Wood Industry Market Leader: Elliot Germany, Panel Specialists Inc.
October 23, 2017 | 11:25 am CDT
Elliot Germany, president & CEO, Panel Specialists, Inc.

A decorated veteran of the U.S. Army and Texas Army National Guard with a background in I.T. and logistics, Elliot Germany’s first choice for a post-Army career was not in woodworking. “Having said that,” the president & CEO of Panel Specialists, Inc. (PSI) added, “I’m so glad it worked out this way and I’m thankful for the opportunity I’ve been blessed with.”

Germany joined the institutional and healthcare woodwork firm in 2000 as a computer and network technician. He quickly moved through the ranks, achieving his current position in 2009 when PSI was acquired by Markel Ventures.

Under Germany’s leadership, the Temple, Texas-based multi-million-dollar firm has grown in strength and scope, offering a range of decorative interior products and systems. “In the past year, we worked on other diversified solutions to further level-out our seasonality.” Plans also call for expansion into new markets. 

Germany also is proud of PSI’s diary of work. “It’s like looking at the final portrait of a jigsaw puzzle. It’s hard to marvel over one piece, but when you see the pieces come together, only then, do you realize the significance of each piece as it relates to the finished mural. 

“At PSI, we have designed and built millions of beautiful and functional furnishings and wall panel systems. We feed the homeless and help families in crisis. We have committed to help sustain our environment through the reduction of waste streams. We work with high school students to teach them the value of woodworking and manufacturing technology (iChallengeU Project). We clean our local parks, so children can have a clean and safe place to play. We work diligently to be a good and responsible partner to our employees, customers, vendors, and our owners. These things fit well into our corporate vision: To enrich lives through enhancing the environment in which people live, learn, heal, work and play.

“And while each piece plays a significant role in our total body of work, I’m proudest of the beautiful portrait created from the collection of such individual, but important pieces.”

While attributing his own success to a combination of things, including “being open to making mistakes and overcoming them” and a great network of co-workers, family and friends, Germany also strives to help others. He contributes to E4 Youth (Austin), helps the Wildcat Mentorship Program, and serves on the board for numerous educational organizations. In his free time, he enjoys time spent with family and friends, creating jazz music, reading, and writing poetry.

Quick Glimpse:

Education: Tarleton University – Central Texas and Central Texas College. Also, a decorated military veteran.

Number of years at the company: 17

Number of years in the industry: 17

Word that best describes you: Blessed

Mantra: What you will become is a collection of the choices you make. He is also inspired by mantras from many great leaders.

Who have you tried to emulate? My past and present leaders and mentors who have motivated and inspired me. They include: CW4 Anthony Harris & SFC Keith Lane, U.S. Army; Hal Martin & Ray Schiller formerly at PSI; Gary Kosel, current partner at PSI; Tom Gayner, Mike Heaton & Andrew Crowley at Markel Corp.; Bill Moyer, SOS Leadership; Earnest Swindell; and my mother, Portia Domino, who has been a steadfast rock in the storms of my life.

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About the author
Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at karen.koenig@woodworkingnetwork.com