EVERYONE LOVES A SUCCESS STORY
Ours begins in 1917, when Charlie Sommers, a turn of the century Polish-American immigrant and grandfather of current president Steve Sommers, was offered a 50% share in a new textile mill in East Stroudsburg, PA. In return, he agreed to relocate from Paterson, New Jersey to manage the venture. Eventually Charlie owned this mill as well as two others. He ran the factories, producing an array of silk fabrics and ribbons, while his wife Rebecca managed the company’s finances.
Surviving hard times during the Great Depression, Sommers’ thrived on a reputation for fairness with customers and employees alike. In the early 1940’s, wartime production shifted to supporting the allied victory.
A GENERATIONAL TALE
Following the war, Lou Sommers, Steve’s dad, took a position in sales, eventually succeeding Charlie as president. In the late 1960’s Steve himself began working on the factory floor. Eventually, Steve struck out on his own in textile sales and distribution, and in 1979, he bought his father’s narrow fabric manufacturing company, beginning a long period of diversification and growth. In 1984 Steve purchased the Fiber Dynamics division of JP Stevens, manufacturing and distributing nonwovens across the US, Canada and Latin America. A fourth generation Sommers, Steve’s son Jamison, joined the firm in 1997. Learning his father’s approach to product development and customer service, Jamie worked his way up from the factory floor to a series of more responsible positions in company management.
ENTERING A NEW CENTURY
After building the business to over $40,000,000 in sales and taking a hard look at the evolution of world markets, Sommers began to diversify away from the apparel industry, selling its narrow fabric business in 2000, and its nonwoven manufacturing business in 2005. All along, Steve and Jamie cultivated relationships with manufacturers of other types of technologies, building alliances with vendors worldwide. Now, with 102 years of family experience combining applications engineering, manufacturing and sales, Sommers focuses exclusively on marketing its manufacturing partners’ capabilities to a wide variety of industrial sectors. In this era, we are helping customers solve supply chain and application issues that the worlds’ foremost nonwovens manufacturers cannot, or will not, address. Negotiating contracts on our customer’s behalf, Sommers’ shipment volumes have grown by double digits for many consecutive years.
THE FUTURE ARRIVES
Building on our success, and with an eye for the future, we added Scott Anderson and Patrick Steagall to our management team in 2014 and 2018, respectively, bringing a combined 50+ years of industry experience into the fold. Scott, VP of Sales and Marketing, brings a record of customer-driven success and applications experience built on successful tenures at Fiberweb and Johns Manville. Patrick, VP of Business Development, draws on his product development and operations experience at Leggett & Platt and Hanes Industries to provide targeted solutions for our customers.
Working together, we continue to grow our business by providing solutions for both Fortune 500 companies and specialty manufacturers that are not satisfied with the service received from “leading” nonwoven fabric manufacturers and distributors. Today, the Sommers team continues to build its reputation for innovative engineering, flexibility in account management, reliable delivery and strong, healthy vendor and customer relationships.