A Look at the Industry’s Founders,
Renegades and More
In the following pages, AGRR magazine has compiled a list of the industry’s
most influential representatives. The list includes some who have since
left the industry and many who continue on in their efforts to grow the
industry’s standards, safety efforts, techniques, tools and more.
In addition, a few are included who fall outside the 10-year range but
whose efforts have continued to impact the way the auto glass industry
works. Read on for a look at these.
(Editor’s Note: This is the first part of a multi-part series. If you
have a suggestion or nomination for an individual who should be included
in a future segment, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Building blocks are often seen as the foundation of any business or industry—but
those putting them into place are just as important. The auto glass industry
has included a number of builders who’ve grown their companies to such
levels that they’ve impacted the entire industry—or have been involved
in so many facets of the industry that they’ve impacted it on several
Following are some of those who ranked at the top of this category.
David Rohlfing - Glass America, Chicago, Ill.
David Rohlfing, president of Chicago-based Glass America, has done it
all. He started in the retail glass business in 1972 as an auto glass
installer trainee at a small company in Florida, and worked his way through
the ranks as installer, store manager and sales rep, prior to taking over
the business six years later.
His company was part of the Glass Specialty franchise group and he worked
with another industry icon, Karl Alberti, who was franchise director at
the time. The two later left the company and formed a new one, the MAGIC
(Mobile Auto Glass Installation Centers) Group. In 1986, they sold that
business to Safelite and Rohlfing went to work for Safelite; he was responsible
for all of Florida initially, and eventually began assisting with the
company’s acquisitions and transitioning other companies into the business.
He also led Safelite’s acquisition of Speedy Auto Glass, and at one point
took charge of the company’s New England region, until he left there in
Rohlfing went on to another prominent industry player, Windshields America,
where he became executive vice president of operations initially, and
eventually was promoted to chief executive officer in September 1992.
The company eventually merged with Globe Glass/U.S. Auto Glass, and Rohlfing
left to work with Belron, handling the company’s worldwife new market
entry strategy and acquisitions. During that time, he spent a good deal
of time in Asia, the Philippines and South America, and handled several
large acquisitions, including that of Standard Auto Glass in Canada.
Eventually, Rohlfing left there and took a break from the industry before
teaming up with several equity firms to purchase Glass America from BP
Capital. Since then, the company has purchased Auto Glass Service and
Globe Amerada Glass and now has locations in 22 states.
Rohlfing is known not only for his longevity and breadth of experience
across the industry, but also for his staunch commitment to safety. Glass
America was the first national chain to become AGRSS-registered and Rohlfing
has been an active participant in the development of the Standard. Last
April, he was elected vice president of the Council’s board and continues
to serve in that capacity today.
Where Is He Now?
Rohlfing continues to serve as president of Glass America and as vice
president of the AGRSS Council Inc.’s board of directors. Rohlfing counts
“all who chose to protect and serve in the Armed Forces in the United
States over the years,” along with Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger
among his heroes.
Frank Archinaco - Pittsburgh Glass Works, Pittsburgh,
Once most people retire, they actually do just that—retire. But PPG Industries’
Frank Archinaco is a different story. Though he had actually retired in
2002, he returned to the company in 2008 to held lead the auto glass division
of the business through a difficult period, and eventually a sale to Kohlberg
and Co. and transition into Pittsburgh Glass Works. This decision came
shortly after a previously scheduled sale to Platinum Equity had been
abandoned in late December 2007.
Archinaco has a long history with PPG, having been appointed vice president,
automotive OEM glass in 1986. In 1994, he assumed responsibility for the
company’s entire glass business, and he was elected executive vice president
in 1997—a position he held until he retired in 2002.
Archinaco was responsible not only for playing a key role in the development
of the U.S. manufacturing market, but also in the development of LYNX
Where Is He Now?
After Pittsburgh Glass Works made a successful transition with its new
majority ownership by Kohlberg & Co., Archinaco made his own transition
back into retirement early in 2009.
The AGRSS Council
Though many of the AGRSS Council’s present and past members are named
separately on the full list, an auto glass industry’s Most Influential
list looking at the last decade would not be complete without a mention
of the entire group. The industry-founded and funded group not only came
together to develop an ANSI-approved standard for the industry after assessing
that the industry was in need of a common document by which to safely
approve glass, but also took the Standard steps further. The Council has
developed a registration program, which initially required self-audits,
then just last year, added a third-party validation facet to the program—the
first program of its kind in the auto glass industry.
In addition, the group has worked tirelessly to promote consumer awareness
of the importance of proper windshield installations and, in 2007, launched
its own Consumer Awareness Program, in which the group goes into various
communities and holds a day-long program to educate both insurance agents
and customers about the Standard.
AGRSS also offers a consumer website, to explain the need for the Standard
and for safe windshield installations, and to give consumers a place to
go online and locate an AGRSS-registered shop when auto glass replacement
work is needed.
Where Are They Now?
The AGRSS Council is continuing to monitor its recently launched third-party
validation program and has much excitement planned for 2010. Stay tuned
to AGRR magazine for the latest, and be sure to check out our annual
safety issue—the March/April 2010 issue of AGRR magazine—for more
on this effort.
The Big Three of Belron
Belron has developed not only a large national presence throughout the
United States, but the company also is the biggest worldwide auto glass
company, with operations in 31 countries across Europe, North and South
America, Australia, and just last year also entered the China market.
Over the last few years, the company has several major leaders—both worldwide
and here in the United States—who’ve helped to fuel the company’s growth.
Gary Lubner - Belron
Gary Lubner has been with Belron for 16 years and was appointed chief
executive officer of the company in May 2000. During his time with the
company, Lubner has held a number of roles that have seen him responsible
for the growth and development of key areas of the business. Before being
appointed as CEO, Lubner was responsible for all of the company’s European
Lubner studied finance at the University of Cape Town and upon graduating
joined Arthur Andersen where he qualified as a chartered accountant in
1981.He followed this by joining South Africa-based PGSI (which was Belron’s
sister company), where he spent seven years in a variety of finance, marketing
and general management roles. In 1989, Lubner came to the United Kingdom,
where he received his master’s degree in business administration from
London Business School in 1991. He joined Belron shortly afterwards.
Lubner, a third-generation member of the worldwide family business, has
been known for leading the company’s growth since he became CEO in 2000,
and led one of the company’s largest acquisitions—that of Safelite in
Lubner has been known for his strong feelings about cash pricing.
“Once cash prices are above insurance prices, that [will be] a proper
reflection on the service that we provide,” Lubner once said. “That’s
what we see around the world, and I don’t see why it should be different
in the United States.”
Where Is He Now?
Lubner continues as CEO of the company and constantly watches for new
“We are a dynamic business and we’re always looking for opportunities,”
he told AGRR magazine during an interview in July 2009.
In his spare time, Lubner enjoys playing golf (he once played with famed
golfer Ernie Els), and sports in general, including swimming, biking and
Tom Feeney - Belron US, Columbus, Ohio
Tom Feeney, president and chief executive officer of Belron US, took over
this role in May 2008 when his predecessor retired. Feeney has been with
Safelite, which now acts as a division of Belron US, since 1991, and prior
to his appointment as CEO had been executive vice president since late
Prior to that, Feeney had served as senior vice president of client sales
In his 18 years with the company, Feeney has held numerous operations
and sales leadership positions including senior vice president, retail
Where Is He Now?
Feeney continues in his role as CEO—now entering his third year in that
When looking at the last 10 years, Feeney sees the focus on safety as
one of the industry’s largest evolutions.
“The emphasis on safety—the knowledge about the types of urethanes, the
way to install a windshield, the cure times on the urethanes, stands out
as probably the number-one thing the industry has undergone,” he says.
In his spare time, Feeney enjoys playing golf.
Rich Harrison - Belron US, Columbus, Ohio
Rich Harrison became chief operations officer and senior vice president
of Belron US in October 2007. In this role, Harrison manages all the company’s
field sales and retail vehicle glass repair and replacement businesses,
including its wholesale and warehouse operations.
Harrison also worked with Belron in a global role and assisted with its
integration of all of its U.S. acquisitions, including that of Safelite.
Where Is He Now?
Harrison continues in his position with Belron US. His industry fears
include “soft economic conditions, which create a weak market environment.”
Harrison, like many others, anticipates further consolidation to occur
over the next ten years.
In his spare time, Harrison trains for and competes in triathlons.
The industry certainly wouldn’t have made the progress it has over the
past 10 years if it wasn’t for those who have been willing to continually
educate its members. No educator section would be complete without mention
of industry legends Al Girard, who started the Carlite training school
in 1991, and Len Stolk, who spent many years as a trainer there, and Steve
Coyle, who was one of the lead trainers at Performance Achievement Group
prior to its acquisition (and subsequent dissolution) by Belron. However,
in the last 10 years, three particular names have been quite prominent
in this area. Read on for a look at these.
Bob Beranek - Auto Glass Consultants, Sun Prairie, Wis.
Bob Beranek has been in the auto glass industry for 28 years and has spent
18 years as a technical trainer. He also has devoted much time and his
technical expertise to the work of the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards
(AGRSS) Council and serves on its Board of Directors.
Beranek’s industry know-how has been called on for several auto glass-related
cases as well, including the recent ruling against Xinyi charging the
China-based manufacturer with patent infringement (see related story on
In 1992, Beranek developed his own auto glass consulting company, Automotive
Glass Consultants, to provide technical, sales and/or customer service
training to auto glass businesses.
Where Is He Now?
Today, Beranek remains president of Automotive Glass Consultants and continues
to serve on the AGRSS Council’s board of directors. He also offers online
training via Auto Glass University.com, a division of his original company.
“Professionally speaking, I think that the Taylors of Cindy Rowe Auto
Glass were the professionals that meet the hero label,” says Beranek.
“They took a repair business and built it into a profitable, innovative
company that was employee friendly. They knew how to find, hire, and listen
to the best people in and out of our industry and use their knowledge
to gain success. They didn’t listen to the naysayers that said ‘you
can’t make a living in auto glass’—they just did.”
In looking ahead, Beranek fears the “demise of the mom-and-pop shop.”
Beranek’s biggest challenge relates closely to the work he has done with
the AGRSS Council and all of his training efforts—encouraging the importance
“My biggest challenge is getting the industry to think consumer safety
over dollars,” he says.
In his spare time, Beranek enjoys home-brewing, cooking, playing golf
and spending time with his grandkids.
Carl Tompkins - SIKA Corp., Spokane, Wash.
Carl Tompkins, who currently serves as global-AGR strategic marketing
trainer for SIKA Corp., has been in the auto glass industry for 33 years
and spent many years with Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries. He also has
been instrumental in his work with the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards
(AGRSS) Council and served as chair of the group’s accreditation committee
Tompkins’ is known for his expertise in business management, sales and
marketing, and he has been an AGRR columnist since close to its inception.
In 2009, the AGRSS board of directors voted to institute an award for
distinguished service in Tompkins’ honor for the work he has contributed
to the Standard and its accompanying registration and validation programs.
Where Is He Now?
Tompkins continues to serve as SIKA’s global-AGR strategic marketing trainer.
When asked about his heroes, Tompkins points to “any individual who conducts
[his/her] personal life and career with integrity, honesty and is willing
to do and say the right thing in all instances, regardless of the political
Tompkins’ industry fear is no secret.
“I’ve stated my fear publicly on a number of occasions and simply put
it is this: If every member of the AGR industry fails to do their part
in educating customers on the values of safety, quality and excellent
service, the industry will erode to it lowest denominator of each, meaning
that the remaining participants will be only the lowest cost provider
who promises much but delivers little,” he says. “And as long as industry
members think that it’s either someone else’s job to fix this or someone
else’s fault that this has happened, this industry’s direction will not
change. The good news is, it’s not too late to do something about it.
Those willing to change and who are doing something about it are benefiting.”
In his spare time, Tompkins enjoys the outdoors, especially fishing.
Dale Malcolm - Dow Automotive, Dayton, Ohio
Dale Malcolm started in the glass business as a trainee in 1979 at Portland
Glass, a New England-based full-service glass company. He ran three different
shops over the next twelve years before taking the job of director of
safety and technical services. He held that job for the five years prior
to joining Dow Automotive and moving to Dayton, Ohio, in 1998.
Malcolm was one of the first 50 certified master auto glass technicians
in the country and has been a member of the NGA Auto Glass Certification
Committee for ten years and was chairman from 1999 to 2006. He also is
a member of the Auto Glass Certification Council and was the 2003 Len
Stolk Special Achievement award winner.
Malcolm also is a long-time AGRR magazine columnist and recently became
chairperson of the AGRSS Council’s education committee. He also has been
instrumental in bring corrosion treatment to the forefront of the industry
and has developed a practical “in-the-field” corrosion solution for auto
glass technicians—the “wet scrub” solution.
Where Is He Now?
Malcolm remains technical services manager for Dow Automotive and continues
to be active with the AGRSS Council as well. He speaks at industry events
throughout the year and is known as a technical expert.
When asked about his hopes for the industry, Malcolm points to a common
industry concern—the struggle between price and quality.
“I think my hope is that the industry is somewhat able to get away from
focusing on cost-cutting methods and speed as driving factors, and instead
can focus on quality and service,” he says.
His biggest challenge involves one of his greatest strengths—innovation—and
passing the things he’s learned onto others.
“The biggest challenge is new procedures and perspectives—and finding
people that want to hear about them,” he says.
Malcolm’s hobbies include woodworking, home improvement and photography.
The Network Developers
Once upon a time in a faraway place, the industry was quite different
than it is today. Networks didn’t exist, and “cash” prices didn’t either.
Though many played a role in this evolution, the following individuals
played a large role—if not the largest—in this major change in the way
the auto glass industry worked.
Joe Kellman of Globe Glass, of course, was the one many believe started
it all. He made the first network agreement of its kind with Allstate,
and later, the gentleman with whom he’d worked so hard on this agreement,
Bill Tortorello, even took over Kellman’s company as president in the
early 1990s. Kellman credited Tortorello with selling the network idea
to his associates at Allstate in just three years—something Kellman says
it took himself 40 years to do.
Eddie Cheskis, who currently heads up the glass division of Gerber Collision
and Glass, also worked closely with Kellman.
Joe Kellman - Globe Glass, Chicago, Ill.
Joe Kellman’s impact on the AGRR industry will live on for decades. Kellman,
of Globe Glass, got his start in the glass industry began at the age of
14 when he worked at his father’s small glass shop, Globe Glass. When
his father died, he and his brother Maury took over the manufacturing
division of the business and Kellman was given two small retail glass
shops to run. The two shops grew into what was at one time was the country’s
largest privately owned auto glass chain.
The company also created what many believe to have been the first nationwide
auto glass network, the Globe Glass/U.S. Glass Network.
Globe Glass merged with Windshields America in 1996, creating Vistar,
which was sold to Safelite in 1997.
Many in the industry also credit the growth of the Globe Glass to Kellman’s
invention of mobile auto glass installation and his courtship and understanding
of the insurance company as a customer.
Kellman boasts of many achievements outside the glass industry as well.
In 1961, he, along with longtime friend and entertainer Buddy Hackett,
founded the Better Boys Foundation, a non-profit organization designed
to help inner-city children in the west side community of North Lawndale
in Chicago, in 1961. In 1988, Kellman founded the Corporate Community
School of America (now known as the Kellman Corporate Community School),
also for the North Lawndale community. Just last year, the Joe Kellman
Family Foundation helped to build a new community center, the Kellman
Community Center, in North Lawndale, to further the work of the Better
Where Is He Now?
Kellman passed away on January 7 of this year—the day he celebrated his
90th birthday (see obituary on page
46). He and his wife, Lou Anne, had retired to the San Diego area
several years ago.
Bill Tortorello - Allstate Insurance/Globe Glass
Bill Tortorello has been known in many circles as Joe Kellman’s right-hand
man. When Kellman needed a successor to run his company, which had grown
to become the largest auto glass chain in the country, he turned to Tortorello,
with whom he had once negotiated in making the company’s first network
agreement with Allstate.
“What impressed me most about [Tortorello] is that it took him three years
to sell my idea to his superiors there,” Kellman once said of his colleague.
“His persistence in following through was strong because he believed in
the ideas. He did in three years what I couldn’t get done in 37.”
The fact that Kellman stepped outside his family to choose Tortorello
as a successor also spoke a great deal about their relation.
“You love the candidates [from the family], but you have to acknowledge
their limitations,” Kellman told AGRR in a 1993 interview, right after
Tortorello took over. “The task fathers, or fathers-in-law, like me face
is convince their children or in-laws of their limitations. When they
acknowledge that fact themselves, it’s a giant step forward for them and
for the company. To thine own self be true. The last name doesn’t get
you the job.”
Eddie Cheskis - Gerber Glass, Skokie, Ill.
Eddie Cheskis, chief executive officer (CEO) for the glass division of
Gerber Collision and Glass, a division of the Boyd Group, got his start
in the 1970s working for the Chicago-based Globe Glass. He eventually
became president of the U.S. Glass Network, a division of Globe, prior
to leaving in 1992 to work for CCC Information Services, which develops
claims management software and other tools for the insurance industry,
as president of its Autobody Systems Group. Later, he became president
of all CCC’s service groups.
Cheskis left CCC in 1998 to form a partnership with Neal Gerber, the grandson
of Gerber founder Phil Gerber, and helped to grow the company to 16 locations
throughout the Chicago area. He also helped the auto glass and collision
chain to open its own call center. Gerber was purchased by the Boyd Group
in February 2004, and Cheskis assisted with the transition and maintained
his position as CEO of the Gerber division.
The company started Gerber National Glass Services by acquiring the Globe
Amerada Glass Network in 2005.
Where Is He Now?
Cheskis, a Chicago resident, remains chief executive officer of the Gerber
Glass and Collision division of the Boyd Group. Cheskis cites his dad
as one of his heroes, “for his steadiness, integrity, compassion and love.”
In business, he says his greatest challenge is “ensuring that no matter
what size we are it, it is all about providing excellent service to each
When asked about what his fear for the industry is, he says, “that the
industry will not settle on one technician certification standard.”
When Cheskis isn’t busy on the job, he likes to play golf, read, travel
and watch sports and spend time with his wife and two sons, ages 12 and
Bill Hardt - State Farm, Bloomington, Ill.
Though auto glass networks have been in place in some form since the 1970s,
State Farm’s Bill Hardt was the first to become involved in the business
practices of glass shops when it created its own “Glass Central” program.
Developed in 1998 in an effort to manage glass-only claims, the State
Farm Glass Central program permitted shops to enter into a contract with
State Farm as long as they accepted the company’s “Offer
and Acceptance Agreement,” which includes guidelines on pricing, billing
procedures and other quality requirements.
The man behind the program was William Hardt, who in 1998 served as assistant
vice president of auto property claims for the Bloomington, Ill.-based
In addition, Hardt was known not only for being willing to answer the
industry’s questions about the program, but also for speaking out against
“How do I explain to our policyholders and agents that [AGR businesses]
give some one-time customer that walks in off the street a better price
than us—and we’re their best customer?” he once asked.
Hardt was also vocal in his belief that there were too many glass shops
competing for State Farm’s business.
Where Is He Now?
Hardt retired from State Farm in the earlier part of this decade, and
is no longer involved with the auto glass industry.
The Second Generation
Though family businesses are quite common in the auto glass industry,
there are several major industry players that have followed in their parents’
footsteps and have continued on long after their predecessors have left
the industry. AEGIS Tools International president Bob Birkhauser and Cindy
Ketcherside, who took over her father’s company, JC’s Glass, are two of
these. Both have not only continued their parents’ legacies, but also
have made major impacts on the industry over the years.
Cindy Ketcherside - JC’s Glass, Phoenix, Ariz.
Cindy Ketcherside has been in the auto glass business for nearly 30 years,
joining her family’s business, JC’s Glass, in 1980 and advancing to president/owner
by 1992. She sold the business to Iowa Glass in 2005 where she remained
as vice president of business development. In October 2009, Iowa Glass
sold its auto glass division, including JC’S Glass, to Belron US, but
Ketcherside remained with the parent company, Iowa Glass, as the vice
president of business development.
She was a founding board member of the National Auto Glass Cooperative
and the Chicago Glass Group, as well as a past president of the Arizona
Glass Association, where she was instrumental in passing the “Zero Glass
Deductible” bill in Arizona.
Though Ketcherside has a lengthy industry history, she is most known for
her involvement with the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS).
In 1999, she began serving as a board and standard development committee
member. Ketcherside served became president of the AGRSS Council Inc.
and chair of the Standards Committee in 2001—both of which positions she
held until last year.
Even today, though, she remains heavily involved with the AGRSS Council,
as a member of the board of directors, as part of the group as they have
brought the third-party validation review program to fruition.
Where Is She Now?
Ketcherside had completed her contract with Iowa Glass just prior to press
time. Her fear for the industry is a common one—the struggle between price
“My industry fear is [that] the consumer continues to perceive auto glass
installation as a commodity and bases their purchasing decision on price
and not the quality of the installation,” she says. “This background for
their decision will continue to erode average invoice prices.”
Bob Birkhauser - Auto Glass Specialists/AEGIS Tools International, Madison,
Bob Birkhauser, president of AEGIS Tools International in Madison, Wis.,
joined Auto Glass Specialists, a company founded by his parents, Robert
and Bette Birkhauser, in 1974. Just eight years later, in 1982, Birkhauser
invented a windshield repair system for use by the company’s technicians—and
launched AEGIS as a sister company—realizing that windshield repair was
an important service, but that they needed an economical way to offer
it. Today, the system Birkhauser has continued development of the system.
In 2006, the Birkhausers sold the Auto Glass Specialists portion of the
business, known for its “Little Red Trucks,” to Belron, but retained the
Though Birkhauser’s tool systems have been one of his major legacies,
he also is known for building the Auto Glass Specialists brand as one
of the most prominent in the Midwest known for its “Little Red Trucks.”
Birkhauser, who has long supported and been involved in the development
of the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS), holds a bachelor’s
degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin.
Where Is He Now?
Today, Birkhauser continues to operate AEGIS Tools in Madison, Wis., with
his wife, Caryn. In his spare time, he enjoys golf, computers and travel,
and he counts scientist Robert Goddard, famed physicist Stephen Hawking
and McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc.
The Repair Revisionists
The repair industry has grown a great deal not only since it was invented,
but over the last 10 years as many in the industry have worked to raise
its awareness not only in the auto glass industry at large, but also among
consumers. There are several industry participants to which much of this
growth can be attributed.
The last ten years has not only seen this awareness grow, but also has
seen the advent of a repair standard designed specifically for the industry,
the growth of the National Windshield Repair Association and the advent
of a new association dedicated to repairing and restoring all types of
Allan Skidmore - TCG International, British Columbia
Allan Skidmore, co-executive chairman and chief executive officer (CEO)
of TCG International (TCGI), is a long-time veteran of the auto glass
business, who has seen and done just about every type of business in the
automotive glass industry—from manufacturing to wholesale, retail, network
operations and claims administration and distribution.
Skidmore is CEO of TGCI’s Automotive Group, which is known by the brand
name Autostock International. It includes Autostock Distribution, the
retail operations in the United States (Speedy Glass) and Canada (Apple
Auto Glass), the well-known Novus Windshield Repair and Replacement, and
an Airbag Service division that specializes in airbag diagnostics. It
also includes Shat-R-Proof windshields and car-care products, a product
development and manufacturing subsidiary that also offers paint removal
services, and 1st Report Claims Services, a group of Canadian call centers.
Skidmore is known for marketing repair on a widespread basis and launching
one of the first repair franchise models throughout North America.
Where Is He Now?
Skidmore anticipates the industry will see a rise in the Internet in the
“Online glass transactions will form a major part of the retail glass
business,” Skidmore says.
He also has some predictions about the insurance market.
“In addition, I see the cash segment of the business growing and taking
a larger percentage of the industry working with the insurance companies,”
Skidmore says. “I'm also not saying the insurance industry will not continue
to dominate the industry for an undetermined time, but the car owners
will drive that change.”
David Taylor and Cindy Rowe-Taylor
Cindy Rowe Auto Glass, Harrisburg, Pa.
David Taylor, a past long-time president of the National Windshield Repair
Association (NWRA) and former chief operating officer for Cindy Rowe Auto
Glass in Harrisburg, Pa., and Cindy Rowe-Taylor, could be seen as the
repair industry’s First Couple. They not only have created one of the
strongest regional brands in the nation, but also taught the industry
that repair can make a truly viable—and successful—business.
Cindy Rowe-Taylor started the company in 1980 and began performing repairs
out of her Chevrolet Vega. Taylor, who’d spent 24 years in the department
store industry, joined the company in 1986—one year after the two wed.
In 1987, the company purchased an existing auto glass replacement business
in Harrisburg, Pa., and integrated it into the existing windshield repair
business. The business had grown to 12 locations scattered throughout
Pennsylvania and Maryland prior to its purchase in 2008 by Belron US.
Where Is He Now?
Taylor and Rowe-Taylor sold the business in late 2008 to Belron US and
retired from the industry. The two spend a good deal of time traveling
and taking bicycling tours, and in 2009 visited the Eastern Shore of Maryland,
northern Michigan and South Africa.
In addition to traveling, Taylor has been working with their son, Matthew,
with the marketing of his financial planning practice, while Rowe-Taylor
continues to volunteer as a nurse.
National Windshield Repair Association, Bend, Ore.
Mike Boyle, president of the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA),
first became known in the industry during the memorable 2004 repair industry
challenge in Connecticut, during which the state’s licensing board attempted
to limit the area of a windshield that could be repaired—to one which
was almost nonexistent. Boyle and many others flew to Connecticut to speak
their piece, and soon the almost-ban became a thing of the past. But that
incident provided to be what Boyle once called a “wake-up call” for the
entire repair industry up, and, shortly after, Boyle, who’d joined repair
system manufacturer GlasWeld in 2000, became vice president of the NWRA.
Today he serves as president of the group.
Boyle has helped launch many programs in his work with the NWRA, including
that of a “Green Initiative,” in which the association has provided materials
to members helping them to promote the environmental friendliness of windshield
And, most recently, he helped found a new group, the Global Glass Conservation
Alliance (GGCA), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to reducing the
energy impact of glass upon the earth. The NWRA now acts as a council
of the GGCA, which promotes the repair, restoration and recycling of all
types of architectural and automotive glass.
Where Is He Now?
Boyle remains president of the NWRA and the GGCA, in addition to his work
duties with Glass Mechanix. He counts Ronald Reagan, Gandhi and his wife
among his heroes.
The Independent Visionary
In most auto glass industry circles, if you mention the industry’s independent
visionary, the person being referenced is clear. For that reason, Carl
Jolliff of Jolliff Glass fits into a category all his own for the legacies
he’s offered the auto glass industry over the years as an independent
shop owner who put safety at the forefront of his business—and the industry
Carl Jolliff - Jolliff Glass, Peoria, Ill.
Carl Jolliff of Jolliff Glass has often been called “the visionary of
our industry” in numerous auto glass circles. He is known as the father
of the Independent Glass Association (IGA), the Auto Glass Replacement
Safety Standards (AGRSS) Council. The owner of an auto glass business
in Peoria, Ill., Jolliff actually got his start with another industry
notable, Joe Kellman, working for Globe Glass for 10 years as a sales
representative from 1969 to 1979. In 1979, he started Jolliff Glass.
Jolliff founded the Illinois Glass Dealers Legislative Committee and they
lobbied together to get an Illinois law enacting ensuring consumer choice
of a glass shop, according to Jolliff. Soon after, he helped to organize
a meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, of independent glass shop owners, which
soon developed into the IGA.
“Originally, there were owners of 18 glass companies that met in Des Moines,
Iowa, to discuss ways for us to stay in business,” Jolliff said during
a 2002 interview with AGRR editor Penny Stacey for AGRR’s sister publication,
USGlass magazine. “Soon the concept of the IGA was formed. I decided that
if there was no one to lead the group and if I wanted to stay in business,
it was something I should take on.”
Jolliff continued in his role of IGA president from 1994 to 1999. He continued
to serve on the board as well until he retired in late 2004.
The formation of the AGRSS Council began with a similar meeting in
“I had hired Performance Achievement Group to come in and train my entire
company and after three days of training I realized the dire importance
of the lack of an installation standard in our industry,” Jolliff said.
“I called Ford Motor Co. and began dialogue, and then I convened a meeting
in Detroit in November of ‘97. We had 18 people present from Ford, General
Motors, Chrysler, adhesive manufacturers, LOF, PPG, Carlite and of course
the automobile manufacturers. The following year, the February of ‘98,
we convened a second meeting in Tampa.”
In 2002, Jolliff also was inducted into the Glass and Metal Hall of Fame™,
and in November 2007, the AGRSS Council recognized Jolliff for his vision
and dedication to the Standard.
Where Is He Now?
Jolliff, now 72, has retired, leaving his two sons to run the company
that bears their name.
“They do a great job and have great associates, so I’m free to enjoy many
other things,” says Jolliff.
He also is hopeful about the future of the AGRSS Standard.
“I wish to share my utmost gratitude, to the many dedicated men and women
who have spent thousands of hours and dollars in the development of the
heart beat, along with the many miles of arteries,” Jolliff says. “My
hope is that they will remain committed and, at the appropriate time,
pass the baton on.”
Know a Legend?
This is the first in a multi-part series featuring the industry’s legends.
If you have a suggestion or nomination, please e-mail email@example.com.
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