Executive Team Bios




Eric Mertz was appointed as President and CEO of The Caldwell Manufacturing Company in October 2008. He has an extensive and successful track record in engineered products, manufacturing and business-to-business sales. Prior to joining Caldwell, Eric worked for Inalfa Roof Systems, a supplier of automotive sunroof systems, for 12 years where he held leadership positions in Engineering and Operations. Between 2005 and 2008, Eric served as an executive director on the company’s board as well as CEO of the European Operations, the companies largest business unit.

Eric is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and received his bachelors’ degree from Ferris State University in Product Design Engineering in 1991. Eric resides with his family in upstate New York.

Bob joined Caldwell in 2003 as CFO. He has over 30 years experience in finance and accounting since beginning his career in Public Accounting with Arthur Andersen & Co., where he earned his CPA certificate. Interestingly, one of the first accounts that Bob worked on with Arthur Andersen & Co. was Caldwell Manufacturing Company. 

Prior to coming to Caldwell, Bob was Sr. VP of Finance and Administration at ENI, an electronics manufacturer and a subsidiary of Emerson Electric Company. 
Bob and his wife have twin teenagers and he is active in his Church, including serving as Treasurer. 


Gary brings extensive experience in sales, operations, manufacturing and growing profitable business.  Prior to joining Caldwell Manufacturing, he has many years as a senior executive and corporate officer for multiple companies spanning technology, packaging, distribution, manufacturing, sustainable materials, water and energy.

Most recently Gary was the President and COO of ClearCove, growing that company from a start up in the water and energy equipment solutions to an industry leader of innovation in that industry.  As President of Unisource Global Solutions (a Bain Capital Company), Gary built the Company’s international footprint, implementing world-leading (sustainable) packaging engineering and manufacturing solutions. 

Gary spent over 20 years in the semiconductor and computer systems industries. He was Senior Vice President of Sales and Field Operations at Nu-Horizons. While at Pioneer Standard Electronics, where he managed the Strategic Accounts and Electronic Manufacturing Services businesses as Vice President and expanded the operations internationally.

Gary is a graduate of the University of Rochester.  He is a currently a board member of ClearCove and Saints Place.  He is also a member of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and active in several other charity and advisory roles.  He lives in Fairport with his family.
JOHN KESSLER John Kessler joined The Caldwell Manufacturing Company in August 2007 as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing, John's thirty-year career in the building products industry includes extensive sales and marketing experience. In addition, he maintains a broad business background with experience in both private and publicly held companies where he has held a variety of executive level positions.

Prior to joining Caldwell, John was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Truseal Technologies a Quanex Company. Truseal is a manufacturer and supplier of proprietary insulating glass sealant systems to the OEM residential window and door manufacturers.

During his career John has represented the industry as an active member of the Fenestration Manufacturers Association (FMA), American Aluminum Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) where he was a member of the Board of Directors.

John is a 1973 graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Stout where he earned his bachelors degree in Industrial Arts Education. John and his wife reside in the Rochester, New York area.


Kevin Joined Caldwell in 1993 as part of the Rochester Operations team and has subsequently held various job duties such as Skilled Trades & Facilities Management, Plant Manager and Special Projects Manager.

He was promoted to the Vice President position in 2007. He has over 20 years experience in window hardware manufacturing and his most recent accomplishments have been the development of the cross -border operations and the establishment of distribution center in Alachua, Florida.

Kevin holds an AS Degree in Manufacturing Science from Monroe Community College. He is currently completing the Lean Systems Certification through the University of Kentucky.

Kevin and his family reside in the Rochester area.


Jay Sofianek joined The Caldwell Manufacturing in February  2011 as the Director of Engineering. He is responsible for product engineering, value engineering and technical/lab services.  Jay has 28 years of product engineering experience having held a succession of global engineering leadership positions at Delphi Corporation. He holds many patents and publications.
Jay is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Jay and his wife Lori live in Webster and have two daughters attending college. In his spare time he enjoys mountain biking and whitewater kayaking. He is active in the community and with Young Life.  


A human resources professional with 20 years of experience, Gidgett Ingalls joined Caldwell Manufacturing North America, LLC in August of 2012 as Director of Human Resources and Strategic Planning. Previously Gidgett was Vice President of Human Resources and Strategic Planning a SIGMA Marketing Group for four years. Prior to SIGMA, Gidgett was in Human Resources Leadership positions at Global Crossing.

She has a thorough understanding of all aspects of Human Resources, with significant experience in the areas of talent management, performance management , compensation, employee development, employee relations, HR Metrics, succession planning, employee orientation, training, and recognition programs. Recognized for her strong analytical and strategic planning and problem solving skills, Gidgett is a results oriented leader. Her communications and project management capabilities, and commitment to team work, has enabled Gidgett to develop programs that have improved employee engagement that directly correlates with high performance organizations and business success.

Gidgett earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Labor Relations at Cornell University. She is certified by the Human Resources Certification Institute as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and is a member of Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and also a member of the National Human Resources Association (NHRA).