- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Since 1987, Ventana USA has been a premier supplier and manufacturer of architectural shapes for vinyl windows, doors and fences. From its humble beginnings in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ventana USA is now headquartered in Export, Pennsylvania, and has developed into a national company serving the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast. As a pioneer in the North American window industry, Ventana USA’s commitment to quality, product innovation and customer service has established the company as a leader in the industry today.
From humble beginnings to a national company
Founded by Guenther Pennekamp, Ventana USA began in a 3,000-square-foot facility. As the demand for the company’s products increased, Ventana USA expanded its resources and moved into its current manufacturing plant in Export. Since then, the company has enlarged the facility and acquired another building in the same industrial park for a combined total of 70,000 square feet.
While current vice president, general manager and partner of Ventana USA, Tony Pauly, joined the company in 1996, he has worked with Pennekamp since 1975. “I came to the United States to work for Solidur Plastics Inc., which was an engineering plastics firm,” recounts Pauly. “In 1987, the owner, Mr. Guenther Pennekamp, approached me about starting a company that would actually be a customer of Solidur Plastics Inc., because it will be using the engineered plastics to bend the vinyl profiles. So I became involved in starting Ventana USA from a legal standpoint because I was the only legal resident that could form a company in the United States for him.”
Pauly initiated the start of Ventana USA while remaining on board with Solidur Plastics Inc. When the general manager of Ventana USA resigned in 1995, Pauly was presented with the opportunity to buy into the company. In January 1996, Pauly became a minority partner and has been running the business ever since.
Options for a customized home
Ventana USA manufactures custom-bent, architectural vinyl windows in more than 25 different shapes. Its product line also includes operable shapes, casements and awnings, garden windows and a 90-degree bay window, along with both interior and exterior trim. “We really consider ourselves problem solvers,” says Pauly. “We deal with specialty products in the window, door and fence world in new construction and renovation where the architect had an idea for some real fancy shape. Whether its large or small shape sizes, whenever it is out of the ordinary for a manufacturer, they call on us to make those specialty products.”
In the realm of remodeling, Ventana USA is often called upon to match historical designs for older homes. Using templates and muntin bars, the company is able to recreate the look of certain wood grains and designs.
Euro Windows and Doors are also offered by Ventana USA. These products are fabricated from high-performance residential and commercial systems that utilize all the benefits of PVC while satisfying both residential and commercial structural requirements. Swing, fold/slide and lift/slide doors offer creative options to every client.
Customers are also able to add style and curb appeal to their home with bent and routed components for vinyl fence, lawn and garden and railing applications. Ventana USA bends material from the nation’s leading extruders such as VEKA Inc., Bufftech/CertainTeed, Color Guard, Country Estate and Westech.
Leading the market
While there is a relatively small market of specialty shapes product suppliers, Ventana USA prides itself in being the leader of its industry. The company deals with and has established lasting relationships with window manufacturers and distributors that trust Ventana USA to deliver the best possible specialty product on the market. “We’ve been working with many of the same business partners for the last 27 years,” says Pauly.
Another strong contributing factor to Ventana USA’s success is its solid team of loyal employees. The very first employee, hired in 1987, is still working for the company and more than half of Ventana USA’s 83 employees have been with the company for 15 years or longer. “We have many people that learned their craft by working with us,” says Pauly. “Many have also cross-trained with us as well, so they are able to build the product from beginning to end.”
The team at Ventana USA was also crucial in the company surviving the recession as it was forced to diversify its market. “When the recession hit, about 85 percent of our business was new construction,” recounts Pauly. “Through the recession, we ended up doing about 90 percent remodeling as people were reinvesting in their already existing properties. We did have to lay some people off just like everybody else but we have since been able to hire many of those people back.”
As the company moves forward, Ventana USA will maintain its solid client base while looking to add new products and services, which in turn will create more opportunities for success for its customers.
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