WARROAD, Minn. - When the New York Times, NBC and Al Jazeera show up in one of Minnesota's northernmost towns, credit Olympians T.J. Oshie and Gigi Marvin for providing a window into Warroad.

But then windows are a Warroad specialty.

Marvin Windows and Doors employs 2,200 workers at its Warroad plant, more employees than Warroad has people.

"This is George Griffin Marvin," says Marvin employee Brenda Baumann, pointing to a picture of Gigi Marvin's great grandfather and the first member of the Marvin family to arrive in Warroad.

Baumann then offers proof that some things are just meant to be.

"One of the first questions he received when he came off the train was, 'Do you play hockey?'"

George Marvin founded a lumber and cedar company, which later branched into windows and doors under the leadership of George's son Bill Marvin, Gigi's great uncle.

Today Marvin Windows and Doors is run by a third and fourth generation of family owners, with more than 4,000 employees nationwide. One of those workers is Gigi's brother Aaron, who returned to Warroad last year after four years playing hockey at St. Cloud State, and two more years in the minors.

"When I was done, this is the first place I looked," says Aaron Marvin, an R & D project manager at the plant. "This is the first place I wanted to come to."

Aaron's migration home, is not an unfamiliar story. Marvin jobs have helped Warroad keep its young people in town and its main street healthy, even as other rural communities have struggled.

Marvin's response to the great recession – which hit the housing industry particularly hard - famously earning the company a shout-out from president Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

"They understood that their biggest asset was the community and the workers that had helped build that business," said the president in his nomination acceptance speech.

As business lagged, Marvin pared its workers back to 32-hour weeks, but stayed at full employment. Not a single worker was laid off.

"It was tough, we all had to make some sacrifices, but we all were able to keep working," says Dan DeMolee, a tours and training instructor at the company.

DeMolee says the company benefited in the long run because skilled workers were still in place when the economy recovered.

Some of those workers were among those who gathered at Izzy's Lounge, across the road from the plant, to watch the U.S. men's and women's Olympic hockey games last week.

Dennis Thibodeau rushed to the bar on his lunch break to watch the men's semifinal game against Canada on Friday.

"If they go into overtime, I've got to leave though," he laughed.

Not far away sat Paul Marvin, the company's vice president of sales and a fourth generation owner.

"We kind of like to joke we've got the hockey Marvins and the window Marvins and sometimes they cross paths, and that's good we cross pollinate," he smiles.

Whether providing Olympians or jobs, Marvins have played large for Warroad.

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