published on May 12, 2016 - 10:01 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
In front of Anlin Window Systems in Clovis, there’s a large sign featuring a quote from Ronald Reagan’s 1981 Inaugural Address: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

In these highly charged political times, the Reagan sign attracts a lot of attention. “A week doesn’t go by without somebody stopping and taking a photo,” said Leticia Ramirez, Anlin’s marketing director

Installed a number of years ago by Anlin’s founder, Tom Vidmar, the Reagan sign more or less summed up Vidmar’s philosophy of business — and life, according to Ramirez.

“Tom’s favorite time of the year was the political season,” she said. “He was a strong, God-fearing Conservative and really loved the way Ronald Reagan brought the country back together when he was president.”

A Navy veteran, Vidmar started Anlin in 1991. “Tom was a very humble man,” Ramirez said. “On his company nametag, next to title, it said simply ‘grandpa.’”

Just up the road from the Reagan sign, flags from the five branches of armed services fly proudly outside the Anlin plant. “Grandpa was really big on three things — family, country and God,” Ramirez said. “He was always ready to offer a job to a fellow veteran.”

Vidmar died in 2014 after battling cancer — twice — and today Anlin, still family-owned, is run by company president and CEO John Maloney with the help of Vidmar’s sons Eric, who serves as executive vice president, and Greg, who carries a VP title.

Maloney said his top priority “is to continue Tom’s legacy in ensuring that Anlin remains a family-focused company.”

The Reagan sign is the first thing employees see as they turn in to the Anlin facility. Then they drive down two private roads named Hard Work Boulevard and Payoff Street.

Hard work has certainly paid off for Anlin, which currently has revenues approaching $100 million, fueled by 350 employees working in its 200,000-square-foot plant.

The number of workers has nearly doubled in the past five years as the company has rebounded from the recession and, according to Ramirez, brought back many of the staff that had to be laid off following the 2008 financial crisis.

Surviving the recession was “challenging” but Ramirez said Anlin is “doing really well now. We have room to grow,” she added. “Right now the demand for our windows is so great, we’re thinking that we might need to expand more.”

Today, the Anlin plant, located on a 15-acre parcel just east of Old Town Clovis, is a beehive of activity. Employees build, stack and package aisles of inventory while semi-truck trailers stream in and out of the loading docks throughout the day.

Anlin designs and produces made-to-order, energy-efficient windows and doors primarily for the California market. The company began as a manufacturer of Certain Teed window products but started manufacturing its own Anlin-branded custom windows in 2001.

Tom Vidmar’s wife Linda actually came up with the company name, a combination of the first parts of Tom’s middle name — Anton — and Linda’s first name.

In 1999, the year Anlin moved into its Clovis facility, the U.S. House of Representative recognized the company as “Industrial Business of the Year.”

This year, as Anlin celebrates its 25th year in business, the company continues to spread its positive, faith-based message. “Clovis means success” is pasted in large letters across the company’s boundary walls, just below a large American flag and even larger cross.

The company hosts monthly barbecues for its workers and fields a “Volunteer Squad” made up of employees and their families who donate their time at places like the Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Community Food Bank.

In 2014, the Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized Anlin as its Outstanding Philanthropic Organization, noting that Anlin’s “generosity and commitment to community has had a positive impact on thousands of children and adults with disabilities” through the company’s ongoing partnership with Easter Seals.

This week, Anlin will be hosting its annual charity golf tournament at Belmont Country Club. The event, which benefits Easter Seals, has been renamed the Tom Vidmar Memorial Golf Tournament.

“Even in the hard times, Grandpa always made sure everybody felt like this company was one big family,” Ramirez said.

From its annual deep-sea fishing trips to pumpkin carving contests and horseshoe tournaments in a nearby park, Anlin still prides itself on creating a family-like environment for its staff. Even its marketing slogan — “Quality windows from our family to yours” — reflects this philosophy.

Like the Reagan sign out front, Tom Vidmar’s influence is still very much in evidence at Anlin. In the employee lunchroom, under a banner that reads Grandpa’s Corner, there’s an elaborate display of Vidmar memorabilia, including a life-sized cardboard cutout of John Wayne, one of Vidmar’s heroes.

“Even though he read the Bible in his office every day after he joined the employees for their morning stretches, Grandpa never preached or tried to force his beliefs on others,” Ramirez said. “He was open to everyone.”

Ramirez said Vidmar would become particularly animated during election season. “The one thing Grandpa encouraged all of his employees to do was vote. He used to say, ‘If you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain.’”

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