On the Road with USGlass


Why are Roberto Ramirez and his family smiling? Because they were the lucky winners of a $2,000 cart, courtesy of Unruh Fab, at Glass TEXpo last week.

Can’t tell you how much I enjoyed Glass TEXpo ’12 last week in San Antonio! Texas is such an interesting paradox of small-town familial relationships combined with a “bigger and better” attitude. I have lots of memories from last week, but have to share with you my absolutely favorite one.

We will have more TEXpo coverage over the next few days. It was just great fun to see some of the Texas glass industry greats … like Jerry Wright of AAA Glass, Bob Lawrence of Cristacurva/Craftsman, John and Teresa Mammen of M3, Donald Day of Texas Glass & Tinting in Victoria, TX, and, of course, Lou Green of Beaumont, TX.

Lou Green is partially responsible for my favorite memory as each year the Texas Glass Association presents its highest award, the Lou Green Award, to the individual who provided distinguished service to TGA and the glass industry. (I was humbled and very surprised to receive the award in 2004; it was a great honor. In fact, it sits above and slightly to the right of the computer I am working on right now.)

This year’s ceremony, during the Awards Breakfast, was especially meaningful. It was presented posthumously to Claudio Gonzalez, founder and longtime president of Harlingen Glass in Harlingen, Texas. Claudio’s daughter, Sandra Tovar, received the award from TGA vice president Deron Patterson. Her speech about his beginnings and career embody the American dream:

I was fortunate to have gotten to know and work with Claudio Gonzalez over the years and he truly was a “gentle giant” who gave respect to everyone he met and built quite a business in the process. It was a thrill to see him recognized by TEXpo.