Kent Martin

Kent Martin, Founder & CEO/President, Signature Custom Cabinetry
ROI Podcast Episode 140

In CEO Podcast Series by Brandt A. HandleyLeave a Comment

Kent Martin’s Biography:
In 1981 my grandfather passed away leaving me some of his woodworking equipment.  In 1988 at age 21, I purchased a rental property where I was able to set up and expand my woodworking shop.

Following high school graduation in 1985 Conestoga Wood Specialties, Inc. employed me, as a door assembler in their production facility.  My intention was to work a year prior to moving on to a furthering of my education.  However, after seven months I was asked to join the sales and marketing department as a customer service representative.  During the next 6-1/2 years, I received frequent promotions to various positions within the sales and marketing department.

While at Conestoga I learned a great deal about the kitchen and bath industry, particularly the cabinet manufacturing segment.  By 1989 I had developed a vision to start my own cabinet manufacturing operation.  With my younger brother just out of high school, we formed a partnership and started Signature Custom Cabinetry.  His role was a master craftsman.  I was responsible for all of the administrative, sales & marketing, product development, and strategic planning portions of the business.  For the next 3 years, I maintained my employment at Conestoga and maintained my responsibilities for Signature on evenings and weekends. By 1992 we had 10-12 employees. I resigned from my position at Conestoga and joined Signature Custom Cabinetry, Inc. full time.

After one year of operation, we outgrew the small workshop I had purchased which was 1000 sq. ft. In 1990 we leased a 7,000 sq. ft building.  By 1994 we had reached $1,000,000 in sales revenue and desperately needed more space.  We purchased a 16,000 sq. ft. facility and underwent expansions in 1998, 2000,2002, 2004/05, and 2018.  With the 2018 expansion completed, we have a total of 77,000+ sq. ft., with room to grow.  Signature averaged 42% growth in the first 10 years and continues to grow each year.  Signature currently employees over 130 associates and is continuing to expand its team of skilled craftsmen and professionals.

Signature currently has over 160 authorized Signature dealers who display our product throughout the United States.  While exporting is currently not a major part of our business, Signature has cabinetry in such faraway places as the Caribbean and Saudi Arabia. 

Our mission is simple.  Build a great company by Honoring God & Serving People.  As we serve people, of most importance are the relationships with our valued associates.  Without the many skilled craftspeople, artisans, and professionals we would not have been able to reach our current level of success nor be able to continue to succeed.  Another vitally important set of relationships is those with our authorized dealers.  They are our retail partners with whom we attempt to cultivate long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships.  We strive to serve our vendors/suppliers with mutually beneficial long-term relationships.  We also desire to be a positive influence in our community and make a positive difference whenever we can.  

In 2013 Kent bought all the stock of Signature and is now the sole owner of the company.  Kent serves as President/CEO and leads gives leadership to the Executive Team.  Kent also serves as Chairman of BR Kreider & Son, a $50+ million PA-based site contractor, and on the advisory board of Fulton Bank, a Lancaster-based regional bank w/ 18 billion in assets.

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