WinTech was incorporated in August of 1991. The celebration began last fall with the presentation of plaques to employees recognizing service in five-year increments.
Twenty-year plaques were presented to President Bob Berger and Karla Rickman. The other founding members of the company were Lonnie Dunn, Gary Rickman and Debbie Berger. Dunn retired in February 2005 and died in 2011. The remaining founders continue to serve on the company's board.
"The photo typifies Lonnie Dunn, doing what he loved best, singing," said Bob Berger.
Dunn and his wife, Earlene, ran the Dry Valley Bluegrass Festival and owned the campground adjacent to the Dry Valley School, where the festival was held, for many years.
"Lonnie had tremendous experience in the window business," Berger continued. "He had been a plant manager for EFCO and worked for seven years at Monalco before coming to WinTech. He didn't have a lack of confidence. He had an eighth grade education, but he could solve problems that gave me fits even with my masters degree in engineering. He knew what was right."
"He made every employee feel special," Karla Rickman recalled.
"Lonnie had a way of getting what he wanted done but still be a fatherly figure," Berger said. "He always had the ability to stop and talk. He had a way of getting the most out of people."
Stories were shared about the time Dunn spent with the Berger and Rickman kids in the plant, a potentially delicate scenario that never became a problem because of Dunn's approach and the respect even the young people had for him.
Dunn was also remembered as a skilled gardener, one who enjoyed sharing his faith and helping others, serving for several years as chairman of the Crosslines board of directors.
Another recent addition on the company's history wall is a miniature version of the first WinTech window, made for a Kansas City firm and assembled from scraps left at the plant. Each of the founding members received one of the windows.
WinTech became a 100 percent employee-owned company in 2006. As the manufacturing firm completed its first 20 years, Berger was optimistic looking ahead.
"This is the end of one era and hopefully the beginning of a better one," Berger said. "As the economy recovers, so has the company. WinTech will continue to grow here in Monett. That's the nice thing about being employee owned."