Comings & Goings

Bystronic Glass CEO Burghard Schneider left Glaston Group on May 27, 2019 by a mutual agreement, according to the company. Schneider had been responsible for the Bystronic Glass business since 2014 and a member of Glaston Group’s Executive Management Group (EMG) since April 1, 2019 after Bystronic was acquired by Glaston. Dietmar Walz, former chief sales officer at Bystronic Glass, will assume the position as president for the Bystronic Glass business and member of the EMG.


Eric Thompson is Quanex Building Products’ new commercial sales manager for all of the company’s commercial offerings. In his new role, Thompson will focus on new product development, market growth, education and customer experience.

Thompson began his career with Quanex in 1994, where he’s held roles in technical services, quality assurance and sales. Thompson is an active member of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and served as president of its Southeast chapter from 2011 to 2016.

In addition to Thompson’s promotion, the company’s former vice president of investor relations Scott M. Zuehlke has been named interim chief financial officer (CFO). He is replacing Brent L. Korb. An executive search is underway to identify a permanent CFO.

Accura Systems has promoted Adrian Torres to CAD Technician in the engineering group. The company also named Todd Staley vice president of manufacturing and hired Jarett Gibson as a senior project manager.

Torres recently received a certificate in computer-aided drafting and design from Dallas County-based Eastfield Community College, while continuing his full-time work in Accura’s manufacturing area. Torres began with the company in 2005 in the assembly and glazing area and recently acted as a CNC operator.

Staley started in the glass industry with Vistawall in 1997. When he left Oldcastle Building Envelope® (OBE) in 2011, he was responsible for all manufacturing at the company’s facility in Terrell, Texas, including skylights, standard products and unitized curtainwall.

He left OBE during the sale of the Naturalite skylight product line. He stayed with the skylight business until 2015, and since then has consulted for several companies in the Dallas area.

Gibson has more than 22 years’ experience in the curtainwall industry, and was most recently with OBE (Vistawall). He has held positions previously in product development, estimating, sales, project and engineering management.

Steven Albert has been promoted to sales manager of S. Albert Glass Co.’s service and maintenance division. He has been developing his industry related skills since joining the company in 2010 and will now be responsible for leading the division’s sales team. Throughout the past nine years, Albert has also been instrumental in further developing the company’s computer-based information technology, including the ground up development of an industry-specific app that can help train and assist its sales team in analyzing any service type job, whether it be glass replacements or door repair and replacement, according to the company.


Namrata Vora is now the vice president of sales in North America, India and Asia-Pacific at SageGlass after receiving a promotion. Vora will oversee all sales functions in these key regions, in addition to the architectural solutions team at SageGlass.

Prior to joining SageGlass, Vora served as chief revenue officer at Suntuitive Dynamic Glass. She also previously spent eight years at View Dynamic Glass.

Bob Cummings is the new vice president of sales and marketing for Consolidated Glass Holdings (CGH). In his new role, Cummings will be responsible for leading both inside and outside sales teams for CGH’s architectural division, as well as the company’s estimating and marketing departments. Prior to his most recent position as general manager at Hufcor Inc., Cummings held executive level positions at Hartung Glass Industries, Guardian Industries, Trulite Glass & Aluminum Solutions, United Glass Corp. and Standard Bent Glass Corp.

Glaston’s new vice president of emerging technologies is Miika Äppelqvist. He succeeds Juha Liettyä who is moving to the position of president of Glaston Technologies. The Emerging Technologies Unit, established in 2017, provides engineering and consultant services in the field of emerging glass technologies. Äppelqvist has more than ten years’
experience at Glaston and previously headed the company’s Architectural Business Unit.

Matthew Christie has been appointed to the position of architectural services manager for Walker Glass Co. Ltd. Christie joins Walker from Western Windows Systems (WWS) where he was responsible for educating and building relationships with architects in the Greater Toronto area. Prior to WWS, he worked for Goldray Glass in a sales and architectural management capacity in Western Canada and Ontario. Christie actually started his career with Walker, working in the company’s marketing and customer service divisions.


Conrad “Connie” J. Miller of Warrenton, Va., passed away June 26, 2019 at his home. He was 92 years old. Miller was born in Astoria, N.Y., on March 20, 1927, a son of the late Conrad J. Miller, Sr. and Edith O’Connell Miller.

He served in the U. S. Navy in both World War II and the Korean Conflict and then retired from the Nassau County Police Department in Nassau N.Y., where he was a decorated undercover detective.

In 1978, he and his wife moved to Warrenton, Va., and built Fox Farm, a thoroughbred horse breeding operation. He then started Free State Industries, a glass manufacturing company in New Baltimore, Va., which became well-known in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

Miller was a longtime member and former president of the Warrenton Rotary Club; a member of The Detective Association and The Quiet Flying Birdmen Club, holding many “fly-ins” at the airstrip he built at Fox Farm.

He is survived by his wife, Joan F. Miller; his three daughters, Kathy Samples (Jerry), Debra Ann Gioielli (Gene), and Patricia Miller; six grandchildren, Brian Gioielli (Allie), Tracey Snyder (Blake), Thomas Gioielli (Megan), Christopher Samples, Steven Samples, Brenna Miller; and ten great grandchildren.


In 1969, Bernard Savaëte wanted to work for a large corporation with a good reputation. With a background in chemical engineering, he ended up in the glass industry, where he’s spent the past 50 years in various roles with numerous companies.

Savaëte began his career with Boussois-Souchon-Neuvesel (BSN), a French flat glass, container glass and fiberglass company. According to Savaëte, the energy crisis of the 1970s forced BSN to sell its flat glass operations. In 1982, he ended up at PPG after BSN was sold to the company.

“Becoming PPG in 1982 was, for me, a new reason to remain in the glass industry, PPG being at that time the main float glass producer in the world. Entering inside PPG group was a perspective of new opportunities,” he says.

His final position with the company was as director of quality for PPG Glass Europe. in 2004, Savaete created BJS.Différences, a consulting company that creates market surveys focused on the global flat glass industry. He still manages that business today.

Savaete is also involved with two French organizations focusing on glass history—including Association Francaise pour l‘Archéologie du Verre, which focuses mainly on archaeology and glass from the Roman Empire to the end of the Middle Age. The other is Verre & Histoire, which focuses on modern history.

For newcomers to the industry, he recommends they remain learners throughout their lives by attending meetings and exchanging knowledge with other professionals.

“Unfortunately, there are very few books or papers (except for basic knowledge),” he says. “The best way to deeply learn current technology is to read patent applications from suppliers, customers and mainly competition.”

Savaéte has also been a speaker at Glass Performance Days for several years.

The International Commission on Glass (ICG), a not-for-profit glass society comprised of 33 national organizations in glass science and technology, has awarded Şişecam Group vice president and CEO Ahmet Kuman with the President’s Award. The award recognizes his contributions to the development of the world glass industry. The award ceremony was held during the 25th International Glass Conference in Boston June 9-14, 2019.

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