Entrepreneurship isn’t just young legs with venture capital money; it’s a set of solid values and a strong work ethic.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  December 16, 2011  – Reginald Pollard, Chairman of Pollard Windows and Doors, located on King Road has been named the 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Burlington Economic Development Corporation.  The Award luncheon is to take place June 7, 2012 at the Burlington Convention Centre.

Pollard, whose Dad created the company after the second World War when the family immigrated to Canada, might not fit the image of an entrepreneur but let there be no doubt that it is men like Reg Pollard who create jobs, wealth and a healthier community when they put their money and their talents on the line.

Reg Pollard spends quite a bit of his time in the Boardroom - but he can get out on the plant floor whenever he's needed and help solve problems. He is Burlington's 2012 Entrepreuner of the Year.

Pollard joins the ranks of Harry Voortman (Voortman Cookies), Mark Chamberlain (Trivaris), Michael Lee-Chin (AIC Ltd./Portland Holdings), Michael DeGroote Sr. (Laidlaw/Republic), Ron Joyce (Tim Hortons), Murray Hogarth (Pioneer Petroleums) and Ron Foxcroft (Fox40 International) in Burlington’s Business Hall of Fame.

Pollard Windows started out in a 20×20 foot garage that Reg and his Dad built and grew to the point where today there is a third of a million square foot plant that at peak employs just under 300 people.  Today the business is profitable and doesn’t have a dime of bank debt.  Reg’s son Michael is president and runs the operation.

Pollard, who will tell you that he isn’t computer literate, and if he has an email address he doesn’t know what it is – but will quickly add that he can take up a pencil and his quarter in square graph paper and do a design when it’s needed.

He is always on hand and available to give an opinion and as he tells it “let them have some of the 60 years of wisdom and experience I’ve accumulated”.

New ideas and new products have kept Pollard Windows ahead of their competitors. Their King Road display centre shown above.

Pollard Windows and Doors is a family company.  Son Michael is the president, son Gary runs the American side of things and daughter Karen handles the marketing.  Family for Pollard Windows however extends beyond the biological.  Reg Pollard learned from his Dad that “we are equally human beings” and Reg adds that the best thing the company has going for it is the loyal staff.  We have people who have been with us for more than forty years and sons of fathers that started with us are now on the payroll.

Their profit sharing program is what has kept unions out of the company.  “There have been five or six attempts to unionize us but the employees prefer the way we run the company and the benefits we provide” adds Reg Pollard.

Pollard Windows has known some tough times but they have grown with the significant growth of housing in the Region and the province generally.  They know who their competitors are and as Reg Pollard will tell you “we’ve never missed an opportunity to take advantage of a discount available to us”.  “We are into JIT” he adds, which is the acronym for Just in Time manufacturing. “The Chinese can fill warehouses full of windows that are a lot cheaper than ours but they can’t react to the instant changes we can make in the manufacturing of our products.”

You get the sense that Reg Pollard, while proud of being named the Entrepreneur of the Year, is just a little bit prouder of being able to beat a competitor.


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