Case Studies & Research

Featured Contractor

Bill Sullivan, Brin Glass Company

Minneapolis, MN

How would you describe your company?

Brin Glass Company was established in 1912, and it’s been a leader in the glazing industry for the upper Midwest for over 100 years. What makes us unique is that we operate in several different spaces: wholesale distribution, fabrication and manufacture of glass and architectural aluminum products, glass service and contract glazing.

We can do all this because we have five companies within one corporate entity: Brin Contract Glazing, Brin Glass Service, Northwestern Glass Fab, Heartland Glass Co., Inc. and St. Germain’s Glass Inc. We have 185 total employees, with 80-85 in contract glazing. And most of them are IUPAT members.  

To what do you attribute your success?

Our success lies in our IUPAT workforce. These educated, highly skilled tradespeople are our partners and an intrinsic part of our team. They’re as committed to Brin as they are to the IUPAT and, as a result, they bring us as many opportunities as we give them.

How has IUPAT benefitted you?

I rely on the expertise of our IUPAT craftspeople in every job we do. IUPAT is also a great resource when we need more workers, because I know everyone they’ve trained has been through a rigorous apprenticeship program and will always deliver the highest quality. They’re great at training!

What are your company’s proudest achievements?

We’re especially proud of a highly unique project, the new Robin Hall aerospace building at the University of North Dakota. We glazed the entire building, including a 127-foot tower with a floor-to-ceiling curtain wall, crystal-clear observation floor and deeply sloped skylight.

Another recent achievement is a building we’re now completing in St. Paul, the Dorothy Day Center, which features bird-friendly glass we imported from Germany.

What is your guiding principle?

I can describe it in three words: Quality clear through. Whether it’s a customer service person or a glazier in the field, our employees know that everything they do on the job reflects on our company. They’re all, through their commitment and expertise, Brin salespeople – and that’s what drives our growth.

What are your biggest challenges?

Building a more diverse and skilled workforce, including recruiting more women into the trade.

Where are your future opportunities?

Our greatest growth potential is expanding into areas we don’t currently work in, such as high-rise buildings.

Anything else?

I’m a big believer in partnering with IUPAT.