Gulf Coast American Blind Corp., Naples, FL, in October held a grand opening celebration for its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at 3705 Westview Dr., which officially opened for business in September 2003.
For Gulf Coast, a window fashions fabricator in Naples since 1986, the move was
both an expansion from 39,700 to 60,000 square feet and a consolidation, from
five scattered buildings to one main facility, providing the company with an
opportunity to continue to grow.
“Building a facility large enough to bring the entire Gulf Coast family
together under one roof has long been my dream . . . and now it’s a reality,” said
Carlos Diaz, president and CEO.
Gulf Coast’s larger facility will benefit associates and their extensive
dealer networks by expanding inventory capacity and product line manufacturing
capabilities, increasing production in a safer, more secure temperature-controlled
working environment and improving efficiencies internally and externally through
technologically advanced communication and computer systems.
For the local community, the change will bring increased employment opportunities
from entry-level to management.
THREE DAYS OF WORK AND FUN
To celebrate the new facility, Gulf Coast was the host for a three-day long extravaganza,
beginning October 2 with an American Celebration of Stars honoring outstanding
Priority Dealer star performers for their achievements and success. A red carpet
entrance welcomed guests as they arrived to enjoy a star-studded evening filled
with glitz and glamour . . . and some surprises.
On October 3, Gulf Coast, the largest independent full-line Hunter Douglas
Window Fashions fabricator and distributor in the Southeast, sponsored the
Solutions Regional Trade Fair at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa
in Bonita Springs, FL.
This 10-hour, one-day event was filled with informative classes on products,
profits, service and sales. It included a 6,000-square-foot product showcase
with life-size room settings, eight hands-on learning stations and a resource
center filled with new sampling and information about all the products, line
extensions and enhancements launched this fall.
Following the Solutions Trade Fair, Gulf Coast celebrated at another gala grand
opening in the evening, hosting Hunter Douglas North American partners, local
dignitaries and distinguished VIPs who have contributed to this project.
One of the highlights of this celebration was an opportunity to showcase Hunter
Douglas’ newest window covering category, Alouette Light Louver. On site
for the festivities was Marvin Hopkins, Hunter Douglas president and CEO, and
Mary Lonergan, the director of brand development.
On October 4, the Associates of Gulf Coast joined together for a casual All-American
Barbeque and Family Day. The day was filled with pride and gratitude and marked
the official beginning of the Gulf Coast family under one roof.
During the three days of festivities, Gulf Coast officially unveiled its new
logo and new name: Gulf Coast American Fabrication. Having grown beyond just
blinds many years ago, this new name describes simply and appropriately what
Gulf Coast is today.
“Our growth and success has come as a result of the loyalty and dedication
of our associates, our dealers and our business partners,” said Diaz. “Without
them, this celebration would not be possible.”
He added that at Gulf Coast American Fabrication, when they say, “We’re
with you before, during and after the sale,” it is not simply a business
slogan, it’s how they conduct their business.
It’s all about people
For Gulf Coast American Fabrication, success is all about
people. The company’s business philosophy is to provide
a support system for its customers. They all are treated with
honesty and integrity, as people first and as business associates
second. This is exemplified in Gulf Coast’s shared value
statement: Personally Extending Our Promise Leading to Excellence,
This philosophy is evident inside and outside the company beginning with Gulf
Coast’s customer service team, which provides ongoing training, commitment
and professionalism in serving its dealers. Another important part of this commitment
is “Career Shadowing.” Company leaders see the business through the
eyes of individuals in each department to gain new perspective and appreciation
for each person’s contributions.
Gulf Coast also believes in making a difference to the community in which it
operates. Through relationships with Goodwill Industries and Sunrise Community
of Collier County, it offers employment opportunities for those who may not find
it on their own. The company provides financial support for many good causes
and charitable organizations including Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics,
Muscular Dystrophy Association and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Every member of the company also participates in annual Toys for Tots drives,
and products and assistance is given for local Habitat for Humanity efforts.
In recognition of its heritage, Gulf Coast also is a member of the Latin Business
Association and a proud sponsor of the Latin American Scholarship Funds, ensuring
that today’s students will be future community leaders.