UFPI Marks 50th Birthday

April 11, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — Universal Forest Products Inc. intends to donate cash, lumber products and services valued at more than $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity International in celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary in business.

Universal plans to present a $1,000 check to Habitat for Humanity affiliates in each of the 86 communities where the company has operations. Many of Universal’s local plants will boost the corporate cash contribution with donations of Universal products.

“We’re giving $100,000 cash through local communities, and in Kent County we’re giving trusses to somewhere around 15 houses that are going to be built in this community,” said President and COO Michael B. Glenn. “Throughout the United States, our local branches will also probably be donating trusses and time and other materials that we may have. Our people do contribute their time and labor in local communities. So probably that $100,000 is going to be closer to $200,000 plus.”

Last year the company donated trusses for 20 Habitat homes in Kent County, said corporate spokeswoman Lynn Afendoulis.

Glenn said Universal has had a relationship with Habitat for more than just the past two years.

CEO and Vice Chairman William G. Currie said the products Universal manufactures — including roof trusses, wall panels and lumber packs — will make an “important contribution” to the difference Habitat is making in people’s lives.

“This is an opportunity for a strong and effective partnership with an agency that has a strong track record in providing people in need with quality, affordable housing,” Currie remarked.

The company will mark its anniversary with celebrations at its facilities throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico and plans “give backs” to the many communities in which it operates by hosting special events and programs during the year, Afendoulis said. A July open house at its corporate headquarters here will be part of the celebration.

The late William Grant Sr. founded Universal in 1955 as a single sales office catering to the manufactured housing industry. Today it markets, manufactures and engineers wood and wood-alternative products and is the nation’s largest manufacturer of roof trusses and the world’s largest manufacturer of treated wood.

The company serves the do-it-yourself retail, site-built construction, industrial packaging and components and manufactured housing markets. Now a $2.4 billion company, it has some 9,000 employees and operates 96 facilities in 86 communities in North America.    

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