Industry Loses Two Legends in One Day: John De Gorter
and Ray Rickles
John De Gorter, former president of De Gorter Inc., died the morning
of September 16 in North Carolina at the age of 81.
De Gorter was an active member of the flat glass industry, where he worked
for more than 60 years. He and his father, Daniel, were responsible for
the importation of glass from Belgium and France. Later, they founded
Franklin Glass Co., which held the patent for manufacturing the first
bronze sheet glass in the United States. Franklin Glass has products in
such well-known buildings as the Seagram Building in Manhattan and the
United States Air Force Academy just outside of Colorado Springs, Colo.
In the early 1970s, De Gorter began importing glass fabricating machinery
from Europe and became a leader in that field until his retirement from
De Gorter Inc. in 2007.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Denise; his daughter Deborah and
sons Dan and Peter; his sister, Francine Chrisler-Moloney; and nine grandchildren.
Also passing on September 16 was a man who called on John De Gorter for
many years selling advertising in glass industry publications. Ray
Rickles, age 90, passed away in Florida, after a brief illness. He
founded Ray Rickles and Company, a media representative firm that for
many years represented the now-defunct Glass Digest and which has continued
to represent USGlass magazine for the past 16 years. Rickles is the father
of USGlass sales manager Scott Rickles.
Thomas Lee Jr. of Lee & Cates Passes
Thomas D. Lee Jr., former president of Lee & Cates Glass Inc.
in Jacksonville, Fla., passed away on September 7. He was 85.
After attending Carson Newman College and Stetson University, and serving
in the Navy during World War II, he returned home to run his family’s
business, Lee & Cates Glass Inc. He retired at the age of 80 after
serving as president and chair of the board of the company.
Lee was active within the glass industry, having participated in several
industry associations, including the Florida Glass Dealers Association,
of which he was a founding member. During his time in the industry he
was recognized for his contributions to both the glass industry and his
community at large.
Lee is survived by his wife of 62 years, their six children, including
Tommy Lee III, who currently runs the family business, as well as 12 grandchildren
and five great-grandchildren. Three sisters and many nieces and nephews
also survive him.
Lisec Founder and Owner Dies at Age 73
Kommerzialrat Peter Lisec, founder and owner of the Lisec group of companies,
passed away August 17 at the age of 73.
During a 48-year career, Lisec built the company from a one-man operation
to an international group with more than 2,000 employees and more than
50 foreign branches.
The announcement issued by the company states: “He led his company as
the chairman up to the very last day. Under his leadership, and with the
entrepreneurial spirit of an excellent technician, he succeeded in continually
surprising and convincing the professional world with innovations later
defined as state-of-the-art in the world of flat glass. His worries and
work in the company related to his business partners and employees and
he always found the time to take care of every concern. We will always
remember Peter Lisec for his personality and as a role model.”
AEC Elects New Vice Chairperson
Duncan Crowdis, president of Bonnell Aluminum in Newnan, Ga., has been
elected vice chairperson of the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC). Crowdis
has been on the AEC board of directors and held the position of extruder
director since 2006. Traditionally, the vice chairperson moves forward
to the position of AEC chairperson after serving a two-year term.
Edgetech Brings in Three New Employees
Edgetech I.G. in Cambridge, Ohio, has appointed George Wilson to
director of business development. Wilson comes to the company with more
than 15 years of experience in high-level, strategic positions. He is
active in the American Management Association and is the past-president
of the Ohio Mid-Eastern Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants.
Tony Thiret is the company’s new regional sales manager and commercial
sales manager for the Western United States and Canada. Thiret spent 12
years as Western division manager for Graham Architectural and has been
an active American Architectural Manufacturers Association member for
more than seven years.
The company also has appointed Sarah Edwards as its newest customer
service representative, serving Western North America and Mexico. Edwards
joins Edgetech with extensive sales and service experience within large
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