Ninety-six Years of Excellence and Counting
Harry J. Suits, Sr., the father of our former Chairman, Frank H. Suits, Sr., joined forces with two friends back in 1921 to form a road construction company named Bolton, Suits and Gibbs. After two of the partners retired, Harry continued to grow the business, taking only a brief hiatus to assist the United States government by providing essential WWII wartime services to the construction of the Sampson Naval Base located in Romulus, New York.
After WWII, Harry expanded his Watkins Glen asphalt operation to include the New Hartford, New York market. During this era, the company was renamed Central Asphalt and provided a wide range of services that primarily focused on paving roads and distributing liquid asphalt products to counties, towns and villages – much like they still do today.
In the mid 1950’s, Central Asphalt continued to prosper under Harry’s leadership, expanding further into New York’s southern tier (Binghamton) marketplace by erecting its first blacktop plant. In 1958, Harry J. Suits, Sr. passed away leaving behind a tremendous legacy and a successful (family) business enterprise to his two sons, Harry “Bud” Suits, Jr. and Frank H. Suits, Sr.
The company continued its managed growth and in 1961 Frank Suits, Sr., decided to take on a new challenge and moved to Cortland, New York with his wife Elizabeth, where they created a new asphalt business named Cortland Asphalt Products. Bud remained in his role as President of Central Asphalt while Frank assumed the same role with this new firm. Still operating on a somewhat modest scale, the Suits’ decided to assist development and innovation of the asphalt industry in New York by becoming a licensee of the K.E. McConnaughay Company of West Lafayette, Indiana, a recognized authority in the development of superior asphalt products.
In 1980, the Suits’ the asphalt business that was created in 1921 was now growing at a much quicker rate and it seemed like just the right time to place all of the Suits’ family interests under one name, thus Suit-Kote Corporation was born.
Today, the family tradition continues into its third generation with Frank Suits, Jr. as Chairman of the Board, President and CEO and Paul as Vice President, respectively. They are responsible for the operation of more than fifteen facilities located throughout New York State and Pennsylvania, reaching as far south as Pittsburgh.
Under the leadership of Frank Jr., and Paul, Suit-Kote has nearly tripled in size and scope. Since this transition took place the company has added three asphalt rail terminals, one asphalt barge terminal and three new facilities as well as many other physical plant and equipment upgrades.
Although the corporate vision for the future has evolved and expanded, the Suits’ have stayed true to their mission of treating every employee like a member of their own family. This respect and admiration for the individual can be easily illustrated by its mere one percent employee turnover ratio. This “family approach” is one of the guiding principles that has allowed Suit-Kote to ascend to the top of the industry and it also is the vital component that allows them to sustain this success.
The Suits’ have always placed a tremendous importance on product quality and development – that is why in 1992 they acquired McConnaughay Technologies. This move was a clear sign that Suit-Kote was prepared to stay on the cutting edge of innovation and technological advancement in the asphalt industry. This addition provided Suit-Kote with the necessary engineers, chemists and technical “know-how,” needed to achieve full vertical integration in the asphalt industry.
As a result of the corporation’s growth, Suit-Kote now proudly employs more than seven-hundred and fifty very skilled individuals that make up the “Suit-Kote family.” As they continue on in the traditions set forth by two generations Suits’, Frank, Jr. and Paul are committed not only reinvesting in the company, but the individual as well.
Suit-Kote belongs to a many different trade and industry organizations and is frequently featured in various publications within its scope of business. Suit-Kote values its reputation as an industry leader and technological innovator.
Suit-Kote – where the roads more traveled, shouldn’t look that way!