11 Dec A Conversation with Jane Skeeter
A Conversation With:
How long have you been volunteering in the community?
I cannot remember a time when I was not volunteering for some worthy cause. As a little kid (64 years ago), I canvased with my parents for local elections and then as a tween I collected funds and advocated for support of Danny Thomas’ campaign against Leukemia and other such initiatives. I led many of them and was the first female president of Columbus Jr. High in 1965. Later, I volunteered as an art docent at Woodland Hills Elementary School for about 11 years. I have become increasingly dedicated to the improvement of lives and conditions of others.
I am a grateful person and choose to act on and demonstrate my gratitude. In 2004 I was granted a scholarship from National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) to University of California Los Angeles’ Management Development for Entrepreneurs Program. It was an excellent program and to thank the organization for their generous financial support, I joined NAWBO, then their Board of Directors and was soon elected to be the Los Angeles Chapter’s President. I am currently on their Foundation Board, where I have also served as Co-Chair. Since that time, I have become increasingly more focused on the San Fernando Valley. It is where I have lived since 1959 and where my efforts have the greatest impact.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Since childhood, I have been a designer, maker and entrepreneur. I have had several enterprises, usually related to making things or helping others. At 12-year-old and prior to the permanent-press era, think Mad Men style, I started an ironing business. This evolved into clothing design, dressmaking, upholstery, etc. I have also had a surfboard repair enterprise and was a partner in a Porsche restoration company and a geodesic dome business. I have been a sewing machine mechanic, adult and college level teacher of stained glass, clothing design, construction and creative design classes.
Around 45 years ago, I took up stained glass as a hobby and it rapidly became a business, too, Skeeter Studios, and eventually surpassed all my other interests and enterprises. By 1983 and having 5 people working in my garage, I moved the shop to a commercial space in Northridge. I became a licensed general and glazing contractor and we expanded our services and product lines. In 1987, we incorporated as UltraGlas, Inc. and introduced molded/thermally sculpted safety glass to the United States.
Since then, we have continued to innovate and increase our product offerings and capabilities. In August of 2001 we purchased a large facility in Chatsworth to house our new tile-making machinery, additional gas-fired kilns, sandblasting department and eventually, our glass lamination line. We no longer install glass but are focused on product development and manufacturing. We collaborate with architects and designers and sell to contractors and other B to B enterprises. For our original equipment manufacturer lines of tile, door inserts, showers and furniture, we sell through other labeled distributors.
We have received many product and company awards and have a patent on recycled glass products. We are currently in development with BIPV glass, building integrated photovoltaic glass for building cladding, windows and roofing. We have created special glass for projects all over the world, the largest one being 3 acres of UltraGlas for the exterior cladding of a hospital in Kuwait.
We respect the environment and operate in the greenest way possible, utilizing natural gas and recycling glass and other materials when possible.
I am a California girl. I was born in the bay area and have lived in the West Valley since 1959. I have been married to the love of my life, Barron Postmus, Sr. since 1988 and between us we have 4 adult children and 6 grandchildren. Barron is a talented and prolific fine artist, painting mostly landscapes with oil on canvas- www.barronpostmusart.com.
In addition to cherishing my family time and charitable work, I enjoy fitness and sports, gardening, fine dining and cooking, needle and fiber arts, architecture and the arts. I am very proud and humbled by the recognition and numerous awards I have received.
For more information visit my LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/janeskeeter
What is one of your Passion Projects that you are working on?
My passion is for our youth and promoting their emotional, educational and physical security and development. I have been an avid supporter of The West Valley Boys and Girls Club for many years. I want to enable the club to thrive and expand its service and amazing programs to as many kids across our great Valley. These great young people are our future leaders and we will rely on them to preserve our planet and humanity. I want to do all that I can to promote their success and growth.
I also support students by participating on high school and college advisory boards, teaching, providing factory tours and lectures, mentoring, hiring interns and supporting programs. I have been supporting students at California State University, Northridge- Interior Design Department, Woodbury University- Schools of Business, Architecture and Fashion, Chatsworth and Canoga High, UCLA-Interior Design Department and Otis College of Art and Design- Product Design Department.
I support local business and charitable organizations and sit on the boards of Valley Industry Commerce Association, Val Pac and support Valley Presbyterian Hospital.
Why do you continue to be a member of The Valley Economic Alliance?
I have been a member, supporter and fan of The Valley Economic Alliance for over 10 years because I want to further its mission to improve the lives of those who live and work here and foster our economic vitality. The organization does great work to assist our veterans, fosters healthcare and education, and gains resources to improve our condition. It works to promote unity of our diverse community and political leadership and assures the managed infrastructure and financial growth of our region. Bravo!