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Business Profiles

Specializing in glass and aluminum storefronts and one- to two-story office/warehouse buildings, Des Plaines Glass Company has successfully placed itself among one of the finest, most trusted union glazing contractors in the region. In addition to the retail centers and office/warehouse buildings, Des Plaines Glass also has experience working with recreation centers, educational institutions, government buildings and healthcare facilities.

Des Plaines Glass Company was established in 1954 by Frank Hickson and Izzy Glassman. By 1962, the duo sold the business to Herbert “Sandy” Sandlass and Jere “JD” Davis, who ran the business over the next 25 years and ultimately secured its success in this area. In 1984, Sandy’s two sons, Mike and Mark, were installed as the primary officers, positions that are maintained to this day.

The City’s location, with access to major expressways, is a major factor in Des Plaines Glass Company’s decision to carry on operations here. The business was originally located at 1374 Miner Street within a modest 1,000-square-foot space where today’s Walgreen’s is located. Additions to the office building were made to accommodate the growing company in the early 1970s, and by 2003, Des Plaines Glass relocated to its current site—a modern 10,000-square-foot building in downtown Des Plaines.

Des Plaines Glass Company has made its presence known in the Des Plaines community, as it has had a hand in the building and/or replacement of elements at Des Plaines City Hall, Metropolitan Square, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Shop & Save and Fifth Third Bank. Outside of Des Plaines, the company worked on the Gateway and Skyplace Plaza at the University of Illinois at Chicago, replaced windows at Grace Lutheran Church and School in River Forest and installed an interior office entry system at Park Ridge-based Ragnar Benson Construction Company.

A recognized not-for-profit research and development pioneer in the energy industry, the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) has worked for more than 65 years to address critical issues that impact the natural gas and energy markets. “GTI ultimately aspires to improve domestic energy production and end use efficiency, and to ensure that our local community, the nation and our global world are at the forefront of energy-related science,” said Diane Miller, marketing communications manager at GTI.

The GTI company came to fruition after the merging of the gas industry’s two top energy research organizations: the Gas Research Institute (GRI) and the Institute of Gas Technology (IGT) in April of 2000. IGT was originally established in 1941, followed 35 years later by GRI’s founding in 1976.

According to Miller, the company’s predecessors, like many other businesses, chose to establish operations in the Chicagoland area due to its location. “Being headquartered in Des Plaines has allowed our organization to expand in size and reach a larger, more diverse customer and staff base,” she explained, adding, “One of the key drivers that Des Plaines offers GTI is the close location to O’Hare, which offers traveling conveniences for employees and customers.”

Since 1941, the research completed by GTI staff has generated nearly 500 products, more than 250 licenses and 1,100-plus patents. In 2008, the organization posted roughly $60 million in revenue. GTI continues to expand, and, according to Miller, its staff is performing more complex research than ever before. She continued, saying, “We are proud of our success at GTI, reflecting the many solutions delivered to customers and the continued growth of a diverse company portfolio.”

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