Setting the Foundations for Six Decades of Sales Representation
- We've spent over six decades helping plumbing, hydronics, and HVAC pros grow their business. From our 1962 founding in Columbus, OH, to our present-day operations in Hermitage, PA, our company has enjoyed stability in leadership with only four presidents (quite similar to a favorite sports franchise of our employees that also calls Western Pennsylvania home).
- When our CEO, Pete Lewnes, purchased Preferred Sales in the late 1970s, the manufacturer's representative world looked quite different. Still, as they do today, relationships were the key business driver. As president of Preferred Sales Inc., Pete built a vast network of manufacturer partners and rep colleagues through his strong business acumen and participation in industry trade associations, such as the Association of Independent Manufacturers Representatives (AIM/R).
- In 1984, Pete moved our company to Hermitage, Pennsylvania, and established a 25,000-square-foot warehouse on Highway I-80 at the Ohio/Pennsylvania border. Our corporate offices remain here today with a vital buy/sell and consigned inventory warehouse serving our territory and much of the United States.
- Throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s, we grew our business organically and by acquiring several small-to-mid-size rep agencies across our territory. These moves helped to grow our line card and diversify our represented partners to include the commercial and new construction spaces.
Evolving into Technical Sales Experts
- In 2009, Alan Guidish, who joined the company in 1990 as an outside salesperson, was named the fourth President in our company's history. Under Alan's guidance, Preferred Sales has grown over the past 13 years to become a well-respected representative of hydronics and HVAC manufacturers in addition to our continued strong performance for manufacturers in the plumbing industry.
- Alan and his business partner, Michelle Lewnes-Dadas, Vice President of Sales for Preferred Sales, have continued Pete's legacy by building the business through organic growth of our existing business coupled with the acquisition of multiple top-tier hydronics-focused manufacturers rep agencies to our company. In 2019, the team from Bernardini & Link in Western Pennsylvania joined our company, and in 2021, Story Equipment in Northern Ohio became a part of the Preferred Sales family. The addition of these team members brought more than 100 years of collective HVAC and hydronics experience to Preferred Sales.
- As we look to the future, our succession is strong across the company. Michelle will become the next President of Preferred Sales Inc. when Alan retires, and our recruiting and company structuring over the past several years has allowed us to build a strong roster of emerging leaders.