The AGG is sad to announce the passing of another great hero of ours, Joseph Barnes.
Joseph Barnes of Bendheim received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Glass Guild (AGG), honoring his lifelong dedication to the stained glass industry. Joe’s career spanned over 60 years, of which almost 40 were with Bendheim. He was the first recipient of the award, which is now presented annually as the “Joseph Barnes Lifetime Achievement Award"
“Joe’s love of people and deeply rooted work ethic have made him a great asset to Bendheim and the stained glass industry,” said Robert Jayson, President of Bendheim at the presentation. “Joe is known as the first in to work and the last to leave; (he) can always be relied upon to do the job, no matter what the task. I cannot imagine how many thousands of people he has helped with color selection, substitutions, shipping questions or “how-to” advice.”
After World War II Joe found his first glass job at Leo Popper’s, which imported specialty glass, almost by accident. He spent years learning the business under Popper’s guidance. In 1969 Popper closed its doors and Barnes brought his skills to Bendheim.
In an interview Joe stated: “I love working with glass, It has charm, beauty and so many design possibilities, there is so much you can do with it. The other great part of this job is working with people. I enjoy talking to them and helping them choose their glass."
Joe witnessed Bendheim grow from a small family-owned business to a national specialty glass company with five divisions, over 100 employees, facilities on both coasts, and a New York City showroom. As the company evolved, Joe’s commitment to work did not diminish.
Upon his retirement he stated: “I do not want to retire. I love the family-like friendliness and connection with people here. I do not think such atmosphere exists in companies any more. This job is my life.”
Our condolenses go out to Joe's family. Joe, you will be missed!
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