Industry Remembers Kellman in Days Following His Death
January 11, 2010
|Though Joe Kellman (shown here in a 1993 file
photo) long ago retired from the auto glass industry, his legacy
is one that continues to impact the way the industry operates
Many industry representatives who worked with industry legend Joe
Kellman during his tenure as president of Globe Glass have shared
their stories and memories of him with glassBYTEs.com/AGRR
magazine in light of his passing last week. Kellman passed away
on his 90th birthday on Thursday, January 7. (CLICK
HERE for related story.)
I just remember him as being this incredibly creative, dynamic
generous but tough-mindedtake-no-prisonerskind of a
guyjust an amazing, person, recalls Lyle Hill, president
of Chicago-based MTH Industries. [He had] an amazing, brilliant
Hill began working for Kellman in 1970, after hed graduated
college, and later led an employee acquisition of the MTH division
of Globe Glass and Mirror from him in 1998.
He was just the most visionary person Ive ever known,
says Hill. Everything about the auto glass network as its
known todayhe was at the forefront of that.
David Rohlfing, president of Glass America, worked with Kellman
in the latter half of 1995 during the merger negotiations of U.S.
Auto Glass/Globe Glass & Mirror and Windshields America and
subsequent formation of Vistar and also remembers Kellman as a tough
competitor, as well as other great qualities.
Mr. Kellman was a good teacher and a great person to work
with, says Rohlfing. I learned a lot from him and will
always remember his legacy to the industry.
Belron US president Tom Feeney remembers Kellman fondly as well.
"He was very influential to our industry and we considered
him a friend of Safelite and I know the Lubners loved him,"
he said, "though we are sad to hear of his passing he lived
a great life."
Kellman's legacy includes beginning the practice of mobile auto
glass service which Hill credits Kellman for starting.
One industry representative, posting under the name glasgod1, concurred
with a post on the glassBYTEs.com/AGRR magazine message
Joe Kellman changed this industry, says glasgod1. Some
of us like the changes and some hate them. Most dont even
understand how he changed the industry. He was a man of vision.
Kellman also was known for his charitable work and his founding
of the Better Boys Foundation in Chicago and the Kellman/Corporate
Community School, and industry representatives today still remember
him for this.
[I] worked for Joe Kellman for many years in the Chicago
and Los Angeles markets, writes GA Blacksheep. Yes,
made the auto glass industry what it is today,
from the very first super shop on Western Avenue. Lets
also not forget how much he contributed to the Boys Club of Chicago.
Sure, he made millions, but he also gave to improve the lives of
He will be missed.
Rohlfing agrees saying there are a number of people at Glass America
who worked for Kellman over the years and all have a lasting respect
and fondness for him and all that he did for them and their careers.
We always swap old stories of him, says Rohlfing. He
will be missed.
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