VEKA celebrated 30 years in the industry this week at its U.S. headquarters in Fombell, Pa., with its employees, suppliers, supporters and members of the press, including USGlass magazine.
VEKA U.S. president Joe Peilert welcomed attendees and said they, and VEKA, have a lot to celebrate.
“We are celebrating today your and our entrepreneurial spirit and your and our growth in the boom years and your and our ability to weather the biggest recession over the last 50 years,” he said.
He also thanked the VEKA board and employees for their support.
“[The VEKA board] has decided to support us from our modest beginnings to the difficult five years we went through because they believe in all of us and they believe in the American market,” said Peilert.
“We also recognize that our employees have a choice of who to work for. They can find employment elsewhere yet our seniority is three times the national average. Thank you for your contributions,” he told employees.
All groups have something to look forward to as Peilert reported growth in 2012, that 2013 is looking strong and “in 2014 we are looking at expansion plans and further growing our workforce,” he said.
Andreas Hartleif, chairman of the board and CEO of VEKA Worldwide, detailed the company’s growth through the years and also some of the challenges.
“So all this expansion was easy but risky in the early 2000s, then we had the housing crisis at the end of that decade,” he said. “In this phase we had to make critical decisions: Devise new ways to move forward or maybe step out. And there is where we came up with some new initiatives to compete. One competitor told us, “you are a sleeping giant and you need to wake up.”
The company did just that and the result is new product lines, new models and new strategies, according to Hartleif.
“We are in an excellent position,” he said. “We have great growth potential and we are ready for expansion. We want to grow again. The group will help you. They are ready to support you here in the U.S. We also want to grow internationally and be the leading supplier globally.”
Attendees and employees were treated to a pig roast following the ceremony.