Ahead of His Time
Visionary Carl Jolliff Inducted into the
Glass and Metal Hall of Fame™
by Penny Beverage
Editor’s Note: The following profile introduces one of the 2002 inductees of the Glass and Metal Hall of Fame™. This year, Carl Jolliff of Jolliff Glass in Peoria, Ill., Dennis Clark of Lafayette Glass in Lafayette, Ind., and Jim Dunston of AZON USA Inc. in Kalamazoo, Mich., will be inducted. The January/February 2002 issue of AGRR will include a profile of Clarke.
When you hear phrases like “the visionary of our industry” and “the man through which it all started” thrown about, you know people aren’t just talking about any auto glass professional. But then again Carl Jolliff is not any ordinary auto glass shop owner.
Carl Jolliff was the founder of the Independent Glass Association, the AGRSS Council, the Illinois Glass Dealers Association and all the while has maintained his own shop, Jolliff Glass Co., in Peoria, Ill.
In February 2003, Jolliff will be recognized for all his efforts and accomplishments when he is inducted into the Glass and Metal Hall of Fame.™ The induction ceremony will be held November 8 in Indianapolis as part of Glass Expo Midwest™ 2002.
Down on the Farm
Carl Jolliff was born on August 14, 1938. Growing up, he helped his parents, Aaron and Nora, and his six siblings, raise animals and tend to the crops on their farm in Rover, Mo.
“I enjoyed it, but we milked 45 cows night and morning, seven days a week and they didn’t know anything about vacation or holidays,” Jolliff said.
In 1951, in West Plains, Mo., Jolliff met Ruby Johnston, his future wife.
“I sat behind her in a movie and thought she was cute,” he said. “I began a conversation with her afterwards and the rest is history.”
They married in 1955.
In the years following, the couple gave birth to two sons, Ronald Dean Jolliff and Kevin Dale Jolliff, both of whom are involved in the business. (In addition to their two sons, the Jolliffs now also have nine grandchildren.)
The Glass Ladder
After a series of jobs, ranging from Dr Pepper truck driver to delivery person for a funeral home, Jolliff took a job with Globe Glass Co. in 1969. He spent nearly ten years with Globe as a sales representative serving a 100-mile radius of Peoria, until he got his chance to open his own shop, Jolliff Glass Co., in 1979.
In 1991, Jolliff organized the Illinois Glass Dealer Legislative Committee—which has now grown to 80 dealers—in response to an action taken by State Farm Insurance Corp.
“In 1991 and 1992 State Farm sent 350 letters to every glass company in Illinois telling them to bid on their jobs, and that only nine companies would be chosen from the whole state to do their work,” Jolliff said.
So, Jolliff called up some other Illinois glass retailers and together—as the Illinois Glass Dealer Legislative Committee—they lobbied for a bill ensuring the insured “the right to choose a glass company of his choice at a fair and competitive price.” The bill passed shortly thereafter.
Soon, Jolliff realized the need for an association just for independents—and then came the Independent Glass Association (IGA), which is now based in Idyllwild, Calif.
“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. “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.”
He served as president from 1994 until 1999.
Of Jolliff’s many achievements in the glass industry, one of the most notable has been his involvement in the push for a safety standard for auto glass installations. Jolliff first envisioned the idea of a standard in 1997.
“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.”
“As time grew, participation began to really come in and the industry began to see the need for this standard,” he said. “Then I turned the position of chairperson over to Dean Metzke because I was also the president of the IGA and there just weren’t enough hours in the day to keep up both.”
Today, North America’s only standard for auto glass installation is in place and a company registration program has just begun.
Jolliff still holds a seat on the Council.
“It appears that the standards are going to be the vehicle to help change the auto glass industry to a much safer industry,” he said. “It’s very apparent that the contribution of the AGRSS standards will definitely increase the safety of more than 11 million aftermarket windshields installed annually.”
Jolliff’s push for safety has not only been recognized within the industry, but on the outside as well. Recently, the Central Illinois Business Journal featured windshield safety and much of the focus of the article went to Jolliff.
“Jolliff’s tagline is ‘We’re the quality folks,’ and for good reason,” wrote the Business Journal. “Jolliff … makes sure his technicians are trained to the highest industry standards.”
At the last meeting of the AGRSS Council, held in Marco Island, Fla., on September 25, Cindy Minon-Ketcherside, chairperson of the committee, responded to Jolliff’s suggestion of an advanced licensing program by saying, “As usual, Carl, you’re ten steps ahead of us.”
AGRSS Council participant and IGA chief executive officer Tim Smale agreed.
“Carl walks his talk and his impact on our industry is profound; from starting the ANSI/AGRSS standard to founding the IGA, Carl has made a difference in our lives,” he said.
‘A God-Fearing Man’
Along with his accomplishments within the glass industry, Jolliff serves on several local boards, related to business and his community. He is a past division chairperson for the Christian Businessmen’s Committees (CBMC) in Central Illinois. In addition, he’s on the CBMC board and has founded four new committees in his area.
Jolliff is a member of Northwoods Community Church, a past deacon and Sunday School teacher.
“I still have flat tires and mud holes to go through, but I have access to all the fruits of God’s spirit, which supplies all of my needs,” he said.
On the Side
When Jolliff is not busy being a visionary, studying the Bible or spending time with his nine grandchildren, he’s participating in one of his many active hobbies—flying (he holds his instrument-rated pilot’s license), fishing and riding his four-wheeler.
However, at age 64, Jolliff spends a good deal of his time working still for an industry that appreciates him and regards him as a main visionary.
“When people are down and frustrated, Carl lifts them up and offers hope,” Smale said. “Few people have made such an impact on my life the way Carl has, and I do so appreciate this Christian brother and mentor, source of inspiration and good friend.”
However, despite his infamy throughout the industry, Jolliff remains humble.
(Left to right) Kevin and Ron Jolliff relax with their father, Carl.
“I’m delighted at having been nominated. It’s most honoring to me,” he said. “I never would have dreamed of being nominated and again I’m honored.”
Penny Beverage is the editor of AGRR magazine.
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