The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Stephen Byers, co-developer of the ClearShield System® and co-founder and managing director of GGF Members, Ritec International Limited.
Stephen passed away peacefully on 6 March 2021 aged 79, as a result of pneumonia and both he and his wife and business partner Karen are well-known figures in the glass industry and the GGF in the UK and internationally.
On hearing the sad news, John Agnew, GGF Managing Director commented, “I have shared many meetings and enjoyable social events with Stephen and Karen over many years. It is a very sad loss for the industry and the GGF. My heartfelt sympathies go to Karen and the immediate family at this time.”
Ritec has been in the GGF Membership since 1987 and over the last 30 years, Stephen was very involved in the GGF, holding various positions including Chairman of the London Region from 2006-2010 as well as being a founder Chairman of the GGF Modified Glass Group in 2013. Stephen also served for 10 years on the GGF Marketing and Communications Committee and was on the GGF Glazing Executive for 7 years.
Stephen and Karen’s achievements were deservedly recognised, when they received the GGF award for “Outstanding Contribution to the Industry” at GGF Members’ Day 2019 at Hilton Kensington Olympia.
Stephen’s relentless work with the GGF began with his input into the development of several industry standards, and to make health & safety and ethics driving factors in the growth of his emerging sector. Though a tenacious businessman, Stephen was also an extremely sociable person, attending many GGF and industry events in the UK and abroad.
Peter Stuttard, GGF Head of Membership said, “Stephen was a true gentleman and stalwart of the GGF Membership. He was a popular and productive Chairman of the GGF London Region. He will be sorely missed and my sincere condolences to Karen and her family and friends.”
James Lee, GGF Director of External Affairs worked with Stephen on the GGF Marketing and Communications Committee and also at exhibitions and events. On receiving the news, James said, “I was very sad to hear of Stephen’s passing. We worked together on numerous marketing and PR projects and I will fondly remember the many social occasions when I enjoyed both Stephen and Karen’s company. Stephen was a unique and popular personality in our industry who will be sadly missed. My thoughts are with Karen and her family at this difficult time.”