Thomas Chen, Chairman of Crystal Window & Door Systems, is many things – entrepreneur, American success story, immigrant role model, manufacturing tycoon, philanthropist, art and nature lover – but his beginnings were humble. Chen was born and raised in southern Taiwan in a rural farming community. His father was a farmer, and he grew up working alongside him. Chen graduated high school in Taiwan, worked as a welder in construction for a few years, and then decided to try his hand in America.
Chen came to New York in 1982, speaking no English and with little money. While working several menial jobs, he began his own side business fabricating and installing window security bars. Many homeowners also wanted him to replace their windows, so he branched out into window installation. With a small group of employees, Chen started a window manufacturing company, and in 1990 the company was restructured to become Crystal Window & Door Systems.
Chen is a driven entrepreneur, and he worked tirelessly to push Crystal to greater heights. Over the years, Crystal grew beyond the original firm and now includes several affiliated window manufacturers and an aluminum extruder. The company has nearly one million square feet of production space in five factories across the country, and its workforce is over 750 strong. Crystal window and door products are sold in almost every state and can be seen in construction projects ranging from small home improvement window replacements to skyscrapers and everything in between.
With creativity and determination, Chen managed the challenges many businesses face as they start up and grow. Continually improving every aspect of the business; hiring, training, and rewarding competent employees; keeping a sharp eye out for and seizing expansion opportunities; developing new products to stay at the forefront of the industry; and providing great customer service have been Chen’s hallmark principles for Crystal.
Chen believes in sharing the fruits of his success with the community and has supported many local charitable, educational, and cultural initiatives through the Crystal Foundation. Recently he acquired a 200-acre property in Dutchess County, New York, and melded his loves of nature and art into Crystal Park, an outdoor art exhibition and recreation center. Chen has commissioned artworks by local and international artists, and these are on permanent display along the walking trails of Crystal Park. Crystal employees and invited guests regularly enjoy the scenic vistas and outdoor activities of this jewel.
Thomas Chen – entrepreneur, business leader, man of many talents, a true King of New York.