CLEVELAND — The Garland Company Inc. will celebrate 125 years in business in 2020, joining a very small and elite group of companies to achieve such a milestone. Garland has developed numerous waterproofing technologies that have helped redefine performance expectations and set new standards worldwide.
Founded in 1895, the company began when Jacob B. Wise borrowed $100 from his brother to purchase Garland Refining Company, later renamed The Garland Company Inc. The company moved to its current headquarters in Cleveland’s Union-Miles neighborhood in 1919. There have been several additions and renovations to the building over the last century to accommodate growth, but the original building is still operational.
Garland was reorganized and revitalized in 1974 when three entrepreneurial salesmen agreed to purchase the company from the original family. Along with building a successful business, the original three men and five others who later joined them wanted to create a culture that celebrated its employees and never waivered in its commitments. Part of achieving that included establishing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that provided ownership to each of Garland’s employees. The board of director’s desire to allow everyone to share in the ownership of the company has had an impact far beyond what they could have ever imagined.
“Ownership truly is a powerful motivator. It helps create a connection and an investment in a company like nothing else,” said David Sokol, Garland’s president since 2004. “To me, it’s very obvious that ownership means something to our employees. The level of success we have reached would not have been possible without our ESOP or the culture created because of it.”
Since its inception, Garland has become an ISO 9001:2015 certified company and has a network of building envelope professionals positioned throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.