From the Fabricator: Gone but not Forgotten

This post is a special one; they’ll be no other news or links in it, so if anything breaks, I’ll share on next post or via social media. The goal of this post is to follow what the headline says,"Gone but not Forgotten." It dawned on me after Doug Nelson passed away a few weeks ago that we pay homage to the person who passes and then we move on—we rarely if ever look back and remember those folks who made a difference in our world. So, I decided that with this post I’d start to change that approach.

I want to look back at a few folks who are no longer with us and remind/educate the readers of what they did to advance our universe. They all played significant roles in the glass and glazing industry and while they may be gone; in my mind they are not and will not be forgotten.

I’m remembering two incredible technical guys, one manufacturers rep who set the bar very high and two fabrication leaders who left us a legacy that thankfully continues still today.

Greg Carney

Greg Carney is probably the one guy who’s no longer with us that still gets spoken about the most. So many folks at the trade level had deep and meaningful relationships with Greg that his name and memory are brought up on many occasions. Greg was the technical conscience of our industry. He was passionate about the products and the people and the approaches that were developed and perfected through the 90s. Many technical standards Greg led remain in place today. Personally, I miss him a ton; he was fun, unique and caring and was not afraid of the fight. I hope that we keep invoking his name and theories for many more years to come.

Lowell Rager

Lowell Rager was not as industry popular as Greg—not many people were—but Lowell was the personification of pure class. He was a technical mastermind and was a guy who saw the huge future of soft coat low-emissivity when so many of us were still trying to figure it out. He was ahead of pretty much every technical curve despite finishing his career for a company that only sold tinted glass. I just loved how cool Lowell would be under any condition. He deflected heavy compliments to him the same way he smoothly dealt with any jobsite complaints. He was class to the end.

Dave Helterbran

I saw Lindsay Price recently at the Texas Glass Association event and it immediately had me thinking about her dad Dave Helterbran. Dave was awesome. I knew Dave as one of the best manufacturers reps in the U.S., one that immediately added legitimacy to your product when he added it to his company’s line card. Every time I ran into him, he had a warm smile on his face and encouraging words, even if things weren’t going great. Dave battled and beat cancer and then somehow got the West Nile disease and beat that too. Eventually he couldn’t outrun the health issues but during that entire time, he kept plugging away and fighting. I’ll never forget that because I don’t think I’d have the strength to fight on the way Dave did. In addition Dave had massive fan club of people who really legitimately loved the guy and, honestly, I think the feeling was probably mutual.

Jim Dwyer and John Mammen

Last ones to mention this time around are fathers of two sons who to this day carry on the amazing class and style that their fathers were known for. I’m speaking of Jim Dwyer and John Mammen. Both were incredible people, top notch businessmen who did things the right way and they both brought sons into the business—John Dwyer and Syracuse Glass and Chris Mammen at M3 Glass Technologies—who are carrying on the same sincere approaches today. As an industry we are lucky that the lessons from Jim Dwyer and John Mammen are continuing and I am personally glad that I can call John and Chris friends of mine. 

In the end I wrote this because I don’t want these folks to be forgotten by the industry at large. There are others who may have passed that I did not mention, and there are quite a few industry titans on that list. Take a few minutes today and think about someone who passed who made a difference in our industry and do right by them. I know I am inspired to do so daily.

Thank you for reading through this non-traditional post, next week I’ll be back with my traditional insight and details.

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.

E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com. The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

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