In the midst of this year’s Republican and Democratic national conventions, being held in preparation for the upcoming election, one industry representative who works closely with the door and window industry is preparing to attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Deron Patterson, a senior account manager for PPG Industries’ flat glass division, based in Sugarland, Texas, first remembers being interested in politics at the age of 10, when he learned to do his own Richard Nixon impression.

Beyond his childhood interests, Patterson says he moved further into the political realm while studying at Texas State University. Patterson says he was inspired by a book, “Cry of the People” by Penny Lernoux and, when he traveled to Brazil with his then-fiance, Giselle, to be married, he took the opportunity to meet a Roman Catholic archbishop mentioned in the book, Dom Helder Camara. At that time, Patterson was considering moving to Brazil to be a missionary.

“[The bishop] told me that if I worked in my country, I could do more,” recalls Patterson. “It planted a deep seed in me and [since then] I’ve always been somewhat involved [in politics], always voting.”

In recent years, Patterson joined together with a friend and decided to form the Sugarland Democrats Club. “There’s something about a Sugarland Democrats Club that gets a little spark,” says Patterson, who points out that former House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R – Texas) also is from Sugarland.

“That’s where I’ve really been involved for the last few years—building up a city where only 40 percent of the people voted for President Obama in 2008,” he says. “[I’ve been] leading a lot of educational forums in my city, and that’s how I became a national delegate.”

Patterson was one of seven individuals in the Seventeenth City District of Texas elected to attend the Democratic National Convention as delegates next week in Charlotte, N.C.

“I’m going to get to meet our whole Texas delegation,” he says.

Patterson is looking forward to hearing President Obama speak late in the day on Tuesday, September 4, along with several other highlights. “Energy efficiency and the environment are really strong issues for me and there’s going to be a breakfast meeting for some coalition for energy efficiency,” he says. “I’m really looking forward to all that, and doing some networking, and carrying the flag for glass. Of all the delegates, I might just be the only one who represents the glass industry.”

And in this area, Patterson’s personal passion and his job meet, he says.

“I’m able to marry my environmental conscience with my work and that’s a good thing. My work is my cause,” he says.

Patterson has been with PPG for six years, and, prior to that, spent seven and a half years at Guardian. Before he joined the glass industry, he spent nearly ten years in the ocean transportation industry.

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