Under the Glass
Founded in Ireland in 1965 by three brothers from the Carey family, Carey Glass, a major global glass processor, remains a family-owned and -run company. The business grew from fabricating furniture glass and mirrors to manufacturing insulating glass units and now claims to ship 98,000 square meters of glass products worldwide every week.
From its beginnings in 1954 cutting mirrors, replacing window screens and broken windows, the company now known as the Prelco Group is a vertically integrated supplier of value-added glass products to architectural, transportation and defense clients.
Lots of people talk the talk about fenestration innovation, but Imagic Glass walks the walk. “We thrive on complex glass fabrication and love to figure things out,” says Adam Shearer, president of Imagic Glass.
Last October, the PC government of Ontario announced it will wind down the Ontario College of Trades, set all journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios to one-to-one and put a moratorium on adding new compulsory trade classifications or reclassifying existing classifications.
Congratulations to Frank Fulton who is celebrating his 10th year writing the You Bet Your Glass column on our back page. He’s been in this magazine longer than I have! Frank is a precious resource to this publication because he combines a deep knowledge of this industry – gleaned from a lifetime working in it as a contractor and supplier – with a really high level of writing ability. That’s incredibly rare. I barely need to touch his copy.
A church in Guam. The airport at Anchorage, Alaska. The Great Wave piece that everyone sees arriving from international destinations at Vancouver International Airport.
At the tender age of 12, Ted Redlarski ran his first business: a small shop repairing bikes. It was a first money-maker. Later, while still in college (age 19), he became one of the youngest company presidents in his native Poland to helm a construction company.
As 2017 approaches, the name of Ottawa’s oldest, largest and most diversified glass company is taking on new meaning. Centennial Glass is about to enter the second half of its first century – it’s 50th anniversary – and it’s thriving under careful management that welcomes new efficiencies while maintaining quality workmanship and excellence in customer service.
There was a chocolate cake on a side table at the Glass 8 office at the eastern edge of Winnipeg. It said ‘Congratulations, Glass 8’ in blue icing. It was explained that the cake was a gift from a client. Not bad for a Thursday.
When National Contract Glazing’s John Bastedo is asked what’s unique about the company, he doesn’t hesitate. “It’s the people,” the vice-president states firmly. “We have a process to put a job through, with many people involved. Each job is passed on, and this keeps us on top of jobs and also shows contractors we are on top of things, which builds our credibility. We are proud of our excellent track record of project completions ranging from less complex store-fronts and entranceways, to multi-story, multi-phase contracts in both the private and public sector.”
In my previous two columns I told you about Fred Fulton’s early days in Toronto, his beginnings in the industry with Pilkington Glass, the start up of Sealite Glass, and the establishment of the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association of Canada.
There are many stories out there of businesses with humble beginnings that went on to become major success stories. These stories have some elements in common – hard work, risk-taking, seizing opportunity and forging new ways forward, just to name a few. While some business histories may add in these elements, embellishing here and there, all of these elements and more are truly part of the story of Windsor, Ont.-based Contract Glaziers, which began in 1971 as Windsor Glass.
It’s a tough world out there. Margins are tight, clients are demanding, suppliers can be unreliable and the competition bloodthirsty.
It’s no small feat managing a manufacturing and glazing contracting business in today’s construction market.
It was spring, 1960, in the city of the Golden Boy, the longitudinal centre of North America.
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