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Celebrating 40 Years: Honoring Our Word

April 30, 2020
From porch enclosures, to windows and doors, the road to becoming a leading manufacturer in the industry may have had something to do with renting a plane.
What many may not know, is that PGT Innovations’ humble beginnings were in the form of a porch enclosure company known as Vinyl Tech, started in 1980 with just three employees out of Venice.
“What’s fascinating is, even as a small porch enclosure company, our founders Paul Hostetler and Rod Hershberger really held to a simple philosophy: provide phenomenal cus¬tomer care and on-time delivery,” says Jeff Jackson, President and CEO. “They realized early on that in the building product space, to be on time with custom-made products and to listen closely and react quickly to what our customers needed was a tremendous differentiator.”
According to Jackson, Vinyl Tech went its first two years with zero backorders “which was kind of easy to do because we were this little company with little sales,” he admits. But shortly into year three, they were about to have their very first backorder because one window of an order was left back at the plant.
“It just didn’t make it on the delivery truck, and the driver delivered the order to a customer on the east coast of Florida with one unit short,” explains Jackson. “It would have been our first ever backorder of the company. So, Rod and the Sales Manager – Herb Reberger, who was also a pilot – rented a plane from the Venice airport, disassembled and loaded the window into the plane, and flew it to this customer by the end of the day. He said the customer looked at them like they were nuts and said, ‘I didn’t need it today. Tomorrow would have been just fine.’ To which Rod replied, ‘No. We told you today.’”
Many stories like this ultimately developed a loyal customer base.