Our Team
Solves Problems


Mass incarceration is out of control.

The statistics are overwhelming. Our country has 4% of the world’s population, but 25% of its prison population1. Sadly, 50% of those formerly incarcerated end up back in prison within 5 years of leaving2. 2.3 million people are currently incarcerated, and several million more are on parole or probation, stigmatized and branded by their past3. In 2008, when the national unemployment rate was at 5%, the unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated individuals was 27%4. The discrimination that these individuals experience as they try to re-enter society and gain employment is a complex problem in need of a solution.


Building amazing windows & doors is a solution.

Our co-founders, Scott & Maria Gates, John Engelstad, and Andrew Darr have spent most of their professional careers in the fenestration industry. When the team began to educate themselves on the issues around mass incarceration, they felt compelled to be part of the solution. They dreamed about engineering state-of-the-art window & door products that would be renowned for their design solutions, size capabilities, and minimal frames. But more importantly, they wanted to build a company that would build these amazing products primarily out of an employment base of formerly incarcerated individuals.

"These issues may be large, but if there is a step we believe all business owners can take it's this: Give people a second chance...and make it a meaningful one."
Maria Gates
"We are building some of the most innovative products the window & door industry has ever seen. But we are also proving this vulnerable people group is so capable."
Andrew Darr
"We named our company Awake, because we no longer wanted to be asleep on this important issue. Our eyes are open, and we invite our partners to help be a solution."
Scott Gates
"Bryan Stevenson, a social justice leader, often says 'each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done.' We believe that, and live it out daily at Awake."
John Engelstad

Discover the meaning behind our logo


The upper triangle is designed to visually represent the upward mobility, ascension, and freedom that is available to formerly incarcerated individuals via hard work and a meaningful career. Customers that buy products from Awake are helping change lives and lift people up and out of poverty and the imprisonment of their past. Together we will help give a meaningful second chance to those that need it most. This isn’t a hand out, it’s a hand up.

The five vertical lines are a visual representation of the prison bars that mass incarceration has left our society locked behind. It’s not just the 2.3 million people in prison, it’s also the broader society that feels trapped on how to solve the complex problem. We chose five bars for the logo, because five is the number often associated with humanity (5 fingers, 5 senses, etc.) We believe a good job is a pathway to freedom for these vulnerable humans.


The definition of Awake is simple – it means to stop sleeping, or wake from sleep. For too long, we were asleep on the issue of mass incarceration. We also believe it’s the state that many window and door companies find themselves in, asleep to solutions that their customers desperately need. At our company, we are committed to staying awake and creating innovative solutions to complex problems, be it in windows, doors, or society as a whole.

Our core team of management and engineers has extensive experience in leading companies and designing products for the window & door industry. After listening and collaborating with some of the best architects and dealers in the country, we created an entirely new family of products directly in line with the needs of the market. These are the right products, at the right time, and most importantly, they are going to create jobs for those that need it most.

It is by design that Awake was created as a company, and not a non-profit. While our social mission to combat mass incarceration and reduce recidivism is at the very heart of everything we do, we very intentionally chose to help solve this problem via a capitalistic business in lieu of a charity based non-profit. We believe that sustainability comes from working hard, creating solutions, and building products people love, not asking for donations.