Best Production Supervisor

Ron Drew, vice president of Operations, Safti First

When Ron Drew joined Safti First in 2006, he brought with him 18 years of lean manufacturing experience and the 5s manufacturing methodology, increasing workplace efficiency and morale from day one. Supporting the company’s Merced, Calif., facility, Drew ensures Safti First stands behind its U.S.-based manufacturing promise by offering skilled job opportunities to local residents and overseeing product development. In his seven years with Safti First, Drew has made significant changes to cope with increased work load while continually improving the quality of output. For Drew, the key to success in the glass industry is “to provide your customers what they want, when they want it and at the highest quality level.”

Describe a memorable, challenging project that you completed. How did you overcome those challenges?

The Kensington, a mixed-use building in Boston, was a challenging and rewarding project. Safti First was challenged with supplying fire-rated glass that protected the building’s occupants from an outside fire threat. The building official required part of the curtain wall to meet ASTM E-119/NFPA 251/UL263 for 60 minutes. The fire-rated curtain wall had to match the rest of the non-rated systems seamlessly and pass testing prescribed by Curtain Wall Design Consulting. I ensured that the samples were completed on time in order to meet the testing schedule. I was also present during the testing performed by Architectural Testing Inc., an independent test lab. As soon as testing was completed, the job went into production the next day. My team met the delivery date and the SAFTIfire CW Framing System was installed on time.

One-word description of the glass industry:


One-word description of self:


Career history:

2006-present, vice president of operations, Safti First/O’Keeffe’s, Merced, Calif.; 2000-2005, operations manager, Watts/Ames Fire & Water Works, Woodland, Calif.; 1995-2000, manager/master scheduler, Vendo Corp., Fresno, Calif.


AA degree in business management, Fresno Calif.; Apics certification in material management


Softball, riding dirt bikes, surfing and fishing


Wife, Christina; Daughters, Jazette (19), Erin (16), Nikolette (11)

If a movie were made about your life, who would you cast to play you?

Bruce Willis

Favorite sports teams:

San Francisco Giants and Oakland Raiders


220 South R Street, Merced, Calif., 95340; 415/297-4552;