Best Installer Finalists
In an effort to spotlight the people who make the Glass Magazine Award-winning products and projects possible, this year’s program includes people award categories, for which the industry submitted their picks for best installer, production supervisor, project manager and sales rep. After narrowing down the nominations to three finalists in each category, the Glass Magazine editors are asking you to decide the winners.
Here are the nominees for the new Best Installer Glass Magazine Award. The nominees are counting on your votes so read all about them, then CLICK ON THE VOTE BEST INSTALLER ICON at the bottom of the page.
VOTING CLOSES JULY 31 AT 5 P.M. EST.
Stephen Chavez, manager and lead installer, Banning Glass, Mirror & Screen, Banning, Calif.
Neo-angle shower door on pony wall, installed by Stephen Chavez
Job responsibilities: While Chavez is responsible for the management of both Banning Glass and its sister company Menifee Valley Glass, Mirror & Screen, he is also willing and able to fill in for the office staff, help in the shop and assist with sales, says co-owner Lynndsy Swatkowski. As an installer, “Steve’s goal is to leave every job site cleaner than when his team arrives,” she says. “His experience and leadership are evident in the efficient installation of any type of window, custom screen doors, heavy glass shower doors or custom mirrored walls.”
Winning qualities: Chavez has worked in the glass industry for 24 years. During his seven years with Banning Glass, Chavez has rarely missed a day of work and is an integral part of the Banning team. Chavez is a meticulous installer, measuring twice and keeping mistakes to a minimum. “I enjoy seeing a job done correctly,” he says. “Steve is selfmotivated,” Swatkowski notes. “He runs his estimate or installation routes on time, keeps to his schedule and consistently brings back additional sales estimates.” Banning Glass co-owner Dean Swatkowski agrees that Chavez’s ability to bring in more sales is uncanny. “Every time he goes out, he comes back with another job,” Dean says. “It’s unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Along with his strong work ethic and precision on the job, Chavez is known for his outgoing personality and endearing sense of humor, according to his coworkers.
Achievements: Banning Glass serves residents and businesses in the Banning Pass community of California. Swatkowski notes that some of the company’s customers can be suspicious of outsiders but that this is no obstacle for Chavez, as his excellent customer service results in calls from satisfied customers before and after he leaves jobsites, in addition to return customers who request him. The amount of historical homes and buildings in the area also poses a challenge for installers, but Chavez is “constructively creative in solving repair issues,” Swatkowski says. “He will look for solutions that keep the integrity of the historical buildings and remain in compliance with the building codes, as well as economical solutions for our fixed-income residential consumers.”
Mark Funke, owner/installer, Funke Glass & Glazing, Sullivan, Mo.
Storefront installed by Mark Funke
Job responsibilities: As owner of Funke Glass & Glazing in Sullivan, Mo., Funke handles the day-to-day operation of the company, but he is still an active installer as well. Funke Glass & Glazing specializes in custom shower enclosures, custom mirrors, glass replacement, glass table tops, commercial storefronts and automotive glass. Funke communicates with customers, schedules and bids jobs, orders materials and supplies, installs residential and commercial glass, and supervises his employees.
Winning qualities: Funke worked as an installer for Franklin County Glass in Washington, Mo., for 10 years before starting Funke Glass & Glazing in 2010. Over the last three years, the company has grown to include three additional installers, but Funke continues to be the lead installer. “Mark completes quality work on each and every job,” says Gabby Miller, secretary for Funke Glass & Glazing. “No matter what it takes or how long it takes, he will be sure the job is flawless and meets all expectations.” Although Funke Glass & Glazing is a small glazing company, Funke is so dedicated to his craft that he handles all kinds of jobs—big and small, commercial and retail—on schedule and to specifications.
Achievements: By starting a new company himself, Funke had to work to build up his confidence as an installer, “to know that we can complete the custom installs, both residential and commercial, the way the customer describes they want them,” he says. “With the Internet, customers can go online and find a picture and tell me, ‘I want that,’ and [now] I feel that I can make it happen.” Funke’s hard work paid off earlier this year when Funke Glass & Glazing was named Business of the Year by the Sullivan Area Chamber of Commerce.
David Skaug, shop/field production manager, Skaug Brothers Glass Inc., Moses Lake, Wash.
North elevation curtain wall at Washington State University Biomedical and Health Sciences Building
Job responsibilities: As a shop/field production manager, Skaug splits his days at Skaug Brothers Glass between the company headquarters and the job site, overseeing fabrication and installation activities.
Winning qualities: A stickler for quality and efficiency, Skaug has worked in the glass industry for more than 40 years, starting in his parents’ shop, Armstrong Paint & Glass, established in 1952. In 1976, the three Skaug brothers purchased the company from their parents and formed Skaug Brothers Glass Inc. Skaug lives out the company’s credo every day, meeting customers’ needs, constantly improving and helping the company to grow. “In short, it can be said about David: he delivers,” says Howard Skaug, estimator and project manager. “I believe our customers, general contractors and architects recognize [David’s management skills] and know he will deliver a quality job.” Skaug’s team in the shop and in the field admire and respect his leadership, as he works to bring out the best in all of them, Howard says. “I sense that the people he interacts with both like and respect him. He gives you his best; he expects your best; and you want to give it to him.”
Achievements: Skaug recently demonstrated his ability to deliver state-of-the-art projects ahead of schedule and under budget with the Washington State University Biomedical and Health Sciences Building project in Spokane, Wash. He installed curtain wall spanning three floors—all hung from slab edge embeds that required precise horizontal and vertical alignment due to the multiple planes of curtain wall on each floor, as well as a singular plane of curtain wall angling on and through each floor. The north elevation of the building features the most dramatic curtain wall, consisting of approximately 18,000 square feet attached to the edge of each floor slab. The project required exceptional precision to maintain both horizontal and vertical alignment of the curtain-wall framing, according to the company. Each floor had its own band of 7 ½-inch curtain wall running in a singular horizontal plane, except where it changed planes at various pivot points within that band. Each band of curtain wall was separated from the band above or below it by ½ inch and did not connect vertically. This ½-inch separation between the bands had to be maintained in a level line the entire length of the north elevation. With such demanding installation and scheduling requirements, Skaug was on site almost every day, directly responsible for the precision of installation and the quality of workmanship. “He completed the work on schedule and within our labor budget,” Howard says. “All [David’s attributes] were demonstrated on this job, and on every job he does for that matter; he delivers!”