News Makers


Ruben Huerta, a founder of Glasswerks LA, passed away on February 23, 2019. He had been a part of Glasswerks for 35 years.

“It’s amazing how you come to realize you have spent so much time with a coworker, partner and fellow owner, when they are no longer here,” says Randy Steinberg, president of Glasswerks. “…What’s even more amazing about Ruben was the time he spent with all of our employees, and the way he would greet them every day. We will all miss the time we spent with Ruben —the good days and bad, our successes and failures and, in the end, his sharing of himself.”

Ruben was a friend and a huge part of the Glasswerks family. He will truly be missed, says a statement from the company.

Comings and Goings

Herbert Haas has withdrawn from his long-standing role as business unit manager of the glass division at Kömmerling Management due to serious illness, according to a statement from the company and Haas’ wife, Sabine Fischer.

“We are touched to inform you that as a result of an accident my beloved
husband, our esteemed colleague and friend, Herbert Haas will not be returning to Kömmerling to lead the glass division. Like you, we are incredibly sad with this unfortunate outcome,” said the announcement. “Herbert dedicated over 40 years of his life to the glass industry and has left a legacy difficult to replicate. We owe him the utmost respect for his untiring engagement and our gratitude for his leadership and contribution to the steady expansion of our insulating glass sealants. Ernst Semar has taken on the responsibility for the Kömmerling glass division. In Herbert’s memory the whole team will continue our mission and in many ways follow in his footsteps.”

Richard “Dick” Poklar, director of field operations at Super Sky Products Enterprises LLC, a manufacturer and installer of commercial and residential skylight systems, retired March 1, 2019.

“Dick’s years of dedicatiton and exemplary service are sincerely appreciated,” says Super Sky president Brian Thomas. “Dick contributed to the ongoing success of the company from his years as project manager to director of field operations.”

Mark Flanagan filled Poklar’s vacated position. He was hired in November 2018 as the new director of field operations and brings significant experience with him to the position, according to the company. Thomas had both a succession plan and the customer base in mind with the move.


Winco Windows, a St. Louis-based manufacturer of architectural and heavy commercial aluminum windows, has promoted Woody Miller to vice president of operational and facilities development.

As vice president of operational and facilities development, Miller will work with team members Brian Scott and Sharon Gamble to continue evolving Winco’s manufacturing systems.

Tristar Glass Inc. has promoted three employees. Derrick Williams and Tim Rome will assume the role of director of operations over Oklahoma and Texas, respectively, and Erica Couch will take over as manager of sales and marketing.

Williams has been Tristar’s sales manager since its inception in 2005. He will now be responsible for operations at Tristar-Catoosa and Tristar-Oklahoma City. The combined facilities operate in approximately 200,000 square feet of production space and employ 180 people.

Rome joined Tristar in 2012 as general manager of the Grand Prairie facility. His new role will expand his focus to managing operations at both Tristar-Grand Prairie and Tristar-Houston locations. The Texas facilities operate in approximately 170,000 square feet of production space and employ 100 people.

Couch started with the company in 2017 with a strategic focus on business
development in new market areas, according to the company. Her new role will include managing the sales team, as well as developing and implementing the company’s marketing strategies and initiatives.


Mark Rayfield is the new CEO of Saint-Gobain North America. In this role, Rayfield will oversee Saint-Gobain’s efforts to increase agility and drive the growth of the company’s building solutions businesses in the U.S. and Canada. As such, he will continue to serve as CEO of CertainTeed, Saint-Gobain’s manufacturer of building materials for commercial and residential construction.

With nearly 20 years of experience within the Saint-Gobain family of brands, Rayfield will work to increase collaboration across the North American organization and focus more on using consumer insights to inform his business strategy, according to the company.

Rayfield succeeds Tom Kinisky, who now takes on the role of chairperson of Saint-Gobain in North America and chief innovation officer globally for the company. Kinisky will drive the strategy and application of Saint-Gobain’s global innovation efforts across a wide range of disciplines, including research and development and the company’s external ventures, according to Saint-Gobain.

MHS Legacy Group has appointed Todd Staley as its new president. Staley remains president of IWR North America, a MHS Legacy Group subsidiary and specialty contractor focusing on total building enclosures. In this position, Staley aims to grow capital for future expansion and take advantage of the market opportunities ahead.

Staley holds 15 years of management experience in the commercial construction and engineering fields. The Illinois native and Southeast Missouri State alumni is an active member of several national industry organizations as well as FMI’s Leadership Institute.

Staley will remain in his role at IWR North America as president overseeing company operations, policies and performance.

New Hires

Dan Zucchi has joined Kinestral Technologies Inc. as Halio North America’s director of sales for the northeast region. Zucchi will be responsible for developing and executing the sales strategy for Halio smart-tinting glass. Zucchi has more than three years of experience in the electrochromic industry. He was previously with View Inc.

Vitro Architectural Glass has hired James “Jim” Lamm as national architectural manager for the Midwestern U.S., where he will work with architects, designers and specifiers in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and southern Illinois to optimize architectural glass solutions.

A 20-year sales veteran, Lamm joins Vitro Glass from Johnson Controls, where he served as business development manager for the company’s Reliable Architectural Louvers business unit.


The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has hired Kathy Krafka Harkema as its codes and regulatory affairs manager. Krafka Harkema will oversee the efforts of AAMA code consultants, in addition to her primary responsibility of helping the organization better understand the impact of the various code and regulatory agencies on the fenestration industry. This will include coordinating possible AAMA interactions with the International Code Council and state agencies, such as Florida, Texas and California.

Krafka Harkema will serve as a staff liaison for a number of AAMA code and regulatory groups and will lead member activities to facilitate the development of consensus AAMA positions on key issues.


Julie Schimmelpenningh of Eastman Chemical Co. was presented the C. Gregory Carney Member of the Year Award during the volunteer celebration dinner at the National Glass Association/Glass Association of North America’s Annual Conference, which took place in January. She was recognized for her dedicated service to not only the association, but the entire industry.

In addition, committee chairs, vice chairs and liaisons were presented Boomerang Awards for continuing to give back to the industry. Those recognized include:

Paul Bush, Vitro Architectural Glass, Advocacy Committee chair; Mark
Cody, AGC Glass Co., Forming Committee chair; Mitch Edwards, Guardian Glass, Forming Committee vice chair; Aaron Thompson, Viracon, Fabricating Committee chair; Bobby Chestnut, Standard Bent Glass, Fabricating Committee vice chair; Sylvain Denis, Walker Glass, Decorative technical liaison; Dave Evans, Guardian Glass, Mirror technical liaison; Helen Sanders, Technoform, Energy technical liaison; Jeff Haberer, Trulite, Insulating technical liaison; Julie Schimmelpenningh, Eastman Chemical Co., Laminating technical liaison; Rick Wright, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®, Tempering technical liaison; Vaughn Schauss, Kuraray, Protective Glazing technical liaison; Matt Kamper, Woodbridge Glass, Installing Committee chair; and Steven Dean, Permasteelisa, Installing Committee vice chair.

The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) gave its Lifetime Achievement Award to John Palesny, president of Petersen Aluminum Corp., in late November during its Aluminum Products Division Conference in Florida. The award recognizes Palesny’s contribution to the metals industry during his 47-year career at Petersen, headquartered in Elk Grove Village, Ill.

Palesny has held volunteer leadership positions including president of the Chicago chapter of the former National Association of Aluminum Distributors, chair of MSCI’s aluminum division, and a term on the MSCI executive board. He also served on multiple committees and supporting groups in his career.

Vitro’s Glenn Miner Retires After 39 Years

After 39 years in the industry, Glenn Miner has retired from his position as director of construction for Vitro Architectural Glass. Miner’s father worked for PPG for 40 years, so Miner says he grew up in the glass business.

“I interviewed with PPG right after school,” he says. “We were in the process of getting into fabrication back in 1980.”

Since then he’s worked in the aircraft and automotive OEM and replacement industries before returning to the architectural division.

“I probably enjoyed architectural the most. [I enjoyed] helping to create a building that’s going to be there for 40-50 years and working with a great group of people,” he says. “Working throughout the industry from the fabricator to the glazier to the general contractor, architects and consultants, that team approach and working together to create something that you can drive by and say you had a hand in making is pretty exciting.”

One of Miner’s greatest accomplishments in the architectural division was getting two patents with a third potentially on the way. He says he enjoys trying to design something that meets both performance and aesthetic needs. One of the biggest challenges was navigating the Great Recession.

“In 2008-2010, commercial building pretty much stopped. How you continue to innovate and plan for the future, because you know [the recession] isn’t going to last, and yet, adapting to existing conditions [was a challenge.],” he says. “You had to have confidence in your strategies and stay the course.”

A major concern in the industry is that as people retire, there might not be people to replace them. Miner says that Vitro has addressed this issue.

“We saw that there is going to be pretty big turnover over the next five to seven years as people start reaching retirement age,” he says. “We started bringing in people several years ago who are starting to come up through the organization … We work with them to develop them for the long-term. How do you build that trust between the employee and the company? That’s one thing I’ve been impressed with at Vitro, probably due to the family background. They truly do have a concern for the people and really strive to keep that long-term relationship.”

Now that he’s retired, Miner plans to visit both of his daughters who live in Europe. He also plans to hike and travel around the U.S. with his dog and his camera, as photography is one of his big hobbies.

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