(Decatur, Michigan, June 17, 2019) Special-Lite, Inc. announces the appointment of Steven Benscoter as their new President and COO. He will assume responsibilities on June 17, 2019, and will succeed Interim President/COO Brad Lawton who remains on the Board of Directors.
Mr. Benscoter brings to Special-Lite a strong record of delivering results in the areas of cost-savings and long-term revenue generation as well as building talented and engaged teams. His reputation for putting the right people, processes, and technology in place, has led to tremendous success in building sustained business performance and supporting business growth.
Earning his MBA from Loyola University and his BA from Illinois Wesleyan, Mr. Benscoter’s career spans numerous leadership positions in human resources, commercial integrations, sales and marketing, product development, distribution and materials management, and plant management. He previously held a Senior Executive position for a Fortune 500 medical technologies firm with 44 manufacturing and R&D locations worldwide, +$12B in revenues, and +33,000 global employees.
He currently resides in Kalamazoo, Michigan with his family and is an active member of the Michigan Colleges Alliance Board of Trustees.
About Special-Lite, Inc.
For nearly 50 years, Special-Lite has engineered and built custom architectural products for the toughest customers on earth. Delivering durable, high-cycle products to commercial and institutional markets around the world, these long-lasting, eco-friendly products deliver the lowest total life-cycle cost and include interior and exterior doors, complete entrance systems, restroom partitions, and interior aluminum framing & glass walls.
Special-Lite is now producing fire cores for all of our fire-rated doors in the recently acquired Benton Harbor facility.
Changes in the fire core marketplace have been creating disruption and related market uncertainty. The changes in the market have resulted in considerable increases in pricing, as well as delays in production and delivery of fire-rated doors industry-wide. To create stability and reliability for customers, Special-Lite has invested heavily in the new facility, as well as production-related capabilities. These investments allow continued delivery of products to our Special-Lite customers, in a reasonable time frame, at a competitive price.
By beginning of April, all cores for Special-Lite fire-rated doors will be manufactured in the new Benton Harbor facility.
Announcing LiteSpace Interior Aluminum Framing
Over the past year we have test marketed a line of interior aluminum framing for glass walls and office fronts. We refer to this line as “LiteSpace.” It complements and provides an alternative to our Omega line
LiteSpace is characterized by minimal profiles for high glass content. While Omega installs into rough openings, LiteSpace installs into finished openings. Its aluminum profiles are symmetric and subtle, celebrating the glass they serve and the light that passes through. Further information on this product is available on the LiteSpace product page
We are now releasing LiteSpace outside of our initial target market. We refer to this introduction as a soft rollout because our intent is to serve a limited radius around our manufacturing headquarters so we can properly support the product during its adoption.
Ideal distributors for this product would be currently in this line of business and promoting a competitive product line. They will have on-staff project managers and sales representatives. They will have their own glass and glazing installer on staff or have a contracted relationship with such. All requests for LiteSpace distribution must be approved by Roger Stempky, Special-Lite VP of Sales & Marketing.
With a name like “Special-Lite,” we have a certain reputation to uphold. So, we took stock of what’s special about Special-Lite and came up with a long list of items. Not surprising, many product-related features appeared on the list as did many process-related components.
Still, we knew there was a critical element missing—the wonderful people of Special-Lite.
With a new marketing team in place, we could take a fresh look at our advertising and messages to the world. And, while a focus on products is needed, we could no longer ignore the people of Special-Lite.
Thus, a new campaign was hatched. We would talk to people in various departments of the company to discover how they “build the special in Special-Lite.” In other words, how do their individual contributions help to create world-class products and services. Then, we would talk to people outside of the company to discover how they “see the special in Special-Lite.”
The results have been revelatory. For instance, one of our fire door specialists imagines that each door he builds is protecting his daughter in school. And the campaign appears to be connecting with the various building markets we serve.
You can explore some of the print and digital ads as well as a few related videos below. And we’re just getting started. So, stay tuned.
SecureLite has become the go-to product for security glazing and intrusion-resistant applications. This lite kit offers a secure ½” or 1” glass bite, is flexible in terms of glass thicknesses (¼” to 1”), and is appealing visually with no visible fasteners despite its strong through-bolt assembly.
New for SecureLite is the presence of integrated muntins as an option. Now, you can have the security the product offers along with a look that can complement other project openings or that gives the designer some appearance options. These surface-mounted muntins are constructed of extruded aluminum and are applied to both sides of the frame. Once the finishing caps are installed on the frames, the muntins offer a flush and cohesive appearance.
Like the remainder of the SecureLite frame, the muntins may be factory anodized in one of 6 colors, painted in one of 20 Kynar colors, or custom finished to your specifications.
More information is available on the SecureLite product page of the website.
We have received an updated listing for our FR Series fiberglass fire doors based on latest testing to applicable standards. As a result, the FR Series doors are now approved for use with continuous hinges. Our previous listing included butt hinges as the only approved hinge type.
The latest listing demonstrates the results of the inspection, tests, and evaluation of the FR Series doors for compliance with applicable requirements of the following standards: UL 10(b) Revision 1 (2009), UL 10(c) (2009), CAN / ULC S104 (2015), UL 10(c) 2016, and NFPA 252 (2017).
Watch for updated product training for the FR Series in the form of video. They will be available on the respective product pages in the coming weeks.
The Special-Lite executive team and ownership continue to demonstrate their interest in developing the staff. Just last month, the second group of employees graduated from our Management Development program. It represents a significant investment for the company and a significant commitment from candidates.
The program lasts 14 months. Candidates, who represent a diversity of employee departments, are divided into teams but receive combined instruction from a variety of leaders. A variety of leadership topics are addressed, including, leading up, leading down, leading across, working with different communication styles, presentation skills, writing and oral communications skills, project management, employment laws, discrimination and harassment, motivating others, and dealing with difficult employees.
The cornerstone of the course is a group project that spans the entire 14 months. For this project, each 5-6 person group tackled a project they thought would impact the company in a positive way. For this graduating class, Group A dealt with issues of new employee onboarding as well as employee training. Group B tackled the challenge of enhancing the customer experience. Final project presentations are made before an audience of executives and those managing the candidates.
Company President, Kevin Hanley: “Each of the participants devoted a significant amount of personal time over the last year, getting exposure to a broad array of management and leadership skills. These skills provide them the tools they need to excel both personally and professionally. I offer my sincerest congratulations to each of these graduates and look forward to their continued growth and contributions to our company.”