The Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) is once again together in person. The group’s Fall Conference is taking place this week at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix. In addition to the in-person gathering, the event also includes a virtual option. The conference began yesterday with an opening address from Janice Yglesias, FGIA executive director. While she took the opportunity to welcome all who attended, with special recognition given to the event’s sponsors, there was another honor that drew exceptional applause.

Yglesias announced that the debut of the FGIA Lifetime Achievement Award, created to recognize an individual who has dedicated significant resources throughout the majority of his industry career to guiding and achieving the strategic objectives of the organization and who is distinguished in thought leadership, extensive contributions, vision and impact relative to the organization and the industry.

That inaugural award was presented to Georges Thiret, retired president of Graham Architectural Products. In presenting the award, Yglesias described him as a consistent and active leader since early 1980s; someone who was instrumental in evolving Graham and a pioneer of accessible operable windows in schools. She said he was an excellent leader and strategist, well-liked and respected. He was also influential in AAMA/FGIA, and held a multitude leadership roles, including two separate terms as chairperson of board. He also received the Outstanding Member Award in 1998. Having served for many years as the chair of the Sites Committee, he is credited with evolving AAMA events into some of the most well-renowned gatherings in the industry. Thiret was a leader in advocating for material-neutrality within the North American Fenestration Standard and for its harmonization between the U.S. and Canada. He also served as a key driving force behind bringing supplier companies and vinyl materials interests into the association, the latter of which was the catalyst for the AAMA Profile Certification Program.
“He helped build [FGIA] into the highly credited association it is today,” said Yglesias. “Georges has been significantly influential in AAMA’s evolution, culminating in the unification with IGMA to form FGIA,” she said. “The association is proud to present him with this award, which serves as a well-deserved tribute to a wonderful person and member.”

In accepting the award, Thiret commented, “It’s hard to say goodbye. I want to thank everyone for their support. This has been a great ride. I’ve been involved since 1978. I’ve been proud to be chairman twice, I’ve been on the board for a long time. Now it’s time to make room for the younger, smarter, stronger. And I know this industry right now is producing those individuals. And this industry is very healthy.”
“Georges’ industry contributions and influence extend well beyond the association world. He was instrumental in evolving Graham into a leading commercial fenestration products company,” adds Steve Fronek, vice president of preconstruction at Apogee Enterprises and longtime FGIA board member. “He has served as a collaborative voice, bridging technical and marketing expertise, and steadily encouraging strong industry relationships.”
Yglesias added, “By regularly encouraging collaborative work with other industry organizations, Georges helped build our association into the highly influential and credible entity that it is today.”

In addition to Thiret’s award, Yglesias also recognized Florence Nicoleci, who retired from FGIA this past May after 36 years. Nicoleci had served as the group’s meetings manager.

The FGIA Fall Conference runs through Thursday. Stay tuned to USGNN™ for more updates and reports.