Heartland Glass was started in 1980 by Ray Schueller, Mal Patton and Jim Scherer who all worked together at St. Cloud Glass before branching out on their own. Ten years later, in 1990, Heartland Glass was acquired by Brin Northwestern Glass Company, a nearly century-old glass manufacturer in Minneapolis, and Bill Sullivan was brought in as the manager. Being part of a larger company allowed Heartland Glass to negotiate optimal pricing from vendors permitting them to become much more competitive. As a result, Heartland Glass experienced tremendous growth and was established as one of the leading glazing contractors in the region. In 2007 Bill Sullivan bought out Brin Northwestern Glass and became the sole owner. Five years later, on July 1, 2013, Heartland Glass officially re-merged with Brin Northwestern Glass Company in order to provide expanded opportunities for both customers and employees. "Employees from both companies know each other well and we share the same core values," Bill said. The company has become an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) which benefits employees now and going into the future, and Bill Sullivan currently maintains positions both at Heartland Glass as President and Brin as Executive Vice President.
"Clients choose to work with Heartland Glass repeatedly because of the quality of the experience they know they will have in working with us.” Bill said, “It starts from the initial call where a real person answers the phone, and extends to our friendly and knowledgeable staff who coordinate the efficient installation of industry leading quality products at a fair price. Hence our motto ‘Quality Clear Through’."
Heartland Glass owner and CEO, Bill Sullivan, leads his client service team and technical crew by example with a dedication to providing the finest quality service and the optimum value for clients. His first obligation is to look out for clients’ interests and he takes an active role in every project.
"My passion is customer service, helping solve people’s problems, that’s the magic for me," Bill said, "Working with people to solve a problem such as a broken window or being creative by giving them a unique living experience such as a frameless shower door, or by helping a building owner create a special look for their corporate office, that’s what we do. Glass is part of our everyday life. We need glass to get in touch with the rest of the world. Our lives would be so dull if we didn’t have windows to look out of homes, offices or cars. We need to connect to the outside world and let the sun in – the light, the space is vital to our health and wellbeing."
Client Service Team
At Heartland Glass, we truly believe that our client service team is our most valuable asset. Our customers choose Heartland Glass because of the expertise and dedication of our talented staff. Our team is recognized for our proficiency, creative solutions and client communication.
Bill Sullivan, Owner/CEO
Originally from Madison, WI, Bill Sullivan has been the sole owner of Heartland Glass since 2007 and a Wisconsin Badger and Green Bay Packer fan for life. He attended The University of Wisconsin, Madison attaining a B.S. in Construction Administration. His first assignment was with Brin Northwestern Glass in Minneapolis, MN, which owned Heartland Glass at the time. Bill became the manager for Heartland Glass and then purchased the company from Brin Northwestern Glass in 2007.
“I work hard and my expectations are that my employees will work hard as well,” Bill said, “I listen to and truly care about our employees. I try to show them how much I appreciate them through profit sharing and acknowledging their accomplishments and personal milestones frequently. I believe that by treating co-workers fairly and with respect that that will ultimately lead to a better experience for our customers.”
Bill’s passion is customer service. “Helping solve people’s problems-- that’s the magic for me,” Bill said. And his staff delivers on his promises. “Our team is made up of caring people who truly want to deliver the best customer service they can.”
Ryan Torgerson, General Manager
General Manager, Ryan Torgerson, is originally from Chisolm MN. He has an engineering background and education from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks and Hibbing Community College. Ryan began his career at Heartland Glass in December of 2000 as a sales estimator and project manager and has been climbing the ranks ever since.
“We have a really good core group of people who understand that teamwork works both ways,” Ryan said, “When we are successful as a company; we are successful as individuals. We are open to changes and improvements and listen to new ideas. It’s a true cooperative family atmosphere.”
Ryan also attributes Heartland Glass’s success to its stellar reputation and loyalty of its customers. “We have a lot of contractors who use us solely. It’s our quality and professionalism that keeps them coming back to us.”
Ken Schueller, Commercial Senior Project Manager
As the son of former owner Ray Schueller, Ken Schueller has literally grown up at Heartland Glass. Now officially a Commercial Senior Project Manager, Ken has held many roles including field work and fabricating since he started on staff right out of high school.
“I see myself as pretty well rounded when it comes to working here,” Ken said. “The most rewarding part is watching a project from start to finish.”
Two of Ken’s most rewarding projects were the Crow Wing Judicial Center in Brainerd, MN and the Benedict Arts Center and the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. “I love new challenges,” Ken said, “and these projects were very diverse. No project has ever been remotely the same and I like that part of our job.”
“Our quality of service and ability to tackle any challenge is what sets us apart,” Ken said. “We are even certified to do specialized security installs for jails and prisons.”
Luke Nelson, Draftsman
Heartland Glass Draftsman, Luke Nelson, has been with the company since 1998. Originally from, Bloomington, MN, Luke graduated from Dunwoody after serving his country in the Navy where he was stationed on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea for three years. He worked for three years at Brin Northwestern Glass in Minneapolis which owned Heartland Glass at the time. When Heartland Glass became independently owned, Luke liked the company so much that he officially joined the team.
Luke has created hundreds of projects over the last 15 years but the Benedict Art Center at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, MN is one of his favorite. “It’s such an interesting place,” he said, “The floor to ceiling glass is impressive.” He also appreciates the challenges the crew had to work with in creating the West Side Service Center for Stearns County located in Waite Park, MN. “The curved and segmented glass sections were a challenge but it turned out very nice,” Luke said. He is also extremely proud of the remodeling and restoration projects the company has had a hand in. “We’ve helped restore beautiful buildings that are on the National Historical Register,” Luke said, “Now that’s rewarding."
Luke feels the success of Heartland Glass lies in its people. “Each one of us has our own specialty, yet we can also do a little bit of everything,” Luke said. “You can find a qualified expert in each area that we deal with but each of us also has the skills to cross over to assist in other areas.”
Jessica Hanson, Sales and Estimating
Jessica Hanson grew up in Cambridge and completed a high school work study program at Star Quality Glass, which led her to a customer service job at Brin Glass shortly after graduation. Eventually promoted to Commercial Estimator, Hanson went to Anoka Technical College for architectural drafting and commercial estimating. When a Salesperson and Estimator position opened at Heartland Glass she transitioned from Minneapolis to Waite Park, MN.
At Heartland Glass, Jessica enjoys the family-like atmosphere, "It feels like we are all a big family, which is important when we spend the majority of our time together," says Hanson.
Jessica's skills and experience include project planning, value engineering, contract negotiation, managing budgets and process scheduling. At Heartland she transitions that knowledge into managing projects from start to finish.
Garrity Gerber, Sales Manager
Sales Manager, Garrity Gerber, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from St. Cloud State University and lives in Sartell with his family. He brings a wealth of sales, promotion, window and glass knowledge to the team at Heartland.
"In my past positions, I had been working for large companies and was expected to travel an immense amount," Garrity said, "I love that here I really know all of my co-workers and get to work on significant and interesting projects, but I also get to go home at the end of the day.”
One reason he was attracted to Heartland Glass was that the nature of the business is varied and focused close to home.
Matt Deiser, Project Manager
Originally from Rochester, Minnesota, Matt Deiser is a Project Manager at Heartland Glass. Deiser attended Rochester Community & Technical College and earned his carpentry certificate. He later graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a degree in construction management, minoring in business.
Deiser has held a variety of construction positions in the past. At Heartland Glass, he is responsible for attending site meetings, completing purchase orders, developing project timelines and also travels as needed. “I enjoy watching a project go from a hole in the ground to the finished design,” says Deiser.
David Pennertz, Project Manager
David Pennertz is a Project Manager at Heartland Glass. Pennertz graduated from Southwest State University, Marshall with a degree in mathematics. He taught mathematics prior to starting his project manager career. At Heartland Glass Company, he is responsible for managing multiple glass and glazing projects, including preparing estimates, work plans and documentation, and setting priorities.
In his free time, Pennertz plays amateur baseball along with other members of his family.
Kevin Zimmermann, Inside Sales & Maintenance Technician
Kevin Zimmermann, Inside Sales & Maintenance Technician at Heartland Glass Company is a Paynesville, MN native who gained experience as a glass cutter before moving into the office at Heartland Glass Company. Zimmermann is responsible for building rapport with new customers and nurturing relationships with current customers while maintaining critical equipment to ensure the least amount of disruption. “Customers comment on how much they appreciate the time and effort we spend solving their problem," Kevin said, “Hearing their feedback is what I enjoy the most."
His background includes attending St. Cloud State University for Anthropology and Archaeology, and in his spare time digs for unique finds and replicates stone projectile points.
Lynette Zima, Retail & Commercial Sales, Customer Service
Lynette Zima has been in retail and commercial sales and customer service for Heartland Glass for more than 20 years. Originally from Sartell, MN, she attended SCSU for speech communication and business management.
“I like the fast-paced industry,” Lynette said. “We all have to be on the same page and that takes a lot of teamwork. We also all wear many hats around here. I like how everyone chips in.”
Helping customers is Lynette’s forte. “My favorite part of my job is cultivating those relationships,” Lynette said, “I’ve known some of our customers for over 20 years!” She can often be found in other areas of the shop lending a hand as well.
Alan Block, Controller
As the Controller for Heartland Glass, Alan Block does all of the financials, contract billing, service billing and also serves as the human resources person. Originally from Pierz, MN, Alan set his sights on the St. Cloud area after attending Willmar Technical College where he earned his Associate of Applied Science degree.
Alan began his career with Heartland Glass in May, 2009 and appreciates the corporate work ethic of the team. “We do everything all the way, every time,” he said. “Good communication and really good relationships with our customers are the keys to our success. We are stable, secure and rock solid.”