Cardinal VP Reveals New Product Plans … and Some Personal History
March 25, 2013
In an interview with Glass Magazine contributor Max Perilstein, Bowie Neumayer, vice president of sales and marketing for Cardinal Glass Industries, discusses new product launches on the horizon and why the glass industry needs to continue to educate the building community about the benefits they offer.
Max Perilstein: Let’s start with a little bit about you. How did you find your way into the glass industry and your current position at Cardinal?
Bowie Neumayer: My dad struck up a friendship with Dee Hubbard [founder and former owner of AFG Industries] when I was very young. My family races quarter horses, and that is how they met. Dee offered me a job with AFG after I graduated from Texas Tech. My brother is in the industry as well. I worked for AFG for 16 years—all in sales. In 2003, I was offered a position with Cardinal to handle sales for the new Durant, Okla., float plant. In 2006, Roger O’Shaughnessy [president and CEO, Cardinal Glass Industries] offered me the position I am in now. I guess you could say quarter horses set my career path.
MP: You have seen a lot of changes in the industry during your career. How different is doing business now compared to when you were first starting out?
BN: The customer base is a lot smaller, that’s for sure. There used to be four or five distributors in every large town. Those are all gone. The same goes for the window side, with consolidation. Technology has changed the way we communicate on a daily basis. Cell phones, iPads, Twitter, Facebook, texting, even voice mail; I sometimes miss the old days when you actually had to have a live conversation.
MP: It’s been a pretty volatile last few years in our industry; do you think the worst is over?
BN: I hope the worst is over. Twentyfive percent of float capacity has been shut down, as well as more than 60 window manufacturing plants. The industry needs some stable growth.
MP: Cardinal has a great reputation in several areas, but particularly in regards to advanced technology. Is there anything in the pipeline you can share with us?
BN: Thank you. Cardinal is always looking at advancing our product portfolio. We have improved our original fourth-surface coating i81 with better light transmission and less reflectance. This product will now be called i89. The annealed version will be available by this summer. We are also adding a new anti-condensation coating for the No. 1 surface: x89. Our XL–Edge has been in the market for 20 years; we have more than 475 million IG units under warranty. Longevity has always been our number one priority. Endur IG will be launching towards the end of the year. It has a warmer edge and the same longterm durability. We never chase performance without assuring our customers it will stand the test of time.
MP: Fun question time… I know you are pretty big sports fan. What is the best sporting event you have ever attended, and what event do you want to attend but have not yet?
BN: I am a big Dallas Cowboys fan, although it has been very hard the past number of years. Superbowl XXVII against the Bills probably ranks at the top. Texas Tech beat Texas in 2008, when they were No. 1, with a last-second touchdown. That was a close second. I would love to attend the Kentucky Derby. Actually, I would love to have a horse running while attending the Kentucky Derby.
MP: Last one: the glass industry has taken some heat for being a weak link in the house or building, but those of us who work in the industry know that we continue to develop better and better products that prove that theory wrong. What can we do as an industry to change that negative perception?
BN: We need to continue to educate architects, builders, consumers and code officials. The industry has developed great products for both commercial and residential [applications]; however, bad decisions are still being made. I stayed in a nice new hotel a few weeks back, and it had monolithic glass in it. I thought the heater was on in my room, there was so much heat gain coming in. Also, think of all of the residential windows with clear glass in them sucking up energy. Replacing them with energy efficient glass would make a huge impact on reducing energy demand. We are making strides in the right direction as an industry; we just need to do a better job of educating.