Two Industry Veterans to be Inducted Into Window Film Hall of FameJune 7th, 2023 by Chris Collier
Long-time window film industry veterans Darrell Smith, executive director of the International Window Film Association (IWFA), and Mike Burke, Sun Stoppers founder, will be the next professionals inducted into the Window Film Hall of Fame at the 2023 International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT) in Virginia Beach, Va. Each received multiple nominations and were chosen by the selection committee last month.
“It is humbling to think that of all the contributors to this industry I have had the opportunity to know and work with, I am to receive it,” Smith says of the upcoming induction. “They all share in this with me, because not one of us can take credit for the achievements in the industry over these past 40 to 50 years.”
Smith first shared the news of the selection with Blake Carter, who serves as the administrative manager of the IWFA. “We work so closely together, I had to share it with him immediately,” Smith says.
Smith has been involved in the industry for more than 50 years, beginning in 1971. His lengthy stint in the window film segment spans several prestigious companies and organizations:
• Smith Wholesale Inc. (family business) (1957-1969)
• 3M Corporation (Industrial Abrasives Division) (1969-1971)
• Martin Processing Inc. (1971-1987)
• Cortaulds Performance Films (1987-1995)
• DSM Services Inc. (1995-Present)
• AIMCAL-Window Film Committee (1996-2009)
• International Window Film Association (1996-Present)
Industry professionals had plenty to share about Smith in their nominations:
• “As a window film installer/dealer and member of the IWFA, I have appreciated Darrell’s work in leading the organization and advocating for the window film industry. He’s a familiar face at the annual International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ and I (and many others) have made a point to attend his talks when I participate in the conferences.”
• “I have been in the industry for over 33 years and have enjoyed meeting and learning from thousands of fellow industry colleagues. Darrell’s knowledge and expertise in the window film industry is only matched by his tireless efforts to advance our industry. I believe that his induction would certainly be well deserved.”
“It gave me some flashbacks to when I was a mobile tinter for three years—sweating with no air conditioning in body shops, detailing shops, stereo shops and car dealerships—looking for an [installation] bay,” Burke shares of his initial reaction to his selection. “I went from the first three years of my career to the last three years of my career in a 20-second flashback.”
Burke has worked in the window film industry for 33 years. He is the founder of Sun Stoppers, which has more than 71 locations in 28 states and offers residential and commercial tint and decorative film services as well as automotive tint, paint protection and ceramic coatings.
He holds The Guinness World Record for the most car windows tinted in a single day.
“Mike has built an empire from the ground up … [He] continues to inspire the entire industry with his work ethic and sought-after knowledge,” a nominator shared.
Another said, “Mike has contributed to the film industry in massive ways, including setting the first-ever Guinness World Record related to window tinting in 2018. Mike started his career in the industry as an owner/operator and through mastery of marketing and sales processes, has expanded his business empire to nearly 100 locations nationally … Today, Mike prefers to spend his time coaching, speaking and helping other leaders in the industry improve their results, and he would be an outstanding candidate to consider for a Hall of Fame induction.”
See you Seaside!
Smith and Burke will be inducted into the Window Film Hall of Fame, sponsored by WINDOW FILM magazine, on day one of WFCT 2023 in Virginia Beach, Va., at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
The Window Film Hall of Fame is designed to recognize those who have contributed significantly to the advancement of the window film industry. Scan the complete list of Hall of Fame inductees below.
2015—Todd and Trent Courage
“It is exciting to offer this permanent record, display and honor for those who have contributed so greatly to the advancement of film.”
– Debra Levy, WINDOW FILM magazine
Editor’s Note: WINDOW FILM magazine July/Aug 2023 will spotlight future Window Film Hall of Fame inductees Smith and Burke with an in-depth feature. Click here for a free subscription.