in North America. The company also owns AFGD Inc.
James W. Bradford Jr., president and CEO; William L. Dankmyer, CFO; John Litzinger, vice president manufacturing; Jim Collin, vice president sales; Fred Wallin, vice president marketing.
Now considered an innovator in low-E technology, AFG continues to advance new products and to educate its primary customers–the glass industry–as to the use of those products.

AmiLite Corporation
Chocowinity, NC
Private corporation; 25 years in business; 140 employees; $32 million in annual sales.
AmiLite provides ARG and some OE glass for automotive applications.
Joel Wilson, president and CEO; John Ewan, James Hammerschmidt, Paul Foertsch, vice presidents; Sandy Matheson, CFO.
Watch for: AmiLite recently merged three locations (Ohio and New York) into one location (North Carolina).
Amilite has been known for its aggressive wholesale pricing. It will be interesting to see if the consolidation helps or hurts that reputation.

Apogee Enterprises Inc.
Minneapolis, MN
Public corporation; 50 years in business; 440 locations; 6,000 employees; Fiscal 1999 annual sales: $800 million.
Apogee provides the design and development of value-added glass products, services and systems. The company manufacturers architectural glass and high-end glass coatings for the electronics market, as well as providing replacement auto glass and building glass services.
Apogee owns Viracon Inc.; Viracon/Curvlite Inc.; Viratec Thin Films Inc; Tru-Vue Inc.; Wausau Windows and Wall Systems; Linetec Inc.; The Glass Depot; Harmon Solutions Group; and Harmon Inc.
Russell Huffer, president and CEO; Robert G. Barbieri, CFO.
No company on our "Most Influential" list has undergone more changes in the last two years than Apogee. It has sold its successful Norment security glazing company and, just weeks ago, the proverbial thorn in its side was lifted with the sale of Harmon Contract. If "plastics" was the word for the 1960s, "coatings" is the word for the 1990s and Apogee is positioning itself as a master coater and coatings developer.

Arch Aluminum and Glass Co. Inc.
Tamarac, FL
Private corporation; 21 years in business; 1,000 employees.
Arch Aluminum manufactures architectural aluminum products, tempered glass, insulating glass, mirrors, powder coating, laminated glass products and storefront doors and frames.
Robert Silverstein, president; Ricky Silverstein, vice president sales; Don Hyde, CFO; Kevin Aubuchon, vice president MIS.
Watch for: An ability to take advantage of its competitors as they consolidate and become less flexible in the marketplace.
Arch is known for "breaking the rules" (and pricing schedules) in the industry it serves. Its aggressive quest for market share often changes market dynamics.

Boyd Aluminum
Springfield, MO
38 years in business.
Boyd Aluminum is an aluminum window manufacturer.
Sam Squires, president; Brad Squires, vice president.
Watch for: Introduction of a 4-inch projected window system that will accept 1 ½-inch glazing. The product can be delivered glazed or open and comes in a full line of custom colors.
Boyd has proved a role model for solving customer problems with technical innovation and new products. New to the list, the company’s influence continues to grow.

Cardinal Insulating Glass
Minnetonka, MN
Private Corporation; 37 years in business; 2,000 employees.
Roger O’ Shaughnessy, president; Robert Spindler, technical services and marketing director.
The first fabricator to move into manufacturing since Guardian, Cardinal likes to keep a low profile. But it hasn’t been quite so quiet in the courts where it has filed suit against the other manufacturers for a variety of anti-trust ills.

Cindy Rowe Auto Glass
Harrisburg, PA
Private corporation; 19 years in business; 70 employees.
Cindy Rowe provides auto glass replacement, repair and paintless dent repair.
Cindy Rowe-Taylor, president; Rodger Pickett, vice president.
Cindy Rowe is an excellent example of a company that moved from repair-only to repair and replacement successfully, and one that dominates its market through expert marketing and service.

Dependable Glass Works Inc.
Covington, LA
Private corporation; 31 years in business; 46 employees; $3.5 million in annual sales.
Dependable Glass Works provides glass fabrication, custom laminated glass, hurricane glass, breakthrough resistant glass and consultation work for architects and glass companies.
Norman Foxworth, president; Jill Foxworth, vice president; Joy Foxworth, CEO.
Watch for: Increased product line in custom laminated glass, faster processing of modernizing its machinery and instituting an intensive education program with present employees.

DuPont Company
Wilmington, DE
Public corporation; 197 years in business; 92,000 employees; $28 million in annual sales.
CEO, Chad Holliday; vice president, Jerome Smith; director, Richard Keesling.
DuPont provides a family of interlayers to the glass laminating industry.
Watch for: Further innovations in laminating materials technology.
Leading interlayer manufacturer.

EFCO Corporation
Monett, MO
Private corporation; 46 years in business; 1,750 employees; $160 million in annual sales.
EFCO is a manufacturer of architectural aluminum windows, curtainwall, storefronts and entrances.
Chris Fuldner, president; Mike Harmon, executive vice president; Terry Fuldner, CEO; Melissa Beckwith, CFO.
Watch for: A new service center in Grand Prairie, TX. Introduction of several new products that will target specific geographic territories to glazing contractors.
EFCO’s commitment to meeting customers’ needs continues to be one of its greatest strengths. The company’s effort to elicit feedback from its customers and then to respond to, and improve, on the basis of that feedback, has led to many changes and advancements over the past few years.

Essex ARG
Division of Essex Specialty Products, the Dow Chemical Company
Dayton, OH
More than 30 years in business; more than 55 employees.
Daniel Riggle, general manager.
Essex ARG is an exclusive manufacturer and distributor for automotive glass bonding adhesives to replace windshields and backlites.
Watch for: New products and services including single dose primer sticks, expanded training and education programs and new delivery systems. The company also plans to double the size of its Dayton distribution center to accommodate increased volume and meet customer delivery expectations.
An example of a supplier company that appears on the list because of its influence in the glass industry, Essex works most closely with auto manufacturers and is in the forefront of translating OE technology to the aftermarket applications and in evaluating safety considerations for the aftermarket.

GAMCO Corp.
Flushing, NY
Private corporation; 12 years in business; 35 employees; $4 million in annual sales.
GAMCO is a manufacturer of aluminum entrance doors, tempered glass doors, commercial projected and casement windows, sunrooms and skylights.
Shang Yu Chang, president.
One of the first in an emerging trend of regionalized metal suppliers, GAMCO has built a marketing area that continues to expand by emphasizing fast service and accuracy.

Glass America
Sister Company to MTH Industries

Clarendon Hills, IL
Private corporation; 6 years in business; 106 employees; $12 million in annual sales.
Lyle Hill, CEO; Gary Turner, president; Gary Ishida, CFO.
Glass America provides auto and flat glass replacements, custom mirror installations, contract glazing and other retail products.
Watch for: Major expansion throughout the United States.
Glass America has brought together a talented team from some of the best companies in the industry. The group is well-capitalized and has put in place an aggressive, well-defined plan for expansion that allows control of individual shops to remain in the hands of local management–a concept that hasn’t been tried on a large scale in the business thus far.

GlassLam
Pompano Beach, FL
Private corporation; 15 years in business; 20 employees; $5 million in annual sales.
GlassLam supplies the resins and films to manufacture Break-through®-resistant glass, hurricane glass and bullet-resistant glass.
Steve Howes, president and CEO; Violet Howes, vice president; Diane Inderlin, CFO.
Watch for: A new custom-built world headquarters.
The company continues "due vigilance" concerning how laminated glass is defined and used in the States.

Glass Plus Inc.
Mound, MN
Sole proprietorship; 7 years in business; 4 employees.
Glass Plus provides full-service auto and architectural services along with stained glass.
Ken Custer, president; Sally Custer, vice president.
Ken and Sally Custer have long been outspoken proponents of independents’ rights and education and training. Sally recently retired as executive director of the Independent Glass Association, bringing along rapid change for the association.

Glass Wholesalers
Houston, TX
Public corporation; 14 years in business; 100 employees.
Glass Whole-salers Inc. services both residential and commercial glass shops, including shower doors to storefront and heavy glass entrance doors, from caulk to table tops. The in-house waterjet cutter can cut any glass thickness into any shape and they carry 1-inch clear glass.
Bob Lawrence, president; John Screnci, vice president.
Watch for: A building and $7 million expansion, six new machines: a CNC hole drilling and milling machine; two Bovone bevelers and polishers; a computerized cutting line; a glass washer; and a state-of-the-art convection oven.
Glass Wholesalers does things with glass that no other company in the States is able to do. They have combined wholesale glass sales with artistry to create a one-of-a-kind business.

Goochland Glass
Goochland,VA
Private corporation; 11 years in business; 4 full-time and 4 part-time employees.
Goochland Glass provides retail glass, windshields and other auto related services, home mirrors, tub and shower enclosures, truck accessories, home replacement windows, acrylics, screen repairs and small commercial storefronts.
Fred L. Shumaker, president and owner; Tina Shumaker, vice president.
Watch for: Expansion into window replacement, a new facility and expanded educational program.
One of the founders of the Glass Industry Technical Center, Shumaker has led the march–and developed a viable college certified program, to provide good vocational training in the glass industry to those entering the job market.

Guardian Industries Corp.
Auburn Hills, MI
Private corporation; 67 years in bus-iness; 15,000 employees.
Guardian manufactures and fabricates float and flat glass products for construction and automotive applications.
William Davidson, president and CEO; Ralph Gerson, executive vice president; Russell Ebeid, president of the Glass Group.
Many in the industry believe Guardian to be the among the best run primary glass manufacturers in the world. Its international expansion is a model of careful and strategic planning.

Hal’s Glass Corporation
Bellflower, CA
Private corporation; 54 years in business; 14 employees; more than $1 million in annual sales.
Hal’s Glass is a commercial and residential replacement and remodeling glass business.
Karen Colacino, president; Maryjane Benson, vice president.
Watch for: A new location, showroom and warehouse.
Hal’s Glass serves as a model for dominance in a mid-size market. Colacino’s father, Donn Harter, also serves as executive director of the California Glass Association, and as such the company. Serves as a hotbed of activity.

Karas & Karas Glass Co. Inc.
Boston, MA
Private corporation; 75 years in business; more than 100 employees; over $30 million in annual sales.
Joseph Karas, president, Barbara Karas CEO; Leo Karas, CFO.
Karas & Karas distributes glass and glazing products, custom fabrication of shower doors and full beveling and polishing capacity. The majority of its business is in contract glazing.
Watch for: Large scale growth of contract glazing, upgrade of fabrication equipment and addition of sandblasting.
A powerhouse in the Boston and lower New England area.

Kawneer Company Inc., an Alcoa Company
Norcross, GA
Public corporation; 93 years in business; 29 North American locations; 2,400 employees.
Kawneer is an international manufacturer of architectural aluminum products including windows and storefront, entrance and curtainwall systems.
Denny P. Goode, president.
Watch for: Introduction of Trifab® and VersaGlaze™ framing systems offering design flexibility with unmatched fabrication flexibility.
Kawneer was one of the first companies in the country to educate the architectural community about its products.

MTH Industries
Chicago, IL
Private corporation; 113 years in business; 165 employees; $20 million in annual sales.
Contract glazing, ornamental/architectural metal products.
Lyle R. Hill, president and CEO; Michael Swanberg, vice president; Dennis Koziol, CFO.
Generally believed to be among the top five technically-competent glass and metal installation companies in the country.

Mygrant Glass Company Inc.
Hayward, CA

Private corporation; 44 years in business; 494 employees.
Mygrant is a wholesale-only replacement auto glass distributor with 32 locations covering 11 states.
Mike Mygrant, president; Cathy Mygrant, secretary/ treasurer.
Watch for: A new 121,000 square foot distribution center with corporate offices in Hayward.
One of the few companies to stick strictly to wholesale sales. Mygrant continues to provide a high-level of service while keeping channels of distribution intact.

National Auto Glass Specifications (NAGS®)
Owned by Mitchell International

San Diego, CA
Private company; More than 70 years in business.
Catherine Howard, vice president and general manager.
NAGS provides information about auto glass and related parts.
NAGS Benchmark Pricing is the yardstick used to determine auto glass retail and much wholesale prices. NAGS-issued pricing effects the industry profoundly.

Norment Security Group
A Compudyne Company
Montgomery, AL
Public corporation; 47 years in business; 300 employees; 1998 annual sales: $80 million.
Norment manufactures bullet-, blast- and attack-resistant materials and supplies, integrates and installs complete detention security systems throughout the world.
Jon Lucynski, president; Craig Washing, vice president; Kevin Robison, CEO; Stan Sasser, CFO.
Watch for: The opening of additional regional offices and increase in Norment’s product line.
Norment was sold to Compudyne this past year, and its new parent is expected to devote even more resources to expansion. Norment remains an excellent model of a company choosing a small market niche and making itself the expert for that niche. Coupled with the ballooning security field, Norment’s growth seems assured.

Palmer Products
Louisville, KY
Private corporation; 89 years in business; 19 full-time employees.
Palmer is a manufacturer of mirror adhesives and support products. Friction division manufacturer of industrial friction materials.
S.W. Palmer-Ball, president and CEO; Lawrence B. Palmer-Ball III, executive vice president; Virginia Brown, CFO; Charles C. Palmer-Ball, director of national sales.
Watch for: New product lines this year, plus new promotion personnel and programs.
Suppliers are only included if they exert influence over the entire industry. S.W. Palmer-Ball often services as the industry’s "not-too-elder statesman" and its conscience. The company puts action behind words through its commitment to providing hands-on education throughout North America.

Perilstein Distributing Corp.
Cheswick, PA

Private corporation; 22 years in business; 315 employees; $40 million in annual sales.
Perilstein provides insulated, tempered, spandrel, metal storefronts and curtainwalls.
Steve Perilstein, president and CEO; Marc Silverman, vice president and CFO.
Watch for: Expansion of Pittsburgh operation.
Well-run, multi-generational, multi-faceted company.

Pilkington Libbey-Owens-Ford
Subsidiary of Pilkington PLC
Toledo, OH

Private corporation (Pilkington plc is quoted on the London stock market); more than 100 years in business; 6,000 employees in North America; 1998 annual sales in the U.S.: more than $1 billion.
A primary glass manufacturer.
Stephen F. Kalosis, president, Building Products North America; Warren D. Knowlton, Chairman of Pilkington LOF and president, Pilkington Automotive Products worldwide.
A primary manufacturer in both auto and flat, Pilkington/LOF continues to be a strong force in the industry.

PPG Industries
Pittsburgh, PA
Public corporation; 116 years in business; 32,000 employees; $7,510 billion in annual sales.
PPG is a primary glass manufacturer providing protective and decorative coatings, flat glass, fabricated glass products, continuous-strand fiber glass products and industrial and specialty chemicals.
Raymond W. LeBoeuf, board chairman and CEO; Frank A. Archinaco, executive vice president; E. Kears Pollock, executive vice president.
Also a primary manufacturer in auto and flat glass, PPG continues to develop innovative programs–such as PPG Prostars–that it says are designed to help insure the continuance of its customer base. The company gets high marks for trying to find new solutions to problems that plague the industry.

Quality Glass Service Inc.
Goshen, IN

Private corporation; 36 years in business; more than 100 employees.
Quality Glass provides glass services for automotive, residential and commercial glazing.
Stephen L. Oyer, president; F. Kent Oyer, vice president; Franklin D. Oyer, CEO.
Watch for: Internal restructuring for greater efficiency, continued focus on consumer safety.
Fast-growing full-service regional chain known for its savvy acquisitions and expansion, along with extensive community involvement.

Queen City Glass & Mirror
Manchester, NH

Sole Proprietorship; 29 years in business; 13 employees; $1.2 million in annual sales.
Queen City Glass and Mirror provides full-services for the auto, residential and commercial industries.
Jeannine Aubin, sole proprietor; William A. Aubin, director of operations.
Watch for: A customer-service oriented company with the motto, "We don’t just listen to our customers, we hear what they are saying!"
The Aubins run a well-respected company and serve as informal leaders of the Northern New England glass industry.

Safelite Glass Corporation
Columbus, OH

Private corporation; 52 years in business; 6,500 employees; $876.8 million in annual sales.
Safelite provides auto glass repair and replacement services, as well as wholesale auto glass distribution.
John F. Barlow, president and CEO; Douglas Herron, CFO.
Watch for: Roll-out of its Repair Medic initiative; a national advertising campaign in May to support its repair initiative; and investment in new market expansion, which includes new and remodeled warehouses.
The largest and most powerful auto glass retailer in the country.

Solutia Inc. (formerly Monsanto)
St. Louis, MO

94 years in business as Monsanto, 2 as Solutia.
Solutia manufactures a Saflex plastic interlayer for laminating glass for architectural and automotive applications.
John C. Hunter III, president and CEO; Victoria M. Holt, vice president and general manager, Saflex; Robert Clausen, CFO; Michael Miller, vice chairman.
Watch for: The recent acquisition of CPFilms Inc. of Martinsville, VA.
Though not directly in the glass industry, the manufacturers of laminating glass interlayers, along with DuPont, exert tremendous influence over many aspects of the industry (building code development, industry committees) and usage of different types of glass. Long at odds with the film industry, it will be interesting to follow the integration of CPFilms into its culture.

State Farm Insurance
Bloomington, IL

Private corporation; 77 years in business; 77,300 employees, 16,300 agents; $25.7 billion in annual sales.
State Farm is a personal and commercial line auto insurer.
Vince Trosino, president; Ed Rust, Jr., CEO; Roger Joslin, CFO.
Watch for: Rollout of State Farm Bank.
In much the same way that insurance companies are now involved in how medicine is practiced and how much is paid for medical services, so is State Farm serving that function in the auto glass industry. Its size means that the prices "offered" for replacement services become the price paid for replacement services.

Technical Glass Products
Kirkland, WA

Private corporation; 20 years in business; 2 locations.
Technical Glass Products is the North American factory distributor for fire-rated glass, high temperature ceramics, X-ray shielding lead glass and other specialty
glass products. The company is primarily known in the North American glass industry as the originator of Fire-Lite products.
Jerry Razwick, president; Nancy Hansen, COO; LouAnn Smith, CFO.
Watch for: Expansion of wireless fire-rated glazing materials and framing systems.
TGP has been instrumental in the expansion of and awareness about fire-rated glazing.

 TRACO
Cranberry Township, PA

Private corporation; 56 years in business; 1,600 employees; $200 million in annual sales.
TRACO manufactures a complete line of custom-designed commercial and residential windows, doors, skylights, solariums, folding glass walls, sunrooms and impact-resistant windows and doors. Capabilities include tempering, anodizing, paint finishing, aluminum extruding and insulating glass.
Robert P. Randall, president and CEO; William R. Stevens, CFO.
Watch for: Additional manufacturing plants and acquisitions of other companies that extend and complement the current product mix. Continued focus on the international market as another key market for continued growth.
The company is slowly and successfully integrating a number of diverse product lines into one total identity. Its recent sale will result in an increased international presence as well.

Tubelite Inc.
Reed City, MI
Private corporation; 200 employees.
Tubelite fabricates and distributes extruded aluminum products; has had in-house extrusion capabilities since 1960.
Ken Werbowy, president and CEO; Steve Green, vice president client relations; Gary Potter, CFO; Chairman, W. Robert Keyes.
Watch for: Adherence to a mission includes being responsive, being consistent, doing business with a personal touch and delivering quality.
Tubelite continues to respond to customer problems by developing "solution programs," following them and–most importantly–measuring them.

UltraGlas Inc.
Chatsworth, CA

Private corporation, 11 years in business, 20 employees; $3 million in annual sales.
UltraGlas provides decorative architectural safety glass.
Jane Skeeter, president and CEO.
Watch for: Increased customer service and sales departments, increased interest in glass flooring, stair treads, and casino work.
Creative use of glass as an art form in functional applications.

U.S. Aluminum Commercial Products Group, Subsidiary of International Aluminum Corporation
Waxachie, TX

Public corporation; 39 years in business; 5 manufacturing facilities, 11 service center locations; more than 650 employees; 1998 annual sales: over $120 million.
U.S. Aluminum manufactures architectural aluminum entrances, storefronts, window walls, curtainwalls, slope glazed systems and Raco Interior Officefronts™. International Aluminum Corp. also owns International Extrusion Corp., International Window Corp., Maestro Products Inc., International California Glass Corp. and International Carolina Glass Corp.
J.D. Williams, president, International Aluminum Corp.; Richard D. Voreis, executive vice president; Todd Joubert, vice president of marketing.
The company’s ambitious growth and product development programs have brought it to the forefront of the industry.

Vistawall Architectural Products
Terrell, TX

Public corporation; 37 years in business; 1,500 employees.
Vistawall manufactures aluminum storefront entrances, ribbon windows, curtainwalls and operable windows. Also included in the Vistawall Group is Moduline
Window Systems, Naturalite Skylight Systems and Skywall Translucent Systems.
Ron Rutledge, president; Robert Johnson, CFO; Tom Harris, vice president.
Vistawall capitalizes on its ability to supply the whole building envelope, including granite systems and its commitment to educate the entire building chain.

Visteon
Allen Park, MI

Public corporation; part of Ford Motor Co. - founded in 1903; 4000 employees; $700-800 million in annual sales.
Visteon is a manufacturer of auto and commercial float glass, OE automotive glass and automotive aftermarket replacement glass.
Paula Winkler-Doman, vice president GM/Visteon Glass; Craig Mulhauser, Visteon/executive vice president Ford Motor Co.; Cliff Dawson, director of OE and
manufacturing; Roy Drake, director of float glass operations; David Enstone, director Visteon aftermarket operations.
Watch for: New product innovation.
Visteon is a glass manufacturer uniquely positioned with extensive understanding of auto manufacturing and the relationship between OE processes and aftermarket installations.

VVP America
Memphis, TN
Public corporation; 127 years in business; 2,000 employees; $360 million in annual sales.
VVP America is a fabricator, distributor and installer of glass and related products to auto and architectural markets. The company owns Binswanger Glass, ACI Distribution, Binswanger Mirror, Glasscraft and Super Sky.
Mark A. Burke, president; John M. Wagner, CFO.
Watch for: Increased rate of expansion.
With each passing year, VVP’s influence becomes stronger and its position in the market more settled and well-defined.


USG

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