Ralph Aknin, founder of Glass 3 Enterprises (G3E), a U.S. and Canadian supplier and sourcing provider for commercial architectural glass, is celebrating 45 years in the glass industry. He began his glass career in product sales for National Glass in Langley, B.C. and Calgary, Alberta-based operations. In 2005, he joined Glass 3 Enterprises. Reflecting on his 45 years in business, Aknin says, “Once travel bans have been lifted, it will be back to personal one-on-one visits and building up my frequent flyer program! At the end of the day, I always reflect that conversations continue to help decide who to do business with and help drive a successful procurement and a long-lasting relationship.”


Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) has elected Alumicor’s Steve Gusterson to the College of Fellows. Gusterson has held numerous roles in his many years with Alumicor and currently serves as the company’s vice president of sales for the central region. Based in Toronto, he works most closely with design teams and customers in Ontario.

Throughout his career, Gusterson has remained an active member of CSC. He has volunteered on numerous CSC committees during more than two decades of involvement and has served as the Toronto Chapter’s chair and director. He is a Certified Technical Representative (CTR) and the CTR coursework instructor for the Toronto Chapter. CSC twice recognized his leadership with a Chapter Award of Merit and presented him with a Programme Director’s Award for his contributions to the education program. He also assisted with creating the Ontario version of the “British Columbia Glazing Systems Specifications Manual,” which became the basis of the 2010 national version that is still referenced today.

Key Media & Research

USGlass editorial director Tara Taffera writes about more than glass. In her spare time, Taffera recently completed her first novel, Love Ordained, published by Winged Publications. The book is available in print and on Kindle at Amazon.com.

Completed in March 2020, the Christian romance was an occasional focus for Taffera, who says it “was 20 years in the making.” After stepping away from her efforts, she resumed the project for a brief period in 2019. Then, while on a trip in February 2020, a close friend inquired about the project, asking, “Why haven’t you finished your book?” Taffera says. “It was something my husband had also been asking me, and I wondered myself,” she adds. A month later, her first novel was done. “Once I set my mind to something, I put a plan of action together and I did it,” she says.

The story began as a simple romance novel, but as a lifelong Christian, “I knew God wanted more for me,” Taffera says. “The next time I sat down to work on the novel, I said this is going to be a Christian romance and I never looked back.”

As a writer, journalist and editorial director of 23 years, Taffera is quick to clarify that she has no intentions of making a career change. “Not a chance,” she says. “After all of these years, I still love coming to work every day and cherish the people and industries we serve. The series, A Divine Love, will remain my nighttime and weekend focus … I can’t wait for people to experience these stories,” she adds. “It’s my sincere hope that they will not only be entertained, but that it touches their lives in some small way.”


Giroux Glass

After more than 50 years working in the glass industry and about 15 working for Giroux Glass, Bob Linford retired at the end of May. He began working in the industry at the age of seven for his father’s company, Linford Brothers Glass, in Ogden, Utah.

Linford joined Giroux in 2003 as a project manager and then, an estimator. In 2004, he was promoted to general manager.

In 2008, he left Giroux, but returned in 2011, because he says he missed the company culture.

“The Giroux culture is why I have stayed here so long,” Linford says. “It starts and is maintained at the top.”

“It’s been a pleasure working with Bob and watching him enthusiastically mentor others,” says Nataline Lomedico, CEO and president of Giroux Glass. “His wit, humor and knowledge have inspired others to want to learn. My heart is full knowing that Bob, a man of great integrity and passion for the glazing trade, will leave a piece of himself with so many of us here at Giroux. He is a rare gem indeed!”


Erie Architectural Products

Erie Architectural Products (Erie AP), a YKK AP company, announced Rich Harenberg as a technical sales consultant for the Midwest region, serving states from Nebraska and Kansas to Michigan and Ohio.

Harenberg began his career as a senior estimator, where he gained years of industry experience focused on curtainwalls, heavy glass entrances and art glass projects.

Crown Electrokinetics

Crown Electrokinetics Corp., a smart glass technology company that has developed and is commercializing patented thin-film solutions, announced the appointment of Joel Krutz as chief financial officer (CFO), effective June 21. Krutz succeeds Phil Anderson, who has decided to pursue new opportunities.

Krutz previously served as CFO for ViacomCBS Networks International since 2015. Prior to his role as CFO there, he held a number of CFO and senior strategic finance roles for Viacom.

New Hires


YKK AP America, based in Austell, Ga., announced the appointment of Stirling Morris, CDT as a sales representative for the state of Arizona. Morris has more than 20 years of sales and leadership experience. He recently served as an architectural consultant for Sierra Pacific Windows, where he developed relationships with architects in the southwest United States to identify window, door and curtainwall solutions.

Morris is actively involved in several organizations, including the Construction Specifications Institute, U.S. Green Building Council, American Institute of Architects, National Organization of Minority Architects and the International Living Future Institute.



Bendheim, a family-owned, 94-year-old architectural glass manufacturer, tapped a fourth-generation family member as its new president.

Ben Jayson, the great-grandson of founders Sem and Margaret Bendheim, succeeds his father, Robert Jayson, and uncles, Steven and Donald Jayson, who have run the daily business operations for more than four decades. Fred Jayson, the son-in-law of the founders, remains actively involved in the company, working from Bendheim’s offices in New Jersey. He recently turned 100-years-old.

Ben Jayson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in international business administration from Northeastern University, graduating magna cum laude with a triple concentration in finance, marketing and accounting. He joined the family business in 2015. He also completed GE’s Financial Management Program (FMP), a two-year early career development program that combines coursework, a variety of job assignments and interaction with GE leaders, as well as the global FMP community. He then joined GE as a financial planning analyst. He also worked at Schüco International KG in Germany.

United Architectural

United Architectural Metals (UAM) in North Canton, Ohio, has promoted Jacob Gaddis to the role of vice president of pre-construction services.

Gaddis has held several roles at UAM over the past decade and now will oversee the entire pre-construction team and still be involved in products for the custom unitized curtainwall world.

Gaddis is a graduate of Kent State University, where he also received his master’s degree in architecture. He also is a member of the National Council Architectural Board and has spoken at several industry conferences on the latest and most important building design technology and tactics.

In addition, Jason McIntire is the company’s new director of operations. McIntire has worked with UAM for over two years as a process manager.

He is a graduate of the University of Akron and holds a Bachelor of Engineering with a concentration in construction engineering. He has been in the architectural building space since 2008 and has a deep understanding of best operational practices, according to the company.


Aurora, Ohio software company FeneTech Inc. has named John Markowski to the newly created position of director of implementation services and has promoted Alex Dangelo to group manager of the applications team.

Markowski, a graduate of the University of Toledo, joined FeneTech in 2004. Since that time, he has held positions as an applications engineer and an applications group manager.

He will be responsible for the collective operations of the applications groups and the customer care group.

Dangelo is a graduate of the Ohio State University but began his career with FeneTech as a co-op student. After graduating from college, Dangelo joined the applications group.

Rhyno Glass

Rhyno Glass announced that Steve Babbit has joined the estimating team as senior estimator. In his new role, he will support the estimating and pre-construction teams, collaborating with clients on design-build opportunities for various projects, including large-scale higher education projects and automotive dealerships.

Before joining Rhyno Glass, he was with Tampa-based Faour Glass Technologies as the operations manager, worked for Hope’s Windows as project manager and owned a welding company specializing in the manufacturing and installation of metal railings.

In addition, Dave Jones has returned to the Tampa, Fla.-based company as senior project manager. He will focus on new construction commercial glazing projects throughout the state. Jones will bring more than 30 years of glass and glazing experience throughout the country, including owning his own glass business for 22 years in upstate New York.

Ultrafab Inc.

Ultrafab has announced that company president, Alan DeMello, has been named CEO.

DeMello, who joined Ultrafab as a product manager in 1996, was named vice president of sales, marketing and product development in 1999 and has been serving as president of Ultrafab since 2009. He also has served on Ultrafab’s board of directors since 1999.

Before joining the company, DeMello held management and technical roles in coextruded profiles used in the fenestration market. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration and Bachelor of Science degrees in business management and industrial arts education.

Tom Horton, who previously held the joint titles of CEO and chairperson, will oversee critical infrastructure and IT projects.


Radco, a Twining Company, has promoted and hired new team members.

Andrew Falkenburg has been promoted to program manager for fenestration, mock-up and field testing services. He previously was the laboratory manager and has served in several capacities in his six years with the company.

Fernando Ardila has been promoted to program manager for architectural products testing services. Ardila previously held the position of project manager and has served in several technical assignments in his 15 years with the company. Lester Arauz has been promoted to test engineer materials test service lab operations.

Michael Gosz has joined Radco as the company’s newest business development manager. Gosz has more than 30 years of commercial and industrial business development achievements in various building materials and systems companies.

Kiavash Areff has joined the company as lead test engineer, gas appliance/HVAC test services and lab operations.

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