Happy New Year: A Look at the Top Ten Stories of 2012

As 2012 comes to a close and 2013 begins, USGlass magazine has taken a look back at the top headlines of the year. Following is the ranking of the most popular stories of the year.

1. Trainor Closes All Nine Locations, Lets Go All Employees: It is no surprise that the news that Trainor Glass was closing its doors and releasing all of its employees ranked at the top of the most-read stories of the year—though the news itself was quite a surprise to the industry. Since then, the company has filed for bankruptcy and been named in several lawsuits—many of which also ranked high on the list of popular stories. Just weeks before the closure, the company had reported to USGlass that its annual 2011 sales were $110 million—and ranked third on the March 2012 list of the top glazing contractors for 2011.

2. Trainor Faces Suit: Amid a continuing tough economy, one recurring story in 2012 has been suits filed by a variety of unions and various health and welfare funds for unpaid benefits. Among these, the Trustees of the Indiana State Council of Roofers Health and Welfare Fund filed a complaint against Trainor Glass in the U.S. District Court of Northern District of Indiana, Lafayette Division on February 22—just one day after the company closed its doors. The Fund, a multi-employer employee benefit plan that provides health, welfare and other benefits for employees of employers who contribute into its plan, alleged that Trainor had signed an agreement with it to make payments for pension and health and welfare fund benefits, but ceased making those payments in November 2011. The suit ultimately was dismissed without prejudice in August.

3. Dwyer Group CEO Says Walking in Employees’ Shoes was ‘Overwhelmingly Rewarding’: Last January, Dwyer Group CEO Dina Dwyer-Owens appeared on an episode of the popular television show, “Undercover Boss.” Though the Glass Doctor franchise was not one featured on the show, Dwyer’s reflections on the experience still ranked high among readers.

4. Trainor Glass Files for Chapter 11: Continuing a trend in 2012, readers followed the story of Trainor Glass closely, including its filing for bankruptcy in March 2012—just a few weeks after its closure. The bankruptcy filing included claims by a number of industry suppliers, including Viracon with a claim of $1.1 million, EFCO with a claim of $1.1 million, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® with a claim of $615,084.74, Kawneer with a claim of $503,307.00, J.E. Berkowitz with a claim of $498,906.38, and Graham Architectural Products with a claim of $350,920.

5. Owner of Arizona Shower Door Arrested in Plot to Kill Wife: Much of the industry read with interest and shock when Fred (“Spike”) Knadler, former president of Phoenix-based Arizona Shower Door, was arrested for allegedly conspiring to kill his wife. Shortly after the arrest, Fred Knadler’s son, Paul, was named president of the company.

6. Trainor Glass Motions to Use Cash Collateral, in Light of Chapter 11 Filing: While the Trainor closing was the top-read story of the year, Trainor also tops the charts when it comes to companies named most times to this year’s top-ten list. Even after the company filed for bankruptcy, the news that the company was aiming to use its cash collateral, incur post-petition debt, and grant adequate protection and provide security and other relief to its largest creditor, First Midwest Bank, also ranked high. This motion also was particularly interesting to readers as it provided some insight into Trainor’s demise. “By 2010, Trainor found itself with significantly reduced liquidity and financial losses which caused Trainor to close many of its plants, sell equipment, and reduce workforce,” wrote the company in late March. “During the period June 2011 – December 31, 2011, Trainor closed 13 facilities, resulting in significant additional losses. On February 21, 2012, after being unable to secure additional financing necessary to continue operating, Trainor ceased business operations and terminated all employees.”

Page 1 of 2 | Next page