President and chief executive officer
Arch Aluminum & Glass Co.
Education: 1982, Bachelor of Science in communications,
Career: 1998-present, present and chief executive officer, Arch Aluminum & Glass Co., Tamarac, Fla.; 1995-98, president and chief operating officer, Arch Aluminum & Glass; 1990-95, vice president, Arch Aluminum & Glass; 1984-90, manufacturing and operations, Arch Aluminum & Glass, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; 1982-84, truck driver, Arch Aluminum & Glass, Miami
Personal: 46; hometown,
Diversions: basketball, boating and water sports, travel with family
Tell us about yourself. How did you get involved in the glass industry?
I was born into it. My family started in the glass industry in 1898, so I am fourth generation. I started going to work when I was 10 or 12 years old with my father. I would sort of work, sort of play, sort of get paid. I graduated from high school in 1978 and went to the best school that would have me to study to be an engineer so I wouldn’t have to go into the glass business. During my summer vacations and school breaks, I worked in the shop. By my junior year, I saw the business starting to grow and thought that after graduating college I’d either go back to school or to the family business. I liked the physical nature of working in the shop; I saw a lot of potential in the business; and the opportunity to be my own boss appealed to me. I was hooked.
Who does your customer base consist of? What types of products represent the bulk of your business?
We’re an aluminum storefront and glass fabricator. We do everything as far as fabricated glass: we temper, insulate and make laminated glass and mirrors. The only thing we don’t do is float glass.
Our customer base consists of glass shops, glazing contractors, OEM [original equipment manufacturers] like window and shower door companies, and other small fabricators and distributors. The glazing contractors are our biggest customers.
In what market segment have you seen the most growth? What do you attribute this to?
We’ve experienced double-digit growth on every product line, even mirrors. We’ve seen a lot of growth [in demand] in the Midwest and southeast
We’ve also seen a lot of growth in laminated glass, but we think that’s going to slow down significantly because of oversaturation. A lot of people have invested in the equipment, and the business will get cannibalized as people lose interest in it. Each year we don’t have a storm, there’s a little less pressure to have the product.
What steps has your company taken to reduce its energy costs?
In all of our new facilities, we use T5 fluorescent lighting that uses only a third of the energy compared to 400-watt metal halogen lights. We leased almost all new trucks last year because 2007 truck engines are between 5 [percent] and 10 percent more fuel-efficient than prior models.
We also recirculate water in almost all of our plants as disposable water has gotten more and more expensive.
What is the biggest challenge facing glass shops today?
I think the biggest problem will be the additional policing of the industry. Between the energy and impact codes, there is a lot more for glass shops to know from a compliance standpoint. There will be requirements put on them by the National Fenestration Rating Council [of
Unfortunately, [the glass shop owners] don’t see it coming. It takes work to really mine and figure out what [NFRC] is talking about and what they are trying to do. The burden has always been on the fabricator and manufacturer to meet codes and specifications, and now it’s going to be put on the fabricator/installer. It’s going to raise costs and it’s going to force glass shops to raise their expertise level. A lot of small to medium glass shops aren’t going to have that expertise level, and they’re going to get blindsided. All of this is for self-serving reasons. People want to make money on other people.