Custom window craftsman Eddie Ballesteros celebrates 30 years with Western Window Systems.
Many longtime Western Window Systems customers know Eddie Ballesteros by his first name. In his 30 years with the company, Ballesteros has been a master builder – not just of custom windows and immaculately crafted doors, but of the foundation for Western Window Systems’ success and his reputation as one of the best craftsmen in the business.
“On probably five or six occasions, I’ve had a customer look me in the eye and say, ‘You better promise me that my next product is built by Eddie,’” Western Window Systems president Scott Gates says.
Dean Seger, vice president of operations, concurs. “If he can’t build it, it’s because it can’t be built. He can build anything -- as long as it’s within the laws of physics.”
Ballsteros started at Western Windows Systems on September 18, 1989, assisting at the saw station in the shop. He quickly learned multiple production positions before spending ten years on the install team. “He was one hell of an installer for Western,” says custom inside sales manager De Anne Hayhurst, who’s worked with Ballesteros for 24 years.
Retired project manager John Dirksen worked on the install crew with Ballesteros during his 16 years at Western Window Systems and says Ballesteros could teach him anything he wanted to know. “There’s probably nobody I worked with out on the install crew or anytime in the field that I relied on more than Eddie,” Dirksen says. “Because Eddie knew it all and could do it all. And he still knows it all, and he’ll still do it all.”
When Western Window Systems stopped doing installs, Ballesteros came back into the shop and “learned every job that we have,” Seger says. He’s now a master custom window-maker.
“He is quite a craftsman when it comes to working with aluminum,” says custom inside sales representative Kelli Davis, who’s worked with Ballesteros for 23 years. “He is definitely a keeper when it comes to making custom windows, whether they are bent arches or angled trapezoids.”
Service manager Todd Hayhurst, who started working with Ballesteros at Western Systems 23 years ago, says, “We have a saying here at Western – ‘If we just had a couple more Eddies, we could go to the next level.’”
But it’s not just his work skills that make Ballesteros so popular among his peers. He’s also known as a friendly, humble person with a large family that includes several godchildren. “Eddie is an all-around good person,” windows manager Karl Price says. “He takes good care of his wife and family and works harder than most while at work.”
To congratulate and thank Ballesteros on his 30-year anniversary, Western Window Systems threw a private party at its Phoenix headquarters with Ballesteros’ family, friends, and coworkers and recognized him at its monthly company gathering on October 1.
Ballesteros thanked everyone for their well wishes. “I’m not gonna say another 30 years, but day by day,” he said with a laugh. “I’m just happy to be waking up in the morning, thanking the guy upstairs, and coming to work every day.”