Volume 43, Issue 10 - October 2008
The 50 Most Influential
The glass industry is filled with individuals who devote their time and
energy to this industry and their companies. Some may
The following individuals, chosen by our editors after much
deliberation, took the time to share some insight into their fears
Barry started out as a process technologist in the automatic cutting and stacking wareroom when the first Canadian float line (Pilkington Canada, Scarborough) was being commissioned in 1967.
First job: My first glass industry job was as an apprentice in automatic control systems. My very first job was picking raspberries with gypsies in Ireland. I still love them both.
Hobbies: Poking around in astrophysics, sailing small boats in big seas and batting tennis balls.
Heroes: Charles Darwin because in three sentences he made infinite sense of a chaotic jumble of biological observations and experiences. Barak Obama because he tries to speak clearly through the double-talk of today’s politics.
Business challenge: The reluctance of the old glass industry to appreciate the subtleties of the many great new advances in glass and coatings.
Industry fear: Getting cut! Personal challenge: Effective communication at all levels.
People would be surprised to know: I glued my 4-mm tempered glass shower door to the vertical wall with silicone, along one vertical edge only, more than five years ago. Today it still performs as hinge and spring, with no other support.
Bartoe has been involved in the glass industry for 32 years, primarily as a supplier of advanced refractories for heattreated fabricated glass products and float glass applications. He also is involved in metallurgical industries, but says that “glass is what I always come home to.”
First job: In 1976 I actually installed (and broke) the first fused silica glass tempering rolls produced by Vesuvius (McDanel Refractory Co. at the time) in the United States. We learned on the job working with a well-known automotive glass fabricator.
Hobbies: Fly-fishing and cruising the backcountry in our ’76 MGB. Heroes: My parents. Business challenge: World order, integrity and accountability.
Industry fear: Profiteering. You cannot always see what constitutes the quality and value of a product whether it is an energy-efficient window, a photovoltaic panel, or a ceramic roll. The attraction of cheap price can be narcotic, and often the customer pays in the long run with poor product performance, replacement cost and lack of service. Those producing and promoting the knockoffs are undermining a quality industry.
Personal challenge: Balancing family and travel.
People would be surprised to know: No surprises here. Those who know me know that what you see is what you get. There may be a few surprises, but if I tell you, I’ll ruin the surprise!
First job: I started in the fenestration industry in the early 1980s when I accepted the manager of technical services position with the National Woodwork Manufacturers Association, now the WDMA. Hobbies: I enjoy traveling, golfing, reading, billiards and watching professional football.
Heroes: Winston Churchill—a man who once said, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” And Martin Luther King who said, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.”
Business challenge: As energy continues to be a critical issue for this country, NFRC must work to maintain its relevance by going beyond just providing uniform energy ratings for fenestration products. We must work hard to be able to calculate the energy performance of all systems installed on the building envelope and communicate that effectively to HVAC engineers, architects and designers through BIM and other related tools.
Industry fear: NFRC has invested heavily in the development of the Component Modeling Approach. While the program will be adopted by those in the industry with vision, the majority will wait for building code officials to enforce the energy code. Will code enforcement improve over the current climate? Or will voluntary programs such as LEED perhaps require the use of a nationally recognized NFRC standard? Personal challenge: Maintaining my close relationship with my family while being on the road 250 nights each year. People would be surprised to know: I have 6 children and 10 grandchildren.
First job: In general, I began babysitting at age 11 followed by washing dishes at a local bakery until the age of 16 when I finally became eligible to seek “legitimate” employment. In the industry, AAMA became my first employer right out of college and has been a wonderful home ever since.
Hobbies: Cubs games, Bears games, Chicago-area street fests, boating, spending time with friends and family. Heroes: In all aspects of my life, my parents have been a tremendously positive influence and guiding force … I have also been greatly influenced by my professional mentor of many years, Dick Morgan, who recently retired from Mikron Industries. And, because I have to mention my beloved Cubs, Mark DeRosa is certainly my hero … at least this season. He’s a consistent, hard-working, smart player who delivers. Business challenge: Finding and retaining quality employees, including being able to create a fair and productive work environment that makes employees feel valued and challenged. Industry fear: That the positive work done at AAMA by its numerous volunteer members will not be recognized widely enough in the industry. Personal challenge: Balancing work time with personal time. People would be surprised to know: Maybe that I’ve been known to watch a little professional bull riding from time-to-time or that I’m becoming a NASCAR fan, or that I actually earned a physical education credit in college for taking a rifle and pistol class.
Tom D. Culp
First job: After earning my Ph.D. in chemical engineering, I worked at Arkema in Philadelphia for six years, focusing on research and development of new low-E glass coating technologies. Hobbies: I grew up in Colorado, so I love the mountains and camping. I also enjoy working in the garden. Heroes: Doctors. My wife is a doctor, and I am amazed at the training and knowledge they must have (I tease my wife that she finally finished 26th grade), and the dedication and care they provide under the most difficult circumstances…
Business challenge: Besides dealing with the yearly battles, I have to worry about the long-term trends and what is going to affect the industry over 10 to 20 years. The most difficult part is communicating the importance of acting now, and not just paying attention to current problems or quarterly trends. Industry fear: I worry that some companies are not aware of upcoming changes, whether they are new code requirements, new rating systems or just new product trends. I do my best to let our companies know what to expect and how to be prepared.
Personal challenge: As with many bothers, it is a challenge to find the right balance between family and work. People would be surprised to know: People may be surprised to find out that my main job is not code consulting—it’s being a stay-at-home dad to my 3-year-old twins, Porter and Allison!
First job: Account representative. Hobbies: Golf, running, travel and college football. Heroes: Zig Ziglar, Bill Dawson (my dad), Dina Dwyer-Owens and every Glass Doctor franchisee who is willing to reach for the stars. Business challenge: Teaching the glass services industry how to “know your numbers.” You must price your product or services based on your break-even point, not your competitors’.
Industry fear: Losing total control of “pricing their product for profit.” Personal challenge: Hitting the ball straight off the tee box. I can slice it and hook it with the best of them. People would be surprised to know: I like to bake pies, I ran my first marathon and I owned a Mr. Rooter Franchise at the same time as Glass Doctor.
First job: My first job after receiving my undergraduate degree was as a sales representative for Dow Chemical Co.
Hobbies: I enjoy golf and reading, and to try and stay in shape, running the occasional 5k or 10k race. I spend a lot of time with my family and make it a priority to attend as many of my kid’s activities as I can.
Heroes: My heroes are my dad for always leading by example. I also would choose Abraham Lincoln for his brilliance and perseverance in the face of challenge and adversity.
Business challenge: Establishing new and innovative ways to market our products while maintaining and building on the strengths and competencies that have brought us to where we are today.
Industry fear: The movement toward sustainability and green building offers huge opportunities for companies in the glass industry. These trends are much larger than our industry and we need to stay engaged and involved in the process to ensure we are in a strong position to grow.
Personal challenge: Staying on top of new technologies and market and regulatory trends while still conducting business day-to-day.
People would be surprised to know: I have taken up surfing in the past five years. I am not ready for the Bonzai pipeline but I have had a few good rides.
First job: As a co-op electrical engineering student at General Motors, I worked in human relations, reliability, magnesium and aluminum die casting, metal stampings, vacuum metalizing, chrome plating, aluminum anodizing, quality control, electrostatic painting, resistance welding, maintenance, plastic injection molding and various production line supervisory roles.
Hobbies: My hobbies have continually evolved as a function of changing interests. Initially electronic kit projects, bridge and backgammon tournaments, a multitude of sport activities, snowmobiling, residential construction projects, university guest lecturer and currently educational and medical philanthropy.
Heroes: My parents, who were knapsack immigrants who came to the United States without money, language or contacts … Their core values taught us that unselfishness, consideration of others, conscientious service, honesty and measured decision-making were the currencies of life.
Business challenge: As Guardian continues its global growth, it is necessary to institutionalize the guiding principles of the “Guardian Way” in promoting the entrepreneurial nature of its leaders while allowing the individual country cultures and business styles to flourish. We seem to do this more efficiently than the United Nations.
Industry fear: Overall, too much short-term thinking by hired professional managers when their only interest is amassing purchasing power instead of creating new enhancements to old business models. Also, a fortress and stodgy mentality in protecting market share rather than being creative with profit opportunities through new products, applications and services.
Personal challenge: Finding the correct balance between branding, marketing, innovation, technology, enhanced sales techniques and efficient manufacturing in the renaissance of this industry.
People would be surprised to know: This business is not complex as long as people remain at the center of the equation, we stay within our core values and do the right thing despite transitory emotions while creating long-term value instead of short-term results.
First job: At first I did clerical and accounting work. As a young high school girl I learned to work the showroom floor. I still remember my first opportunity to use the NAGS book and price out glass, kit and labor for a windshield. I was thrilled.
Hobbies: Living in Louisiana offers me the opportunity to balance my life with outdoor pursuits and art … I fish like a Louisiana outdoorsman and do pottery like a Louisiana artist. I have my own wheel and kiln and design and sell my pieces. My latest adventure is training for a trip in November 2009 to climb the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Heroes: In business, my hero is my father, Norman Foxworth … His vision and willingness to invest back into his company has evolved the business over time to achieve his goals … In my personal life it is my mother, Joy Foxworth. She passed away in early 2007. She died without regrets, and she taught me to stand up for my beliefs. One of her greatest lessons was that you never compromise your standards in life, and stand true to your word.
Business challenge: Finding and training a productive labor force. You can have all the latest technology, but you need a work force to run it, and a force that is willing to step up to the line when needed. Many of the younger people do not understand dedication, listening, and that it takes time and hard work to get to where you want to be in life.
Industry fear:DGW is a problem solver and custom fabricator. Our industry is becoming very technically savvy and many of the industry’s work forces no longer understand the basic engineering aspects of jobs. In custom creation, engineering is an essential element. We need to better train our new work force to understand the engineering of glass and its applications in construction.
Personal challenge: In the next two years we are moving our fabrication plant to a new facility. The design of our facility needs to meet the demands of the glass industry of the future. We also have the issue of meeting the needs of our clients today and everyday during the plant transition. My challenge s to never miss a beat in servicing our clients today and into the future. People would be surprised to know: I am extremely lighthearted outside the work environment. My work is stressful and I take it seriously. But life is too short so I don’t take that with me when I leave the office.
First job: I started out as an applications engineer for Cardinal. My responsibilities were to review shop drawings of commercial buildings, review specifications and write recommendations for the glass construction.
Hobbies: I am an avid cross-country skier, and enjoy winter camping. I am an active board member of my local neighborhood organization. Recently, I have become excited and involved in NVC, a study and practice group that focuses on improving communication skills.
Heroes: I don’t think there is anyone in our company who does not admire and respect our president, Roger O’Shaughnessey. I am no exception. I wish I had his innate sense for business and his disarming way of personally connecting to people. I am also an admirer of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of compassionate communication strategies known as NVC. Business challenge: Staying profitable as this industry matures.
Industry fear: Foreign competition. I think our industry will survive, but there will be huge changes. Personal challenge: Balancing family life with my work life.
People would be surprised to know: I was raised as an Iowa farm boy, but now live in the inner city of Minneapolis.
First job: When I left school, the onlything I knew with certainty about my future was that it would have nothing to do with working in my father’s glass business. Six months later my father offered me a job which I, of course, declined. Then he told me it paid $10,000/year and I discovered the price at which I could be bought. That was 1974 and I’ve never looked back. From manufacturing to finance to sales, there is nothing I haven’t done and I’ve loved every minute of it.
Hobbies: I am a big fan of the great outdoors: skiing, biking, hiking, touch football, swimming, golfing. If there’s fresh air involved, I’m in.
Heroes: My heroes are the creators, people like designers and architects who start with a blank canvas and give birth to things never-before imagined. These guys make the world go round. Business challenge: Foreign competition is the biggest challenge. It is difficult, at times impossible, to compete on a lopsided playing field. But it forces us to constantly innovate and that’s certainly not a bad thing.
Industry fear: If there is one thing I’ve learned after 30 years in the business is that fear takes up way too much time and energy and there is no shortage of things to be afraid of. I try to look ahead instead of looking over my shoulder. Personal challenge: The biggest challenge is figuring out when to retire. I’m sure there is a right time to quit but I’m still having way too much fun. People would be surprised to know: I’m sure they’re constantly surprised that Janet, my wife of 28 years, hasn’t dumped me yet. It certainly surprises me given all that she puts up with.
First job: I started out as a commercial lending officer for Bankers Trust Company.
Hobbies: I’m a leisure golfer. … I read whenever I can, principally biographies. … Because I travel a lot, for me, a quiet weekend with my children at home is as enjoyable as any hobby.
Business challenge: Sometimes it’s knowing when not to do a deal even though it looks attractive, or even when it may have a strategic fit, that’s just as important as knowing when to do one. We have had several deals that have gone all the way down to the eleventh hour, that were submitted to the board and approved by the board but, in the eleventh hour, something came up that gave us pause and we backed away. In some instances, some of the sellers decided they didn’t want to sell. For a transaction to work, both parties have to want it to work.
Industry fear:China will continue to be an increasingly formidable competitive threat. We are already seeing that, obviously, in furniture. All the glass used in furniture is being manufactured and fabricated in China. … [In addition] virtually every product that we, as an industry, manufacture has a significant raw material cost. We are now feeling the impact of $100-a-barrel oil on laminated glass, because PVB and other interlayers are manufactured from feedstocks that are oil-related. Aluminum, too, is a global commodity and if the price of aluminum goes up and people choose not to pass that cost on, I think that’s a threat.
First job:My first position was an architectural field sales representative for Viracon responsible for the sales and marketing in the Mountain time zone. It was there that I cut my teeth on customer relationships and architectural education…
Hobbies: It’s no secret that I am a golf junkie, but I enjoy all types of competitive sports. As a high school student one of my athletic coaches told me that you can play a lot of sports in life, but golf is the one that will open many doors for you and one you can continue to play for a lifetime. I’m glad I listened …
Heroes: I have quite a few mentors in my life: My father for his work ethic and determination to never give up. One of my high school football coaches, Cooper Henderson, for teaching me the power of believing in yourself and convincing me to try new things; Jim Martineau for giving me a chance in this industry and teaching me so many things about the business and life; Ron McCann for instilling in me the power of knowledge and how that can make you a great salesperson; and, finally, BradAustin for fueling my career with so many business opportunities, challenging me to be a better business person, family man and to participate in community involvement. The best trait Brad has instilled in me is the power of relationships, competition and being good to your word.
Industry fear: Negative globalization. It’s great that we can utilize products from all over the world and take best practices from these resources. However, the movement does come with consequences that can be very detrimental. Don’t get me wrong, change is good, but at what cost?
Personal challenge: Balance. I really enjoy this industry and the competitive spirit that can sometimes tilt my time into too much work and not enough family or life after work. The other personal challenge is to walk away from my Blackberry phone, I mean, seriously, what kind of addictive software did they put in those things…?
First job: I started as a shop foreman for Tyler & Hippach Glass (the T&H in MTH) in 1970.
Hobbies: Writing (for USGlass and others) and I referee basketball games in the winter … about 50 to 60 kids games a season.
Heroes: The small- to mid-sized business owners who overcome all kinds of obstacles to keep themselves and those that work for them gainfully employed. Business challenge: My number one business challenge is keeping myself and those that work for me gainfully employed.
Industry fear: I have several fears related to where our industry is going, however, if I can only choose one, it would be in the area of ethics … the continuing decline thereof actually. Personal challenge: I am more challenged every day with finding enough time to do all the things I want to do … I have eight grandkids and another one on the way … I can’t get to all of the baseball games, concerts, hockey games, school plays, gymnastic events and swimming meets. It’s very frustrating sometimes. People would be surprised to know: I am an open book … I have no surprises!
First job: I joined a large multinational company after earning my MBA in 1980, and bounced around the country with them for 12 years.
Hobbies: I’ve always loved to read, and carve out as much time for it as I can. I mainly read history, biography, literature and theology.
Heroes: My dad is the finest man I know, and I’ve modeled myself after him, from the way I run my business to the way I raised my children and the way I treat other people. My mom is the most giving person I know; she may also be the happiest, and I’ve learned from her that those two things are connected. I admire my wife Penny’s determination in not only defeating cancer but in pushing through years of suffering to become a community leader and triathlete. … There are many people in our industry whom I admire; I hesitate to start listing them because I don’t think there’s space to mention them all.
Business challenge: Developing a workforce with the skills and motivation to achieve the quality and service we want to provide to our customers. Industry fear: That we will tilt too far toward reducing costs, when our main opportunity to make life better for our customers and coworkers lies in the direction of adding more value.
Personal challenge: I’m impatient. Sometimes it leads to poor decisions because I haven’t taken the time to fully understand what I’m facing. More often, I’m not as kind to others as I want to be. People would be surprised to know: That my faith is more important to me than my business, but I hope that wouldn’t be a surprise.
First job: My first job in the glass industry was as the mixing department manager of Lauren Manufacturing, supplying product to our sister division Edgetech I.G. Inc. in 1993.
Hobbies: Nearly all of my spare time is spent with my family. When there is the occasional “me time,” I have a wide variety of interests: playing nearly all sports, reading, listening to music, traveling with my family or just relaxing with friends.
Heroes: In a world more and more challenged to recognize real heroes and, as corny as it may sound, my heroes are my team at Edgetech and our extended team at our parent company Lauren International.
I continue to be amazed by ordinary people doing extraordinary things and I am lucky to see this on a daily basis around our companies. Business challenge: Developing the appropriate business strategies for an increasingly unpredictable marketplace.
Industry fear: That the current economic slowdown will continue for an extended period of time. I fear for the customers, suppliers and partners who may not have what it will take to weather the storm for a hyper-extended period of economic slowdown.
Personal challenge: Same as most people I know … appropriately balancing my time between work and family. People would be surprised to know: Just coming out of the Olympic craze … I would guess that most people don’t know that I played on an all-star baseball team from Northeast Ohio sponsored by Rawlings Sporting Goods and Figgie International in 1983 that went abroad to promote baseball as an Olympic sport … Unfortunately, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted this year to drop baseball as an Olympic sport for the 2012 games … I’m waiting by the phone for a call to be a part of the team (albeit the washed-up, has-been team) to join a crusade to re-convince the IOC that baseball should be kept as an Olympic sport!
First job: My first job apprenticeship was to learn how to cut glass, my second job was cleaning up the blood off the floor and putting band-aids on myself!
Hobbies: I love to drag dead bait for hours at a time in the Bahamas (most people call it fishing), play guitar and snow ski in the Rockies.
Heroes:Without doubt, Rod Stewart. Any man who can have that many wives and still remain wealthy and intact has my vote.
Business challenge: Dealing with local government rules and regulations (red tape) such as building departments when you try and expand factories as we are doing now. They need to have a manager of common sense.
Industry fear: I don’t really fear anything. There is nothing to fear if you are surrounded by good people. I truly believe the cream will rise to the top, and our industry is full of quality people. My company has nothing but real talent and excellent people.
Personal challenge: The only personal challenge I have is my health as I had a tough time the last five years, but I am a rubber ball and always bounce back …
People would be surprised to know: That if you tell me “it’s just business” I take that very personally as there is no such thing. Business is people and we have to remember to be honest and have morals and decency.
First job: My first job in the glass industry was to manage a vertical tempering furnace, a standard IG line and a custom IG line. … I was fortunate enough to work for Ed Sczesny, a pioneer in the glass industry. Ed was very influential and gave me various opportunities to understand many aspects of the industry, including float operations, fiberglass and, most importantly, coated glass operations. I became Guardian’s first manager of coating operations on G-2 at the Carleton plant.
Hobbies: My hobbies include spending time at the lake with my wife of 37 years, Peggy, our son and his fiancee, our daughters, sons-in-law and five grandchildren. We like to travel, and I enjoy an occasional game of golf and do some fishing with family members at the lake.
Heroes: My heroes are John Glenn and Omar Bradley, both military officers with extraordinary integrity and leadership.
Business challenge: At Apogee, our number one challenge is to not disappoint our customers. Expectations need to be set and met every time. In our custom business with ever-changing products, we can make few mistakes. Industry fear: My greatest industry fear is that we fail to follow sound economic strategies. As a glass and metal industry, we need to create value through service and product performance, not through hype.
Personal challenge: The most challenging aspect of my job today is maintaining a high-performance organization. People would be surprised to know: I came from a very modest family where my father worked the night shift in a local factory to supplement income from the small family farm on which we lived.
First job: My first job in the fenestration industry was technical service manager at Ultrafab.
Hobbies: Family, golf and cars.
Heroes: My wife, Erin, does an incredible job of balancing family and being marketing director of Edgetech. It is because of her both home and work are a success. My children, because I learn something new from them each day. All the associates at Edgetech, because it’s their efforts that make this company a great place to work.
Business challenge: To continue growing Edgetech in an industry that has never seen this type of downturn before. Industry fear: That this market doesn’t rebound by 2010.
Personal challenge: Giving enough of my time to my family.
People would be surprised to know: I
am one of seven children and my
mother retired from Iron City Sash and
Door in upstate New York. I worked
there in high school unloading and assembling
Anderson windows, so I
guess you could say I grew up in this industry.
I am also a patent holder for
products in the industry.
First job: First job for PPG was as assistant warehouse superintendent; very first job was as a police officer. Hobbies: Boating, fishing and learning to golf.
Heroes: My number one hero will always be my father who passed away years ago but left me with his direction; “personal integrity” and the “drive to succeed” will stay with me throughout my life.
Business challenge: Increasing energy costs and developing the right products for LEED, PV and wind energy. Industry fear: The availability of financing for new construction.
Personal challenge: To realize retirement is only a few years away.
People would be surprised to know: Unfortunately, I witnessed the violence and destruction of property in the late 60s, early 70s, during the civil rights riots, working as a police officer.
First job:When I started at Caradco as a management trainee, I was a quality control auditor. Being in the quality control department was certainly the best way to quickly learn the product lines!
Hobbies: I really enjoy woodworking, and I also like to tinker around with home renovation and construction (I’ve built a couple of houses prior to starting my career in the industry). Heroes: An individual who I regard as a hero—Cassie Bernall. As a group, I regard teachers as heroes. I really admire the dedicated professional educators that we entrust our children to. Teachers have a tremendous influence on kids, and we often do not recognize just how important their role is … Business challenge: Like any business, we can’t survive without our “customers” (or in our case, members), so my challenge and the challenge of our association is to provide excellent customer service and to ensure the products and services we offer have continued value for the members we represent, as well as the industry overall.
Industry fear:Unnecessary regulation. Personal challenge: While I greatly enjoy my job and the people of this industry, it’s important to me that I come home to my family without worrying about the stresses of the workday. Separating my professional life from my personal life can be a challenge, but it is important to me to spend quality time with my beautiful wife of 31 years, two sons and their families and young grandson.
People would be surprised to know: I was challenged by some of my colleagues (who shall remain nameless) to bungee jump; I took them up on it. With the cords firmly around my ankles, I did a swan dive into the night air and had the ride of my life! It was great fun, but I’ll never do it again!
First job: My one and only job outside the glass business was in a greasy little restaurant at age 15. That’s when I realized that I appreciated working for my dad, and working in the glass business.
Hobbies: While not hobbies, my faith and my family are my top priorities, as far as time and energy spent. My hobbies, time permitting, include music, hockey, reading and new hobbies that include my three boys: golf and boating.
Heroes: Jesus (more than a hero), my wife, those who serve and sacrifice for our country and our company’s antecedents: my father, uncle and grandparents. Also, my friends in the Glass Professionals Forum, especially Bob Brown. Business challenge: Living up to the high standards that we have set for ourselves in the eyes of our customers and employees, in terms of high quality and being a Christian business. This is a good challenge that keeps us humble as we strive daily to meet it. Industry fear: That not enough people would participate in their trade associations and training opportunities. That people would stop seeing the great value in gathering to exchange ideas and learn new things. Personal challenge: It is a constant challenge to keep life prioritized correctly: God, family, business, then everything else—in that order. People would be surprised to know: That I play bass guitar in a Christian rock band.
Hobbies: I love fishing, boating and woodworking, especially when I can share them with my wife, children and grandchildren.
Heroes: Two that come to mind are Colin Powell and, on the business side, Steven Vannoy, founder of Pathways to Leadership.
Business challenge: I face the same
challenges that we all face in this industry: managing through the change stemming from consolidation and increasing global competition. I have been extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made during our first 150 days, but continual improvement is the name of the game. We can’t let up.
People would be surprised to know: I enjoy the interactions with everyone in the organization but particularly with those who work on the production floor. That’s where the action is.
First job: During the five years I spent making outside sales calls, I spent about 50 percent of my time out of the office, learning what glazing contractors want from a metal supplier.
Hobbies: Raising my kids, playing guitar, hiking, ham radio and electronics.
Heroes: Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, George Washington, Milton Friedman and Warren Buffet.
Business challenge: Finding, training and retaining good employees.
Industry fears: A good mechanic, a true gear-head, is going to be increasingly hard to find. Too many of the technically gifted folks today know only about computers, and they couldn’t rebuild a machine on my plant floor if their life depended on it.
Personal challenge: Two of my children have type I diabetes. Their future is uncertain until a cure is found.
People would be surprised to know: In high school I won a first place medal at the Georgia state swimming meet, and this summer I summitted Mt Rainier. No one ever thinks a skinny, bald buy with glasses can do anything athletic. For the most part, I can’t, because the aptitude and ability aren’t strong enough. But anyone can compensate for weak ability to a great extent with persistence, perseverance and self-discipline.
First job: I was the first receptionist at Sierra Glass. When my dad started the company he couldn’t afford office space so our home phone became his company phone. It was my job to answer the incoming calls when I wasn’t in school. Hobbies: I only have one: surfing. I live in San Diego near the ocean and commute to Las Vegas during the week. Surfing is the ultimate hobby for the mind, body and soul.
Heroes:My dad for everything he was and everything he gave, my husband for being both Mom and Dad during the week, and my kids for the sacrifices they make for my work.
Business challenge: Competing for market share without sacrificing margins. It becomes a challenge when others focus only on market share and end up giving the farm away to secure the contract. They may win the battle, but in the end it could cost us all the war.
Industry fear:Fear breeds fear. Yes, we are facing tough times ahead, the economy, overseas competition, rising gas and raw material prices, increased risk and liability, a lack of qualified professionals entering the business, etc. These are all factors that should be acknowledged and addressed, but to fear them is fruitless. Fear creates panic and panic creates chaos. I have faith that we will find a way to overcome the challenges we face as an industry.
Personal challenge: Balance. I have a child in first grade and one in his senior year of high school. With my family based in San Diego and my work in Las Vegas, it doesn’t allow for much balance in my life. I’m always stressing about one or the other.
People would be surprised to know: I’m the team captain of a competitive surf team. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to turn all the industry golf tournaments into surf contests … I can’t golf.
Heroes: Margaret Thatcher, former English Prime Minister, for her leadership, command of the English language, decisiveness and character. Pete Carroll, USC football coach, for his concern for his team and community, his enthusiasm and energy, his strategies as a leader and a coach of a winning team.
Business challenge: As Giroux has initiated an employee stock ownership plan, it is exciting to witness the leadership of our partners developing individual management strengths and growth of the company for the years ahead.
Industry fear: There is always a concern that we are qualified, knowledgeable, financially stable, diversified and that we will always have a strong place in the construction market, meeting any adversities. Of primary concern is the welfare of our total Giroux crew along with the hope that we have always performed to the satisfaction of our clients.
Personal challenge: Time. Having the exhilaration of having a balanced life with personal family, community and the wonderful Giroux family ...
People would be surprised to know: The Murrell life is pretty much an open book with few surprises.
First job: I started at Gardner Glass Products directly out of East Carolina University.
Hobbies: Golf, cooking and Boy Scouts—all of these done jointly with my two sons.
Business challenge: My biggest challenge is staying focused on being the best mirror and specialty glass supplier in the industry to our customers, while generating a positive bottom line for our stockholders and all GGP employees.
Industry fear:My fear is that so many in our industry put blinders on to all of the increases that we face: natural gas, fuel, raw materials and, without going on, all overhead costs. We have to be able to pass this along fairly to our customer base. No one should make business decisions based on emotions.
Personal challenge: Keeping the Dreamwalls sales and marketing team, including myself, focused on delivering value to our customers and not falling into a commodity mindset ...
People would be surprised to know: I truly enjoy the decorative glass and mirror industry, even in these challenging times.
First job: My first industry-related job was working summers in a test lab. I was given the task of dew pointing IG units that had been subjected to accelerated weathering.
Hobbies: I enjoy playing golf. However, it will remain a hobby on the basis of how well I play. I enjoy reading and problem solving. Family time is extremely important to me.
Heroes: Everyday people of high integrity and those who give of themselves to help others without the need of acknowledgement are very high on my list.
Business challenge: The continuing education and/or training and development of the people in our industry.
Industry fear: For some reason youth has not been drawn to our industry. I fear the long-term impact that this may have for our industry.
Personal challenge: I struggle keeping up with all of today’s latest and greatest communication technology and the accessibility that it affords.
People would be surprised to know: That I was once a middle school teacher of math and earth science.
O’Keeffe started out installing skylights in the early ’50s with O’Keeffe’s Inc. During his ownership and presidency, a number of high-profile projects were completed. In 1971, he helped Gene Toffelmier design the Santa Clara Civic Center, the first curtainwall built to withstand seismic forces to a 9.6 magnitude registered on the Richter scale. In 1979, he traveled to Europe and “found that they were years ahead of the United States in fire-rated glazing technology” and became the first to bring this new technology to the U.S. market. In 1982, the company started SAFTI FIRST and became the first American manufacturer to design and offer clear, fire-resistive glazing systems to the U.S. market.
First job: My first job in the glass industry was with O’Keeffe’s Inc. in 1955. I was installing skylights on a school in Chico, Calif., where they were hot mopping the roof with tar and the roof temperature reached over 130 degrees Fahrenheit. With those temperatures and the pungent smell of hot tar it was no fun, no fun at all.
Hobbies: I enjoy flying my P210; boating on the Bay and Delta in a 55-foot Sun Seeker; travel to Mexico, Canada and Europe; and philanthropic activities such as the Wheel Chair Foundation.
Heroes: Thor Heyerdahl, the first person to cross the Pacific on a raft called the Kon-tiki in 1947; Charles “Chuck” Yeager, the first pilot to travel faster than sound in 1947; Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States; and John McCain, the future president of the United States.
Business challenge: Forming and keeping a good management team and the dedicated staff that supports them.
Industry fear: I believe that the lack of serious interest by glazing contractors and other non-primaries in the code change process and how that process affects the glazing industry is a real threat. Today, code changes primarily are driven by the self-interest of major prime manufacturers acting under the guise of reflecting the common good for both safety and the glazing industry. This lack of interest can lead to serious problems for the distributors, glass shops, architects and other non-primes, as I predict will be the case with the current labeling code change.
Personal challenge: Finding the time and energy to maintain health, personal toys (boats and airplanes), travel and business. Also, being able to get up on water skis again.
People would be surprised to know: My age and number of marriages.
First job: I started out at PPG as a sales and marketing trainee. Hobbies: Running; tennis; skiing and reading. Heroes: My parents. They raised 12 children. I only have three and don’t know how they did it.
Business challenge: For anyone in manufacturing today, the most difficult challenge is offsetting inflation. For primary glass manufacturers, energy (natural gas and electricity) and raw materials, not to mention transportation costs are having a dramatic impact on our businesses.
Industry fear: I fear that, if we as an industry don’t get better at articulating the value our products deliver, we’ll be pulled further down the path toward commoditization.
Personal challenge: Like so many people today, I struggle with balancing work and family life.
People would be surprised to know: I played offensive tackle on my college football team and weighed 275 pounds at graduation.
First job: Sports producer at WCMH-TV in Columbus, followed by WPXI in Pittsburgh before making the jump to glass.
Hobbies: Family, watching sports, blogging.
Heroes: My dad, wife Beth and kids Natalie and Zachary.
Business challenge: Just one? There’s way too many to have just one amongst health care, rising costs, lack of education in the industry and toward architects, and finding good employees.
There are many more I probably missed.
Industry fear: The NFRC police action will actually hit and people will be completely blown away.
Personal challenge: My weight—it’s up, it’s down. It’s all around. Worse than a rollercoaster at Disney.
People would be surprised to know: That I am not as sarcastic and miserable in real life that I show in my writings!
First job: At 15, I started working in the produce department for a local Pittsburgh grocery store. Prior to that paid position, I spent summers working at my grandparents’ cattle farm.
Hobbies: I enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, camping, hunting and fishing.
Heroes: A railroader and a steelworker are my heroes. My dad, the railroader, and grandfather, the steelworker, instilled their blue-collar work ethic in me as a young boy. They also had big hearts and never turned away someone in need … Numerous people have been very important to me and my career development. I could fill this magazine with those who have mentored me along the way including Doug Zacharias of Oldcastle Glass, my PPG friends (Ted Krantz, Mark Orcutt, Mark Fanelli, Allan Foss, Ron Bishop, and Kathleen McGuire), Brian Craft and Rosie Hunter of Guardian, and Joe Krusienski of Arch who answered many dumb questions from a glass greenhorn years ago but never made me feel as though I was asking dumb questions.
Business challenge: The uncertainty we are experiencing today within the industry is the number one business challenge I believe we are all facing. Price escalation of raw materials, energy and transportation costs combined with the tightening of credit available to owners and developers have created the potential for the perfect storm.
Industry fear: A prolonged commercial construction downturn similar to the current residential recession. Personal challenge: Maintaining an appropriate work-life balance.
People would be surprised to know: I am directionally challenged. I’ve been told that I couldn’t find my way out of a wet paper bag without my GPS.
First job: Intense … One year of training in the area of cutting, tempering and insulating.
Hobbies: A little golf and less fishing. Heroes: I think of the qualities that my daughters have … They forgive easily, have great resilience and see the world as a place to enjoy and learn about. Those are the qualities of a hero.
Challenge: Managing inflationary cost.
Industry fear: To remain a strong and growing company, by educating our employees (ISO), investing in our equipment (CNC, edging and laminating) and facility (building in Pedricktown). By doing so, we provide quality product, which gives Berkowitz an added value niche to compete domestically and internationally.
Personal challenge: To remain positive and forge forward when obstacles and rejection occur.
People would be surprised to know: My colleagues might be surprised to know that I see our business relationship as a partnership. I care about their business futures, as much as my own. I would like to be seen as a “partner,” instead of just another supplier.
First job:My first job in the glass industry was customer relations, where my focus was to cultivate new relationships and grow volume with the existing client base.
Hobbies: My hobbies include fly fishing, tennis, golf, travel, reading and dancing.
Heroes: Millicent Fawcett, who founded the National Union of Women’s Suffrage; Mahatma Gandhi; and Thomas Jefferson.
Business challenge: Educating the market on innovative products that will change the market landscape as we know it.
Industry fear: That costs will continue to compromise the pioneering efforts to develop and deliver quality driven, energy efficient products to the marketplace.
Personal challenge: There is not enough time to realize all of my goals.
People would be surprised to know: I am a voice-over artist.
First job: My first assignment was shooting headforms at windshields to determine how high the head injury criteria (HIC) would be for new products we were developing. Sounds gross, but we didn’t use real heads!
Hobbies: In my spare time, I enjoy crafts with my family, scuba diving, flying, water- and cross country-skiing.
Heroes: My family, without them I would crumble. Outside the family I find new heroes all the time, but constants are: Dr. Seuss, Pete Conrad, Walt Disney and Leonardo da Vinci.
Business challenge:Keeping organized and finding time to finish everything.
Industry fear: Adoption of regulations and programs that will limit the amount of glass that can be used in a building.
Personal challenge: Keeping up with laundry!
People would be surprised to know: If I told you that, it wouldn’t be a surprise!
First job: Owner and janitor and several other hats.
Hobbies: Fast cars, working out and all sports, especially athletic horses.
Heroes: My Christian faith and my wife are my top heroes. In the world of glass, my hero is Larry O’Connell, chairman of United Glass Co.
Business challenge: Retaining and securing passionate and capable personnel at all levels.
Industry fear: The continuing pricing pressure and flood of products from China.
Personal challenge: Balancing time demands among faith, family and business.
The others are keeping up with Leon Silverstein and Randy Steinberg.
People would be surprised to know: My golf game has not improved.
First job: My first job out of college was selling fund raising products. My very first job ever was detasseling corn when I was 15.
Hobbies: I make time for golf. In addition, I strive to expose my two boys to as many different life experiences as possible, whether it’s travel destinations, sports activities and venues or social experiences. I also volunteer for local community groups/activities.
Heroes: My late husband and my mother for their perseverance, work ethic, dedication and generosity.
Personal challenge: It is my personal objective to continually challenge myself and successfully keep “all the balls in the air.”
People would be surprised to know: I don’t hesitate to put on a catcher mask and glove when my 10-year-old wants to practice his pitching. He can really throw some heat.
Hobbies: Basketball, boating and adventure travel.
Heroes: My dad, for starting Arch at 43 years old with two kids in college.
Business challenge: Growing Arch and keeping the culture that has made us successful.
Industry fears: Letting organizations like the NFRC screw up the industry.
They would make doing business a lot more complicated for our customers.
Personal challenge: Learning how to relax and slow down.
People would be surprised to know: I am not very tough. I don’t think I have ever fired an employee.
First job: I started working for my father’s (Walt Smith) business, Smith Glass, in Louisville, Ky., in 1975. I started out as an apprentice glazier … The camaraderie and personal feeling of accomplishment after a tough job was completed is something I never have forgotten.
Hobbies: I enjoy watching most any sports on TV or in person. I guess it is just the competition. I also jointly own a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race team that activates our motorsports marketing program at ASI, Limited … My wife (Cheryl) has made me a better person as well by making me take time away from the business traveling and exploring our country.
Heroes: The two people I looked up to most have been my parents, Walter and, (now deceased) Frances Smith. They started a business in 1962 and raised a family of eight. Through my formative years, I witnessed their hard work and sacrifice, yet they never compromised morals and the needed support and guidance …
Business challenge: Maintaining profit margins on our growing backlog of complicated projects. Our management team is constantly developing internal controls and systems that will stream timely and vital information. If we want to continue to grow our business we must expeditiously grow a talented staff …
Industry fear:Talent and training. The industry is growing at a faster pace than the current infrastructure can support. More complicated system are being demanded by designers and engineers. As an industry we need more field apprentice training with current design parameters and more industry specific project management … Famous ex-Washington Redskin coach George Allen once said, “The future is now.” I believe this and we, as industry, must continue to find ways to allow this growth. If capacity is exceeded, the design groups will be forced to alter the use of our products.
Personal challenge: Balancing my work and personal life. I tend to be a workaholic, which only comes natural doing something I enjoy as much as I do this industry.
As the company has grown, I find ways to ratchet my hours and workload …
People would be surprised to know: About ten years ago I traveled the Midwest racing professionally in open wheel formula cars and shifter karts. A few close calls made me rethink this competitive side and influenced my decision to enter the ownership side. It does not offer the same rush, but not the risk either. Ron Spellich
• Director of quality
First job: My first job in the glass industry was as a technical specialist. I was responsible for supporting sales by developing architectural specifications (matching products to project requirements). LOF provided outstanding training and experience that provided a solid foundation for my career in the glass industry.
Hobbies: My hobbies, hunting, fishing, camping and golf, allow me to spend time with the people I love—family and friends.
Heroes: My grandparents and my parents. I believe their character is built into my DNA—and I’m thankful for it.
Business challenge: Time management.
Industry fear: One of my concerns is that poor succession planning will weaken the industry, making it less prepared to compete, resulting in a loss of job opportunities. Young people represent the future and I believe that we must raise our level of commitment to attracting and retaining talented people.
Personal challenge: Being a single parent with three children.
People would be surprised to know: I’m an Eagle Scout.
First job: I started out in a great learning position—drafting major project work.
Hobbies: Woodworking, fishing and golf.
Heroes: I would define my grandfather and father as my heroes. They have each taught me valuable skills such as patience, hard work ethics and mechanical skills.
Business challenge: Currently, the speed of certification programs being implemented in our industry is very fast. State and local product approval systems, thermal performance certifications and environmental programs are all having an impact on how we market and manage technical information. With the variety of ways that our industry distributes and installs products, these programs can get very complex. These programs require us to take a new approach in management and affect many aspects of our business. Participation in our trade associations helps me to stay informed.
Industry fear: One fear is that a random act of terrorism could have a detrimental effect on our entire industry as it did in 2001. Fortunately, I believe our country is resolute. I believe that we can bounce back quickly with even more vigor when faced with these challenges.
Personal challenge: I have a relatively large family that includes four children. I am a very involved parent and coach many of their sports teams, participate with them in scouting and try to attend every event they are involved with. One can imagine that the time dedicated to these activities is quite a lot… People would be surprised to know: I find that most people are surprised that I’m a pianist. My grandmother was a piano teacher and lived next to me growing up.
First job: My first job was as a chemist for ICD. My father didn’t really want me to work for the family business because he didn’t want to worry about others thinking I had special favors. I begged and tried to prove myself; eventually I was able to show my value and I’ve been with the company ever since.
Hobbies: I’m a pretty varied person, but my hobbies as of late have been: fly fishing, woodworking, geeky computer stuff like blogging, and playing with roasting my own coffee. Also I’m a big reader and lover of foreign and independent films.
Heroes: My father, who has a brilliant mind and is a true entrepreneur; my mother for never giving up on me when I was a dyslexic child and for being the best positive role model; my grandfathers who taught me to be compassionate and have a civic mind; and Madeline Albright, a true statesman for our country, a woman, and a great diplomat for the U.S. Number one business challenge: For me the biggest challenge in business is people, leading people to all go in the same direction and leading people to become their true potential. Although it’s a challenge, it’s one of the most important parts of business and the most rewarding. Many won‘t do it because it’s so hard but it leads to the number one reason why businesses fail in my mind. A close second would be not having enough time in a day.
Industry fear:My biggest fear in relation to the industry stems around misrepresentation and false marketing (a problem for all industries). Many products use marketing to say they are as good as ones that really are good to use. Issues arise and cause headaches for many people. How is this fear mitigated? By having organizations such as GANA that protect the industry.
Personal challenge: Besides figuring out how to constantly lead and inspire people, attempting to keep myself inspired and innovating business and products. There is no such thing as coasting in either, as a leader one must keep innovating herself toward inspiring and leading.
People would be surprised to know: Only because it seems to come from left field, I am in the middle of looking for a child through the adoption process.
First job: I started work in the industry with PPG in 1980 at a flat/auto glass distribution location in Harrisburg, Pa. My manager, Jim Duke, made sure he exposed me to literally everything from unloading trucks to cutting glass. The practical hands-on experience I learned has paid enormous dividends over the years.
Hobbies: I enjoy reading and anything athletic. I still run and work out on a daily basis. I also enjoy hiking and climbing.
Heroes: I’ve been reading a number of biographies about our nation’s founding fathers. Individuals such as Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Adams, etc. are very intriguing in how they persevered through adversity and personal risk to follow a vision through to the end.
Business challenge: Finding, attracting and mentoring the next generation of industry leaders. It’s nice to look over the industry and see a number of names and faces whom I’ve had a hand in mentoring over the years. I hope to see many more before I retire.
Industry fear: Our industry operates with somewhat of an inferiority complex. We, as an industry, have a difficult time achieving the rates of returns needed to justify investment and growth.
Personal challenge: Balancing work/life issues. I’ve been a single father raising three wonderful daughters for the last several years. My eldest daughter, Laura, has recently graduated from the University of Michigan and my other two daughters, Lisa (Owens College) and Anne (West Virginia University) are still on my payroll. If you were to ask them, I’m sure they would complain that I haven’t spent nearly as much time with them as they, or I, would have liked. I also don’t have the feminine touch/finesse that young ladies need during their developmental years. Given the demands of work and the tremendous amount of travel that is required, this work/life balance has been very challenging to say the least. Fortunately I’ve been blessed with help from friends, family and co-workers who have understood my quandary.
People would be surprised to know: I’m actually an introvert who has learned to be a good actor over the years.
First job: Ceramic research for Boeing Aerospace in Kent, Wash.
Hobbies: Fishing, basketball, pingpong and the great outdoors.
Heroes: Our military personnel on the front lines.
Business challenge: Providing world-class technical support to all major players in the building envelope industry.
Industry fear: Trade associations will become less productive as the number of technical people attending meetings and volunteering to work on technical projects decreases.
Personal challenge: Finding the time to assist everyone requesting my help. People would be surprised to know: I was the first All-American fencer for Pennsylvania State University.
First job: My first job out of college was as an army field artillery officer.
Hobbies: Reading, running and coaching youth sports.
Heroes: My parents, Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman.
Number one business challenge: The
Personal challenge: Making sure I prioritize time for my wife, Jacey, and sons William and Jackson. People would be surprised to know: Growing up I dreamed of becoming an archaeologist.
First job:My first job in the glass industry was with a curtainwall/external cladding contractor in Hong Kong. I worked as a design/project coordinator where I received numerous eye-opening lessons and experiences regarding fast-track construction, government bureaucracy and working internationally with U.S.-based providers (for curtainwall framing, glass, granite and shop drawing/engineering). Amazing how much things have changed since I started in this business!
Hobbies: I picked-up golf a few years back. I enjoyed it while I was still practicing, but then things started to get a little busy and I have been trying to return to it ever since.
Heroes: My parents are the ones who demonstrated to me that a consistently sound work ethic will prevail and that hard work counts and will more often than not open doors to more opportunities than one can imagine—if one is looking and knows how to embrace them. Admittedly, they did not sit down with me with a “playbook.” As kids, we simply watched it unroll before our eyes and essentially it was more like my parent’s own brand of “leadership by example.” … I have grown to understand their sacrifices to provide us with the tools to see the paths available and work to reach the other side.
Business challenge: Convincing the collective community that the building enclosure is akin to a component of living organism and that to achieve higher performance and energy efficiency, it must work in conjunction with other building systems.
Industry fears: That we fail as a collective to address the larger societal problems of energy independence and improving our built environment—for the right reasons: sustainability and responsible growth.
Personal challenge: Finding enough hours in a day to accomplish what I would like to accomplish—at both the professional and personal levels. I enjoy what I do. It unfortunately has a tendency to consume a little more of me (and my time) that it should. Maintaining the right balance with my own life and family is a serious challenge. People would be surprised to know: I actually entered the workforce in bad economic times in Canada. We were in what seemed like a never-ending recession and building/civil/construction engineering jobs were in very short supply. As a back-up plan, I enrolled tocontinue studies for a second degree—a bachelor’s of arts major in urban studies. I also interviewed for and was accepted into the School of Community of Public Affairs. This was essentially paving a path towards law school in the event the ongoing recession should continue to keep me out of the workforce. To think, I almost became a lawyer, or worse, a politician!
Thomas S. Zaremba
First job:My first job was on a factory assembly line where I cut sheets of annealed glass to fit into aluminum storm doors. Of course, this was five years before the CPSC banned the use of annealed glass in doors.
Hobbies: I ride an 1800 VTX (V-Twin Xtreme) motorcycle all summer long. I also walk 30 minutes a day. I love jazz and Toledo is home to Murphy’s, which is the “world headquarters” of jazz as far as I’m concerned. I’m also a big Mud Hens fan and usually get to 10 or 12 games every season.
Heroes: My heroes are John F. Kennedy and my four kids (Shenendoah, Sierra, Amanda and TJ), all working to make it through the worst economic conditions I have ever experienced.
Business challenge: My greatest business challenge is to keep consulting fees as low as possible in the face of ever-escalating levels of building code activities, especially in the areas of balanced fire protection and energy conservation.
Industry fear:My greatest fear for the industry is that “energy conservation” will become a “mantra” to constrict, rather than foster, competition in the marketplace. To increase the stringency of the energy codes, while maintaining a free market economy, the use of alternative paths is critical. Alternate paths increase the number of products available in the marketplace to comply with prescriptive energy code provisions. That, in turn, increases competition between complying products, which, in turn, reduces their cost. When the cost of complying products comes down, energy- efficient building construction becomes affordable. Without alternate paths, prescriptive paths simply reduce the number of products capable of complying with the energy codes, which, in turn, creates product monopolies, which raises prices and renders energy-efficient buildings unaffordable.
Personal challenge: My greatest personal challenge is to make enough time available to teach my much younger associates to love glass and the consensus process used to develop the building and energy codes as much as I do.
People would be surprised to know: My colleagues may be surprised to know that I have (and love beyond description) FOUR wonderful grandchildren: Austin Jonathon Insco, age 5; April Anne Insco, age 3; Madison (“Maddy”) Extine, age 3; and Layla Extine, 18 months.