Vanderzee Named Minnesota Glass Dealer of the Year

Reed Vanderzee, owner of Auto Glass Express, Vadnais Heights, Minn., has been named 2005 Glass Dealer of the Year by the Minnesota Glass Association (MGA).

Vanderzee, who has been in the industry since 1994 and started his own company in 2000, has served on the MGA board of directors, including two terms as president.
In making the presentation last Thursday, Erica Chandler, MGA president, cited Vanderzee's role in forming a coalition of industry leaders to develop the Glass Network, the unique partnership between auto glass professionals and insurance agencies in the state of Minnesota. In addition, she pointed out that Vanderzee has been a strong advocate for Minnesota's glass industry and the continuing professional education of glass technicians in the state.

Vanderzee explained to glassBYTEs™ that as president of MGA, he was approached by officials of the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Association (MIIAB) who were frustrated, as a group, by the networks in existence at that time. "They thought they were losing contact with the policyholders and wanted an organization that would allow them to work efficiently and on a more personal level than just an 800 number. Our task was to create a sellable organization of glass shops that the insurance industry would accept."

He continued, "What we did, which is much like what LYNX is doing now with its METRYX service, was set up qualifications and then get shops to sign on that qualified. We ended up setting up a network that competes with the other networks." It is a for-profit operation owned by the two associations and a director of marketing has been hired to run the network. "We are a force to be reckoned with," Vanderzee stated. "This September will be our first anniversary."

The Glass Dealer of the Year award is presented annually by MGA based on individual leadership, innovation, and professionalism in the Minnesota glass industry. The presentation of this year's award took place in conjunction with the Annual MGA Golf Tournament Classic on July 28.

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