Has the Republic Saga Had an Impact?
As strange as it was to watch the Republic Window & Door story unfold last year, seeing the coverage Rich Gillman’s arrest and the charges being brought against him is even stranger. Not that I was particularly well acquainted with him, but I had met him a number of times over the years and had cordial conversations with him. I specifically recall listening to him offer some sound input at an AAMA meeting regarding the association’s marketing plans.
To see Gillman’s mug shot and some pretty damning accusations brought against him is weird—perhaps because he never struck me as “out of the ordinary” for a window industry executive. I’m not going to try and defend everything he did, but it’s hard to see him getting vilified worse than Bernie Madoff—not to mention numerous other Wall Street executives who managed to line their pockets pretty well while our economy tanked last year.
I felt sympathy for Republic’s workers last year, but I knew many other window and door industry employees shared their fate because of the weak markets we all faced. Our poll question this week asks about Republic, but I’m much more interested in hearing your thoughts on this story. Now that Republic’s back in the headlines, how do you feel about everything that happened? Do you hear about Republic much when you converse with builders, homeowners or others outside the industry? What impact has it all had, if any?