Family Business

by Sue Hawkes

Minneapolis Glass Company is dedicated to serving its family, and that family extends beyond the family who owns the company. Jennifer Lang and Matt Horovitz, a sister and brother team, now run the company their father ran before them. Minneapolis Glass serves the Twin Cities and surrounding area by fabricating and installing custom architectural glass and glazing products. Their glass products can be installed in residential or commercial spaces, and I experienced this first-hand when they fabricated and installed a customized magnetic floor-to-ceiling whiteboard in our session room. While catalyzing their success, Jennifer and Matt have also aligned their team, engaged their culture and expanded the Minneapolis Glass Company family.

The company, founded in 1937, was introduced to this family when Mike Horovitz, Jennifer and Matt’s father, started with the business in 1968. Mike remained with the company beyond his initial one-month contract and soon after purchased Minneapolis Glass Company from the original shareholders. Jennifer and Matt grew up around the business and remember attending company picnics and events. During summers off from school, Jennifer and Matt spent time working in the company in various capacities.

When asked if either of them grew up intending to work in the family business, Jennifer and Matt both chuckle and answer “no.” Jennifer took a customer service position as she was preparing to apply to medical school but then realized she truly enjoyed working in the business and changed career paths. Up until five years ago when Jennifer recruited Matt, he had been working in both a non-profit as well as seven years in product marketing at Land O’ Lakes. “We had a need for a sales and business development professional. I asked Matt if he would consider the position,” shares Jennifer. “I was ready for a change,” says Matt. “I wanted to control my own destiny.”

As Jennifer and Matt told me their favorite parts about working in their family business, I was again struck by the extended family they have cultivated within Minneapolis Glass Company. They value the culture of “connection and caring about each other” within the company. In fact, they are proud to share that Minneapolis Glass employs many family teams, including parents and children as well as siblings working together. They estimate there are 10 families represented within the 80 employees at Minneapolis Glass Company. Matt and Jennifer continue their father’s legacy by living their purpose of “building family within and community throughout.”

The Horovitz/Lang families have extended their sense of community beyond Minneapolis Glass Company as well. Jennifer and Matt’s sister, Michelle Horovitz, in addition to being a shareholder and board member of Minneapolis Glass, co-founded Appetite for Change, a non-profit established to use food as a tool building health, wealth, and social change in North Minneapolis. AFC is a community-led organization that strengthens families, creates economic prosperity, and encourages healthy living. Appetite for Change also runs Breaking Bread Café, a community-driven eatery where diners can have delicious, wholesome comfort food. Like her siblings, Michelle is building the family within the organization and larger community as well.

EOS has been a foundation for both Minneapolis Glass and Appetite for Change to maximize their reach while living their family legacy. Although Minneapolis Glass had a strong foundation of Core Values, implementing EOS helped them communicate those values more clearly and consistently. “People have gravitated to the process and it’s become infused in everything we are doing,” says Jennifer. EOS has also helped the leadership team stay objective and get to the root cause of their issues, even when it’s uncomfortable.

The biggest benefit of implementing EOS, however, has been accountability, discipline and focus. “It’s hard to stay the course when things are coming at you all the time,” shares Jennifer. “EOS has given us the accountability and structure to really move mountains and stay focused; with our Rocks we are honed in for 90 days on the most important priorities for the business.” With their sincere dedication to results and strong commitment to their extended family, implementing EOS has allowed Jennifer, Matt and Michelle to build family within their organizations while creating an enduring community beyond their walls.

Looking to improve your home or office? Contact Minneapolis Glass Company

Sue HawkesFamily Business