Bud Oliver Receives Auto Glass Industry’s Highest Honor
By Chris Collier
The Carl F. Tompkins Award for Auto Glass Safety is sponsored by the Auto Glass Safety Council™ (AGSC) and named after long-time industry veteran Carl Tompkins. Tompkins was recognized as the first recipient of the award, then known as the Auto Glass Safety Award.
Welcome to the Club
During the 11th Annual Auto Glass Week™ at San Antonio’s Henry B. González Convention Center, Bud Oliver received the award and joined an illustrious list of individuals who have helped professionalize and advance a growing industry.
Mike Schenian, president of City Auto Glass in South St Paul, Minn., and the president of the AGSC, presented the award to Oliver during day one of the event.
Oliver received nominations from numerous industry peers and impressed the selection committee with his commitment to the auto glass repair and replacement industry.
Oliver joined Mitchell International, which owns NAGS, in 1989 and spent 31 years at the company. As the director of product operations, he worked extensively for NAGS until his departure. He began working as a project manager at Omega EDI in June 2020.
“When I first got involved in the glass industry, it was intriguing to me,” Oliver says of his time at NAGS. “I had no idea about it. It was a whole new world … I couldn’t favor one side or the other—I couldn’t favor the carriers or the industry. I had to focus on getting the best information out there that we can to help people make a good decision.”
An Everyday Guy
Oliver landed on AGRR™ magazine’s list of the industry’s most influential individuals in 2013, which he cites as one of his proudest moments. He grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and joined the United States Marine Corps after graduating from high school. He served from 1975 to 1979, earning the rank of Corporal.
“I came from a Navy family,” Oliver says. “My dad was of that age group where he was in World War Two, Korea and Vietnam. He’d take me to the Navy base, and the Marines were at the gate. When you’re five years old, and you see those Marine Corps uniforms—I wanted to be one of those guys.”
Outside of the auto glass industry, Oliver enjoys hunting, woodworking, home improvement, traveling and trips to the shooting range. He also has an interest in aviation. Oliver has three children and five grandchildren, who he enjoys spending time with on his 10-acre property in Caldwell, Texas. “I built them a playhouse,” he says. “We have oak trees so they have swings; we’ll drive my tractor.”
Oliver says he lives by a simple motto that guides his life. “It’s what I’ve tried to instill in my kids when they grew up,” he says. “It’s pretty simple. Don’t lie, cheat or steal and you’ll be fine.”
Bud’s wife DJ spoke about their life together, capturing the essence of how the industry feels about her husband.
“Bud has always done the right thing, and I can always count on him to do the right thing,” DJ says. “I’ve never questioned his integrity or his honesty.”
Bob Beranek, president of Automotive Glass Consultants in Madison, Wis., says Oliver is an “everyday guy.”
“He would hear our complaints and never make up excuses,” Beranek says. “He would always hear what we said and reply, ‘Well, I’ll get back to you,’ and he always did. He always followed up and did what he said he was going to do.”
Bruce Gates, vice president of Gates Brothers Glass Shops, congratulated his industry colleague. “I’m proud for him,” he says. “He’s worked hard and he deserves it. The whole idea of the award is to bring light to the sacrifices and efforts people have done to make our industry better for everyone.”
Oliver says he’s made some lifelong friends throughout his time in the industry. It all comes down to being approachable.
“I didn’t want to be that guy with the suit and tie,” he says. “I can relate. I’ve worked in car dealerships; I’ve walked in their shoes. I wanted to become a certified installer so that we knew what we were talking about.”
Car dealerships hold special significance for both Bud and his wife DJ. After all, it’s where they first met.
“I saw her in the lunch room and was like, ‘Wow.’” Bud says of his first encounter with his now wife. “I said, ‘Have you heard of me?’ She said, ‘No,’ and I said, ‘Okay, you will.’”
DJ’s first impression? “I went to my general sales manager, pointed him out and said, ‘Who’s that guy over there?’ He said, ‘That’s Bud Oliver. He’s a good guy to know if you ever need a part. He can even get parts they don’t make anymore.”
Chris Collier is a contributing editor for AGRR magazine. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Facebook and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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