Have a Happy Merry

2013 was one of the strangest and most unique years through which I have lived. It started with a bang–literally—and ends with a reminder that the miracle of life is all around us and not just the result of a live birth, although that is rather fitting at Christmas time. Join me a for minute and you’ll see what I mean.

That bang that began in April was actually the bomb that went off at the Boston Marathon. It’s still hard for me to believe that I was there and saw the bombs go off—what really were the odds of that especially for a person who had never before been to any marathon and who does not visit Boston often at all? The Marathon bombing was news for everyone and, as the case with so many tragedies, glass even played a role in it.

Here’s a look at the other major glass industry stories from the first half of last year:

Mergers and acquisitions: AGC purchased a majority interest in Adeka, Quanex bought the assets of Alumco; and Truth Hardware was sold.

Expansions: Viracon’s new coater in Owatonna, Minn.; Tubelite’s expansion in Dallas; AGC reopened its float plant in Greenwood, Tenn.; and Tempco opened in New York. SAF West expanded its anodizing capabilities in Redding, Va., AGA tripled its space in Livermore, Calif.; Wasco opened a plant in Las Vegas; HHH added an East Coast location; and Aldora acquired Trainor’s impact glazing business.

Closures and other issues: Viracon closed its plant in St. George, Utah, for at least two years, citing needed upgrades; PPG had a leak at its facility in Carlisle, Pa., in January; and PGT sold its manufacturing facility in Salisbury, NC.

People changes: Paul McGarry was chosen to lead PPG’s flat glass business;  Kirk Johnson was named COO of Hartung; Grey Mountain tapped Paul Cody as CEO of its Consolidated Glass Holdings; and Trulite got a new CEO, Paul Schmitz.

Lawsuits: Quite the year here with Sage vs. View, Glasweld vs. Boyle, Vitro and its creditors, the Ironworkers and CBO. All except the first two have since been settled.

Stories with legs (stories about glass that hit the mainstream consumer press): The lawsuit against Apple by the person who walked into the all-glass wall at of one of their stores in New York. It has since been settled.

Story to watch: The deaths of glass company employees in safety-related accidents—at least three this year and so sad to see. And there was even a lawsuit around protective gloves that allegedly did not properly protect workers from glass.

Next week I will recap my own top five stories of the year; I know our editors are also collecting the most popular stories of the year and will share them with you as well. Have your own selection? Feel free to email me your thoughts at

I would like to wish you a wonderfully Merry Christmas and new year and a joyous holiday season. Christmas takes on some even more special meaning this year as USGlass columnist Lyle Hill is scheduled to undergo his stem cell transplant tomorrow, Christmas Eve. It is anticipated to be the last major procedure that he must go through, barring complications. Through Lyle, I have gotten to learn a bit about the procedure and though complicated,  it is a marvel of modern medicine that reminds us there are miracles of birth and rebirth all around–at Christmas and beyond. Please keep Lyle and his family in your thoughts and prayers.( His email is

Peace always.