PGT Innovations has tripled its annual revenue over the past five years, reaching almost $1.5 billion in 2022. To understand how we’ve accomplished this, you have to go back to the beginning. PGT Innovations’ story began in 1980 when our founders designed a vinyl porch enclosure product on a napkin. The VinylTech business opened shortly after and began production with three employees and a close-knit culture.
Since then, the company has evolved its name, added brands, welcomed new team members, expanded across the U.S. and invested in tremendous innovation. One thing has always stayed the same: PGTI has maintained a family culture through a legacy of serving, leading and thriving.
Growth through service
I’m often asked how our company plans for growth and makes informed decisions that benefit our business. For me, it all comes down to a core brand pillar that has been the cornerstone of our foundation at PGTI since day one—serving others.
Before my career in corporate America, I held various public service positions. In high school, I spent summers as a lifeguard. After that, I worked as a security guard and a police officer in Georgia, and I had wanted to work for the Secret Service but I fell back on my accounting degree and began a career in finance.
While the two paths may seem to veer in entirely different directions, the common theme on both journeys is an intrinsic desire to serve others. Whether it was lifeguarding, law enforcement or working at the helm of a publicly traded, billion-dollar window and door manufacturing firm, the most important thing that has always been my north star and what I believe is the secret to positioning any company—no matter how big or how small—for success is to focus on the people.
Serving people first
That desire drives our decision to provide incredible benefits for our team members. Some of those benefits include on-site health clinics, fitness centers, a childcare center, leadership development training, financial wellness classes, adoption benefits, a scholarship program for dependents of team members, personal wellness programs and employee assistance programs. We offer “volunteer time off” benefits for folks who want to donate their time during work hours, match financial donations that our team members make to nonprofit organizations, maintain an internal mentorship program called Leading Ladies, and in 2018 we made all of our team members shareholders in our company, the first time many of our team members ever owned stock.
In 2021, we partnered with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on its Highway Heroes program, training 100 percent of PGTI truck drivers and several other departments on identifying and reporting signs of human trafficking on roadways.
Finally, our team members lead efforts to provide emergency relief supplies to communities devastated by severe storms—over $1.5 million since 2016—to help residents realize that there are companies there to help them rebuild and that they are not alone.
While my dream of being a Secret Service agent never materialized, the motivation behind the dream remained and has steered my path. Three simple words have guided my career and continue to lay the path for substantial business growth and a strong company culture that has served PGT Innovations since day one: serve people first.