Best Managed Companies 2021

State Window

A clear path to success through outside-the-box thinking

State Window has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2007, when it had just six employees. Today it has more than 550 permanent staff — as well as 250 subcontractors — and has completed over 230 development projects across the country.

“When we first started the company, we didn’t have time to really think about becoming successful,” says founder, CEO and president Christopher Liberta via video chat from State Window’s sprawling headquarters in Woodbridge, Ont. “We just kind of did it.”

Liberta’s head-down approach has paid off over the past decade. In Ontario, the company’s windows, balcony doors and glass awnings will be featured in ambitious projects including the soon-to-be completed M City condo development in Mississauga, Vaughan’s new Transit City buildings and the Time and Space condo complex that is slated to take up an entire city block in Toronto’s downtown core.

And while the company is still considered a relative newcomer compared to some of its competitors, its proprietary technology and dedication to building sustainable products sets it apart. State Window’s R&D department uses a collaborative approach that generates the best ideas by engaging all staff: from architects to designers to construction workers, everyone is encouraged to pitch ideas on how to improve product offerings. No one holds a monopoly on new ideas, says Liberta: “Good ideas can be anywhere.”

Liberta credits State Window’s wins to how well its teams work together to stay on schedule in a sector that is notorious for delays. “Our core values are loyalty, trust in ability, passion and transparency,” he says. “When you have everyone living by that same philosophy, it just makes everything run smoothly. Everyone understands where everyone is and where they’ve got to be.”

Those values have been a guiding light during a tumultuous year in which State Window’s Vaughan, Ont., factory suffered two separate COVID-19 outbreaks. “The pandemic has been very challenging,” says Liberta. “It’s constant calls about how we’re dealing with outbreaks on sites.”

A few of the measures the company put in place include a six-foot-distance rule for employees, increased cleaning of work areas, the provision of PPE and sanitizers, the installation of portable sinks and Plexiglas dividers and the institution of temperature checks at entrances. For those who were unable to work due to illness, the company expedited bonuses to help them with cash flow and provided documentation needed for employment insurance.

It’s been a hard year, but Liberta believes that things are looking up. “We are constantly innovating to stay ahead of the curve,” he says. “We currently have five new products under development and two new concepts in the works that will address changing environmental needs over the next few decades.”