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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Bay Area – Shower Enclosures CATEGORY

Tom Nolan is a veteran of the shower enclosure industry and president/CEO of California Shower Door Corporation, a Diamond Certified company since 2005. He can be reached at (415) 763-5983 or by email.

Tom Nolan

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Tom Nolan: Only in America

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — When Tom Nolan started working at California Shower Door Corporation as a teenager, the last thing he expected was to one day be its president and CEO. “It’s one of those ‘only in America’ stories, where the kid who starts out sweeping the floors winds up owning the company,” he says. “It began as a summer job during high school, and I continued part-time through college while I earned my master’s degree in psychology. After graduating, my intention was to become a teacher, but unfortunately there weren’t any full-time teaching jobs available. Thankfully, the company owner offered me an opportunity to run the business until I found a teaching position. Twenty-five years later, I’m still here.”

When asked his favorite part about his job, Tom gives a twofold response. “First, I enjoy interacting with our team members, who are wonderful employees and even better human beings. Second, I like being a problem-solver for our clients. From the beginning of California Shower Door’s history in 1935 to now, we’ve been innovators in every aspect of what we do, pushing the possibilities for installation and design, so that’s something I take a lot of pride in.”

A native resident of San Francisco (where he lives with his wife, Monica, and their children, Patrick and Malena), Tom express his appreciation for the diverse character of the City by the Bay. “There’s no place like San Francisco, especially in terms of sheer diversity—there’s something for just about everyone. I’m very proud to call myself a native San Franciscan.”

Outside of work, Tom spends his free time on a number of active pastimes. “My two main hobbies are playing guitar and reading,” he says. “I started playing guitar when I was a teenager, and it’s something I still enjoy today. I also love going to the beach and traveling with my family.”

In his life and career, Tom espouses the virtues of the Golden Rule. “I just try to treat others the way I would like to be treated,” he affirms. “In regard to our business, this means treating both our clients and employees with respect and consideration. It’s a pretty simple philosophy, but it’s effective.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Tom says he would do more of the things he currently enjoys, especially traveling. “At this point in my life, I don’t have the chance to travel much, other than vacations to Hawaii, so I’d take the opportunity to visit Europe and other parts of the world.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Music. I went through a talk radio phase, but as I’ve gotten older and hopefully a bit wiser, I’ve grown tired of all the banter.

Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Playing the guitar. I played in a band from age 14 until I was about 21.

Q: Who’s your all-time favorite guitar player?
A: Jimi Hendrix.

Q: If you could immediately master any musical instrument, what would you choose?
A: Clarinet, because I love traditional New Orleans jazz.

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Protecting Your Shower Doors

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SAN FRANCISCO — One of the most common complaints regarding shower doors is the difficulty involved in keeping them clean. Most people don’t realize there’s a reason this is so difficult: Glass is porous, just like our skin. When the pores… Read more

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Video: Sealing Your Shower Door

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SAN FRANCISCO — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re having difficulty keeping your shower door clean, you’ll be glad to know there’s a product that makes this easier.… Read more

Joe Matthews is a longtime veteran of the shower enclosure industry and general manager of Schicker Luxury Shower Doors, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 676-5040 or by email.

Joe Matthews

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Joe Matthews: A Clear Trajectory

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CONCORD — Many young people have trouble deciding which career path to pursue, but for Joe Matthews, it was a clear choice. “My father and grandfather were both in the glass business, so I basically followed the family line,” he explains. “As a kid, I would work at the family glass shop after school and during the summer, and later I got into it full time. We handled all aspects of glass fabrication, but the area I enjoyed most was shower doors, which tended to involve more creativity than, say, replacing a broken window. Eventually, I decided I wanted to do shower doors exclusively, and things have progressed from there.”

Today, as general manager of Schicker Luxury Shower Doors, Inc., Joe says his favorite part of his job is his interactions with colleagues and customers alike. “In addition to working alongside our team, I enjoy working with homeowners, designers, architects and contractors. It’s fun and rewarding to collaborate on a design, come up with solutions, and see the project through to completion.”

A resident of Vallejo (where he lives with his wife, Camille), Joe enjoys being situated amidst the diverse Bay Area setting. “We have so much in the Bay Area—any direction you go, there’s something of interest,” he says. “My wife and I like going on little jaunts around the area, whether to the coast, the forest, the wine country or a nearby town to try a new restaurant.” Joe also likes spending time at his mountain cabin, working in his garden, and hanging out with his and Camille’s three grown sons.

In his life and career, Joe espouses the virtue of doing right by others. “I believe karma is a real thing, which is why I always try to treat people the way I’d like to be treated,” he says. “Whenever you’re faced with a decision, whether in your personal life or professional career, I believe it’s important to do the right thing.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Joe says he’d return to an old hobby. “I’d go fishing. I used to fish a lot, but it’s been on the back burner for a long time, so the first thing I’d do is grab a pole and head to a nearby stream.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Did you play any sports in high school?
A: I played football and pole-vaulted.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Find a nice restaurant and order a bowl of hot soup.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Palermos in Vallejo.

Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
A: A dog person.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: The Polynesian Islands.

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Design Considerations for a Shower Enclosure

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CONCORD — One of the most critical parts of remodeling a bathroom is designing the shower enclosure. Due to the importance of both aesthetic and functional aspects, it’s important to choose a visually appealing design that also serves your specific needs. Fortunately,… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Shower Door Options

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CONCORD —   Host, Sarah Rutan: When planning for a new shower enclosure, it’s good to learn the full extent of your design options. Today we’re in… Read more

Gregg Campbell is owner of B & L Glass Company, a Diamond Certified company since 2006. He can be reached at (707) 546-4143 or by email.

Gregg Campbell

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Gregg Campbell: Career Transparency

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA ROSA — After being hired by a glass company to do systems and accounting, the last thing Gregg Campbell expected was to one day own the business. “I was hired by the previous owners of B & L Glass Company to set up their computer systems and accounting software, which led to a full-time position handling their accounting,” he remembers. “When things slowed down in the early ’90s, they had to lay me off, but they continued to use me as a consultant. In 1999, I received a call from my friend, Phil, an employee at the company, who asked if I’d be interested in teaming up with him to purchase the business from the owners. At first I was hesitant. After all, my expertise was in systems and accounting—I didn’t know much about the actual glass industry. Phil reassured me that he’d take care of the company’s operations; he just needed someone with a head for numbers to handle the accounting. After giving it some thought and prayer, I decided to take him up on his proposition. We ended up buying the company and we’ve been running it ever since.”

Today, Gregg says he enjoys various aspects of his job. “I enjoy doing sales because I like talking to people and helping them, but I also enjoy planning, organizing and developing systems. It’s fun to put a plan together, set it in motion and watch it come together.”

A resident of Santa Rosa (where he lives with his wife, Valerie), Gregg spends his time outside of work on a variety of interests and pastimes. “Music is my main passion,” he details. “I’m a keyboardist, and from the ages of 16 to 29, I was a professional musician playing clubs and hotels throughout the Midwest. Today, I still enjoy writing music, jamming with my friends and playing in my church worship band.” Gregg also likes following professional baseball. “I’m a season ticket holder for the Oakland A’s and go to a dozen or so games each year. I’m actually heading to Arizona in March to attend their spring training.” In addition to his avocational interests, Gregg likes keeping up with his two grown children and spending quality time with his granddaughter.

In regard to his professional career, Gregg acknowledges a spiritual inspiration. “Phil and I are Christians, and our spirituality really guides the way we run our business,” he explains. “For example, we try to be generous with our profits, both by sharing it with our employees and dedicating a percentage to charity. And when it comes to customers, we strive to treat each one according to the Golden Rule.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Gregg says he’d call a travel agent. “Valerie and I like to travel, but we don’t get to do it as often as we’d like, so if I were to retire, I’d definitely plan a trip. I also have a few projects at my house that I’d like to finish, so between travel and home improvement, I’d stay pretty busy.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: New Zealand.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: John Ash & Co. in Santa Rosa.

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: Valerie and I both enjoy science fiction, so probably “Star Trek.”

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I collect wine and Oakland A’s bobbleheads.

Q: If you could immediately master a musical instrument, what would you choose?
A: Bass guitar. I’ve always said, “If I wasn’t a keyboard player, I’d be a bass player.”

Q: What’s your favorite band?
A: The Eagles.

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Dealing with Failed Insulated Glass

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SANTA ROSA — If you have a window in your home that seems to be perpetually fogged up, you might be confused about what’s causing this. In actuality, this is a common occurrence with dual-pane windows, and while it can’t be reversed,… Read more

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Video: Repairing Failed Insulated Glass

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SANTA ROSA — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you notice condensation on the inside of your window, it’s most likely a case of failed insulated glass. Today we’re in… Read more

Johnny Pope is manager of Old Town Glass, a Diamond Certified company since 2006. He can be reached at (415) 897-0088 or by email.

Johnny Pope

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Johnny Pope: Top Glass

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

NOVATO — Despite being the son of a glass industry professional, Johnny Pope had no intention of following in his father’s footsteps, opting instead to work in the financial sector. Following a minor career setback, however, what was supposed to be a temporary fill-in at his father’s business resulted in a permanent change of direction. “I was working for Charles Schwab’s international division in London, when the company decided to divest its international business units, leaving me with the choice to continue working for them domestically or go in another direction,” he recounts. “While deliberating on my next move, I offered to look after my parents’ business for a couple of weeks while they went on vacation. Eleven years later, I’m still here!”

While his former career in international finance may seem about as far removed as can be from his current vocation, Johnny says his past experience nonetheless continues to come into play. “We recently started an account with an international supplier, so it feels like things have come full circle,” he says. “Thanks to my professional background, it’s been a pretty smooth transition. If I didn’t have that experience, I think I’d feel a lot more intimidated.”

A lifetime resident of the North Bay, Johnny says the Bay Area’s cutting-edge character makes it a challenging and exciting place to be a glass professional. “We’re in a unique environment where everybody wants to push the envelope in terms of design, materials and sizes. Every job is different and every client has a challenging issue they want us to solve.”

Outside of work, Johnny spends the bulk of his free time with his wife, Sierra, and their two daughters, Julia and Mia. As if a full-time career and family weren’t enough, he also volunteers his time with Marin County Search and Rescue. “As Support Director for the Search and Rescue team, I’m in charge of all of our training and equipment,” he says. “Between that, my regular job and my family, all of my time is pretty much accounted for.”

In his life and career, Johnny espouses the importance of keeping priorities in order. “At Charles Schwab, we were taught that by putting the best interests of our clients first, the business would grow organically,” he explains. “That’s something I continue to apply in my current career. I make customer satisfaction my foremost priority.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco Giants.

Q: What’s your favorite style of music?
A: Country.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Fruit juice smoothies.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: Night owl.

Q: Pancakes or waffles?
A: Waffles.

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Minimalist Innovations in Window and Glass Door Design

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NOVATO — As the United States glass industry continues to focus on energy efficiency, we’ve seen a widespread adoption of European door and window technologies. Historically, Europe has had more stringent energy efficiency standards than the U.S., which is why much of… Read more

Differentiating Glass Types

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NOVATO — While it may seem straightforward from an outsider’s perspective, the glass industry is actually extremely complex and involves several different product styles and applications. Here are a few of the major classifications into which most glass installations fall:… Read more

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Video: European Glass Technologies

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NOVATO — Sarah Rutan: As the U.S. glass industry continues to focus on energy efficiency, more manufacturers are adopting sophisticated European technologies. Today we’re in Novato with Diamond… Read more

Chris Young is sales manager of J & M Windows & Glass, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2007. He can be reached at (408) 782-4917 or by email.

Chris Young

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Chris Young: Keeping it in the Family

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CAMPBELL — A third-generation participant of his family’s window and glass company, Chris Young takes pride in continuing the legacy established by his grandfather. “My grandpa started J & M Windows & Glass in 1974, and my dad took over in the mid-1980s,” he recounts. “I first got involved in 2008. I was a couple of years out of high school and the economy had just taken a dive, so I came in to help and ended up staying. I like working for the family business and carrying on my grandpa’s legacy. I think that’s the main motivation for me—to keep it going.”

Today, as sales manager of J & M Windows & Glass, Inc., Chris says his favorite part of his job is the variety. “I like the fact that I get to see a lot of different homes and meet people from different walks of life. When you’re exposed to that kind of variety every day, it certainly keeps things interesting.”

A resident of Saratoga, Chris spends most of his time outside of work on two principal pastimes. “My main hobby is dirt biking, which I do at least a couple of times a month, provided I’m not injured,” he laughs. “I’m also an avid disc golfer and a member of the Silicon Valley Disc Golf Club. As a nonprofit organization, we’ve built three disc golf courses in San Jose, and we’re currently working on another in Cupertino. We also sponsor holes and hold clean-up days at local courses, so it’s a really neat thing to be a part of.”

In regard to his professional career, Chris references a piece of wisdom passed down from his forebears. “One thing I learned from my dad, which he learned from my grandpa, is the importance of doing things right the first time,” he shares. “Even if that means it takes longer, it’s better to invest that time into doing something right than to compromise quality by taking a shortcut. It’s a simple philosophy, but I think it applies to just about every aspect of our business in one sense or another.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Chris says he would invest more time toward his hobbies. “I’d go dirt biking and disc golfing more often, for sure. I’d also travel more. In particular, I think it’d be fun to do a tour of different disc golf courses all over the United States.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: “The Office.”

Q: Have you ever read a book more than once?
A: “Where the Red Fern Grows,” by Wilson Rawls.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Trail mix.

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: I would go back to the 1970s, because that’s my favorite decade in terms of music.

Q: What’s your favorite band?
A: The Allman Brothers Band.

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How to Maintain a Sliding Glass Door

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CAMPBELL — When a sliding glass door becomes difficult to operate, it’s usually due to a lack of maintenance—specifically, cleaning and lubrication. People are often surprised to find their door issues can be resolved by merely applying lubricant to their doors’ tracks.… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Sliding Door Maintenance

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CAMPBELL — Host, Sarah Rutan: If your sliding glass door has become difficult to open and close, it’s likely due to a lack of maintenance. Today we’re in… Read more

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