Small Business Spotlight: Versatex Building Products, LLC
Versatex Building Products, LLC is located in Aliquippa, PA and was founded in 2003. Versatex manufactures trim, fascia, soffit, and decorative exterior moulding pieces for residential and light commercial buildings.
What does your business specialize in and who are your clients?
Our business specializes in the extruding of a polymer-based sheet product. During the process, the sheet is cut to produce exterior trim boards for residential homes and light commercial applications, such as assisted living facilities, schools, office buildings, and restaurants. We also offer specialty building products designed to reduce field labor installation time while also improving the outside appearance of a home or building.
Our direct customers are regional and national wholesale lumber distributors like Boise Cascade, Snavely Forest Products, and National Industrial Lumber. Our sales team spends most of their time downstream with the builder, remodeler, contractor, architect, or professional lumber dealer. The professional lumber dealer is the customer of the wholesale lumber distributor, while the builder, remodeler, and contractor are the customers of the lumber dealer.
What does your company do differently that sets it apart?
Versatex (formerly known as Wolfpac Technologies) was founded by President and CEO John D. Pace, and a financial partner in 2003. The company where Mr. Pace worked had been sold, and the new owners had other plans for the business. At 50 years old, with kids in high school and junior high, Mr. Pace wanted the end of his career to have a positive impact on the local communities. With the majority of Mr. Pace’s past business/manufacturing experience in building products, he was looking for a new and unique product to manufacture in a market with sufficient opportunity for growth. Exterior cellular PVC trim was a relatively new product in a $3 billion dollar market dominated mostly by wood.
Among the many ways we stay fresh and competitive, Versatex looks to our employees for ideas on how to improve the quality, efficiency, and safety of our plant. We know that our employees are the first to see the subtle improvements we can make which will have a positive impact on our company’s bottom line and profit-sharing program. That’s why we started our “Bright Ideas” program, which encourages our employees to submit real ideas for improving our business. Each idea goes through an internal evaluation process, with an opportunity for financial incentives based on the potential ROI and impact of the idea. Through this program we have built a pipeline for productive feedback and process improvements, as well as providing rewards for employees offering valuable contributions.
Why are you proud to be a Pennsylvania small business?
Pennsylvania and Beaver County in particular enjoys a rich manufacturing history. Often too much emphasis is placed on the shutdown of the large steel mills and how the area has struggled since, rather than celebrate the positive impact of the businesses both still here and those gone. The BF Jones Memorial Library on Franklin Avenue in Aliquippa provides an excellent reminder of the lasting contributions of those associated with past businesses. At Versatex, we are proud to be a small company in Pennsylvania because of the significant role small businesses play in new job creation (60 percent of new jobs since the ‘09 recession). Other than the Shell Cracker Plant in Potter Township, small businesses represent the future employment growth Beaver County.
The Small Business Spotlight is a monthly series posted on the second Saturday of the month which highlights businesses and their owners who are positively impacting their local community.
Evan M. Kaffenes is the Vice President and CFO of Versatex Building Products, LLC. As a seasoned, operations-oriented, financial executive for middle-market manufacturing companies, Evan has extensive experience in the building products industry in Pennsylvania.