Business

Dahl Glass is officially a Better Business

"A local businessman will travel to Seattle tomorrow with bated breath as he awaits the naming of the Western Washington's Better Business Bureau Business of the Year.Kevin Dahl, owner of Dahl Glass, is one of eight finalists for the award, which will be announced May 11 at the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel in Seattle.With nominations judged in four different categories - customer service, community involvement, entrepreneurial spirit and innovative practices - Dahl will be head-to-head with companies from Seattle, Federal Way, Everett and Poulsbo.Originally started in 1946 as Dahl and Petersen Lumber Company by Dahl's grandfather, Ole, the wood offerings were eliminated in 1972 when his father, Harold, took over the business as Dahl and Sons Glass.After purchasing the company in 1991, Dahl said he chose to shorten the name even more. 'Cause at the time, I didn't have any sons, he said.Now with two daughters and a son, Dahl said he has tried to build on the family legacy, while offering improvements in efficiency and service.We've just continued to modernize in a town that's offered many different opportunities, he said.Born and raised in Silverdale, Dahl said customer service is the number one priority for his company, which offers everything from minor repair to full-scale construction for residential, commercial and government properties.The best advertising you can have is good-quality service, said Dahl, who employs 18. That's what we really pride ourselves in.Rather than focusing on glass for specific buildings or rooms, he said employees make themselves open to helping customers with almost any manner of project, such as recent construction of an all-glass door.We're into anything that has to do with glass, he said.Being active in the community is just as important personally as it is commercially, said Dahl, who participates in the Rotary Club, Silverdale Chamber of Commerce and Whaling Days.I do feel strongly that to be successful in business, you have to be busy in the community, he said.But the contacts made through special events in the local community also makes sense businesswise, Dahl said.Being in the business is kind of about who you know, he said.Although being an entrepreneur is somewhat difficult when continuing a 50-year-old company, Dahl said he has attempted to make the work environment more friendly for his employees through emphasizing the importance of life outside of work.I realize they all have family needs, and I want them to feel welcome, he said.After being notified that he was one of 50 businesses nominated throughout the past year, Dahl said he went before a panel of 12 people to discuss his company.It was quite interesting, but it was fun to talk about my business and be proud of it, he said. It was a real thrill.Even if he is doesn't win the regional award - the winner of which will go on to compete for the national Council of Better Business Bureaus' Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics - Dahl said the recognition the company has received is more than enough.We're tickled to be one of the eight, he said. Just being nominated is a great feeling.Having increased the company's income from $300,000 to $1.6 million in the nine years since he took over the business, Dahl said Silverdale offers a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes. In addition to large stores such as Costco, he said even smaller businesses can prosper with a fair share of hard work.The Silverdale area has grown so much and so fast, he said. I would say the opportunities are great."

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