“Revenue $3 B As of November 2012
At a Glance
- Industry: Construction
- Founded: 1960
- Country: United States
- CEO: Roderick Wendt
- CFO: Neil Stuart
- Website: www.jeld-wen.com
- Employees: 20,000
- Fiscal Year End: Dec 30, 2011
- Sales: $3 B e
- Headquarters: Klamath Falls, OR
#149 America’s Largest Private Companies
Based in Klamath Falls, Oregon, Jeld-Wen makes wood, vinyl and aluminum windows and patio doors; wood and molded wood fiber interior doors; wood, steel and fiberglass exterior doors; and garage doors. Other areas of activity are real estate, resort operations, and wholesale distribution of building materials. The company, founded in 1960 as a small millwork plant with 15 employees, also operates numerous title insurance companies under the AmeriTitle name.”
JELD-WEN was founded by Richard ”Dick” Wendt, an entrepreneur at heart, who learned the art of managing a manufacturing company under the tutelage of his father, Caradco executive Lester Wendt. In 1957, Iowa-based Caradco sent Dick to Oregon to help run the company’s millwork plant in Klamath Falls. Caradco decided to sell the plant at auction. Dick and four business partners, Larry Wetter, John Biehn, Gerry Wickersham, and Bill Taylor bought many of the assets on October 25, 1960 and named the new company JELD-WEN.
The name JELD-WEN had already been in use for a number of years by the Wendt family; in the 1930s Lester Wendt bought a small farm outside of Dubuque, Iowa, as a family retreat. After holding a family contest to name the farm, Dick’s cousin Jeanette Coughlin thought of the name JELD-WEN, an acronym for the names of Dick’s immediate family, and a shortened version of Wendt.
With just 15 employees, JELD-WEN quickly gained the reputation of producing a reliable product. After just two years, JELD-WEN became successful enough to begin acquiring new manufacturing facilities and expand its product offering.
One secret of the initial success of JELD-WEN was the company’s resourcefulness and deliberate decision to use for a high-value purpose every last bit of raw resource that entered its doors, a philosophy that still stands true today.
While the company looked for new business ventures to advance the company, it also was committed to investing in the local community. In 1969, the JELD-WEN Foundation was established. The JELD-WEN Foundation was and continues to be dedicated to providing financial assistance through grants, scholarships, and matching JELD-WEN employees’ voluntary United Way donations.
Today JELD-WEN employs approximately 20,000 people worldwide and has manufacturing and distribution locations across the United States and in more than 20 countries.”
*Information from Forbes.com and Jeld-wen.com
**Video published on YouTube by “JELDWENUK“