CHAMPAIGN — An employee of one of Champaign-Urbana’s most well-known businesses has bought the company.
Aaron Hiatt, company president, has purchased Bacon & Van Buskirk Glass from Rod Van Buskirk.
Originally from the Effingham area, where his father built houses when he was a child, Hiatt said that background drew him to apply for work with the glass company.
“I just moved to the area, and, being in a former construction family, was familiar with the name,” Hiatt said, noting that most of his career was spent in project management in the company’s commercial department.
Hiatt said he would like to grow some areas of BVB’s manufacturing line, which has “grown significantly over the years, and I believe it will grow more.”
“As a new owner, you just want to find a lot of things to do better and then focus on growth after that,” he said.
The company employs about 70 people. In addition to its Neil Street, Champaign, location, BVB has a full location in Springfield and a contract-oriented satellite office in Terre Haute, Ind.
The Bacon and Van Buskirk connection began in 1927 when Verne Van Buskirk started working with T.M. Bacon & Sons Paint & Glass Co. that Bacon had founded in downtown Champaign in the late 1800s.
In 1937, Van Buskirk bought the glass department from Bacon, and 10 years later, Van Buskirk and Noah Bacon, a son of Noah Bacon, incorporated and began operations as Bacon & Van Buskirk Glass Co. Inc., in downtown Champaign.
Roy Van Buskirk joined the company in 1952 and helped to expand the business, which included shedding the paint sale portion of the company in the 1960s and ’70s.
Rod Van Buskirk, Verne’s grandson, bought the company in 1977.
The company is Illinois’ largest full-service glass company.
Hiatt and his wife, Hayley, who works with the Urbana school district, have two children.