When Richard Smiley “Dick” Ballenger began City Glass in Anderson, SC in 1949, our mission was clear: combine skill and artistry to produce beautiful windows and mirrors for individuals and businesses in the Carolinas and Georgia. Originally named City Glass and Mirrors, the business focused on home and office windows, display cases and decorative mirrors. Dick took pride in owning a family-operated business, and the quality of their work earned them a strong reputation throughout the region.
Throughout 70 years, our techniques and materials have evolved dramatically. We now produce impressive, large-scale architectural elements for a wide variety of clients. Our capabilities stretch as far as the imagination. But despite our growth and the passage of time, our values are the same. Be honest and fair, design and produce the highest quality glass products, and enhance the beauty and function of every project. We’re still a family-owned business, and we always believe in the power of personal relationships. At City Glass, we help our clients see the world better every day.
Shawn Holland is the owner of City Glass. He graduated from College of Charleston in 2002, and immediately went to work with Roadway. He stayed there until 2010, working his way up from dispatcher to sales representative. He started working for his wife’s family business and bought City Glass from his father-in-law, Richard Ballenger, in October 2017.
He’s quick to say that Richard has been very good to him. But he teaches by doing, so Shawn had to gather a lot of facts along the way. “He is old-school in his methods…but he has so much knowledge in his head. That’s one reason he’s still with me even though the profession is changing so much,” says Shawn. “I couldn’t hire another Richard Ballenger off the street.”
“Being a small business owner in the town I grew up in is a huge accomplishment. Anderson is home—I was born and raised here—and I have been very fortunate to be able to do what I do.”
Shawn says the community support in Anderson is incredible and very rewarding. He hopes to pass the business along to his boys someday. He is married to Emily, another local business owner, and has two sons, Beckett and Chapel. He says his work has taught him about time management and communication—not having to backtrack or take steps backward but using those things to keep moving forward and being proactive.
Shawn serves on the Head Property Committee and Board at the Anderson Area YMCA. He serves on the board of Trustees for College of Charleston. He loves to work with local, downtown contractors on Anderson projects. He had lots of hobbies before having kids, like fishing and hunting, but he now enjoys spending time with his boys and getting them involved in sports and other activities. He loves to visit ball parks. Not necessarily the newest ones—although they’re great—but the older ones are his favorites. Although he’s an Atlanta Braves fan, he loves Fenway Park in Boston. He pulls for other local professional sports teams, like the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons. His favorite college sports team are Clemson University and College of Charleston.
Richard Ballenger was the owner of City Glass in Anderson for many years. The company began when his father, Richard “Smiley” Ballenger, bought it in 1949. After WWII, his father’s doctor had prescribed a job working outdoors.
Richard started working at City Glass in the summer when he was 14 years old. He recalls what his father said on the first day: “See that broom over there? Go get it. Notice there’s not a broom handle around that won’t fit your hands. Now, get to work.” And he did. Richard eventually owned and ran City Glass, until he sold the business to his son-in-law, Shawn Holland, in 2017. These days, he works as an estimator, and as Shawn’s assistant, when he’s needed…or when he wants to work.
“My greatest professional accomplishments? First, the friendships made through the years. Plus, my reputation. Do it right and take care of the customer.”
Richard says the greatest lesson he has learned through the years is to keep digging. Keep looking forward to more challenges, whether they are good…or aren’t. He is a Church Deacon, a former Salvation Army Board Member and rotary Board Member. Outside work, he says he’s a slave to three women—his wife and children. He loves to spend time with his family and his grandchildren. He says 75% of his life is doing what they say, and 25% is doing what he wants to do. He’s a big golf fan and considers Arnold Palmer his favorite athlete.
Claudia Mathis is the Office Manager at City Glass. She does a little bit of everything—accounts payable, accounts receivable, human resources and customer relations. She went to Greenville Tech for small business management and fell in love with the small business atmosphere where everyone works together as a family. She takes on many responsibilities, and takes pride in all she does because she sees that she is an intricate piece of making the business grow.
“Everyone has something to offer. This is true, especially in a small business environment, because it literally takes ‘all hands on deck’ to get the job done. Every person has something specific that they bring to the table.”
Claudia is married to Blake, and they have two kids: Gabe and Rayna. She’s a typical mom with two very involved kids who stay on the go—to ballgames, pageants and the dance studio. When she has free time, she enjoys going to concerts and painting. She also volunteers with her church for special events. Plus, she’s a Georgia Bulldogs fan!
In loving memory
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