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History

Brands that transform...Trusted in Australia and around the worldBrian Stegley

The JELD-WEN Windows and Doors family of companies includes trusted Australian brands, Stegbar, Corinthian Doors, Airlite Windows and Doors, Regency Showerscreens and Wardrobes, William Russell Doors and JELD-WEN Glass. JELD-WEN Australia manufactures and sells products across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. JELD-WEN also distributes products from manufacturing locations in Asia, into Europe and North America.

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A company built on change

JELD-WEN was founded by Richard ”Dick” Wendt, an entrepreneur at heart, who learned the art of managing a manufacturing company under the tutelage of his father, Caradco executive Lester Wendt. In 1957, Iowa-based Caradco sent Dick to Oregon to help run the company’s millwork plant in Klamath Falls. Caradco decided to sell the plant at auction. Dick and four business partners, Larry Wetter, John Biehn, Gerry Wickersham, and Bill Taylor bought many of the assets on October 25, 1960 and named the new company JELD-WEN. 

History 2JELD-WEN Founder, Dick Wendt

Since these humble beginnings, JELD-WEN has grown to be the largest manufacturer of windows and doors in the world. This miraculous, fifty-year transformation is fuelled by inspired vision, a willingness to embrace change, an ongoing commitment to quality craftsmanship, and uncompromising customer service.


The name JELD-WEN had been in use since the 1930s when Lester Wendt bought a small farm outside of Dubuque, Iowa, as a family retreat. After holding a family contest to name the farm, Dick’s cousin Jeanette Coughlin thought of the name JELD-WEN, an acronym for the names of Dick’s immediate family, and a shortened version of Wendt.


With just 15 employees, JELD-WEN quickly gained the reputation of producing a reliable product. After just two years, JELD-WEN became successful enough to begin acquiring new manufacturing facilities and expand its product offering.


One secret of the initial success of JELD-WEN was the company’s resourcefulness and deliberate decision to use every last bit of raw resource that entered its doors, a philosophy that still stands true today.