November 13, 2012 // Franchising.com // WACO, Texas – Sept. 15, 1973 was Larry Calhoun’s first day working at Glass Doctor in Seattle. Now, more than 39 years and three owners later, he’s still there.
“I’ll have been here a full 39 years in September, and I’ve been married 42 years,” Calhoun said. “I don’t like a lot of change. If I’m contented with something I just stick with it.”
The 26-year-old veteran was hired at the first Glass Doctor shop nearly 40 years ago, which positions him as the longest-standing Glass Doctor employee. The company is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Despite having been in the Navy and gone to college, Calhoun graduated into a depressed Seattle economy.
“Jobs were hard to come by, but I saw an ad for a glazier trainee,” he said.
Working hard wasn’t new, and he honed his glass skills. He started working at the age of 14 after his father passed away. His family owned a gas station, so when his brother came back from the service to take over the business, he helped out.
Former Glass Doctor of King & Pierce Counties franchise owner Michael Gai, who took over the franchise in 2003, says Calhoun is a “rare breed,” and he trusted him completely.
“I didn’t know the glass business, but with Larry there, it didn’t matter,” Gai, current Vice President of System Sales at The Dwyer Group, Inc., said. “I knew he had the knowledge, the character and the pride to always do a good job. Larry is the epitome of a truly professional tradesman.”
When asked, one of the highlights of his career took place on the day of President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. But his reasoning has nothing to do with politics. On that day, what became known as the Inauguration Day Storm, a huge windstorm with winds up to 105 M.P.H., struck the Northwest causing a power outage for two to three days.
“It was awful, but it was one of the few times where everybody pulled together,” he said. “There wasn’t the griping about this or that. It was just get out there, kick butt and get the thing boarded up.”
There was extensive damage, and the whole crew worked around the clock on board ups in the area. He says it was a great teamwork experience.
With nearly 40 years in the same career, adaptation becomes a key trait because of technological advances, franchise ownership changes and even age.
During Gai’s ownership, he moved Calhoun out of the field and into the office. Calhoun accepted the challenge.
“Larry adapted,” Gai said. “He was always willing to adapt to help the company. He is the heritage of Glass Doctor.”
Calhoun was honored with the Service Professional of the Year Award during The Dwyer Group® 2012 Reunion held Sept. 25 at the Gaylord Texan, located in Grapevine, Texas.
From windows to windshields to storefronts, Glass Doctor can handle any glass need, including custom glass services, such as tub and shower enclosures, entry door glass and mirrors. Established in 1962 with one shop in Seattle, Wash., today Glass Doctor offers complete glass repair and replacement services to the residential, automotive and commercial markets at nearly 300 locations in the United States and Canada. Glass Doctor began franchising in 1977 and in 1998 joined The Dwyer Group, Inc., an international franchisor of service industry companies. At that time, the company’s corporate headquarters relocated to Waco, Texas. Now, there are more than 175 Glass Doctor franchise owners across the United States and Canada. For further information or to find the location nearest you, visit www.glassdoctor.com.