By Jim Mackinnon
Beacon Journal business writer
When Dan Porter goes out on a job to replace or repair someone’s broken windshield or car side window, he’s thinking customer service.
It’s a philosophy he says he has carried with him for more than a quarter century as an employee with Safelite AutoGlass in Akron.
And it is a philosophy that has its personal rewards. Porter, a 50-year-old Springfield Township resident, is among only four U.S recipients of the latest annual Exceptional Customer Service Award presented by Safelite corporate owner Belron.
Each Belron business unit nominates one of the corporation’s approximately 25,000 employees around the world. Out of the global nominations, there were 17 winners from 13 countries.
“That was a very big surprise. I am very honored by it,” Porter said. “I’ll have been with Safelite this coming June 26 years.”
Porter works as a Safelite technician who primarily travels to customers’ homes or workplaces to do such things as replace broken vehicle windshields. He typically travels 100 to 200 miles daily; most repairs typically take no more than 90 minutes to complete.
“We’re all about customer service,” Porter said. “It’s all about teamwork.”
The company said it honored him not only for his customer service, but also for his willingness to train and help other Safelite technicians.
“I am a technician by name, but I feel a need to help out with the newer guys,” Porter said.
Porter is married and has two sons, one at the University of Akron and the other a junior in high school. When he applied for a job with Safelite nearly 26 years ago, he said he wasn’t thinking he would stay there a long time.
“I started out looking for a job, and I found a career,” he said.
He has worked on regular vehicles such as the Jeep Liberty and Chevrolet Cobalt — two of the easier vehicles for replacement glass, he said — as well as large tractor-trailer trucks.
Over the years, he said, he has replaced glass on exotic cars, including Corvettes, Porsches, BMWs, Mercedes — even rear glass for a 1932 Bentley that was being restored.
A lot of windshields are damaged by debris kicked up from the road, he said. It’s important that people get the glass replaced or repaired because windshields are an important safety feature.
Porter said that once he completes his schedule he tries to get home each day to have dinner with his family.
“I have a family and I have a life and I have a company that I need to make successful so that I am successful,” he said.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.