WHEATLAND – Omega Inc., a leading forest products company in Pennsylvania, has begun its 40th year in business. Working out of his truck with checkbook in hand, Paul Chovan started the company in 1976 with portable sawmills in the woods.
Paul attributes hard work and integrity to his company’s longevity. Paul’s wife, Diane, who once answered phones for the company while caring for two babies in their home “office,” has also been pivotal to Omega’s success. Omega has been a strongly run family business since its inauguration. Paul now holds the title of CEO, his youngest son, Patrick, was named company president in February 2014, and his son, Ryan, is vice president.
Omega Inc. has facilities in Wheatland, Kennerdell, and Harrisville, incorporating nine sawmills that manufacture fine hardwoods and industrial blocking lumber.
Since the recession, Omega has grown by about 180 percent; both organically and also through strategic partnerships with other leaders in the lumber industry. Omega sawed more than 14 million board feet of lumber in 2015 alone.
“We’re very proud of the fact we make something every day,” Patrick Chovan said.
Omega strives to cut quality lumber every day. CEO Paul Chovan says, “You can sell good lumber in good times and bad.”
Overseeing and maintaining Omega’s sawing operations is mill manager Rudy J. Byler.
“Rudy is an unbelievable asset to our company,” Patrick said.
Patrick is thankful for a strong and loyal group of employees and attributes Omega’s success to the team effort put forth on a daily basis. Over 70 subcontracted workers, largely comprised of an Amish workforce, provide services for Omega.
Some of Omega’s employees have been with the company nearly 30 years, including truck drivers David Wansack and Barry Fitzgerald, and office manager Priscilla Iliff.
Omega puts a major emphasis on service, shipping same or next day in most cases. Patrick expresses, “We are proud of our exemplary service record and feel our loyal customer base would agree wholeheartedly.”
A large buyer of standing timber, Omega has 10 logging crews working in eight counties of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The company manages more than 5,000 acres of timberland. Omega’s foresters and logging crews are certified by the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative, using best management practices in our state’s timberlands.
Omega is committed to doing right by the environment not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it allows our forests to reseed and be re-cut in the future.
Head forester Terry Shaffer, responsible for buying timber and managing inventories, is an invaluable member of Omega’s team.
Patrick Chovan is optimistic about Omega’s future while realizing interesting challenges are ahead for the industry. Despite what the future may hold, Omega is ready to face them and succeed because “we believe in our process, and, most importantly, we believe in our people.”