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This profile was last updated on 2/12/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Steven F. Crook

Wrong Steven F. Crook?


General Woodcraft Inc
531 Broad Street
New London , Connecticut 06320
United States

Company Description: General Woodcraft, Inc., is a distributor of Antique & Vintage Woods. We provide authentic high quality wood products for restoration, construction, flooring and...   more

Employment History

9 Total References
Web References
Steve Crook owner of ..., 9 Mar 2010 [cached]
Steve Crook owner of General Woodcraft Inc. in New London, Conn., did so with an opinion column on ProSales' website that in effect dismisses composites, plastics, and even treated wood as optimal decking materials in favor of the tropical hardwood that his company sells.
Steven Crook, president of ..., 15 Feb 2014 [cached]
Steven Crook, president of General Woodcraft, says the New London specialty home-improvement supplier is looking to the West Coast for new business and expansion. Buy Photo Tim Martin/The Day Steven Crook, left, president of General Woodcraft in New London, confers with Chris Nolan, director of operations.
But Steven Crook, president of the specialty home-improvement supplier General Woodcraft, has been on the diversification bandwagon for some time. As the local economy struggled to regain its footing after job cuts at the casinos and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc., Crook started to look west for new business and expansion possibilities.
"We're going where the action is," he said last month during an interview at his Broad Street offices.
General Woodcraft has added five employees in California, where real estate is booming and calls for the company's specialty decking and wood siding is strong. Crook plans to head northwest to Seattle and Portland as well, eventually setting up a network of dealerships nationwide to carry General Woodcraft products.
"A lot of things we put into place last year worked," Crook said. "We increased our volume by more than one-third - that's something that made us smile."
Reaching out nationwide has brought residual benefits, too. Website hits that once totaled 5,000 a month have doubled during the past 18 months - and these are not just passing fancies, since potential clients have kept pace with Internet activity.
"We're getting almost double the leads we were getting before," Crook said.
General Woodcraft is focusing its new dealership program for now on the West Coast, but intends to work toward the middle of the country as time goes by, with an eye particularly on the Great Lakes region and the Southwest. Crook said the company will work only with dealers that have a customer-centric philosophy similar to General Woodcraft's.
"It's a select group of dealers," he said.
General Woodcraft, celebrating its 65th year in business, is working with about three dozen established lumberyards and specialty stores in southern California, teaching the dealers how their products work so they can better serve customers. Many of the projects, Crook said, are started by architects familiar with the Mataverde decking and Climate-Shield Rain Screen Wood Siding for which General Woodcraft is well known.
To better handle questions from dealers, architects and builders, General Woodcraft has added a technical department that is equipped to explain the proper installation techniques as well as designing solutions to building problems and tricky specifications.
In addition, the company has added a kitchen designer to its team in New London, boosting General Woodcraft's ability to execute remodeling work from concept to completion. The idea, said Crook, is to make General Woodcraft a one-stop shop for people looking for a kitchen makeover, saving customers time and money.
"We know design, we know space and we know construction," Crook said. "The initial response has been very positive."
Crook admits that expanding during the region's economic slump may seem counterintuitive. But he said it was the right move for General Woodcraft to tap into the high-end residential and commercial customers that are largely driving the home-improvement market today.
Increased activity on the West Coast - along with the company's established market between Boston and New York - has allowed the company to grow while others in a hunker-down mode have faltered.
"The commitment and focus of our team has allowed us to expand into these areas," Crook said.
President: Steven Crook
A few years ago, General Woodcraft ... [cached]
A few years ago, General Woodcraft president and CEO Steven Crook decided that it was time to offer Mataverde® Premium Decking and Siding products in a more customer friendly manner to high end lumberyards and specialty dealers on the West Coast.Crook didn’t have to look very far before he found the ideal person to launch this new west coast division for mataverde decking and siding products.
Steven F. Crook, President ..., 10 Jan 2013 [cached]
Steven F. Crook, President and CEO of General Woodcraft, explained that the company inventories over 2,000,000 lineal feet of Mataverde® Premium Hardwood Ipe in five different species; Ipe hardwood, Cumaru hardwood, Garapa hardwood, Machiche hardwood and now Santa Maria hardwood.
"In this economy, it's been important ..., 21 April 2012 [cached]
"In this economy, it's been important to go where the action is," said Steven Crook, president of General Woodcraft.
Having already established relationships with mills in Brazil whose wood is certified as "green" by the Forest Stewardship Council, Crook has moved on to work out similar arrangements in Central America, expanding the number of suppliers from whom he can directly import. He also has worked out a deal to become the exclusive supplier of the Climate-Shield Rain Screen Wood Siding System for the United States and Canada.
At the same time, Crook said he is starting to make inroads in another market that General Woodcraft hopes to reach by offering up supplies of exotic hardwoods to guitar manufacturers. Interest is keen, he said, though no deals have yet been reached.
The idea, he said, is to expand General Woodcraft's footprint by cashing in on its established expertise and business arrangements.
"It's not just change for the sake of change," Crook said. "It's systematic change or synergistic change."
Crook said he has several six-figure projects under way on the West Coast, where Mataverde decking is already well known among builders and architects.
The West Coast office is being managed by Perry Alibrio, a longtime industry executive that Crook hired last year.
Crook said General Woodcraft, known locally for its kitchen designs and millwork along with its specialty decking materials, has added other personnel as well, including an executive director to help expedite strategic changes and an in-house counsel who allows the company to move quickly on contracts and licensing arrangements for new projects. The company, he added, currently has several seven-figure projects in the pipeline being overseen in New London.
"We are so fortunate to have the team that we have," Crook said. "That has enabled us to move forward with these initiatives in an efficient and effective way."
Crook said the company, which had only about 15 employees a few years ago, should have double that number in the next year or so.
General Woodcraft's ability to find niches nationwide has allowed the company to ride out a difficult local economy, Crook said, particularly since the company concentrates on higher-end projects.
"That part of the market has been the most stable," he said.
Helping out in its national expansion, General Woodcraft now has the ability to track the 5,000 hits a month it gets on the company website, he added, and the information proves the firm's reach has become far-flung, with interest from surprising places such as Nebraska, Texas and Florida. The company also has been looking to get into the Canadian market, attending a show just recently in Toronto.
"Technology has enabled us as a smaller player to get business," Crook said.
Crook also makes sure General Woodcraft focuses on the customer's experience, always aiming to make sure that the company meets or exceeds expectations. To that end, he is aiming at an "error-free operation" that constantly monitors problems and conducts a "blameless debrief" to try to make sure things go more smoothly the next time around.
"We're interested in doing it better, not in finding out who did it wrong," he said.
Crook admits that expansion can have its downside, but he believes General Woodcraft is now positioned to sustain 50 percent growth because of the infrastructure it already has in place.
"Adding people is a great thing," he said, "but truthfully our main focus is adding profitable value."
President: Steven Crook
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