(22 Total References)
"My goal in the transaction was ...
"My goal in the transaction was to preserve as many jobs as possible for my employees, who have been very loyal and dedicated through the years and stuck with me during these hard times," Catawissa Lumber CEO William Gittler Jr. said.
is employing approximately 75 people.
said there were 104 employees at Catawissa Lumber
when the company was sold Jan. 29.
Gittler said the new owner has kept the pay, benefits and work the same for the remaining employees.
regretfully had to give up the business because he
was facing foreclosure and bankruptcy.
The agreement left Gittler
in charge of the remaining debt and other Catawissa Lumber
properties, and did not require Catawissa Wood
and Components to retain the same employees.
added, "It's important to point out that this was not a sale of the company, but a sale of the operational assets."
, who thanked his
employees, stated, "We tried everything we could to survive in an hellacious environment for the past 2 1/2 years."
said a changing market and bad economy hurt the company's revenues, and he
was eventually instructed by the bank that held the deed to find a buyer.
By 2008, Catawissa Lumber
no longer had a line of credit, operating instead on a cash basis.
During that time, the company was paying penalty fees in the tens of thousands of dollars to its bank, he
Between 2008 and 2009, the company's revenue decreased from $18 million to $9 million.
, who did not say how much Maski Hardwood paid to purchase the facility, will not realize any money from the transaction since it will all go to the bank to pay off outstanding debt.
said sale proceeds won't cover what the company owes on three loans.
plans to liquidate remaining assets, including the old Catawissa facility and a 35,000-square-foot warehouse.
Press Enterprise, Inc
CATAWISSA , William F. Gittler Sr., a local industrialist widely known for his philanthropy, died Thursday morning at a daughter's home on Drinker Street in Fernville.He was 92.
It was the end of a remarkable life's journey that began in South Africa and included the creation of successful businesses as well as a close brush with death in a horrific plane crash.
But it was Gittler's
generous support of causes large and small that family and friends spoke of Friday. Taking over a small Catawissa sawmill in a handshake deal, Gittler started Catawissa Lumber and Specialty Co., Inc., in 1957 with only three employees.
The furniture and flooring supply business grew to employ more than 450 workers at four woodworking facilities by the time Gittler retired, his
health beginning to decline.He
had turned over the title of company president to his
son, William Gittler Jr., in 1986, but he
remained influential as chairman of the board for another decade.
eyesight failing due to progressive macular degeneration, Gittler several years ago waited until the final day when he
was to turn in his
driver's license so he
could drive for groceries and stop by the post office in Bloomsburg
then drove to the home of his
daughter, Annamary, in Fernville, and turned off the car.He lived there until he died at 6:17 a.m. Thursday, surrounded by family, son William Jr. said.
AP Wire | 03/05/2006 | Company finds lumber market across world as U.S. sales slip
But CEO Bill Gittler Jr. could see the Chinese writing on the wall.
The company's revenue fell from $46 million in 2003-04 to $38 million in 2004-05, a 17 percent drop, Gittler
But over the past five years, Catawissa Lumber
executives have been pursuing a bold new strategy.
In part, they have been establishing business ties in China in hopes of selling wood components to furniture makers there.
The company is trying to "survive in an industry that is very troubled and declining in our country," Gittler
Catawissa Lumber's first major overseas success is a new line of high-end furniture, handmade by Chinese artisans, called Catawissa/Baili Fine Arts & Crafts, released last fall.Gittler
discovered Beijing-based Baili
, whose owner was looking for hardwood supplies and hoping to enter the American market, through a consultant.
The two companies soon partnered to create the Catawissa/Baili line, made of Appalachian cherry hardwood and designed by Baili's
is hoping other Chinese manufacturers will soon think, "If Baili is buying panels from the U.S. and is successful at it, gee, maybe we should buy from Catawissa
Gittler's first hard look at the Chinese market came in early 2001, when he
attended a trade show in Guangzhou, at the heart of China's furniture-making sector.
The Chinese trade association assigned him a translator, a savvy engineering student, who helped him set up his
booth at the show and served as his
contact with potential customers.Gittler
was inundated with inquiries.He
recalls talking via translator to a Mongolian woodworker whose company crafts intricate stairs, and a western Chinese businessman whose firm specializes in furniture for disabled people.He
could see that both were craftsmen, their hands rough and colored with wood stain.That's unlike most American owners, he
spoke at length, through the translator, to a man from northern Vietnam interested in Catawissa's products.
The man then turned to Gittler
and spoke in perfect English, he
recalled with a laugh.Gittler
came away from the eight-day show encouraged.
Chan's company, Asia Marketing & Management
in Philadelphia, was helping medium-size manufacturers do business in China, Gittler
says.Soon after, Gittler hired Chan as a consultant.
"We could not have gotten where we've gotten without James Chan and his contacts," Gittler
...It was one of Chan's Chinese contacts who found Baili for Gittler.
paid all the costs for Liu to make four sample pieces of furniture.
was doubtful about using our product," Gittler
says."But when we gave him those four initial samples, he
saw the advantage of it."
Soon after, the companies partnered to produce the Catawissa/Baili line.Gittler formed a new division, Catawissa Trading Co., to buy and sell lumber, wood components and furniture.
The Catawissa/Baili line is targeted at the "designer portion" of the furniture industry, Gittler
Vance Publishing's W&WP magazine - January 2006 Feature
Bill Gittler, Jr. of Catawissa, and former WCMA president, welcomed visitors into the plant.Catawissa
has grown from its five-employee, 10,000-square-foot plant beginnings in 1957 to a four-plant operation.
Press Enterprise, Inc
CATAWISSA - When Catawissa Lumber CEO Bill Gittler Jr. arrived to work Tuesday morning, he saw what appeared to be dust rising from the top of one of his wood waste/fuel silos. Gittler
and some of his
workers determined it was smoke, not dust.
Instead, they pumped carbon dioxide into the base of the cylindrical, fiberglass structure to smother the smoldering fire, Gittler
The tactic proved effective but time-consuming.Gittler
still had men watching the silo Tuesday evening.He
didn't expect the fire to be extinguished until this morning.
unsure how or when the fire started, Gittler suspects it may have been caused by a spark blown from a boiler.
The fire didn't cause any damage or injuries at Catawissa Lumber.
It did shut down operations for nearly a full day, Gittler