Ones to Watch November/December 2019

July 20th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

Sales

Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass): Named Dan Stipetich its sales director for the Eastern region. Stipetich, who joined Vitro Glass in 2016 as senior account manager for the Southeastern region, now leads a team of commercial account managers in the Eastern U.S. Prior to Vitro Glass, he worked in the flat glass and architectural coatings business with PPG, where he served in customer service as a project manager and in various sales roles.

Retirees

Richard Sitlinger: announced in early September his retirement from MI Windows and Doors. Often referred to as “Sitch,” Sitlinger started with the company September 1, 1957, officials said, after meeting then CEO Pete DeSoto while getting a sandwich. DeSoto, who had opened an MI factory in the Elizabethville, Pa., area a few months prior, asked Sitlinger to start that same day. “Pete said to me, ‘You’re my second shift, starting at 2:30 this afternoon,’” Sitlinger once recalled.

Sitlinger was one of the last remaining MI team members who screened windows, also travelling to help team members at other plants to get up to speed. He worked at eight different operations throughout Pennsylvania, eventually settling down at the company’s plant in Hegins, where he spent the last 30 years in maintenance.

Gary Winkler: executive vice president for Joyce Manufacturing, recently announced that he won’t be with the company next year. After 20 years with the company, Winkler says he isn’t ready to declare retirement, but is, “taking 2020 off and going to travel the country for leisure.” Winkler’s career started with siding, which he installed after college in 1975, before advancing into wholesale distribution. He then worked 11 years as vice president of sales and marketing for Great Lakes Window, a position he also held at Soft-Lite Windows for two years before joining Joyce in 1999. Officials say Winkler played a critical role in establishing the company’s offerings in vinyl replacement windows, as well as increasing the geographic spread of its dealers.

Vice president of sales Ken Dunbrook will assume Winkler’s duties at the start of the year.

Obituary

Industry Mourns the Loss of Edgetech Founder Michael Glover

Michael Glover, the original founder of Edgetech and co-inventor of Super Spacer, passed away on Sept. 1, 2019. Glover leaves behind, “a legacy of innovation,” said officials for Lauren International and Quanex Building Products in a joint statement, adding that Glover’s vision helped to shape the fenestration industry.

“Michael was first a family man who was full of kindness and second an entrepreneur who was always looking for new solutions to old challenges,” said Kevin E. Gray, CEO of Lauren International and former president of Edgetech I.G. “It was an honor to have worked with him for many years and to watch his vision become reality. My condolences go out to Michael’s family, colleagues and many friends. He will be missed.”

Erin Johnson, marketing director for Quanex, said, “After 30-plus years in the field, his invention is still making a tremendous impact in homes and buildings around the globe. On behalf of Quanex and all of us who knew and worked with Michael, our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Glover incorporated Edgetech I.G. in Canada in 1987, which became a subsidiary of Lauren Manufacturing in 1989. It was purchased in 2011 by Quanex Building Products.

Glover is survived by his wife, Annie Dalton-Glover; children Alexandra Glover (Ryan Ward) and Christopher (Natalia Panyushkia); step-children Leslie Dalton (Brittany) and Rachael Price (Gregory Price); and several grandchildren.

A funeral was held at St. Paul’s United Church in Perth, Ontario, on September 18.

Q&A

A Talk About M&As with Michael Turner of The JIAN Group

While the door and window industry has seen a steady flow of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in recent years (including some recent; see the article on page 16), few—if any—have formed large conglomerates among dealers. Experts serving other areas of the building products industry suggest that roll-ups among large lumber and building material (LBM) dealers not only offer the advantages of broader distribution, but add buying power and other efficiencies. To discuss why similar changes haven’t found their way to door and window dealerships, [DWM]’s editors turned to Michael Turner, investment banker for The JIAN Group.

Turner’s company has been involved with numerous specialty distribution consolidations across products such as drywall, roofing, fasteners, millwork and traditional lumber, as well as building material distributors. In early 2018, after analyzing the full building material industry, the company’s experts set their sights on doors and windows.

What made your company cue in on the doors and windows sector?

The JIAN Group was started in 1992 by previous building material owner/executives … Our previous experience of acquiring and operating building material companies indicated private owners had a lack of experience and knowledge when selling their companies, while the buyer was surrounded by various professionals with extensive knowledge of M&As.

Why is it, would you say, that the industry has seen so little M&A activity at the dealer level?

One word: scale. Large companies can readily identify synergy savings and benefits of scale when consolidating. For example, within the last year, NCI merged with Ply Gem in a $1.2 billion transaction that is expected to result in $150 million in synergy savings. Dealers, on the other hand, are much smaller in size. The average door and window dealer is between $10-$20 million in revenues and product offerings between dealers vary widely.

How did the last recession impact M&A activity and how might a slowdown impact them going forward?

The Great Recession beginning in 2007 pretty much stopped M&A activity in building materials until 2009 … M&A activity has remained strong since then, but acquirers are more value-oriented today as a result of the length of the current economic cycle. In terms of how the industry might undergo some consolidation at the dealer level, what scenario(s) do you see as most viable?

Specialty distribution consolidations in the building material industry typically are backed by a financial sponsor, not an LBM. We believe the specialty door and window market is a great candidate for consolidation, however due to the small size of most dealers, it will be a slow process to acquire and successfully integrate such varied dealers from market to market.

Executive Appointments

Fortune Brands Home and Security Inc. (FBHS): announced in late September a series of leadership transitions— including the retirement of Christopher J. Klein as CEO. Effective January 6, 2020, Klein will serve as executive chairperson for the company’s board of directors. At that time, David M. Thomas, current chairperson of the board, will become lead independent director. Nicholas Fink will succeed Klein as CEO, also joining the board of directors.

As part of a multi-year succession plan, Fink assumed the role of president and chief operating officer earlier this year, leading operational and strategic initiatives across the company’s three operating divisions. He joined FBHS in 2015 to lead its global growth and development team, later becoming president of the newly formed Global Plumbing Group (GPG). Prior to that, Fink worked as president of Beam Suntory’s Asia Pacific and South America branches, formerly leading its Canadian business.

Klein joined FBHS in April 2003 as senior vice president, strategy and corporate development. Since becoming president and COO in 2009 and CEO in 2010, he took the company public in 2011.

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