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Industry ponders Silverstein’s departure from Arch Aluminum

Post Time:May 03,2010Classify:Industry NewsView:150

Following last week's announcement that Leon Silverstein was leaving Arch Aluminum & Glass, Tamarac, Fla., Glass Magazine talked to glass and glazing professionals to gauge their reaction. Here's what they had to say:

Bob Trainor, CEO, Trainor GlassCo., Alsip, Ill.:“[My reaction is of] temporary sadness. He is a friend and a good man. He has passion for his company and for the glass industry. He is a hardworking guy who will rebound.

“[Leon] was a key person at Arch for many years and a driving force; there will be adjustments to the core business model and for their people. When any leader departs and new leaders come in, there will be changes, and people will have to adjust quickly or move on. The industry will always be a good one, and leaders will guide a company’s performance within the industry. It will be interesting to see how Arch adjusts and positions itself with its different leader. Leon will land on his feet. He is a bright guy with passion for what he does.”

Rod Van Buskirk, president, Bacon & Van Buskirk, Champaign, Ill.: “I’ve known Leon since the mid-1980s. Distribution and fabrication is what he knows. Don’t count him out. There are a lot of people reinventing themselves in this economy.

“Primary glass manufacturers are upset and still expect payment. It will be interesting to see how Arch finds suppliers for their product lines. I don’t think Leon’s departure will affect Arch day-to-day or their customers, though.”

Chris Mammen, president, M3 Glass Technologies, Irving, Texas: “One thing I love about the glass industry is that it is full of interesting characters. Leon is definitely one of them, and an influential one. I can empathize with him, as I imagine how difficult it must be to leave a successful business that you have put your life into under such circumstances. The company he grew will continue to play a significant role in the industry, even without his personality driving it. He has said he will re-emerge shortly, and depending on what that looks like, I think he will continue to be a prominent person in our industry.”

Alvaro Correa, project manager, West Tampa Glass, Florida: “In a way it is kind surprising, but when they sold the company and merged into a corporation, everybody knew that changes were coming. It will be exciting to see how the company will perform now that he is not there. We use them now and I think we will keep doing it.

“[Silverstein] stated that 'I have no non-compete and expect to be back in business very shortly. I look forward to re-emerging,' which means he will be back in the industry. I don’t think it will be an effect on the industry because he’ll be back soon. We will be [here] with the doors open to see what he has in mind for his re-emerging.

“[Silverstein] always cultivated the relationships with the customers, so I am sure for some customers his leaving might affect the orders. But on the other hand, it will be a very nice opportunity for Arch now to prove they can keep doing business without him and maybe even get better. It will be a very interesting transition to see.”

Bob Rushing, pre-contract manager, Architectural Aluminum Techniques, Orlando, Fla.: “Leon has, of course, been a large presence in the industry, and the announcement was somewhat of a surprise. I am sure that the changes will continue for the near term. Replacing someone in his position, especially in the current market, will be difficult at best.

“The next few weeks should be most interesting. His comments seemed to make it pretty clear that he would be a presence in the industry at some level soon. We do business with the Orlando branch on a daily basis and will certainly watch the events unfold with interest.”

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