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Following a Vision

Michael F. Spellman

Founder and CEO, IGE Glass Technologies Inc. and VIG Technologies LLC Years in the industry: 40+

Change, though not always right, is always necessary. And as the late Steve Jobs once said, it’s the “crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes” that will drive the change needed to change the world.

But for now, let’s start with change on a smaller scale: the architectural glazing industry.

Developments in technology and innovation, complex, high-performance facades and global, environmental aware-ness are just some of the things driving the need to change. The 2021 listing of USGlass magazine’s Most Influential People recognizes some of those individuals who have been influential in driving these change. They are leaders, thinkers and visionaries. Sometimes they have failed, messed up, made mistakes, learned from them and improved.

These individuals were nominated by their peers in the glass and glazing industry and selected by our editorial team. They generously took the time to offer insight into their challenges and obstacles, what motivates and challenges them and those who have inspired and influenced them. We hope you will be as inspired by them as we are.

If you would like to nominate someone for consideration on a future list, please email Ellen Rogers at

What is the biggest concern you have or obstacle you face?

Most of today’s messaging and relationship building is done via the internet. It can be difficult to measure the level of effective messaging and especially in developing relationships. My question is: How do the new, younger people entering our industry develop lasting, mutually respectful relationships with a communication focus primarily via the internet?

Who are your biggest influences and role models?

From our industry, the late, great John Wittstock, the first CEO of Oldcastle Inc. stands out. John really

helped me to define my business plan about three decades ago. I feel blessed and honored that I had the opportunity to know him, and to spend valuable time with him. Also, generations of my family and my wife Carolyn’s family members, and close friends of all ages and backgrounds.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

Prior to being involved in the glass industry I was a tour director in New England, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks. And as a boy, my dream was to grow up to be a famous jazz trumpet player. My first business was a shoeshine business having my mother and father as my largest customers. On Sunday mornings, I delivered the Boston Globe through my neighborhood. I was 10, and have been self-employed with a few exceptions ever since.

What’s something you’re proud of?

The team that Carolyn, my wife and business partner, and I created at both IGE Glass Technologies and VIG Technologies. Without this team, I have my doubts if the level of success we have accomplished would or could have happened. Also the successful introductions to the many innovations discovered that have helped the glass industry as a whole. They say you learn the most from your mistakes.

What mistake did you learn the most from?

I’ve certainly made my fair share of mistakes and then some. I’m very lucky to be blessed with an excellent “delete button” in my head so I don’t focus on them or remember any particular one that changed my life.

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