Film Stars July/August 2023

July 27th, 2023 by Nathan Hobbs

A California Climb: How William Davidson’s Summer Job Turned Into a Career

By Chris Collier

Growing up, William Davidson spent his summers working with his father at the Johnson Window Films manufacturing facility in Carson, Calif. “As a kid, my dad would bring me down to the plant and have me sweep the warehouse or parking lot,” Davidson says. “And then he would take me to the batting cage. From a young age, I was taken to the plant and got used to being there and seeing what goes on.”

A Rich History

Johnson Window Films has a history dating back to the early 1970s, providing window film products to dealers and their customers worldwide. Davidson’s father and grandfather built the foundation for the family-owned and operated Carson, Calif., business decades ago.

Davidson started working his first job at the production facility in high school right after getting his driver’s license.

“I started in our 100-foot-roll department making boxes and packaging film,” he says. “Every summer through high school and college, I’d come back and work in a new department in the company. When I was in college, I got into the factory and actual film manufacturing.”

Davidson dubs the role of “laminator helper” as his favorite factory-based position throughout those years.

“It was a different feeling to be one of the people turning the machine on, making the mixes and feeling like, ‘I made this window film,’” he says. “It was so different from what my peers were doing. There are aspects that are unique from what a normal high school job would be.”

Davidson says working in the maintenance department provided worthwhile experiences too.

“That department touches on so many different aspects,” Davidson says. “It’s preventive maintenance within our equipment and machines but it’s also, ‘Something broke, and we have to fix it. We can’t leave until it’s fixed. We can’t run the machine without this.’”

Davidson graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder – Leeds School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2015, later earning a master’s degree in business administration from USC’s Marshall School of Business in 2021. After earning his
bachelor’s degree, he worked as a ski instructor at the Steamboat Resort in Steamboat Spring, Colo.

“I decided not to go straight into it,” Davidson says of the timeline for entering the family business. “I moved to a ski town in Colorado. I was out there for three years doing my own thing; proving to myself that I could make it on my own.”

Davidson was four when he visited his uncle in Steamboat Spring, Colo.

“I told him I was going to move to Colorado when I was older,” Davidson says. “He didn’t tell me I said that until I decided to go to the University of Colorado Boulder for college. I knew what I wanted to study, but it was mostly me wanting to be in Colorado and the mountains. I would spend a lot of time skiing.”

Davidson shares a passion for skiing with other family members. He says he originally pursued ski instructing to get a ski pass and a locker.


Do you know someone who is a star among window film tinters? Then we want to hear from you with your nominations for “Film Stars.” Email Chris Collier at your nominations.

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