Michael W. Dyas, president and chief executive officer at Sterling Cut Glass from 1976 to 2021, died peacefully at home surrounded by family, friends, and a faithful dog on Friday, October 6, 2023. He was 76.
Mike bought Sterling Cut Glass from his father, Charles (“Bossman”) Dyas, in 1976. Over the next forty years, he built the business from the ground up—from the small, austere factory and showroom on McMillan Street to the state-of-the-art production facility on Olympic Boulevard. As a young man, he loved the factory floor and the grind of McMillan Street. His favorite jobs were cutting and sandblasting; packing and shipping. Later, Mike found an unusual talent for growing a business. Under Mike’s leadership, golf became the fulcrum of Sterling’s success. Annually, Sterling produces etched crystal trophies, awards, and tournament gifts for thousands of prestigious club events across the country. Beginning in 1987, he expanded operations significantly by developing a direct connection with the famous Krosno Glassworks in Poland, combining Sterling’s superior custom etching with Krosno’s high-end crystal. He enjoyed his annual trips to Poland to tour the factory, talk business, eat fine local delicacies, and drink authentic Polish vodka. At Sterling, Mike and his brother, Barry, were early adopters of the nascent photo-emulsion technology used for deep etching. Working closely with his wife, Leslie, and his son J Brook, Sterling grew into a leader of the international crystal industry and a pioneer in bringing crystal awards and gifts to the golf industry. Mike consulted for the business up until his death, while also chronicling Sterling Cut Glass history in his Sterling Memories: A Memoir (1970–2020).
Mike was born on October 15, 1946 in Covington, KY to Charles and Ruth (née Duttman) Dyas. After graduating from Covington Catholic High School in 1964, Mike graduated with honors from Xavier University in 1968. He remained a dedicated fan of the Xavier Musketeers. He later received a Master’s Degree from the University of Tennessee.
Mike lived a full life and touched many lives. He was an avid golfer, oenophile, and conversationalist extraordinaire. He loved maps, holidays, and late-night card games. He could listen and talk to anyone with enthusiasm and compassion. His upbeat demeanor was contagious: he made every party better; every dinner more lively; every round of golf more graceful.
Mike was a longtime supporter and former board member of the Point Arc, an organization that provides opportunities to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He fondly remembered his work as a young man at Camp Ramapo, an Upstate New York summer camp servicing those with social and mental challenges.
Above all, Mike loved and was loved by his family. He proudly followed the many activities and accomplishments of his grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, business partner, and collaborator, Leslie Dyas (née Brown); children, J Brook Dyas (Valerie), Annie Dyas, Kristin Dyas, Michael Dyas, and step-daughter, Hannah Brod (Dexter); grandchildren, Audrey Dyas, Leo Dyas, Harry Dyas, Iris Sellman, Iggi Sellman, Beatrice Dyas, Willa Dyas, Zipporah Brown, and Otto Brown; siblings, Susan McNally and Barry Dyas (Mary); and countless nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held from 10–12 on Thursday, October 12 at Mother of God Church, 119 West 6th St., Covington, KY. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 12. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mike’s memory may be made to The Point Arc Serving Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Middendorf Funeral Home in Ft. Wright is serving the family.