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Business Observer Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 2 years ago

Peek at CEO's corner office reveals family first focus

It doesn't take long to see what's important to PGT Innovations CEO Jeff Jackson.
by: Mark Gordon Managing Editor

Talk about fatherly love: Jeff Jackson recently took his youngest daughter, Maddie, to a Lady Gaga concert for her 16th birthday. Not to be outdone, middle child McKenna got to see Taylor Swift. How about the oldest Jackson daughter, Chanler? She got to go see Imagine Dragons with her dad.

The CEO of one of the largest private-sector employers in Sarasota County, PGT Innovations, Jackson regularly does things like that with his family. Jackson, 52, wears his best-dad-ever tag — literally in one case — on his sleeve and his desk. His office in PGT’s Venice headquarters is heavy on daughter devotion, down to a big wall of fame behind his desk. Dozens of other pictures of his family, including his wife, Lisa, envelope the office.   

“That wall means everything to me,” says Jackson. “This is why I do what I do. One of our core values here is family.”

That value, in part, states the company recognizes the challenge of balancing work and home and life. “We understand that, no matter who you are or where you live and work,” states the company, “family always comes first.”

For Jackson, that means traveling to soccer games and tournaments and dozens of other events. As the daughters have grown, that includes family trips to Los Angeles to visit Chanler, 23, who works in TV production. and to Auburn University in Alabama, where McKenna, 20, and Maddie Jackson, 18, go to school and play lacrosse. (McKenna Jackson, who goes by Kenna, recently competed in the Miss Alabama pageant competition.)

Scroll down for more photos of Jackson's office. (All photos by Mark Wemple.)

Jackson’s oldest daughter, Chanler, gave him that nameplate. Chanler Jackson is a production assistant with the "Late Late Show with James Corden."
The action figure, Ironman, is a nod to one of Jackson’s favorite pastimes: “I love 'Star Wars' and superhero movies,” says Jackson. “Tony Stark (Ironman) is a rich dude, but he’s got a good heart and tries to do good.”
The Coke bottle is a memento from a training program Jackson graduated from when he was a midlevel manager at the Coca-Cola Co.
The framed picture in silver was taken in June 2006 outside the New York Stock Exchange the day PGT went public. Inside the NYSE, Jackson joined other executives in ringing the opening bell.
Kenna Jackson and Maddie Jackson played soccer in addition to lacrosse growing up. Jeff Jackson was, and remains, their No. 1 fan. “Those are two of my favorite pictures,” says Jackson. “It’s about a bond his dad has with two of his daughters.”


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