SOUTH SIOUX CITY — Gerkin Windows and Doors made some substantial changes in its leadership structure at the start of the new year, the 86th the family business has been in operation.
Steve and Paul Schneider, owners of the South Sioux City-based manufacturer of commercial and residential vinyl and aluminum window and door products, stepped away from day-to-day management, effective Jan. 1.
“We still own the company and we are going to stay involved, but there are some other people who are taking on day-to-day responsibilities,” Steve Schneider said in an interview last month.
Steve Schneider was formerly the company’s chairman and CEO while his younger brother, Paul, formerly served as the company’s president and chief operating officer.
Under the new leadership structure, the brothers are co-chairmen and co-CEOs. Meanwhile, long-term staff members Scott Anderson and Scott Gerkin were promoted to co-presidents and co-COOs.
Anderson, who has been with Gerkin since 1986, previously served as the company’s vice president of finance and IT/chief financial officer. Scott Gerkin, an employee since 1983, was the firm’s vice president of sales and marketing. He is a grandson of company founder, Virgil Gerkin.
John Miller was promoted to vice president of manufacturing. This marks his 20th year with the company. Evan George, who started his career at Gerkin in 1998, assumed Scott Gerkin’s former duties.
As part of the transition, the Schneiders also now work from a new office in Dakota Dunes that houses just the two of them.
The reason for the changes were two-pronged, Steve Schneider said.
“I’m 66 and he’s 63; we’ve both been working 60-plus hours a week for 45 years,” Schneider said. “...We are giving other people a chance to step into those positions and move forward.”
The Schneider brothers purchased Gerkin from Midwest Energy — a predecessor to MidAmerican Energy — in 1991.
Shortly after the transaction, they relocated the business from Sioux City, where it had been since 1932, across the Missouri River to South Sioux City, where they have led it through a substantial growth period.
Since 2004, the company has completed multiple expansion projects, including the construction of manufacturing plant/corporate headquarters at 5000 Rhino Road, which is named after one of Gerkin's product lines.
The most recent expansion, which began last year, is a 73,000-square-foot addition that will help alleviate space constraints at Gerkin’s 170,000-square-foot plant/headquarters. The new addition will provide space for increased production capacity, material and finished goods storage, and processing and shipping.
Despite all the changes the New Year brought, Steve Schneider noted he and his brother remain confident the transition will go smoothly.
“It would be much more of a nervous time if all these people are coming in from the outside,” he said. “...Everybody that’s taking an upper management position are all people that have been here more than 25 years. It’s time for us to pass on some responsibility and some day-to-day activities and move off to the side.”