SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
Washington, April 29, 2022
EXECUTIVE WOOD PRODUCTS
Small businesses make up 99.9 percent of businesses across the United States, accounting for nearly 50 percent of all American employees. The small business community is comprised of our nation's hardest-working individuals. Their tireless dedication to running a small business does not go unnoticed.
Ranking Member Luetkemeyer had the opportunity to tour Executive Wood Products and said the following:
“Executive Wood Products is a prime example of how small businesses innovate to improve our nation. In response to the 9/11 terror attacks, they developed anti-ballistic products. Further, to combat smash and grab crime, they developed mobile panels to protect Main Street USA. I am proud to represent small businesses like Executive Wood Products that not only serve our communities through their business operations and job creation, but also make our country a safer place,” said Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer.
Paul Alexander started Executive Wood Products, Inc. in his basement in 1982. Paul invented an Executive Candy machine and began selling them through an ad in the back of the Rotarian Magazine. He saved $100 from his lunch money and used the money to buy hardware and lumber. He borrowed some equipment, set up a tiny factory in his basement and built his products in the evenings after work and on weekends.
In 1989 low priced Chinese imports forced Paul out of the candy machine business and went on to invent a small tabletop folding lectern (podium) for the VFW who placed their first order in September of that year. Slowly they grew the lectern business and moved into our current factory building, which is 43,000 square feet. In 1995 they won their first GSA contract and have successfully renewed it every five years since.
In 2001, Paul’s only son was a Green Beret, 911 happened, and Paul decided they had to do more to contribute. They began research and development for anti-ballistic products and by 2006 they were a significant contributor to the market.
Today, they are highly automated, employ 18 full-time professionals, and are focused on growth. Their lectern line is comprised of 50 models, part of which are anti-ballistic. Some models are power height-adjustable, some incorporate their proprietary sound system, and others have a variety of other characteristics. They take pride in the complete production of their products from design and engineering to the production of all parts and sub-assemblies, including their own proprietary line of fabric covers, which they cut and sew in-house.
Paul and his team are well known in the market and in addition to serving all 50 states, they ship to 40 other countries. Many celebrities and public officials have used their lecterns, and they appear in several popular television shows.
In addition to lecterns, Executive Wood Products build anti-ballistic mobile panels, anti-ballistic courtrooms and entrances, and store fixtures for the cannabis market, jewelry stores, and gun stores. All of their anti-ballistic products are innocuous with zero points of vulnerability. Their store fixtures are uniquely anti-smash & grab.
Paul says his biggest challenges come from unfair competition in the government procurement process. He states, “When buyers only look at the price and not quality and value, larger companies, who use subcontractors to produce low-cost and inferior products are able to undercut their prices. This lack of quality and the other suppliers’ inexperience in the market go seemingly unnoticed by the buyers and procurement officers.”
Paul puts everything they own at risk every day. When asked, “what can Members of Congress do to support small businesses like yours?” he stated, “to have advocates who can help us succeed in every aspect of our business would be priceless.”