By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
Retirement didn’t last long for Larry Kliewer.
After leaving a successful oil field casing business, Kliewer and his brother began Progressive Windows Inc. after a conversation his brother had with an exchange student attending Fairview High School.
The student’s father was a window-maker in Holland and he talked about the European-style windows his father builds. The “tilt-and-turn” design of the windows intrigued the brothers, who opened their first shop in 1999 in a small garage in Fairview.
Kliewer said they owned the land next to the old Progressive school district and named the company after it. When the business grew, they moved to the school’s old location and built their company using the school’s foundation.
“It just grew from there,” Kliewer said. “It was a lot of hard work.”
General Manager Jeromy Haines said the company manufactures the European-style tilt-and-turn windows. Turn the latch up and the window or door tilts in. Turn the latch down and the window opens horizontally. He said the company also produces French and patio door using the same design.
“We were one of the first U.S. manufacturers to build that style of window,” Haines said. The products use customized hardware imported from Germany that allows the windows to tilt and turn.
“We strictly custom build,” Kliewer said. “We don’t stock a lot of one size and hope it fits.”
“We deliver, we install, we ship, the whole nine yards,” Haines said.
The company also produces traditional single-hung and double-hung windows. All products are made from vinyl profile, or extrusion, which is fusion-welded to create permanent joints that will not separate.
All of the company’s doors and windows are meticulously constructed with double-pane glass. Some of the products include internal sets of remote blinds or shades.
“Everything we manufacture is top quality,” Haines said, noting his company produces a hurricane-rated patio door.
They also produce about 300 units a week, all customized to measurements either taken by someone from Progressive Windows Inc. or provided by a contractor or buyer.
“We’re going to do it all,” Kliewer said. “We can fill any opening, and we have yet to find one we couldn’t fill.”
“We just kind of grow a little each year,” Haines said. “Very seldom do we have to hire someone new or lay them off.”
Both men said they were proud to have weathered the recession so well, without any lay-offs.
“I’d like to hire about 10 more people in the next five to six years,” Kliewer said. “We want to do a little more.”
The company has 10 full-time employees who work a single shift per day. In 2005, Progressive Windows Inc. was awarded a Rural Manufacturing Leadership Award given by then-Gov. Brad Henry.
Haines said the company does business across the state and nation. However, the company is settled between its two biggest markets.
“Northwest Oklahoma is our biggest market,” Haines said. “Enid and Woodward are our two biggest.”
To learn more about Progressive Windows Inc. and its products, go to www.tiltandturnwindows.com.