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Q + A with Glassfab | Inclusivity Shapes the Company Culture

Creating a considerate atmosphere allows employees to bring their true selves to work and focus on performing at a high level for customers

Glassfab employees

GlassfabCompany culture, customer relationships and workforce diversity are interconnected aspects of a successful and thriving organization with several commonalities. They contribute to employee satisfaction, customer loyalty and organizational performance, while emphasizing shared values, effective communication and continuous improvement.

With an experienced generation of glass industry leaders moving towards retirement and a new generation of glass professionals stepping into this growing industry, it’s vital for organizations to foster a diverse workplace that champions inclusivity and allocates resources and training to help promote engagement and a sense of ownership among company team members.

Glassfab has grown tremendously over its 17-year history, starting as an eight-person shop in 2006 to a company employing over 300 people across four manufacturing facilities. That kind of growth is attributable to the company’s focus on the best for its employees, which then filters down to its vendors and customers. I recently sat down with Patrick Tuttle, chief operating officer, to discuss Glassfab’s approach to shaping a culture that attracts and retains employees and builds a sense of belonging in the workplace.

How would you describe the overall company culture at Glassfab?

Inclusive. We consider and include our suppliers, employees and customers in our decisions as we conduct our business.

When addressing the culture at Glassfab, it is important to remember our start back in 2006. We are a company founded by a diverse group of industry leaders that recognized None of us are as smart as all of us, all of us need each one of us. There is an importance of putting egos on the shelf and consistently acting in a manner of what’s best for our employees, vendors and customers.

Everyone is treated with respect and kindness, and it creates a safe atmosphere where employees can bring their true self to work and focus on performing at a high level for our customers. This also enables them to feel open to share ideas for improvement.

Our team members understand the important role they play in helping our customers succeed. We share the financial rewards of those successes.

In what ways does this foundation of respect, trust and inclusivity help foster a diverse workforce?

We are a large extended family. Thinking, looking and acting differently allows us to seek out the best ways to think, look and act. We are blessed to have team members from many diverse countries.

Diversity has been in Glassfab’s DNA since day one. Our culture values and creates an atmosphere of varied points of view at all levels of our business. This ultimately leads to high performance in the business. Diversity in thought is as equally important as cultural diversity.

Glassfab defines itself as a company of people that genuinely care. What does this look like in action with your customers?

We only succeed when our customers succeed. Our genuine care shows when we do what our customers ask us to do so they can be successful.

To be a great company, we need to help and support great customers over the long run. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our service to customers, such as through shorter lead times, better quality, speed to market, new equipment, new products or even expanding to other geographies as needed. We listen closely to the voice of our customers and value them as long-term partners.

And these relationships impact our long-term success. We can depend on each other. Our customers have been there for us, and we will be there for them. At the end of the day, we are ultimately selling our glazing partners’ products that they can buy from any number of competitors. We sell a commodity product. But relationships are paramount in our business.

These relationships develop by solving problems and being a resource for them over the long run. We are a solutions provider.

How do you measure the success of your diversity and inclusion efforts?

Our key indicators of performance tell us how we are doing. Repeat business tells us how we are doing. Growth and development indicate how successful we are. Many of our newly hired employees come from referrals. We love that people want to work with us. We are very fortunate to not be constrained by labor.

Valuing diversity of thought also helps us improve further. We are intentional about creating an environment where employees can give feedback for improvement in all areas of our business, whether it is HR policy or process flow improvements. This comes naturally to us and is not something we need to force through initiatives. We make diversity a way of being instead of a check the box exercise to show compliance.

You have invested a large amount of time in the next generation of leaders. How are they ready to support your customers and help them grow their businesses?

Glassfab is here for the long game. Our next generation of leaders are incredibly bright, fearless and amazingly creative. We will continue to invest in their future and expect they will do the same for the generation after them. Yes, we have invested much into the future leadership of Glassfab. The experience they are currently soaking up will allow them to grow customer and supplier relationships for years to come.

They are doing it today with guidance from the broader team. In a lot of ways, they have taught us how to use technology to refine our process and improve our business. They have also led the charge with intentional cross-training and development at all levels.

Company culture, customer relationships and workforce diversity all require ongoing efforts and a commitment to continuous improvement. How does Glassfab ensure that its culture is consistently communicated and reinforced throughout the organization?

Our culture is made up by how we act and do things every day. It is a concentrated focus on working on what is important now. With a great amount of collaboration, we are left with an amazing group of thriving team members who genuinely care about our customers and suppliers. We are blessed to be able to do what we do every day. 


Tara Lukasik

Tara Lukasik

Tara Lukasik is Managing Editor of Glass Magazine and Window + Door Magazine. Email her at