Part II: Love and Garage Doors- Growing Families and Businesses Since 1921

We’re continuing the love fest with Part II of our Love and Garage Doors series. Meet four more of our amazing distributors in today’s blog. If you missed Love and Garage Doors Part I, read it here!

The McGraws

Overhead Door Company of Eugene-Springfield

Paul & Katie BurrellPaul Chris Alan Burrell

In 1986, Gordon McGraw bought Overhead Door Company of Eugene-Springfield to build a flexible life for his young family. In 2007, when he was ready to retire and enjoy his hobbies, the next generation was ready to step in. His daughters and their husbands, Katie and Chris Schnider and Sara and Paul Burrell, were ready to take on the very successful distributorship that Gordon had built. Katie and Paul took over day-to-day operations, while Chris eventually began to manage the commercial sales department and Sara continued her work in the community as a registered nurse. The group went on to win the Eagle Award from 2012-2014.

We asked them a few of their favorite things about working as Overhead Door Distributors:

“Seeing the impact we’ve been able to achieve in the community, not just from providing and installing garage doors, but helping others in the community. Whether it is through donating to a charitable cause, or donating materials and services for auctions and raffles, we’re blessed and fortunate to be able to give back. It has been as rewarding as any other element of being involved with this business,” said Chris.

“It is always memorable when we get to spend continuing our garage door education at conferences and meetings as well as socializing with other distributors,” said Katie.

Chris said he enjoys the business side of things, “Getting to see the whole picture of running a business. Instead of just one aspect, we get to delve into and make decisions regarding every part of our livelihood,” he explained.

The group sees changes toward viewing the garage door as a statement piece as an upcoming trend for their business. Being in a microbrewery capital, many are now showing interest in Full Vision doors. In addition, the group has seen a trend toward proactive safety measures, particularly when it comes to fire doors.

The Ross’s

Overhead Door Company of South Central Texas

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When Jeff Ross lost his job to an organizational restructure almost 15 years ago he had to make a choice:  start working for somebody else or become his own boss. Now, he owns and manages three distributorships along with the help and support of his family.

His wife Lauri, whom he knew growing up, started out in inside sales and evolved to purchasing and inventory control. Mike, Jeff and Lauri’s oldest son, joined the family business almost 12 years ago and has worked in inside sales, estimating and now works as an operations supervisor. Danny, Jeff and Lauri’s youngest son, worked as a door tech while attending college and eventually moved to outside sales, branch manager, and now works in the material handling division of the company. Lauri and Jeff’s daughter-in-law Erica also started working in the business while in college, and now manages the company’s e-commerce and websites.

Owning a distributorship allowed the family to hire on Jeff’s father part-time making sales calls. These led to some of the most cherished memories the family has. Mike and Danny had the opportunity to work along-side and learn from their grandfather, who was very mindful of schedules, arriving early to sales calls and always being prepared.

“A family business is not without its challenges. One of the challenges is to make sure you treat all of your employees as family.  As long as people understand the rules and you treat everyone fairly and with respect, it’s not an issue,” said Jeff.

The Parmelys

Overhead Door Company of Riverton/Lander

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Chuck and Cynthia Parmely met in 1981, when Cynthia began work as a bookkeeper for Chuck’s dad who owned the distributorship before Chuck and Cynthia took over in 1998. The two were married just six months later on April 3, 1982 and will be spending their 34th wedding anniversary at Overhead Door’s 95th National Ribbon Distributor Meeting!

Chuck has been in the garage door business since he was 10 years old, spending the past 37 years with Overhead Door Company of Riverton/Lander, “I was born into this business and I love the job,” said Chuck.

Chuck and Cynthia’s daughter, Ashley, followed in her family’s footsteps. This year will mark her tenth year with Overhead Door! “Even though we aren’t all related, it’s like we are all family here. We joke around with each other and the atmosphere is always light, fun and carefree,” said Ashley.

Some of their favorite memories revolve around that family bond with the entire distributorship. Chuck remembers an unexpected gift, the metal art with the Overhead Door logo in the pictures above, that meant a lot to him and Cynthia. The art was given to the couple by the employees at a company Christmas party a few years ago. This bond has transformed the distributorship from a one man shop to a 16-person business that has thrived for the past 37 years.

The Christophersons

Overhead Door Company of Bountiful

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James and Ilona Christopherson were high school sweethearts. They’ve been in the business for 29 years and their son, David, also works as an integral part of the distributorship. This family has worked hard, and due to this hard work they have grown their business in 12 of the last 13 years, a milestone they’re particularly proud of.

“I wouldn’t be here today without my families’ help,” said James.

When asked about some of their favorite personal memories from working as an Overhead Door Distributor, they pointed to the people they have met at the company as well as other distributorships, who have become their friends and people they look up to.

We want to thank these special distributors for taking the time to share their stories with us. We’re proud to have the opportunity to work with all of our wonderful distributors.

Did you enjoy reading our Love and Garage Door series? Comment below and tell us!

For more information on Overhead Door, or to find an Overhead Door distributor, visit, like Overhead Door on Facebook, follow Overhead Door on Twitter or find us on Google Plus.

Overhead Door’s New Allura™ Shutter is Here

The Allura™ Shutter is Overhead Door’s newest addition to its commercial line of rolling doors. An attractive alternative to rolling grilles and service doors, Model 653 is perfect for high-traffic pedestrian areas where security and versatility are at a premium.

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Allura™ Shutter Model 653 

The Model 653 Allura™ Shutter offers flexibility in aesthetic options to match the surrounding environment of almost any location, providing the security and high visibility that many retailers require. This shutter is a new light-duty door solution versatile enough for specialty use, and it offers a space-saving design, making it perfect for installations with limited side room and headroom.

The Allura™ Shutter is available in 197 powder coat colors and several wood grain finishes, offering an appealing look for any commercial application. The Allura™ Shutter also allows for many configurations with the right amount of light and air passage.

The aluminum design of this system provides durability for both interior and non-windload exterior use and functions quietly and smoothly no matter if your shutters are operated manually, with a crank or motorized.

For more information on Overhead Door, or to find an Overhead Door distributor, visit, like Overhead Door on Facebook, follow Overhead Door on Twitter or find us on Google Plus.

What do you think of the new shutter? Comment below and tell us!

The New 674 Security Grille: Security, Visibility, Air-Flow and Light in Stylish Aluminum

Commercial and retail property owners have an attractive new option for securing their interior spaces with the introduction of Overhead Door’s Model 674 Security Grille.

Engineered for inside applications, the Model 674 is a new perforated grille constructed from lightweight aluminum panels that provide security while maximizing visibility, air flow and light infiltration. This makes the Model 674 an ideal solution for securing interior retail storefronts in retail facilities, airports, stadiums, malls and multi-purpose buildings because it provides long-lasting high performance, but in a visually appealing package that won’t detract from its surroundings.


Both inside and out, the Model 674 is designed to be aesthetically pleasing and functional. For example, its perforated aluminum curtain panels feature a clear, anodized finish or an optional PowderGuard™premium powder coat paint finish to match interior surroundings. Meanwhile, the grille’s counterbalance assembly is composed of heavy duty, helical torsion-springs enclosed in a steel tube. The Model 674 even features continuous wear strips on guides to ensure ease of operation and noise reduction.

You can find more information about the Overhead Door Model 674 Security Grille by visiting the security grilles page on our website, or by visiting your local Overhead Door distributor. Do you have questions about the Model 674? Leave a comment below and we’ll answer them.

A Creative Solution to a Super Problem

Some of the garage door industry’s most experienced professionals work for Overhead Door distributors. We see evidence of it nearly every day in the feedback we get from satisfied residential and commercial customers. In fact, even when our distributors are approached with a super-sized problem we can count on them to get super creative.

A perfect example is the Overhead Door Company of the Meadowlands, in the New York City area. Last year, the distributor was approached by MetLife Stadium, home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets – and the location of a particularly big football game taking place on Feb. 2.

The owners of the stadium had a difficult problem – plenty of doors, but all too small for the needs of the upcoming Sunday game. While MetLife Stadium has dock doors, they aren’t wide enough to accommodate the width of the set pieces for this year’s halftime show.

Before: MetLife Stadium’s two 8×10 doors from the inside.

Creating a new, super opening for an event that only takes place annually; much less one-time only, didn’t make sense. What to do? Luckily, Overhead Door Company of the Meadowlands came up with a custom solution.

Before: The exterior view of the two 8×10 stadium doors.

By working with the Overhead Door rolling steel plant, they created a system using the existing openings of two of the stadium’s dock doors. The stadium’s two 8-by-10 doors were removed and replaced with two 8-by-14 rolling steel RSX-operated 625 series doors with a mullion on a trolley between them. Now, when the stadium needs a larger opening, the doors are simply rolled up; the mullion is disengaged from the floor and rolled to the side to create 16-feet wide and 14-feet high clear opening.

After: The two smaller doors were replaced by two 8×14 doors with a removable mullion trolley.

According to Jai Patel, general manager of Overhead Door of the Meadowlands, the team at MetLife Stadium is thrilled with the finished product saying that the new doors are simple to operate and reliable. The stadium is also able to market the facility to new customers, such as Monster Jam trucks that will have an annual show at the arena.

Make sure you look for the Overhead Door red ribbon if you’re at the big game!

So, as you watch the big halftime show this weekend, thank Overhead Door Company of the Meadowlands for their creative solution. Without them, Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers wouldn’t have their gear to pull off their performances.

Has an Overhead Door distributor come up with a super creative solution for you, or are you a distributor who’s found a super way to help a customer? We’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment and let us know!

A Look at Architect’s Corner

We know what it takes to complete a project: hard work and a lot of planning. That’s architet's cornerwhy Overhead Door Corporation has put all its resources for architects and project specifiers into one, easy-to-access location: The Architect’s Corner on If you are an architect or designer looking to incorporate an Overhead Door sectional or rolling door system into a residential or commercial project, Architect’s Corner offers everything you need for planning and preparation.

Whether you’re using the tool for commercial construction or for a residential home remodel, Architect’s Corner offers technical and resource materials to support your project. Conveniently accessible residential and commercial product information available includes downloadable project specs, architect drawings, compatible openers and operators, BIM project libraries and product brochures.

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For architects who specialize in commercial and industrial applications, our Online Architects Design Manual is a great resource for those who are unsure which Overhead Door collection meets their demands. Simply select the specific door and operator application for your industry, and the tool will recommend the best collection(s) for the project.

Continuing Education Courses

Are you looking to brush up on the latest industry trends and learn about recent enhancements in commercial and residential product lines? In an effort to inform professionals across the architecture and construction industries, we’ve created continuing education courses certified by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Topics include Wind Load Doors Systems, Rolling Door Systems, Fire Door Systems and Commercial Sectional Door Systems.

Because the deadline and project demands facing architects are many, we’ve made access to our continuing education courses easy. Overhead Door offers on-site Lunch-and-Learn sessions that can be scheduled at your office. Additionally, these same, AIA-certified courses are also available online through the Architect’s Corner. Currently available online courses are “An Overview of Commercial Rolling Door Products” and “Upward-Acting Commercial Sectional Door Systems.” You can request an on-site Lunch-and-Learn continuing education session or suggest a new topic on the “Continuing Education” page under the “Resources” within the Architect’s Corner tool.

For specific questions or help determining the doors that match your project needs, you can also contact your local Overhead Door distributor.

Protecting Your Business from Summer Storms

As the temperature increases, so does the chance for severe storms, and for business owners, weather conditions often play an important factor when making decisions that affect operations.

This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an active hurricane season with 13 to 20 named storms, lasting from June 1 to November 30. During hurricanes, pressure or high winds can cause doors to collapse or detach from their tracks. If this happens, the storm can cause extensive damage to your business or facility. When you purchase a new wind-resistant door or add wind load options to your existing commercial or industrial overhead door, you’ll have one less worry during times of high winds from hurricanes or extreme storms. Overhead Door’s exclusive line of wind load doors is designed to withstand nature’s power and keep your employees and possessions safe.

At Overhead Door, protecting your property is one of our core values; here are a few options that will give you peace of mind during hurricanes or other extreme storms

Thermacore® Sectional Doors

 Thermacore® Sectional Doors As the premier line of insulated doors available today, Thermacore® series doors are an ideal choice for applications that demand the highest levels of thermal efficiency, air infiltration and wind load resistance. We’ve designed them for maximum thermal efficiency so that your business stays comfortable during extremely hot or cold temperatures. Additionally, this line features a flexible bottom weatherseal that lessens conductivity of heat and cold, minimizes air and water penetration, and accommodates irregular floor conditions, making this door the perfect choice if your business is located in an area that is prone to frequent storms.

Advanced Performance Service Doors

Stormtite™ AP - Advanced Performance Service DoorsA new addition to our line of rolling steel service doors is the Stormtite AP Model 627. The StormtiteAP offers commercial and industrial facility owners the most advanced thermal performance values on the market, delivers 20 psf (design pressure) of wind load protection, equivalent to approximately 90-110 mph wind speed, and can be built to accommodate higher wind loading upon request. The system features a comprehensive triple finned perimeter and header weatherseals to minimize air and water penetration and offers the highest calculated R-value published by any major U.S. manufacturer of insulated rolling steel doors.

In addition the systems mentioned, the following commercial collections are available with wind load options:

For questions about commercial door options or to upgrade your existing commercial or industrial door to a wind load compliant door system, contact your local Overhead Door distributor. Overhead Door distributors will help you find the wind resistant door that will offer the highest level of protection for your situation or geographic location.

Overhead Door Company of the Meadowlands Wins the 2013 Humanitarian Award

IDA Images 3Late last year, we posted an article entitled, The Overhead Door Company of the Meadowlands Spreads Holiday Cheer. The article covered the success of Overhead Door Company of the Meadowlands’ Basket Brigade, a donation effort that served Thanksgiving meals to survivors of Hurricane Sandy. We are pleased to announce Overhead Door Company of the Meadowlands was awarded the 2013 Humanitarian Award at this year’s International Door Association’s (IDA) President’s Award Banquet. Historically, the Humanitarian Award
is presented to a non-profit charitable organization that represents the philanthropic and community service traits of the association; thus, making it an even greater honor, for Overhead Door of the Meadowlands, a for profit company, to receive this prestigious award.

Overhead Door Company of the Meadowlands is no stranger to excellence.  In addition to receiving the 2013 Humanitarian Award, the company is an eleven-time recipient of the Overhead Door Corporation’s Eagle Award, an award given to our top performers. Moreover, the company has been a leader in the New York / New Jersey commercial door landscape since 1981. Some of their noteworthy installations include: Yankee Stadium, Mets Stadium, and the Meadowlands Xanadu Mall.