John Swanson, editor/associate publisher of Window & Door
As strange as it was to watch the Republic Window & Door story
unfold last year, seeing the coverage of Rich Gillman’s arrest and the
charges being brought against him is even stranger. I was
not particularly well acquainted with him, but I had met him a number of
times over the years and had cordial conversations with him. I
specifically recall listening to him offer some sound input at an AAMA
meeting regarding the association’s marketing plans.
Gillman’s mug shot and some pretty damning accusations brought against
him is weird—perhaps because he never struck me as “out of the
ordinary” for a window industry executive. I’m not going to try and
defend everything he did, but it’s hard to see him getting vilified now more than Bernie Madoff—not to mention numerous other Wall Street
executives who managed to line their pockets pretty well while our
economy tanked last year.
I felt sympathy for Republic’s workers
last year, but I knew many other window and door industry employees
shared their fate because of the weak markets we all faced. Our poll
question this week asks about Republic, but I’m much more interested in hearing your thoughts
on this story. Now that Republic’s back in the headlines, how do you
feel about everything that happened? Do you hear about Republic much
when you converse with builders, homeowners or others outside the
industry? What impact has it all had, if any?
The Talk..., Page 2
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