Picture above: Stephen Byers (right) with Karen Byers being presented with the GGF Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award by then-GGF President John Agnew
It is with the deepest sadness to announce that Mr Stephen Byers, co-developer of the ClearShield System® and co-founder and managing director of Ritec International Limited, passed away peacefully on 6 March 2021 aged 79, as a result of pneumonia.
Stephen and his wife and business partner Karen are well-known figures in the glass industry both in the UK and internationally. The inseparable team set out over 40 years ago to challenge the glass industry and transform perceptions and attitudes towards the protection and maintenance of glass surfaces. They displayed staunch determination and admirable dedication to raising awareness on the corrosion of glass, and most importantly how it may be avoided or corrected. And their efforts paid off.
Stephen and Karen single-handedly created a new and global industry for the protection of glass surfaces now firmly and permanently accepted by the whole of the glass and construction industry. Their award-winning ClearShield System® (later rebranded the ClearShield Eco-System®) for the renovation, protection and maintenance of glass, pioneered and still continues to be a leader in ‘non-stick’, easy-clean glass surface technology.
Stephen and Karen’s achievements were recognised in 2019 by the GGF (Glass & Glazing Federation) when they received an award for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry, a fantastic honour. Stephen worked relentlessly with the GGF to begin the development of some industry standards, and to make health & safety and ethics driving factors in the growth of this new industry. Today their technology is used in more than 70 countries on commercial and residential buildings as well as on ships and other transport vehicles, and in many other applications. But also lesser known, Stephen and Karen introduced crucial innovations such as a ground-breaking system for the protection of glass and ceramic electrical insulators with their VoltShield System™.
Mrs Karen Byers says: “I feel privileged to have enjoyed such a wonderful life with Stephen and to have shared the excitements and challenges of creating amazing innovations with him. I am determined more than ever to keep Ritec International running smoothly, feeling great strength to ensure its prosperity so that Stephen’s legacy may live on for many years to come”.
Karen and the rest of the Ritec team would like to provide reassurance that the company’s activities will carry on uninterrupted in honour of Stephen.
For those who wish to send a message of condolence, please email email@example.com.