SELINSGROVE — About 70 past and present employees of Keystone Building Products gathered for lunch Friday to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary.
Owner Bruce Witkop held the afternoon event to honor his current 28 employees, including his sons, Eric and Brian Witkop, as well as many former workers, a few of whom were with him when he formed the company a quarter of a century ago.
David Herbert, who retired seven years ago, recalled meeting with Witkop in late 1995 to discuss launching the Snyder Counnty business that supplies building items such as siding, kitchen cabinets, windows and doors.
“We formed the company around Bruce’s kitchen table,” Herbert said, recalling the meeting after Witkop had ended a 20-year business partnership with his brother in a similar business. “We owe the success of this business to Bruce’s nerve and willingness to gamble. We had no employees, no buildings, but we had an idea.”
David Hostetter, Keystone’s director of sales and marketing for more than 23 years, credited Witkop’s hiring skills with the business’ success.
“Bruce’s talent has been hiring the right people,” he said.
During Friday’s celebration held inside one of the 2585 Route 522 business’ warehouse in Penn Township, Witkop applauded the workers.
“This is your company,” he said. “It would not have happened without you.”
State Reps. Lynda Schlegel Culver and David Rowe, as well as Snyder County Commissioner Joe Kantz and Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Bob Garrett, stopped by to congratulate Witkop.
“The number one reason for its success is the investment in the people who work here,” Culver said. “You are building a strong community and strong schools.”
Witkop’s company currently uses 90,000-square-feet of warehouse space and 5,000-square-feet of office space.
Friday’s lunch was a special celebration of the 25th anniversary, but Witkop’s wife, Debra Witkop, said it’s not unusual for her husband to serve meals to his employees.
For years, there have been weekly lunches offered at Keystone Building Products as well as other events and excursions.
“They are family,” Debra Witkop said of current and past employees.