George Goodwin, a master carpenter and home builder, was handpicking the finest materials to build his own dream home. He acquired some long-leaf pine logs a fisherman friend recovered from the Suwannee River and the rest is history.
The virgin quality, rich red patina and amazing grains of this "underwater" heart pine, as well as the rarity and historical significance, became his passion. He realized others would value this treasure and opened Goodwin Heart Pine Company in 1976.
Nature Lover Pioneers Deadhead Logging Permits
George pioneered Deadhead Logging Permits with the State of Florida and environmental groups including the Sierra Club and The Nature Conservancy, to ensure that the river habitat would be protected. George's love of nature and wood also motivated him to become the first reclaimed wood company in America to manufacture an engineered wood floor. Engineered floors conserve rare wood by allowing more square feet of flooring to be produced from each log, and are easier for contractors to install.
Goodwin Company has earned the reputation of one of the most highly respected manufacturers of antique heart pine and heart cypress in the world. Installed in homes and businesses throughout the country, Goodwin's River Recovered® wood has also been featured in several publications and on many television shows.
Goodwin produces reclaimed wood flooring, architectural mill-work, and stairs that have been used in fine homes and commercial projects and in historical restorations including Independence Hall, the Texas Governor's Mansion, Mount Vernon, Fort Matanzas National Monument, the Earnest Hemingway House in Key West and many more.
From Small Business to Mid-Sized Enterprise
In August 2011, Carol Goodwin, the company President, became a client of the FSBDC at the University of North Florida (FSBDC at UNF) to take advantage of their Growth Acceleration Services. These services assisted in positioning Goodwin to grow from a small family business into a medium-sized enterprise with a significant national presence, and to ultimately become the premier company in its industry.
Carol Goodwin noted one way that the FSBDC consultant, Dr. Phil Geist, helped in Goodwin's operations, "The FSBDC found the perfect marketing person to re-brand our unique wood and engage our clients by clearly showing what makes our flooring and paneling different. Dr. Geist's design for a signature inlay in our floors so that clients won't accept substitutes will make a critical difference in helping us sell the real advantages. We are starting to get some significant jobs like the newest town center in The Villages called Brownwood. We are providing all of the reclaimed wood for the grandstands and stages. The Villages is the largest golf cart friendly retirement community in the world, encompassing an area nearly twice the size of Manhattan."
"The FSBDC used a team approach in assisting Goodwin, with Dr. Geist bringing in his colleagues with specific expertise to match the stage of the project we were at. One example was having Peter Rivera train our management team on their Profit Mastery program. Peter developed a program customized for Goodwin that allows us to communicate better about our processes and actions, and the consequences on our costs. This will allow us to grow and expand profitably, not just add volume with the same margin level. The FSBDC is helping us develop compensation programs for the Management Team that give bonuses tied to direct results that increase profits. We are recreating our company into one that some young environmentally minded visionary will want to buy into in the future."