Leon Silverstein Launches New Company
September 23, 2010
SMI Aluminum Systems LLC, led by Leon Silverstein, former chief executive officer (CEO) of Arch Aluminum & Glass, has announced the purchase of SMI Systems in Medley, Fla. The transaction was completed on September 17, 2010, through an asset purchase agreement between the two parties. The prior SMI management team and all of its employees will remain as employees of the new company, led by Jim Pande, who has been owner of SMI for the past eight years.
Joining Silverstein as partners are his brother, Richard Silverstein, and Manny Valladares; both held key positions at Arch, as chief operating officer and director of product development, respectively.
SMI Systems is a manufacturer of high-performance storefront entrances and window walls created to meet high design pressures for blast and hurricane protection. “The existing product line at SMI is a perfect start to creating a broad product line to meet the needs of the glazing contractor. This is one piece of the puzzle to become that premier supplier for the industry,” says Richard Silverstein.
In an exclusive interview, Leon Silverstein told USGNN.com™ that the company will focus on selling products in Southeast Florida “and the coastal areas where hurricane systems are in demand.” The company currently has about 55 employees and occupies 63,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
“The new company will now benefit from the years of knowledge and expertise that the new group brings to the table in the form of purchasing, product enhancements, manufacturing, and selling strategy,” adds Pande. “Also, I have been watching during that time how they treated their customers and employees. I could never sell a loyal customer of Arch. There was a strong family culture that ran throughout the organization, that’s what led to the former Arch’s success under the Silverstein family, and I wanted to be part of that as they start over. They are a family that has been in the industry for over 100 years.”
According to a statement from the company, the new SMI already is active in developing new products and services to fill the gaps its present product line. “Even though the economy is terrible, I still remember my dad starting his business in 1978, and the economy back then was not much better than today,” says Leon Silverstein. “I think now is a great time to start a business, but it’s a tough time to be in business,” he told USGNN.com™.
He added, “I looked at a lot of business opportunities, some in the glass industry and some outside of the glass industry. I probably could have made a very good living outside of the glass industry, but our family has been in the industry for more than 100 years and this is where I wanted to be.”
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