Volume 35, Number 2, February 2000
Wells Aluminum Announces Staff Appointments
Wells Aluminum Corp. of Baltimore, MD, has announced the following business appointments to its corporate management and sales team: Jack Pell has been promoted to director of fabrication operations, a newly-created position; Richard G. Erickson joins the company as eastern regional manager; and Robert (Bob) Kubacki has joined the companys North Liberty management team as its quality manager; Steve Moll has been named general sales manager for Wells architectural products and national accounts; and Jeffrey R. Murphy has joined the company and his responsibilities will include marketing the patio door line and product management for the painting and anodizing lines. He comes to Wells following 11 years with the Valspar Corporation.
Fred A Slautterback, president and founder of Slautterback Corporation of Monterey, CA, has announced his retirement effective January 28, 2000. Slautterback founded the company in 1979 beginning with heated hotmelt transfer hoses. Over the years, Slautterback developed a range of hotmelt applicator equipment. In 1992, Slautterback sold the company to Nordson Corporation of Westlake, Ohio. His retirement plans include a new business startup and pursuing artistic interests.
Changes Abound at Apogee Enterprises
The glass services business segment of Minneapolis-based Apogee Enterprises Inc. has made a few changes: Mike Murray has been appointed director of strategy and operations management; Les Weibye has been named vice president of human resources; Steve Fischer has been promoted to chief information officer; and Ron Munzenrider has joined the glass services business segment as vice president of finance.
French Receives Plastic
Morton R. French, Sr., CEO of Commercial Plastics & Supply Corp. of Bensalem, PA, was awarded the 1999 Paul Davis Award of Merit. The award, named after the founder of the International Association of Plastics Distributors (IAPD), was given to French in recognition for his significant contributions to the plastics industry. The industry is better because of Mr. Frenchs efforts over the years to make plastics distribution a viable and prospering industry, said the IAPD. French opened his first service center in 1945 and now has more than 90 centers in the United States and other countries.
Gomez Scores for
the New Jersey Devils
Being offsides has a whole other meaning to Ironworker Scott Gomez, member of Local 751 Anchorage, Alaska. In his spare time, he plays hockey for the New Jersey Devils professional hockey team where he is the leading scorer among rookies for the National Hockey League (NHL). He also leads the Devils in scoring one month into the hockey season. Gomez was a first round draft pick for the Devils in 1998.
A Minute With ...
* an industry leader
Kawneer Company Inc.
William Cralley is the newly-appointed president of Kawneer Company located in Norcross, GA. After three months on the job, he is immersed in planning how to lead the 94-year old Kawneer into the year 2000--a job that will mean a change from the traditional Kawneer school of thought.
Q: How are you acclimating to your new position?
A: I've acclimated more quickly than I anticipated. But, I've been buying from Kawneer for more than 20 years and am familiar with the people as well as the company and its products, so that it made it easier.
Q: What are some of the challenges you will face in your new position?
A: Kawneer has a long history and has been conducting business the same way for many years. The challenge is to reengineer the company, thus enabling Kawneer to realize its growth potential. Along with this challenge, is getting people who have been long-term Kawneer employees to embrace the new ways required to conduct business today. Change is something people aren't accustomed to.
Q: Is there one thing that is your main focus as president?
A: The main issue Kawneer is focusing on is our customers--the glazing contractors. We want them to know that Kawneers number one priority is to make them profitable.
Q: What are some of the differences you notice today as opposed to when you first joined the industry almost 20 years ago?
A: It is difficult to be profitable today. The speed at which products get to market is much faster and there is now pressure to deliver products at the lowest price. Today, you need speed to be in the race. Throughout the industry, product quality is also a problem.
Q: Is this [product quality] a problem at Kawneer? A: Concerning some parts of our operation, quality is not where we would like it. We most definitely will work on improvement in this area.
Q: What do you like most about the glass industry? A: The people--it is a very fraternal industry. Although it is a large industry, it sometimes seems very small. The people are what has kept me in it so long.
Q: What frustrates you about the glass industry? A: The level of sophistication in the entire construction industry: we are not necessarily as sophisticated as other industries. One example is our pricing structure: We don't get what we should for a product. Just look at the fact that an IG unit today costs the same as it did 20 years ago. This could be attributed to the competitive bid system that exists and how the lowest bidder usually gets the job.
Q: What do people find interesting about you? A: That's a tough one. I enjoy life and I enjoy people. I'm not really sure though, I guess I'd have to ask them.
Q: How do you want people to remember you when you're gone?
A: I want them to think of me as being honest and fair and as someone who does the right thing for both our employees and customers.
*Have Your MinuteA Minute With ... Up and Comers will appear bimonthly rotating with A Minute With ... An Industry Leader. If you would like to be the focus of A Minute With or would like to recommend someone, e-mail us at email@example.com
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