Case Studies

Windham Millwork Inc.

Leading the New England woodworking market from the Pine Tree State

Located in Windham, Maine, Windham Millwork Inc. is a third-generation family-owned and -operated architectural woodworking company and one of the largest and most recognized millwork shops in New England.

Windham Millwork produces custom cabinets, countertops, signage, moldings, frames, paneling and reception desks from its 65,000-square-foot facility, serving a range of clients across the commercial sector including hospitals, schools, banks, retail and corporate offices.

Windham Millwork Inc.

On the commercial side, the design-build woodworking company operates throughout New England with occasional forays into Connecticut and New York for established clients or intriguing projects. The company’s retail division has a wider scope, serving clients across the country with dedicated installation crews.

“Our reputation is very strong in the New England area with general contractors, suppliers and owners,” says Chad Pulkkinen, president and co-owner of Windham Millwork.

The architectural woodworking company was founded in 1957 by Walter Pulkkinen, who began his career at an architecture firm in Boston. Walter served in World War II and upon his return settled in Portland, Maine, where he worked for a molding company.

When his employer decided to sell off the molding company’s cabinetry division, Walter saw an opportunity and bought what would soon become Windham Millwork. He relocated the company to nearby Windham, Maine, and eventually handed it over to his son Bruce who rapidly grew the business tenfold, despite being just 21 years old when he took the reins.

That family tradition of entrusting the business to the next generation continues to this day under co-owners Chad Pulkkinen and his brother B.J. The company also consists of five other key shareholders who have been instrumental in the company’s success and have all been with Windham Millwork for many years. Roger Varney, vice president of manufacturing (40 years), Scott Gordan, chief operations officer (30 years), Tim Nunn, vice president of sales (29 years), Ron Kussela, vice president of project management (24 years) and Mike McNally, chief financial officer (11 years) are all owners alongside Bruce, Chad and B.J.

Our partners have an extraordinary amount of industry experience and valuable knowledge that is essential to the continuing success of Windham Millwork,” he says. That combined experience and tremendous reputation has paid off for the Windham team. “We had our best year ever last year, sales-wise, and we’ve increased our employees from 60 to 100 just in the last year. The results of a record breaking year is the commitment from our team to focus on quality, the way they treat our clients and the pursuit to think outside the box,” he says.

A growing niche

While Windham Millwork isn’t the only architectural woodworking company in the market, it is one of the largest and most experienced. Chad credits the company’s success and reputation to Windham Millwork’s dedicated team of professionals who bring their best effort to every job.

“Our people are the best in the industry,” he says. “Whether they’re in management, design, out on the floor as craftsmen or in the field installing, our quality and customer service is what separates us; we strive to exceed our clients’ expectations and earn a long lasting partnerships. We do this by never cutting corners and taking pride in every aspect of the job.”

Past generations have set a high bar for success at Windham Millwork and the next generation is working to do everything they can to continue that proud family tradition. To that end, Windham Millwork recently acquired a local signage company, allowing the company to expand into a lucrative new market, grow its customer base and add top talent. “We’ve become a one-stop shop as far as a trusted subcontractor goes,” says Chad. The signage company, now called Windham Innovations, allows Windham Millwork to provide the millwork and signage on any given project, helping the contractor or owner to source just one company for multiple uses.

Windham Millwork also acquired Maine-based Uni-Sim in 2015. The company has over 300 clients across the country including a contract with the U.S. military to produce display cases for flags or shadowboxes for medals and accomplishments. “We’ve increased that business quite a bit since acquiring it and we also brought on all their employees. When acquiring Uni-Sim it just made sense within our business model,” he says.

The acquisition of Uni-Sim and its employees not only expands Windham Millwork’s capabilities, but also allows the company to further expand its culture. “The products we produce at Uni-Sim will eventually be in the hands of a family member of someone who served, to help celebrate and commemorate the sacrifice they made for our country. With the veteran presence currently in our shop, our team takes extreme pride in handcrafting these pieces for our military heroes,” Chad explains. Uni-Sim is also pushing its efforts by contributing a percentage of sales to local foundations that are directly involved with veterans.

A healthy trade in health care

As one of the region’s most trusted names in architectural woodworking, Windham Millwork has played a role in delivering some of the area’s largest building projects to date.

In 2014 the company wrapped up work on Maine General Hospital — the largest single construction project in the state’s history. Located in Augusta, Maine, the 640,000-square-foot hospital represented a $5 million project for Windham Millwork and included 8,000 cabinets, 85 clinical reception stations, 85,000 square feet of vinyl wall protection, 700 metal lockers and benches and over 6 miles of countertops. “We had our design team up there two years before the project even started and were the only ones in New England that were interviewed because of our size and our reputation,” says Chad.

Windham Woodworking is currently working on a design-build project at a 90-room boutique hotel in Gloucester, Massachusetts, called the Beauport Hotel. Thanks to its work on the Maine General Hospital effort, the company is now gearing up to tackle another major hospital project in the state: a $3 to $4 million expansion at Eastern Maine Medical Center. “The biggest compliment we can get is when we receive repeat work based on a previous job,” says Chad.

The enduring trust that Walter Pulkkinen had in passing the business to his son Bruce, and Bruce doing the same for Chad and B.J., is what business is all about. This reflects the overall family atmosphere at Windham Millwork, where Chad says it’s not unusual to find fathers, sons, cousins and uncles working alongside one another. “We’ve grown from five employees to 100 in our 60 years, but we still incorporate a family atmosphere,” he says. “Our people are the most important part of our business; we truly value everyone who represents our company.”

The acquisition of Uni-Sim and the resulting expansion into signage will likely drive growth at Windham Millwork for years to come. “I see us continuing to grow,” explains Chad. “I think we’re going to hit benchmarks every year for the next several years. We are consciously trying to improve every year and find ways to help provide the best service possible to our clients.”

With a strong portfolio of large, complex projects to its name and an ever-increasing slate of product offerings, Windham Millwork will remain a leading name in the New England architectural woodworking market for the foreseeable future.

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Spring 2018



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