ENTREPRENEURS OF THE YEAR: 2016

Expanding Beyond the Lumberyard

National Lumber Company grows with the building business.

Steven Kaitz, Margie Kaitz Seligman and Manny Pina stand proudly in front of one of 90 National Lumber delivery trucks.
Steven Kaitz, Margie Kaitz Seligman and Manny Pina stand proudly in front of one of 90 National Lumber delivery trucks.

When National Lumber Company’s co-CEO Steven Kaitz talks about the entrepreneurial culture at his company, the conversation always comes back to one name: Manny Pina.

Pina is the company’s president and has led the way for co-CEOs and sibling owners, Steven Kaitz and Margie Kaitz Seligman, to expand locations and launch a number of profit centers including a turn-key division which provides framing materials and labor for major building projects throughout the eastern U.S.

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“Manny Pina is extremely proud of his Cape Verdean descent, and has always distinguished himself; from winning medals in track and field, serving the United States as a Marine in the Vietnam War, through his legendary career in the building materials business. Manny has always been a relentless worker, visionary and leader. He has been the driving force in making our company the most innovative, forward-thinking lumber company in the United States,” Steven Kaitz said. “He has driven this company for nearly 30 years and has been an integral force in our expansion.”

Brought in as an operations manager in 1987, Pina has led the company through unprecedented growth, including $290 million in sales for 2015, up nearly 6% over 2014. Pina convinced the Kaitz family to begin engineering and designing truss and I-joist systems. In-house, he hired structural engineers, architects, expert builders and framing professionals. According to Kaitz, “we are the only lumberyard making such hires. Additionally, he successfully partnered with quality manufacturers to make National Lumber Company the leader in Engineered Wood Products.”