Star City Six – Gary Shunkwiler
Based out of Hallam, NE and serving clients across southeast Nebraska, Heartland of Nebraska Windows is a family-owned business specializing in window replacement with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Gary L. Shunkwiler is the co-owner of Heartland of Nebraska Windows (HeartlandofNebraskaWindows.com).
How did you get started in the business?
My wife and fellow co-owner Kathy worked for the previous distributor for Heartland Windows, a manufacturer located in Aplington, IA. One day the owner called Kathy and said she was done. We decided to take over her territory and become the new distributor.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
There’s not really one that sticks out to me as the biggest, we’ve just run into the usual challenges that come with owning a business–regulations, taxes, people, marketing, etc.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Starting a company with my family and being very successful in that endeavor from day one.
Tell us a little about your family.
Kathy and I have four children, one of whom is deceased. One of our two daughters and our son work for the company, and we have two granddaughters and one grandson.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Losing our oldest son in a car accident, then getting hit by the F-4 tornado that destroyed Hallam. It puts everything in perspective.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Going to the lake, getting on my boat and cruising down the channel. I also enjoy going golfing.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
Kathy and I have worked together for practically our entire 30-year marriage, side by side.
What are you the most proud of?
Our family, our business, and our collective successes.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t give up! Find a way to make your dreams come true!
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
The River by Garth Brooks.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life?
Speaking in front of large groups.
Which talent would you most like to have?
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
There are several in our community that we actively support.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
Anything by David Morrell.
What is your favorite movie?
What is your favorite local restaurant?
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?