Kernie Timmons started working in the glass industry in 1980. That’s when he first met the talented team at Johnson Hilliard: “The involvement with Johnson Hilliard started in 1980 when I came here to work for AGC Industries…a local glass company,” says Timmons. He admits, “When I first met them, I was only 30 years old, so in those days I didn’t have much experience, and so we would always get competitive prices on projects.” Timmons, though, quickly learned the value of having Johnson Hilliard on his side. “They would get the job because of their pricing – but then, the thing that was most important was their quality. Nobody else I dealt with had their quality of workmanship.” It’s a lesson, and a relationship, that endured until Timmons’ retirement from the industry in 2008.
At AGC, Timmons worked in high stakes – and high heat – situations. Charged with working on glass furnaces, he says, “We used a lot of air for cooling the furnaces…there’s probably about 2,000 tons of molten glass inside at any given time, so it’s about 3,000 degrees down there.” This was where Johnson Hilliard helped most. Whether welding the duct work for the furnaces or installing it, “They did most of the work,” says Timmons. That work – and their willingness to do it – often went beyond the traditional nine-to-five. When Timmons unexpectedly encountered leaks or other ductwork issues, Johnson Hilliard was there: “Sometimes, we would have a problem, and it might be, you know, Saturday night at 11:00, or it might be Sunday morning at 3:00. Sometimes, there were emergencies where we just had to get them in.”
Johnson Hilliard has the ability to be there, to do the job, and to do it well. For Timmons, that trust built the basis of their 28-year relationship: “We could depend on them to be there when we needed them. You have to get people who will respond immediately…that can also work in the heat.” Johnson Hilliard has readily handled that responsibility for AFG, time and time again. Timmons says, “During that period of time, we built a number of furnaces. We rebuilt a number of furnaces. The contracts and the number of dollars I’ve spent with them would be in the millions.” For Timmons, it’s been worth every penny.
Timmons recommends Johnson Hilliard’s services without hesitation: “No one else provides quality as good as theirs.” It’s a sentiment that has stuck with him, professionally and personally.
“I can walk in their shop and greet them all by name,” says Timmons. “I still do, actually.”