Former Belron and Safelite AutoGlass executive Rich Harrison has become a minority equity owner in Utah-based TechnaGlass, a chain of 36 stores with locations in Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Mississippi, Kentucky and Ohio.
Harrison, who was chief operations officer for Safelite AutoGlass at the time of his departure in 2012, spent the next few years in the health care industry until the end of a non-compete agreement.
“I went into health care and there are a lot of acquisitions in that sector, so I have learned that side of the business,” Harrison says. “It was a great experience for me and I spent a few years building a lot of relationships. Then I looked around at all the possible opportunities in the auto glass industry and bought in to TechnaGlass. It seemed the best of all fits.”
He and TechnaGlass CEO Troy Mason have known each other for almost 15 years.
“Troy is a great guy and he has a spectacular regional business. He has had an amazing career, starting as a glass technician and going on to build a very strong regional brand,” says Harrison. “We have complementary skills. I have a more strategy and business development background. I see my skills helping TechnaGlass to become stronger and more customer-focused. We will put the things in place to become a scalable platform for growth.”
Harrison says he and Mason plan to expand the business.
“We get along really well,” says Harrison. “I have joked that Troy’s default response is ‘yes’ as we agree on most things. We want to create a platform for growth; I have done that before and I am excited to be doing it again. We have engaged an investment bank with access to working capital and we are now actively looking for acquisitions. Our focus will be on building the corporate-owned business.”
Mason says he looks forward to TechnaGlass building a national presence.
“We are so excited to have Rich with us,” says Mason. “We have a great working relationship and I am looking forward to moving from a regional to national scope with him. We have been working together for a few months and it’s been a pleasure. There are more good things to come.”
Harrison adds, “When you spend the vast majority of your career in the auto glass industry, it makes a lot of sense for me to continue to apply what I know. I have parachuted in to help transform the customer experience so that we can grow even more.”