Making it work

Specialty Products and Safety

William Barr and Mike Strmac were destined from a very early age to go into business together. It all began in elementary school when they would save the dimes left over from their 90-cent lunches.

What did they do with the money? They bought cases of bubble gum that cost 10 cents a pack and sold it to their friends for a quarter. The entrepreneur in both of them had been unleashed and their path had been set.

Today, they run Universal Windows Direct with the idea that anything is possible when it comes to helping and serving their customers. Barr and Strmac don’t micromanage but rather set goals and rely on their teams to meet those goals. So long as the goals are being met, the co-founders back off and give employees unlimited freedom to complete their tasks.

In addition, they do their best to make Universal Windows a fun place to work. Whether it’s golf outings or crock-pot Fridays, it’s a place where people enjoy spending time. Sometimes employees run into Scout, the office dog, or sit down for a game of Madden Football on the company’s PlayStation. As long as they’re getting their work done, the co-founders encourage employees to have a good time.

But it’s the work that’s most important. And Barr and Strmac are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. They don’t ask their employees to do anything that they wouldn’t do themselves, and if that includes knocking on doors or running late-night sales calls, they’ll do it.

And they make sure that, as the company grows, it grows consistently so that the same branding and the same great service are present no matter where you visit Universal Windows.

The company makes sure its enthusiasm also stretches to supporting philanthropic organizations, including a number of charities and community and church organizations. Everything they do, Barr and Strmac do with 100 percent enthusiasm and passion.

How to reach: Universal Windows Direct, (800) 984-5846 or