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Herb Englert: A Business Philosophy that has Stood the Test of Time

herb englert, englert, 50th anniversaryA recent story in a European magazine about an aluminum manufacturer in Ballyshannon, Ireland, reveals how an American business owner played a significant, yet unsung role in that company’s development.

Now celebrating its 50th Anniversary in business, Englert Inc. is looking forward to developing new products and markets, and also looking backward to examine the qualities, strategies, and business style that has made it successful over the years.

“For as long as I can remember, my father felt that we were in business not only to earn money, but also to help fulfill a greater goal within society,” said Debbie Tripod, president of Englert and daughter of its founder Herb Englert. “He believed that helping our business customers to become successful, was just as important as our own success, and would help our business grow as well,” she continued.

Herb Englert developed this philosophy as an outgrowth of his own experience. He opened Englert, Inc. in 1966 with his own funds and a capital investment from another businessman. When he tried to repay the loan, he was told, ‘Pay it forward. If you help others become successful, we’ll all be better for it.’ Herb took this advice to heart.

As reported by BIMIreland.ie, the digital edition of Irish Building Magazine:

Donal Kelly, the son of a blacksmith, founded Seamless Aluminum Ltd. 40 years ago. It has grown to become Ireland’s market leader in the manufacture and distribution of aluminum rainwater management systems, as well as aluminum fascia and soffit systems for residential and commercial use.

Donal originally started in the building industry as a manufacturer of precast concrete sills and lintels, but during a visit to the US in 1974 his eyes were opened to the use of aluminum for fascia and cladding. After making enquiries, the Donegal man visited the headquarters of Englert Inc., which had developed a fabrication system for seamless gutters. “I met company president Herb Englert and he asked me would I be interested in heading up a distribution unit. I said ‘I would love to but I don’t have the money’,” said Donal.

“He asked me how much would I need and I said ‘More than you will give me!’ But on a handshake he agreed to give me $100,000 credit per month over three months and he didn’t know me from Adam. At home, I only had IR£1,000 credit with my bank at the time in Ballyshannon. Other than monthly payments on what Englert supplied, Herb didn’t ask anything else in the repayments from me!”

“It is extremely gratifying to read this story of how my father helped someone in Ireland start a business which has grown to be so successful,” says Tripod. “Over the years my father helped dozens of small businesses get started and grow to be successful. We still have business and personal ties to many of them. But every once in a while we hear of a story like this one and I just marvel at how much impact my Dad’s philosophy has had, and how far it has traveled.”