Industry Professionals Count their Blessings to Mark Thanksgiving Day
November 23, 2011

By Sahely Mukerji, smukerji@glass.com

Times have been tough for a while now. So, the staff at USGNN.com™ decided to find out if the industry professionals would do things any differently this Thanksgiving Day, and what they are thankful for this year. Not surprisingly, one of the common answers was how valuable the employees and customers were to each company. Below are excerpts.

Bowie Neumayer, vice president sales & marketing at Cardinal Corp. in Eden Prairie, Minn.: "We are thankful for the over 5,000 outstanding Cardinal employees whose work and dedication keeps us thriving during these challenging economic times."

Serge Martin, vice president of AGC Building Products in Alpharetta, Ga.: "We are thankful that our customers give us the opportunity to serve them. As our customers strive to succeed, they are more demanding of us and by being more demanding, they are making us a better company."

Glenn Miner, director of construction at PPG Industries in Pittsburgh: "Everyone knows the last few years in the glass business have been challenging, but we still have more than enough to be thankful for. Topping the list, of course, would be our many loyal customers who have successfully navigated the downturn in the economy and built even stronger companies as a result. We also are thankful for the ethic of innovation that drives our business and customer's businesses, ensuring that when the economy gets better, we'll be part of a solution that increases the cost-efficiency and application of solar power and leads to greener, more comfortable and more attractive homes and buildings."

Earnest Thompson, director of corporate marketing & brand management at Guardian Industries in Auburn Hills, Mich.: "Thanksgiving is more about people and family, so they are always on the top of our list (sorry smart phones and Blackberries). 2011 has been a year of change at Guardian so we're thankful for our 'legends' like Russ Ebeid who retired this year, and for our new leadership that was ready to step up and move us forward. Like every business, we're thankful for our customers - they challenge us, they demand innovation in products and services and push us to be all we can be. Most of all, we are thankful for our employees - the men and women in our plants from coast to coast, many of whom will be working over Thanksgiving because, after all, glass plants never sleep."

Oliver Stepe, senior vice president of YKK AP in Austell, Ga.: "We are thankful that the worst of the construction market collapse appears to be behind us, and that 2011 has brought better than expected business performance results. We have seen year over year growth in revenue and operating income. We are also thankful to have the most dedicated, loyal, and capable employees in the industry that remain focused on being the best they can be."

Chris Mammen, president of M3 Glass Technologies in Irving, Texas: "We are thankful for all that we are blessed with, because we know that none of it comes from ourselves. We are thankful for the opportunities we have as a result of where and when we live. We are thankful for those who came before us: our founders (my grandparents), and our past associates who helped lay the groundwork for where we are today. We are thankful for the great people God has put in our lives: our employees, our customers, our friends in the industry who help us so much (especially Bob Brown), and most notably our families. We are also grateful for those who serve in our military to protect everything that we are thankful for."

Laura D. Lepeska, marketing coordinator of Vetrotech Saint-Gobain in Auburn, Wash: "We are thankful to have plenty of work to maintain a full crew work schedule."

Diana San Diego, director of marketing at Safti First in San Francisco: "We are thankful for the strong relationships that we've built in the industry, and the continued opportunity to provide excellent service and superior products to the building community."

Jeff Razwick, vice president of business development at Technical Glass Products in Snoqualmie, Wash.: "We have so much to be thankful for at TGP, from reaching internal employee-safety milestones to connecting with the local neighborhood through our community service efforts. But above all else, we're thankful for our team. Our company's ability to innovate and forge ahead in this tough economic environment is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees."

Joel Feingold, president of Strainoptics Inc. in North Wales, Pa.: "From a personal point of view, I am most thankful for good health and the love of my family and friends. From a business perspective, I am thankful for the opportunity to work with dedicated, talented people, as well as great customers from all over the world. From a company standpoint, we are thankful for another successful year, in spite of the global economic downturn."

Helen Sanders, vice president of Technical Business Development at Sage Electrochromic in Faribault, Minn.: "Sage is grateful that we are in a position to grow our business in such a down economy and for the exceptional team we have that is making it happen."

Click here to read a Thanksgiving blog by Debra Levy, publisher of USGNN.com™.

To see a list of companies that are adjusting their schedules for the holiday weekend, click here.

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