Company Spotlight

Marvin’s History

Advancing with Purpose

Window Legacy

In 1904, George G. Marvin arrived in a small town called Warroad, Minnesota town near the Canadian border. He managed a grain elevator and lumberyard. He spent the next 70 years building a business that became a cornerstone of the Warroad community.

Later, in 1912, The Marvin Timber & Cedar Company was established. As the years progressed through the 20s into the depression, Marvin Lumber & Cedar Company had its first year with a loss, but was fortunate to offer continuous employment without layoffs during America’s Great Depression.

The company that become Marvin Windows and Doors was born when Bill Marvin (George’s son) realized that making windows would create jobs and keep returning servicemen in Warroad, after the end of World War II.

Generational Leadership

In 1960, Bill Marvin took over as company president. Under his leadership, Marvin grew from a few dozen employees in the 1950s, to a few hundred in the 1960s, to more than 4,000 today. Bill immersed his six children in the business from early childhood. They all remember going to the factory with Dad on weekend afternoons, sweeping floors and emptying wastebaskets.

Bill Marvin had a close eye on the business, but wanted to also give his employees an opportunity to thrive and make a big difference. He believed that everyone should have the opportunity to succeed. “I don’t have to be the smartest at everything,” he said. “I just have to find the people who are.”

The Third Generation

In 1991, Jake Marvin became the President of Marvin, and later in 2000 became the Chief Executive Officer.

In 2012, President Barack Obama discussed Marvin Windows and Doors, using the company’s story as the emotional climax of the address. Obama held up Marvin as an example to the nation, telling how Marvin refused to lay off workers even as competitors made deep cuts.

The Fourth Generation

As 2017 approached, Paul Marvin became the first of the fourth generation within the Marvin family to hold the top post at The Marvin Companies. He was named president of Marvin Windows and Doors on Jan. 1, 2016, after serving as vice president of sales, along with other roles within the company. His promotion to CEO, in addition to continuing to serve as president, caps a steady track record of success over the course of 11 years.

After a re-branding in 2018 and 2019, what will Marvin bring to the window and door market next?

By James Aiken

President of Legacy Search, James Aiken has been dynamically involved in recruiting the elite candidates within the building materials industry for many years. With strength in sales and operations, James has built out multiple sales teams for manufacturers and distributors alike. Email him at

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