ROHNERT PARK – After 40 years in the business, it may come as a surprise to learn that Bob Haven’s career as a window contractor started with a temporary job during college. “In the middle of pursuing a business degree, I decided to take a break from school and went to work for a local glass manufacturer in the South Bay,” he remembers. “As it turned out, I became so fascinated with the glass business that I wound up working for that company for another 10 years before eventually finding my way to the window business.”
When Bob took a job with a Sonoma County-based window manufacturer in the early 1980s, it would prove to be a life-changing transition. Not only would he meet his wife, Linda, who also worked for the company, but after five years of commuting between the North and South Bay, he would finally relocate to Sonoma County—a move he’s never regretted since. “I love the North Bay,” he affirms. “You couldn’t pay me to move back south; it’s way too congested for me.” After accruing an additional decade of experience in the window business, Bob struck out on his own and founded Window Haven in 1994, which is now entering its 20th year of business.
Bob says his favorite part about being a business owner is that the buck stops with him. “I like being the one who makes the decisions,” he says. “It’s a big responsibility and you have to live with the results, but I’d rather be in a position to make decisions than let somebody make them for me.” When asked about his business philosophy, Bob says integrity is a key ingredient to success. “Maintaining customer satisfaction involves not only educating people and giving them good products at fair prices, but also being around to take care of problems that may come up down the road. I think this kind of professional integrity is what brings a lot of our clients back.”
Outside of work, Bob enjoys a variety of activities, from hunting and fishing to golf and wine tasting. He also keeps up with his four grown children, the youngest of whom, Sarah, now runs Window Haven’s front office.
When asked what he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Bob says his first move would be to grab his clubs and hit the green. “My busy schedule doesn’t allow me to play as much golf as I’d like to, so I would get a membership at my local golf course and play as often as I wanted!”