Regional Manager Chad Clefstad

Regional Manager Chad Clefstad

The clear choice

Forty years may seem like a long time, but for someone who loves his job he couldn’t see why he’d choose to do something other than glazing.

As a young man eager to start his own business, 40 years later, who knew he would have created something as great as he did?

Certainly not him, Dan Young said, chuckling to himself.

Young is the president of All-West Glass, and said it was a career choice that was always clear to him.

“It was one of my first jobs as a teenager,” Young said.

From there, his career was set, and he hasn’t looked back.  It was on April 15, 1971 that as a sole employee Young set out to prove himself worthy with Bulkley Valley Glass, setting the framework for what would expand to be known as All-West Glass.

Now, his company employs over 300 people, which just astounds him some days.

“It’s a good feeling,” Young said. “I never dreamed we’d have this many people working for us. I don’t know how that happened, but it seemed easy. If you’re having fun, it’s never hard work.”

By 1976 they’d just purchased a shop in Terrace and Burns Lake, which was when he made the executive decision that if he was going to keep expanding, Bulkley Valley Glass wasn’t going to be appropriate in further markets, so All-West Glass it became, and now you can find his stores, distinctive with a green and white colour scheme, in 24 municipalities, plus a distribution company, a pre-hung manufacturing company, a wholesale distribution company and a manufacturer of energy-efficient PVC windows.

“The first truck I bought was white and green,” Young noted. “So that’s kind of stuck with us.”

Glass technology sure has changed, he remarked, with heat resistant glass, other coated glass, and the windshields that used to take 15 minutes to install now take around two hours.

“They depend on our windshield to hold their steel together,” Young said.

His company has always been based in Smithers, he said, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He once considered moving the head office to Prince George, but they would have lost most of their employees here in Smithers who wouldn’t want to relocate.

“So we cancelled the idea,” Young said. “With the technical age, it doesn’t matter where you are.”

Forty years may seem like a long time, but for someone who loves his job he couldn’t see why he’d choose to do something other than glazing, Young said.

“It’s all been interesting, I wouldn’t even hesitate to do it all over again,” Young said.   “As long as I can come in here smiling, I’ll be here.”