Historical Timeline

1955

  • Universal Forest Products incorporates with William F. Grant as major stockholder and sole salesman.

1962

  • Michigan State University graduate Peter F. Secchia joins the company.

1970

  • Universal purchases the assets of a component yard in Thomasville, Ga.. The facility moves to Moultrie, Ga., and Universal establishes its position in the southeastern market.

1971

  • The company has sales of $12 million.
  • Then Vice President of Sales Peter F. Secchia purchases control of the company.
  • Bill Currie, today’s Chairman of the Board, joins the company as a salesman.
  • Universal’s Pennsylvania Forest Products opens in St. Clair, Penn.. Universal eventually replaces it with the present facility in Gordon, Penn.

1972

  • Florida Component Products opens in Auburndale, Fla., serving the retail industry and the state’s manufactured housing market.
  • The Universal Employee’s Profit Sharing and Retirement Trust Fund is instituted to reward long-term employees for their part in the company’s success. While not required to offer such a plan, Universal wanted to assist faithful workers with retirement.

1974

  • Universal next moves to the Mid-Atlantic, opening a new component yard and manufacturing facility in North Carolina, centrally located between High Point and Charlotte, just outside of Salisbury.
  • Universal’s first business acquisition occurs in the important Northern Indiana mobile/RV/manufactured home building area with the purchase of the assets of Lumber Specialties of Granger, Ind.

1978

  • Current CEO Matthew Missad joins Universal’s maintenance crew as its “lawn boy.” (He stayed on through high school and college, borrowing money from the company to attend law school and paying it back by working for the company full-time upon graduating.)
  • First orders are shipped from the new Warrens, Wis. component yard location.
  • Texas Forest Products is added in Grandview, Texas.
  • The company’s Florida plant produces its first charge of treated lumber.

1979

  • Universal ships The Home Depot its first load of treated lumber.

1981

  • The Gordon, Penn. plant begins operations in January.

1982

  • Universal purchases a large wood treating plant in Union City, Ga. and rebuilds it.
  • Universal completes construction of a manufacturing/distribution facility, which includes a treating plant in Belchertown, Mass., to serve New England customers.

1983

  • Universal Forest Products is reorganized into five geographic divisions: Northeast, Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest and begins operating all regional facilities under the Universal Forest Products umbrella.

1984

  • Universal opens the Windsor, Colo. plant.

1985

  • Current CEO Matt Missad, takes a full-time position with the company  as manager of legal compliance.

1986

  • Universal purchases Far West Fir Sales, a well-established and respected wholesaler of softwood lumber products in California and Arizona. With this, Universal becomes truly nationwide.

1987

  • Ian Stalker, an international authority on chemical pressure treatment of lumber, joins Universal as Vice President of Wood Preservation. Universal has maintained its knowledge focus and leadership in wood preservation by maintaining a staff of experts ever since.
  • The Janesville, Wis. plant opens to meet the growing demand for treated lumber in the Chicago/ Milwaukee/Madison market.

1988

  • Universal opens a large, multi-market pressure-treating facility in Ranson, W. Va. to serve the greater Tidewater area encompassing Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC and Richmond, Va.

1989

  • Peter Secchia is appointed United States Ambassador to Italy by President George H.W. Bush.
  • Bill Currie succeeds Peter Secchia as CEO.
  • Universal purchases a planing mill and distribution facility in Woodburn, Ore..
  • Universal acquires the stock of a lumber distributor in Madison, Wis. (which merged with Janesville, Wis.).
  • Having become the nation’s largest producer of pressure-treated lumber, Universal purchases land and equipment for construction of a Saginaw, Texas treating plant (between Dallas and Ft. Worth).

1991

  • Universal purchases a fence manufacturing facility in Lacolle, Quebec.

1992

  • The Salisbury, N.C. plant moves to a new, state-of-the-art facility and added lumber treating capabilities.

1993

  • Universal goes public, issuing 5.7 million shares and raising $20 million in additional equity.
  • Universal purchases five of Chesapeake Corporation’s wood treating facilities plus the equipment of its sixth.

1995

  • Universal opens a treating facility in Harrisonville, Mo.

1996

  • Universal acquires three facilities from Hi-Tek Forest Products.

1997

  • Universal consolidates its five regional operating companies into two divisions, each with a purchasing office: the Eastern Division headquartered in Union City, Ga. (outside of Atlanta), and the Western Division headquartered in Windsor, Colo. (outside of Denver).
  • The company announces Performance 2002, an initiative designed to drive profitable growth into the next century.
  • Universal enters the site-built construction market with the purchase of Consolidated Building Components (with locations in Emlenton and Parker, Penn.) and Structural Lumber Products (with a plant in San Antonio, Texas). It was the beginning of new and significant growth for Universal.
  • Moultrie, Ga. adds a wood preservation facility to its existing manufacturing and distribution operations.
  • Universal purchases the Great Northern Wood Preserving treating plant in Lodi, Ohio.

1998

  • Less than one year after entering the site-built construction market, Universal becomes the nation's largest residential truss manufacturer with the acquisition of Shoffner Industries, Inc., the leading producer of roof and floor trusses for commercial and residential builders. Headquartered in Burlington, N.C., Shoffner had 14 facilities in seven states.
  • Universal increases its presence in the site-built market with the acquisition of Advanced Component Systems, Inc. of Lafayette, Colo., a producer of roof trusses, engineered building components and lumber products.
  • Universal cements its commitment to industrial packaging and other components with the acquisition of Atlantic General Packaging, a manufacturer of specialty wood packaging products in North Carolina. It is Universal’s first acquisition in the industrial market.
  • Universal acquires a 45% interest in Pino Exporta of Durango, Mexico, which changes its name to Pinelli Universal. (Universal subsequently purchases another 5% interest.) Pinelli manufactures moulding and millwork products for North American customers.

1999

  • Universal acquires lumber treating facilities in New Waverly and Silsbee, Texas from Louisiana Pacific Corp.
  • Universal acquires a treating facility in Schertz, Texas.
  • Universal builds a plant in Liberty, N.C.
  • Universal purchases a 41-acre re-manufacturing facility in Riverside, Calif.

2000

  • Michael B. Glenn became President and Chief Operating Officer of the company.
  • Universal's facilities in Huntington Beach and Corona are consolidated into the Riverside, Calif. facility.
  • Universal purchases an ownership interest in Thorndale Roof Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of engineered roof trusses, and Edcor Floor Systems, Inc., a licensed manufacturer of Open Joist ™, in London, Ontario.
  • Universal acquires a lumber treating facility in Blanchester, Ohio.
  • Universal acquires Gang-Nail Components, Inc., in Fontana, Calif., a manufacturer of engineered roof trusses, and changes its name to Universal Truss, Inc.
  • Universal acquires the Open Joist™ manufacturing plant in Elkhart, Ind. from Banks Corporation.

2001

  • Universal acquires 50% of the assets of D&R Framing Contractors of Englewood, Colo.
  • Universal purchases the assets of the wood component plants of Sunbelt Wood Components in New London, N.C. and Ashburn, Ga. to serve the manufactured housing and industrial markets.
  • Universal acquires the assets of the Superior Truss division of Banks Corp., with a facility in Minnesota, Minn. (It subsequently merges with White Pigeon, Mich.)
  • Universal acquires the assets of P&R Truss, which manufactures trusses and distributed engineered wood products. P&R Truss had four facilities in the state of New York.
  • Universal becomes the exclusive distributor for Willamette Industries’ new engineered floor decking for manufactured homes.

2002

  • Peter Secchia retires from active employment.
  • Universal is named to Forbes magazine’s Platinum 400, an annual ranking of the 400 best- performing U.S. companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue.
  • Universal jumps 79 places on the annual Fortune 1000 listing of America's largest corporations. UFPI is ranked at number 842.
  • Universal acquires certain assets of and enters into an exclusive licensing agreement with Springfield, Ill.-based Inno-Tech Plastics, Inc., opening the door to the wood-alternative products industry.
  • Universal announces plans to open its first Michigan manufacturing facility, in White Pigeon, Mich., a few miles north of the Indiana border.
  • Universal acquires a facility from Quality Wood Treating, Co., Inc. in Prairie du Chien, Wis., which produces EverX composite decking.

2003

  • Universal purchases two plants from Quality Wood Treating Company - one in Lansing, Mich. and another in Janesville, Wis..
  • Universal jumps to number 769 on the Fortune 1000.Universal is named to the list of the Top 50 U.S. Manufacturers by Industry Week magazine.
  • Sales are $1.89 billion

2004

  • Universal is again named to Forbes magazine’s Platinum 400, their annual ranking of the 400 best- performing U.S. companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue.
  • CNN’s Money Gang show names Universal a “Stock Pick of the Day” in February.
  • Universal expands the TechTrim™ line to include a reversible finish and a brick mould product.
  • Advancing its commitment to grow its framing business, Universal announces an investment in the largest framer of multifamily structures in the Massachusetts area, Shawnlee Construction, LLC. Based in Plainville, Mass., Shawnlee has been in business for more than 30 years.
  • Universal purchases the assets of Midwest Building Systems, Inc. in Indianapolis, Ind.

2005

  • Universal celebrates 50 years as a company. As part of its anniversary celebrations, the company donates more than $200,000 in money, material and time to Habitat for Humanity through  Universal’s locations across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
  • For the sixth time in seven years, Universal is named to Forbes magazine’s Platinum 400.
  • Annual sales are $2.7 billion
  • Universal purchases the assets of Maine Ornamental Woodworkers, Inc., the leading manufacturer and distributor of decorative caps used on decking and fencing posts.
  • Universal purchases an additional 25% interest in Shawnlee Construction, LLC and agrees to purchase the remaining 25% over the next five years. (The company already owned 50% of Shawnlee, which it purchased in 2004). In addition, Shawnlee Construction announces the purchase of assets and assumption of certain liabilities of Shepardville Construction, Inc. and AW Construction, LLC, which install interior products such as base boards, crown moldings, window sills and casing, doors and cabinets for commercial and multi-family construction projects.
  • In October, Universal Consumer Products, Inc. is launched, a wholly owned subsidiary intended to create new distribution networks for the company’s growing portfolio of consumer products.
  • Universal acquires the leading importer and marketer of decorative balusters, Deckorators™.

2006

  • For the seventh time, Universal is named in Forbes magazine’s Platinum 400.
  • Universal acquires certain assets of Classic Truss Company Inc., a truss manufacturer based in Ft. Pierce, Fla. in January.
  • Universal announces a leadership transition plan with the appointment of Mike Glenn to CEO effective July 1, 2006. Former CEO William G. Currie is appointed to the newly created position of executive chairman of the board and former Chairman Peter F. Secchia becomes chairman emeritus.
  • Universal acquires certain assets of Dura-Bilt Mfg. Co., a roof and floor truss manufacturer based in Riverbank, Calif. Its name is changed to Dura-Bilt Truss.
  • Universal announces that a wholly-owned subsidiary has acquired the assets and assumed certain liabilities of GeoMatrix, Inc., a leading developer and supplier of plastic lattice and other proprietary plastic products.
  • Universal signs a letter of intent to acquire all of the shares of Aljoma Lumber, Inc. providing UFP significant presence in Southern Florida and Caribbean markets. Aljoma is a leading manufacturer of pressure-treated wood and industrial products.
  • Universal announces that wholly owned subsidiaries of the company agree to acquire assets of the Banks Lumber division of Banks Corporation.
  • Universal gives exclusive distribution of its Latitudes® brand decking and railing in the New England market to Holbrook, Mass.-based Boston Cedar and Millwork. Founded in 1985, Boston Cedar is a premier distributor of quality lumber products to a large base of retail lumber dealers throughout the Northeastern United States.
  • The housing market begins to show signs of weakness.

2007

  • JF Granger is named Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing
  • Universal completes the purchase of Aljoma Lumber, Inc.
  • Universal wins the coveted 2006 Editors Choices Award from ProSales, the industry’s leading trade publication, for its ProWood® micro-treated lumber.
  • Osmose’s MicroPro™ is named the first and only wood preservative technology in the world to earn the esteemed Green Cross recognition, which marks it as an Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP). (Universal’s ProWood® is treated with MicroPro™.)
  • Universal adds concrete forming products to its growing portfolio.

2008

  • The company acquires International Wood Industries, Inc., in Turlock, Calif.
  • Universal is named one of Fortune magazine’s Most Admired Companies.
  • Universal acquired D Stake Mill, Inc., in McMinnville Ore., and Manufacturing Country, in Independence, Ore.
  • Universal’s plants in Ranson, W.Va.; Windsor, Colo.; Chandler, Ariz.; San Antonio, Texas; New Waverly, Texas; Woodburn, Ore.; Thornton, Calif. and Riverside, Calif.  earn Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody certification.

2009

  • Pat Webster is appointed President and COO of Universal Forest Products, effective in January.
  • Dick Frazer succeeds Pat Webster as President of Western Division.
  • The company forms a PACS unit – Packaging and Container Solutions providing package solutions to OEMs and other industrial customers.
  • Universal launches Outdoor Essentials, a decorative lawn and garden products brand.

2010

  • The site-built business is consolidated under one management team to create efficiencies and opportunities, led by Divisional President Robert Lees.
  • The Company’s innovative PicketLock vinyl fencing system is introduced to DIY retail.

2011

  • Matthew J. Missad was named the fifth CEO in company’s history.
  • A number of executive appointments occur: Allen Peters becomes President of the Western Division.  J.F Granger is named Executive Vice President of Universal Consumer Products, Don James is named Vice President of National Sales. Scott Greene is named Executive Vice President of New Business Development.
  • Universal announces strategies for growth that include adding new products and new markets, and opening doors to offshore opportunities. An international team is created to achieve the latter.
  • Universal opens a new industrial facility in Salisbury, N.C..
  • Universal opens a new facility in Selma, Ala. to manufacture products with a new, proprietary technology by the end of the year.

The companies of Universal Forest Products
combine to create the nation’s leading manufacturer and distributor of wood and wood-alternative products to three markets: retail, construction and industrial.