Lavitt Group, a 77 year old third-generation, family-owned company has evolved into an installing retailer of premium to luxury window and door products curated from domestic and European manufacturers.
Lavitt Group is a consortium of four companies with 11 retail locations in four states and is growing organically and through acquisitions. Additionally, the company has a corporate group headquartered in Syosset, New York.
Jason Lavitt, grandson of founder Hal Portnoy explains “Our business is built around a consultative sale of premium and luxury window products to architects and builders who represent the most discerning consumers. Our 77 -year-old reputation makes us a trusted business partner in the design and construction of extraordinary homes and commercial environments”.
According to Keith Lavitt, Jason’s brother and grandson of Hal Portnoy, “Beyond participation in the design/build phase our company has a strong presence in the remodel and replacement market with installation services that can manage simple to complex projects”.
When the company was founded in 1946 by Hal Portnoy, a decorated World War II veteran, he began selling window screens that he manufactured door to door from a used army truck. Portnoy’s screens sold for $1.50 each through the new Super Sash & Screen Company. The company ultimately consisted of a small retail store that sold a variety of building materials.
Over the next 20 years, the company grew, was renamed Super Millwork, Inc., and sold primarily window sash. Arlene Portnoy, Hal’s daughter joined the company and married Sanford (Sandy) Lavitt, who also joined the company.
The company grew from the mid-1980s through 2000 by adding window and door manufacturing capabilities and a national customer base. During this time Super Millwork became the exclusive lower New York distributor for the national manufacturer Marvin Windows & Doors. As the distribution business grew rapidly, the exclusive Marvin territory footprint expanded to include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Georgia. Jason joined the company in 1992 and Keith joined in 1996. In 1997, Super Millwork divested its manufacturing operations and became Super Enterprises USA, Inc., a hybrid-distribution company.
In 2000 the company’s president, Sandy Lavitt, passed away and Arlene assumed the position of chairman, with Jason and Keith becoming co-presidents. The company diversified into the installing retail business by opening Architectural Visions, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia. The company also acquired Authentic Window Design in Westchester County, New York. Eventually, the company opened Architectural Visions, Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee.
At the end of 2020, Super Enterprises exited the distribution business to focus solely on becoming a national installing retailer and the company changed its name to Lavitt Group. In addition to the retail companies listed above, Lavitt Group’s New York based retail company is Super Enterprises.
“No matter how far away we go to build our business we will always come back to the same things that have been foundational to our success. These things include a commitment to company culture, our business partners and customers and the contributions of the Lavitt Group team. We know the results will be consistent and spectacular” says Keith Lavitt.
Keith & Jason Lavitt co-Presidents
John Remmler – Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Tara Stokes – Vice – President, Human Resources
Jackie Schepis – Director, Architectural Services
Brian Render – Division President – Architectural Visions, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, Nashville, Tennessee
David Driebel – General Manager – Architectural Visions, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee
Michael Iwanyczko – Division President – Super Enterprises & Authentic Window Design
Tom Zakucia – Vice President National Sales – Lavitt Group
Much has been said about the importance of a company’s culture. Many an expert, consultant and business guru has built their career on working with companies to determine what that company’s culture should be, and how it should be expressed and shared with employees. It was with that in mind that we set out to define our culture in a way that was easily explainable to colleagues, suppliers, and customers alike.
Lavitt Group is a 77-year-old company that has evolved through third generation ownership. The company has had many forms through its long history – from a retailer to a manufacturer to a wholesaler to a hybrid distributor and back to a retailer. Through it all the company’s culture was built around a commitment to and camaraderie with those we work with, and service and dedication to the customer. How, though, should we sum up all of that historical culture?
Here is a history of our past company mottoes, sayings and philosophies:
Those philosophies have served us well. The company has thrived in tough environments, where competitors have withered and died. It has remained vibrant and healthy, and continued to invest in the future. The fact that the company continues to flourish after almost eight decades is a testament to each and every person who has worked here, and their dedication to the company’s customers.
Today, Lavitt Group has “The Lavitt Way”, a writ of 26 “Fundamentals” that define the essence of cultural responsibility in the company. These Fundamentals describe how we want to run our business – the way we treat our customers, the way we work with each other, and the way we relate to our vendors and suppliers.
Many of the Fundamentals come naturally to Colleagues in the company because one of the reasons they were hired was because they “got it”. They are the kind of people who understood, who were already conducting themselves in a way that fit those company ideals.
The 26 Fundamentals are in no particular order, except for the first one. Fundamental #1 – “Do The Right Thing – Always” threads through everything we do, and guides decision making in even the most difficult and challenging moments. Without this one, the others do not matter. We will always, above all else, strive to do the right thing.
Whether you are an architect, a member of the trade or a homeowner, The Lavitt Way will be part of your experience with our company. We know you will come away impressed with a compelling 77-year-old tradition of partnership and performance. It is what has sustained this family business for decades and through three generations. And it is what will continue to sustain it for the years to come.
Jason and Keith Lavitt