Lyle Hill Talks about Upcoming Retirement
April 11, 2011
After 40 years and seven months in the business, MTH Industries president Lyle Hill is retiring. USGNN.com™ caught up with Hill today to discuss his announcement.
Q--So Lyle, why did you decide to retire now?
A—It was the proverbial offer that was too good to refuse. I have had an incredible 40-year run and an opportunity presented itself whereby I could step back and move in a different direction. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Having just celebrated my 64th birthday, as well as my 40th anniversary with the company, I was ready for a change.
Q—Your name and the name MTH are virtually synonymous. What happens to MTH now?
As anyone who has worked with our company knows, there are number of dedicated and very talented people here and they’ve been carrying me for years anyway …They will do just fine.
Q—What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry over the years?
A—Foreign competition, which didn’t exist when I started, has really changed the landscape of the industry. The channels of distribution also have been altered dramatically. When I started, people did business on a handshake; there were levels of trust and open communication. Those commonsense, trusting relationships that were so much an integral part of the business then are long gone.
Q—What advice would you have someone coming in to the glass business now?
A—All kidding aside, the industry does offer opportunities, but I see the generalists - and I always considered myself one - being replaced by specialists. I also think that in the future, it will be even more important than ever for the successful individual to have a higher level of financial and legal training.
The architectural glass and metal business is not any different conceptually than any other business, so the traits that would make someone successful in any commercial endeavor would apply to the person in the glass/metal industry.
Q—That answer sounds good but it really doesn’t say much of anything …
A—Now you know how I made it 40 years.
Q--Lyle, though you will be retired, will you continue to write about the glass industry for USGlass?
A—You’ve been trying to get me to write about the glass industry for years, but I say why start now? You’ve obviously never read my articles, because you’d see I try hard to write about anything BUT the glass industry most of the time. So I’ll keep on writing my column, yes, but I’m not changing a thing.