Doug Nelson

Doug Nelson, who served as CEO of Brin Northwestern Glass Co., passed away May 9.

Nelson had many years in the glass industry, co-purchasing Brin Glass and Northwestern Glass Company with Larry Waller in 1978.

Nelson was active in the Glass Association of North America (GANA), particularly its Tempering Division.

In 2013, after selling Heartland Glass to Brin Northwestern, Bill Sullivan, who today is president of Brin Glass, told USGNN, “I’ve considered him [Doug Nelson] a mentor and someone I can bounce ideas off.”

John Dwyer, president of Syracuse Glass, also knew Nelson and says his glass industry involvement was something of great importance.

“For decades, right up until his illness, Doug was very active in the industry, at GANA meetings, and the Flat Glass Manufacturers Association (FGMA) meetings before that, at industry shows … he also made it a practice to encourage his management team members to attend and support the trade associations,” says Dwyer. “Doug was also an FGMA president, his partner Pat Rome was a GANA president, and Brin Northwest’s current president Bill Sullivan, has been very involved with GANA. Doug built a great team and a fantastic business in Minnesota that he was very proud of and loved to show off.”

Dwyer adds, “I last saw him at his retirement party in June of 2018, he was fatigued by his illness, but even so, was the life of the party, trading jabs and sharing funny stories with his partners in various businesses he’d had over the years. He showed me a picture that he kept in a file in a drawer in his office of him and several of his many siblings on the porch of the farmhouse he grew up in, and told me that if he would start to ‘feel sorry for himself,’ he would get it, and look at it, to remind him how tough his parents had it, and that would help him keep problems in perspective, and help him keep going. Many of us glass guys and gals will miss Doug.”

Ren Bartoe with Vesuvius also knew Nelson well, remembering him as a quiet, thoughtful man who was a great listener and quick problem solver.

“He was at his loudest with a five-pound walleye on the line,” says Bartoe. “I’ll miss his wry humor and wisdom.”

Visitation will take place May 16, from 4-8 p.m., as well as 10-11 a.m. May 17 at Gearty-Delmore Funeral Chapel – St. Louis Park, 3960 Wooddale Ave. South, St. Louis Park, MN  55416. During the Thursday evening visitation there will be a brief prayer service at 6:30 p.m., followed by a time for sharing memories.

The funeral service will take place May 17 at 11 a.m. at Westwood Lutheran Church, 9001 Cedar Lake Rd., St. Louis Park, MN  55426. Burial will be Saturday, May 18 at 2:30 p.m., Lakewood Cemetery in Crosby, Minn.

1 Comment

  1. A first class person in all aspects of business & life. I knew Howard Brin and he introduced me to Doug and his partner at a Mpls Glazing Contractors meeting in 1978 — I had just started Harmon Contract for Apogee in 1973 and I wondered how a couple of accountants like Doug and his partner without experience could make it in the glass business. Doug was very astute and chose not to compete with Harmon in the Contract business but stuck to the traditional distribution emphasis and succeeded very well. We had immense respect for each other. RIP Doug -The glass industry has lost a remarkable person.

Comments are closed.