Glenn Miner

After 39 years in the industry, Glenn Miner is preparing to retire. March 29, 2019 will be his last day as director of construction for Vitro Architectural Glass, but Miner says it’s still business as usual right now.

“Next week we have our annual certified fabricator meeting … and we’re in the process of expanding our architectural presence and the size of the team,” he says. “It’s been so busy I haven’t had a whole lot of time to think about it yet.”

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 coming back 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.] You couldn’t turn the float plants off,” he says. “Business got particularly ugly and you had to have confidence in your strategies and stay the course. You had to support the people who count on you and work together to work through things.”

As far as the biggest challenges currently facing the industry, Miner says he thinks it’s on the cusp of the next major change in technology.

“About 20-25 years ago there was a lot of improvement to be made in static windows…” he says. “All of the coating technology today has gotten to a point where we can’t block any more heat without taking it out of the visible spectrum. This leads to the next generation of dynamic windows and how glass and glazing systems interact with the environment.”

He expects to see more dynamic glazing, even forms that might not exist yet.

A major concern throughout the glass industry is that as people retire, there might not be people able to step into their shoes. Miner says that Vitro has addressed this issue.

“We saw that there is going to be pretty big turnover in people over the next 5-7 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. With millennials, companies started to retract from long-term investment and employees started jumping between companies. 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.”

As he prepares to retire, Miner says that the biggest joy and strength come from the people he’s worked with every day.

Miner says that once he retires he’ll 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.

4 Comments

  1. Nice work Jordan and congratulations to Glenn. He’s done some amazing things through his years at Vitro and PPG before. Challenged thinking and created true innovation and genuine value over the years.

    I’ve worked with Glenn for just over ten years and can tell you there’s no one quite like him. A unique character in every way AND a tremendous mentor. I was a 15-year marketing veteran when he came to architectural glass and he taught me to look at things differently, to press for the OTHER right answer, not just the obvious.

    Glenn makes the people around him better. I will miss him, but am glad he will be enjoying his just reward for such a magnificent career.

  2. Thanks for the positive contribution made for the glass industry by you and Tad.

  3. Congratulations on your retirement. Hope you find it rewarding. You truly followed in your Dad’s footsteps. I considered him both a dear friend and mentor.

  4. Congratulations on your retirement you have earned a slower pace, I hope you enjoy the years forward. You are very fortunate to have the Father that was your guide.

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