About Northwestern Industries

Management Profiles

  • Joe Hawley

  • President

  • Joe brings many years of experience leading organizations at many different locations in the US and Canada. Even though he is a veteran of the glass fabrication industry, he brings insights from different industries as well.

    Joe joined NWI in June of 2015 and was appointed President upon Rick Nelson’s retirement in September. He will lead the company while NWI makes plans for substantial growth over the next few years as significant investments unfold at both locations.  

  • John Butler

  • Plant Manager

  • As manager of Northwestern Industries' new Arizona facility, John Butler brings with him more than three decades of experience in the glass industry.

    Mr Butler is a Six-Sigma green belt, and a member of the JIT Implementation Team, trained in Throughput and Lean Manufacturing.

  • Earl Mercado

  • Sales Manager

  • Earl joined Northwestern Industries in the Fall of 2014. He comes with an extensive background in the construction industry. Starting in commercial estimating for a concrete contracting company, Earl first developed solid relationships with architects and general contractors by providing the technical support they needed. He continued to grow those relationships while working at Guardian Industries working on building specifications throughout the western United States and Canada.

    While Earl’s strengths have been built in the architectural specifications arena, he also brings important management experience supporting the sales and production efforts in a manufacturing environment. These skills will be important and he leads the sales and production efforts in Seattle and Yuma.

  • Henry Heiss

  • Plant Manager

  • Henry Heiss joined Northwestern Industries in 1984 and has served in a number of key positions within the company. Among Mr Heiss' contributions has been his role in advancing NWI's principles of Lean Manufacturing and 5-S Organization practices. Mr. Heiss is the Plant Manager for NWI's Seattle, Washington facility.

Sales Partners

Our Sales Partners are to assist you with all your informational and purchasing needs.

  • Bill Larson

  • North Seattle to the Canadian border. Montana and Alaska.

  • Phone: 1-800-426-2771
  • Francie Harker-Bain

  • Bay Area and Northern California

  • Phone: 1-510-918-9342
  • Frank Forgione

  • Southern California and Las Vegas

  • Phone: 1-714-478-2312
  • Fax:     1-714-693-9898
  • Gary Day

  • Arizona and Canada

  • Phone: 1-623-271-2911
  • Fax:     1-623-853-9266
  • Dennis Mills

  • Utah, Southern Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico

  • Phone: 1-435-658-3076
  • Fax:     1-435-658-0936
  • Todd Joubert

  • Texas

  • Cell:    512-695-0314

Customer Service

Providing the highest level of customer service is one of the cornerstones of our company.

Our customer service department is staffed in-house by professionals who know the glass business, who understand what our clients need, and who have the authority to get things done.

We make answering each phone call personally a priority, and pledge to respond to all other forms of inquiry in a prompt and respectful manner.

At Northwestern Industries we never forget who we work for, and we try to express our gratitude by providing the best customer service possible.

Quality Control

Northwestern Industries is able to offer the highest quality products at the most competitive prices due to a comprehensive system of quality controls. Further enhancing this approach is our ability to process and track all phases of the project under one roof, from start to finish.

Our system begins with the development of the order, as each detail and variable is reviewed for criteria such as unit and measurement accuracy, compatibility and budget. During the manufacturing process, the product is subjected to an array of inspections by experienced technicians and the latest technologies. Finally, each order is given a final inspection before being certified as good to ship.

The Baldrige National Quality Program

One metric we employ to measure customer satisfaction is through participation in the Baldrige National Quality Program.

Established in 1987, the Baldrige National Quality Program was named for Malcom Baldrige, who served as US Secretary of Commerce from 1981 until his death in 1987.

The intent of the program is to assist American companies in making positive strides in the areas of quality and service, and as a result, improve global competitiveness. As such, it is directly aligned with our commitment to making continuous improvements in quality, service, and value.

Northwestern Industries began its journey through the Baldrige program in 2007, and is continuing to invest significant time and energy on this very intense program. We feel that improved management understanding of the factory floor, worker involvement in quality issues, and greater emphasis on statistical process control will lead to dramatic improvements in the cost of quality and manufactured product. We recognize that continued improvement in quality, productivity, and service are essential to our success and the success of our customers.


Technology affects every aspect of our industry.

Continuous research of technology from around the world sets Northwest Industries apart from the competition. Most of our technology is unique to NWI.

Delivering the highest quality products on time starts with world class information systems. NWI team members have access to real time information regarding production status of each component of the customer’s order. Quality data is instantly provided via bar code tracking.

The most advanced quality inspection devises are used in conjunction with trained technicians to deliver consistent high quality products.

Learn more about how our embrace of new technologies and the spirit of innovation benefits our customers.

Lite Sentry, ISRA Surface Vision, Remaster, Auto edge deletion etc.


Embracing Challenges

We welcome the tough jobs and the opportunity to innovate.

Since our formation, we have invested in the latest technologies and encouraged a “can do” spirit across all levels of our organization.

Learn more about some of our signature projects via the following case studies.

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Leadership and Responsibility

Northwestern Industries is committed to the principles of good corporate citizenship in all matters.

Whenever possible, we develop and promote talent from within our company. In fact, many of our top managers, including President Tim McQuade began their career at NWI as hourly production workers.

We hire and promote without regards to race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, age, or any other physical qualifier. Simply put, we try to hire the best people and then support them with the opportunities they need to realize their full potential.

We continually affirm our commitment to a safe and comfortable working environment with regular reviews, upgrades, and improvements. We also provide employee and family insurance for additional assurance and care for when the need arises.

NWI is a leading industry advocate on a range of issues including ethical business practices, lean manufacturing and waste reduction, sustainability, technological advancement, and advancing product quality standards.


Northwestern Industries currently maintains two state-of-the-art production facilities; at our original plant in Seattle, Washington, and our latest plant in Yuma, Arizona.

For many years, our Seattle plant has been the largest facility of its kind on the West Coast.

NWI uses raw glass products from all major domestic glass manufacturers as well as imported varieties.

Since NWI carries 1,500,000 sq. ft. of premium raw glass in inventory at any one time, and can turn over 2,000,000 sq. ft. of glass per month, we have an excellent purchasing advantage which is reflected by our ability to offer competitive pricing on the highest quality products and services.

  • Seattle, WA Plant

  • Founded in 1974. Began production in February 1975. 300,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
  • Yuma, AZ Plant

  • Began production in November of 2005. 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
  • Seattle, WA

  • Stats: Four plants with 300,000 square feet of manufacturing space
  • Capacities:
    • Custom Computerized Precision Cutting
    • Water Jet Cutting System
    • Tempering
    • Laminating
    • Insulating
    • Spandrel
    • Silkscreen
    • Specialty Fabrication (Beveling, polishing, drilling)
    • Distribution
  • Yuma, AZ

  • Stats: 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space
  • Capacities:
    • Custom Computerized Precision Cutting
    • Insulating
    • Tempering
    • Spandrel
    • Silkscreen


Northwestern Industries was incorporated in 1974, and began production in February of 1975.

Our original production line consisted of an automated seamer connected in line to a 48” high-speed continuance tempering furnace. It was the first furnace of it’s generation, and was specifically designed for 3 mm patio door production, however, it was capable of tempering glass up to 12 mm.

For the first several months of production, NWI concentrated on perfecting the glass tempering process, and supplying patio doors to the residential window manufacturers. As our business and reputation grew, we added custom tempering and became a leading provider for regional distributors and glass shops.

By 1982, our custom tempered business had grown significantly and a second Seattle plant was added, featuring an automated cutting table, and 84” oscillating tempering furnace.

From that point on, NWI continued to expand and add additional production capabilities to the Seattle plants, which now include Laminating, Insulating, Spandrel, Silkscreen, and a full compliment of specialty shape and edge fabrication equipment.

In response to growing national demand, NWI opened a second production facility in Yuma, AZ in 2004. (Please note the Facilities section of this site for more details on each plant’s size and capabilities.)

The opening of the Yuma plant created one hundred new jobs, bringing NWI’s total workforce up to nearly 400 team members.

Although these two plants are currently able to supply the needs of our defined service areas, we remain open to further expansion as necessitated by market demand for our services.