A Family Business Through and Through
Phoenix Glass was founded 25 years ago by long-time glazing veteran Steve Lebedovich along with his business partner and wife, Darlene, and his son Jim Lebedovich.
The company started strong right out of the gate, opening a modest but agile 2500 sq ft warehouse on Annacis Island in 1992. With steady growth maintained under the helm of Controller Darlene, the company was set to become one of Western Canada’s largest suppliers of locally manufactured fenestration products and services. And with Steve’s hands-on glazing experience, industry connections and ‘can-do’ attitude, Phoenix Glass quickly developed a reputation for providing unparalleled custom-design options featuring their own proprietary Columbia Aluminum Products.
For their son Jim Lebedovich, the glazing business was undeniably in his genes. At the age of 13, Jim began his career with Phoenix Glass as a young metal fabricator, then moved up to glazing apprentice and journeyman, eventually working his way into the office after years of learning the ins and outs of the business. Jim officially joined the company as a full partner and the company’s Purchaser and Materials Co-ordinator after graduating from BCIT’s Business Management program.
To Steve Lebedovich, there was nothing better than pride of ownership and having his son involved gave him an even greater sense of accomplishment. He always felt that the business was a measurement of their lifelong success as a family.
If a business with partners is to be successful your partners need to be your best friends. We built our company with our family, whom I consider to be my best friends and in the process we created a recipe for enduring success.
In 2003, with the business thriving, Phoenix moved into larger headquarters, expanding its space to 20,000 sq ft and employing well over 70 full time office staff, fabricators and installers. Even as Phoenix Glass grew, the company continued to maintain its family-first approach, employing the talents of respected relatives, friends and mentors while keeping a large dossier of loyal customers returning year after year. To this day Phoenix maintains an amazingly low employee turnover rate, with some team members having been with the company for decades.
At the peak of their game, with over 2000 successful projects under their belt, Steve and Darlene eventually headed towards retirement and in 2007 the family decided to sell Phoenix Glass to Atis Group, a Canada-wide window and door company, with Jim continuing to manage day-to-day operations.
Yet the family’s draw to the business remained steadfast, and 9 years later, Jim took the strategic step of re-purchasing Phoenix Glass with his new business partner, Sunny Minhas. A respected CPA, CMA with extensive management experience in the manufacturing sector, Sunny was the perfect fit to help Jim continue to grow the company.
Over the last 25 years the glazing industry has changed dramatically, becoming much more technical and design-driven — products need to not only look great, but be energy-efficient, balance heat loss and heat gain, and be seismically and structurally sound like never before. Phoenix Glass’s custom offerings continue to expand each year with new cutting-edge products such as their unitized hybrid curtain wall systems, printed glass services, laser-cut stainless steel panels and eco-friendly wood veneer glass panels.
Today, Phoenix Glass operates out of their new purpose-built 42,000 sq ft. manufacturing plant in Delta, B.C., employing well over 100 full time staff. This enables them to maintain excellent quality control while providing high performance products for today’s LEED® and enhanced energy building initiatives.
After a quarter of a century and over $350 million in glazing projects (and counting), the team at Phoenix Glass continues to celebrate its diversity of people, strong work ethic and devoted sense of family and is well positioned to thrive as a leader in commercial glazing now and into the future.