Genesis Products panel production grows, and it expands sales efforts
April 18, 2017 | 3:37 pm CDT


Jon Wenger and team at Genesis Products (from left) Heather Jenks, VP RV Sales; Braden McCormick, VP Business Development, Welformed Division; and Wenger.

Wood laminate manufacturing juggernaut Genesis Products rides the crest of booming RV production, and a growing cabinet component business. Jon Wenger, a hands-on CEO, is guiding the team that is building that growth.  

On the supply side, Genesis Products broke ground in March 2017 on a new 200,000 square-foot facility in Goshen, Indiana, a $10 million facility will house production across 17-acres. “This new facility is the largest expansion that we’ve ever done,” says Wenger. 

Schelling panel saw

Genesis Products was named to the 2016 fast growing Wood 100 on the basis of its technology investment. Its wide range of industry customers in fast-paced markets – residential and contract furniture manufactures, hospitality, store fixtures, cabinetry, manufactured housing and recreational vehicles – requires the latest in technology.

Recent investments that merited Wood 100 recognition include a Schelling panel saw, Weeke CNC machining center, CR Onsrud CNC routers, and a Harlan laminator. The company also just bought a new Wemhoner membrane press, giving it entree into yet another market. 

Formed in 2002 by Wenger and partner Jon Helmuth, Genesis turned profitable the next year, and by 2007, was named to the INC 500 Fastest Growing Companies. Following the downturn, Genesis Products was growing again, expanding its Virginia operation in 2011, with support from the state, after acquiring the former Appomattox River Manufacturing Co. in Keysville, Virginia. 

In 2014, Genesis partnered with Vohringer, a German-based panel and component manufacturer, to expand both companies’ offerings domestically and internationally.  In 2015, it acquired Welformed Materials in Elkhart, and expand into fiber based moulded products for transportation and other markets.   

Genesis Products now operates five facilities in Elkhart, Ind., Goshen, Ind. and Keysville, with a total of over 500,000 square feet of production, assembly and warehousing space, in addition to the two Welformed division operations.

Wenger became president and CEO of Genesis Products in 2013, and rapidly put in place a management team that allows him to operate strategically, with Matt Hazelbaker joining the management team to take over operations. Chris Spataro joined last year to head Human Resources. 

Jon Wenger

No wonder, then, Wenger has been nominated for a 2017 Wood Industry 40 Under 40 Award, with one nomination citing his role in "building a company culture where people want to work," despite competing in markets where labor force is at a premium.

Nominations are open for the 2017 Wood Industry 40 Under 40 awards. It takes just a few minutes to enter a candidate, someone from the next generation of people destined to make an impact on the wood products manufacturing industry in North America. 

Winners will be selected in May, and feted at the 2017 AWFS Fair in Las Vegas, during the Leadership Conference Reception on July 18. That event will also include a reunion of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2016. 


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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.