Band Against Cancer

On March 14, Atlantic Plywood gathered with friends, family, and vendors to support our President, Paul Vella, and his band Old Dogs New Tricks at the Third Annual Band Against Cancer. Joining the band this year was none other than our own Kevin Chouinard, drummer extraordinaire. Each year, all profits are donated to Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The Dana-Farber Institute specializes in adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world.

Thanks to our Corporate Sponsors, donations, ticket sales, and raffle sales, we raised $55,000 for Dana Farber. On Thursday, May 28, the Old Dogs New Tricks visited the Institute to present them with the donation. Including this year’s donation, the Band Against Cancer has raised more than $125,000 for the Jimmy Fund in 3 years.

A special thank you to Mike Natale and David Beaudry for their assistance again this year. We would not be where we are today without them. We would also like to extend our gratitude to Eric Brooks and Tom Manzi for joining David in making the raffle the most entertaining part of the evening.

Before the picture overload, we would like to recognize our sponsors who helped us reach our goal this year.


Columbia Forest Products


Formica Corporation


Hutton Forest Products
Oceanside Rubbish


Darlington Veneer
Fred Church
ML Campbell
Salt International


CA Technologies
Choice Brands
Far East American
Georgia Pacific
Hi Tech Veneer
Interior Products
Island Propane
Luxe/Grupo Alvic
Plum Creek
Russell Plywood
Steel Equities
Sierra Pine
Veneer One
Veneer Tech

We would also like to thank those individuals and companies who donated raffle prizes:

The Davis Family
The Brehaut Family
The Lyon Family
The Ekstedt Family
The Natale Family
The Beaudry Family
Neil Madramootoo
Mt. Sunapee Resort
Crossfit Nor-Conn
Tri-City Sales 
ML Campbell 
The Haven



raffle caricature

Transitional Kitchens

We’ve looked at contemporary kitchens and traditional kitchens. Somewhere in between the two lies what is becoming one of the most popular options- the transitional kitchen. “Transitional” is hard to define and is therefore typically said to be “transitioning” or going somewhere. Transitional kitchens take traditional elements from the past and put a twist on them to make them fresh and updated. You will notice familiar elements mixed with something new and different to blend the old with the new. A transitional kitchen is a great option if you are looking to freshen up your home without doing a complete gut renovation.

Here are some ways to blend styles and create your own transitional kitchen-

Instead of traditional polished granite, consider a matte finish like honed granite, cement, or soapstone.


Soapstone Countertops


Honed Granite Countertops


Concrete Countertops


If natural stone is not in your budget, consider a super-realistic alternative like Formica’s Soapstone Sequoia Laminate.


Formica® Soapstone Sequoia Laminate Countertops

Formica® Soapstone Sequoia Laminate Countertops


Mix colors! Instead of keeping your cabinets or countertops the same throughout your kitchen, switch it up! Change the cabinet or countertop color of your island for a modern update.




You can never go wrong with traditional black and white but think about modernizing the combo with unexpected elements.

Brass hardware, butcherblock countertops, open shelving, and dark grout elevate these classic cabinets.


classic black and white kitchen with a twist


Industrial stools, steel windows, and glass cabinets update the traditional color pairing.


transitional black and white kitchen

via Canadian House and Home


Mix up wood components like moldings, corbels, doors, brackets, and legs-



transitional grey and white kitchen


transitional white kitchen subway tile glass doors


Have fun with your design! Transitional kitchens work in all types of homes and don’t limit you to sticking with one “style”. Experiment with lighting, colors, found objects, and new materials. Something as simple as changing out your hardware or pendant lights can freshen up your space without breaking the bank.


transitional white kitchen with glass doors

rustic meets classic

mix of colors in transitional kitchen

mixed colors and door styles in transitional kitchen


get the look-transitional kitchens

1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10.


Kitchen Accessories

Kitchen organization and accessories have come a long way from lazy susans and utensil organizers. While those products are still readily available, they are now offered in a wide range of materials and configurations. Add to those options for appliance lifts, spice racks, adjustable slide-out shelves, pot and pan racks, and the choices can be overwhelming.

Here is a quick rundown of some of our top sellers and some new product offerings from our vendors…

Blum LEGRABOX drawer inserts with AMBIA-LINE organization system

Blum recently launched  LEGRABOX, their premium metal drawer system . It is available in two finishes- Orion gray and stainless steel- that complement a wide variety of styles and colors. LEGRABOX is available in three drawer side heights, providing a wide range of design options in kitchen, bath, or furniture applications.


Blum's AMBIA-LINE drawer insert systems make organization easy


Blum also launched AMBIA-LINE to coordinate with LEGRABOX. AMBIA-LINE systems and accessories assist with everyday organization of your kitchen, bath, pantry, office, closet, and more. AMBIA-LINE systems can be configured in many ways to accommodate pots and pans, utensils, dishware, and pantry items.  Also available are knife holders, wrap and foil dispensers, and spice trays. As and added benefit, all products are dishwasher safe up to 170°.


glideware slide out pot and pan storage system


One of our newest product lines is Glideware. The Glideware unit is mounted to the ceiling of your base cabinet and enables you to hang your pots and pans. The Glideware unit extends to provide easy access to everything in your cabinet. The standard unit is 22″ long, made of solid maple, and includes 7 adjustable hooks. Glideware is also available by order in 12″, 14″, and 16″ sizes for use in closets and pantries, and in white and grey.

Glideware recently partnered with Blum to offer a product with TANDEM soft-close slides. The slide is hidden to provide a streamlined finish and can accommodate heavy cookware and cast iron pans (up to 100lbs). This unit is available in grey and maple finishes.


glideware with blum tandem slides


As the weather warms up and your meals shift outside, how about adding a Glideware unit to your outdoor kitchen/grill area? Glideware’s newest product features a zinc slide encased in King StarBoard® to withstand the elements. Use this to keep all your grill utensils clean and organized.


Glideware for outdoor kitchens


Another new product line that has been extremely popular is Century Components. Crafted in Holmes County, Ohio, each unit is made of solid wood and meticulously hand sanded, creating one of the highest quality products available anywhere.


Century Component handcrafted, solid wood waste systems

Century waste systems are constructed of solid Maple or Baltic Birch and feature solid dovetail construction. They are available in top and bottom mount configurations. Bottom mount units are available with 34 or 50 quart wastebaskets and have Blum 150# TANDEM soft close slides. These can be easily installed in both inset and full overlay cabinets with no modifications needed at all.

Century Components door mounted spice rackCentury Components solid wood utensil organizer


Looking to coordinate with your solid wood waste system? How about a door mounted spice rack or utensil tray? Utensil trays are available in a variety of configurations to accommodate all drawer sizes and storage needs. Spice racks are available in 12″, 15″, and 18″ widths, assembled or trimmable for custom cabinet sizes.

Last but not least, how a couple of those items you didn’t know you needed until you installed them in your home and realized you could never live without them?

Like the appliance lift.

KV Appliance Lift

If you currently keep yours on the countertop, free up a ton of space! If you keep it in a pantry or base cabinet, never again risk a back injury trying to lift it onto your countertop. For added convenience, have your electrician install an outlet inside your cabinet so it’s always plugged in and ready to go. The lowered unit sits about 5 inches from the floor of your cabinet, giving you a little extra space for some potholders or mixer attachments.

Do you have a deep corner cabinet that is dark and hard to access but you don’t want a lazy susan? How about KV’s blind corner unit?


KV Blind Corner Storage unit

The wire and wood unit is available in 20″ and 27″ sizes and features 4 baskets for tons of storage. If you’re in the CT area, our South Windsor office has one in their showroom. Check it out today!

Modern Inspiration

We are fortunate to work with some of the best manufacturers in our industry who are constantly launching new and exciting products. Being surrounded by so much inspiration can make it tough to narrow down options when it comes to designing your own spaces- a problem any Designer faces on a daily basis. In the first of a three part series, we’re going to take a look at some modern spaces and a selection of products available through our vendors and other retail outlets that can help you get the look.












1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11.

Spring Has Sprung

It’s finally warming up around the Northeast and we’re thinking about grilling, golf, and enjoying the outdoors. Here are some outdoor spaces that we wouldn’t mind spending time in.













While enjoying these spaces, how about a refreshing cocktail-


Lemon Whiskey Sours (recipe from Martha Stewart)

whiskey sour


  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar, plus more for rims
  • 1 3/4 cups whiskey
  • 3/4 cup kirsch
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from 4 to 5 lemons)
  • 4 dashes bitters
  • 6 cups small ice cubes, plus more for glasses
  • 8 cherries, for garnish
  • 8 thin strips lemon zest


  1. Rub lemon wedge on rims of 8 glasses, then dip rims in sugar.

  2. Combine whiskey, kirsch, lemon juice, sugar, bitters, and ice in a pitcher, stirring until sugar dissolves. Divide among ice-filled glasses, garnish each with a cherry and a strip of lemon zest, and serve immediately.

Links We Like


1. Real-Time Trial Updates: With our company headquarters just outside Boston, we are closely following the Tsarnaev Bombing Trial. For real-time updates straight from the courtroom, follow Alysha Palumbo from NECN.

2. What Makes Air Force One an Incomparable Flying Fortress?

3. Columbia Forest Products Launches New Grading Guide

4. What You Should Know About Meerkat: This hot new video streaming app is one of Apple’s most downloaded

5. 13 Maps About America Worth Bringing up at your Next Dinner Party

6. The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding





Atlantic Plywood Heads to Ohio

Just before launching our partnership with Formica® Corporation, a group of our Outside Sales Reps, Surfacing Specialists and Corporate Managers headed out to Cincinnati for three days of training at Formica® headquarters and Choice Brands Adhesives.



In addition to factory and office tours, our group had the opportunity to meet with people from all facets of the Formica® organization. Members of their Marketing, Production, Design, Operations, Sales, and Corporate areas met with us to give insight into their departments to help us gain an understanding of the organization as a whole.


An art piece made from Formica’s “Mica” series of solid surface material on display in the Corporate Offices. This was designed by William Pederson and fabricated by one of our customers, Sterling Surfaces.


History of Formica Corporation


Going over some safety guidelines before heading out on a factory tour.


Kevin Chouinard and Steve Dezio suited up in their safety gear.


Wally Quinn showing the scale possibilities of Formica Envision™


Inside the factory, rolls of kraft paper are ready to go into production.


Rolls of kraft paper loaded onto the phenolic treater, the first stage in the production process.


With over a million square feet, bicycles are the preferred mode of transport for many workers.


Kraft paper being cut into sheets after getting the phenolic treatment.


Small sample of the treated sheets.


Resin-treated sheets and decorative papers ready to be collated before going into one of the presses.


Learning about the many ways Formica tracks factory performance.



Suited up to spray some glue at Choice Brands


Even our Architectural Specification Rep Neil Madramootoo got in on the glue action


A very sincere thank you to everyone at Formica® and Choice Brands for their hospitality, knowledge, and time. We are excited to kick off this new launch with two world-class organizations filled with terrific people

January Sales Meeting

In January, we once again gathered together for our Annual Sales Meeting in Albany, NY. We were incredibly excited this year to welcome representatives from our newest vendor partners, Formica® Corporation and their adhesive partner, Choice Brands, for some sales training.



Our day concluded as it always does with our Award ceremony and dinner, where we get the chance to recognize some of our exceptional employees.


L to R: Jerry Robinson, Eric Brooks, Steve Dezio, Doug Erlagen, Jon Swennes


L to R: Scott Keller, Arsenio Alvarez, Tom Palie, Irwin Weinfeld


L to R: Alan Kennemer, Ryan Denham, Bruce Chapin, Jerry Deuel, Wayne Dunbar, Alexa Carpenter, Billy Lane


L to R: Tom Rader, Kevin Chouinard, Roger Feltner, Gary Curley, Dan Hanlan


The first award of the night was the Pride Award. This award is given each year to individuals who make an extra effort to make a difference in their branch and at Atlantic Plywood as a whole. The people that receive this award have not only consistently accomplished the task and goals that have been asked of them, but have also shown a strong commitment to Atlantic’s missions and values. They take great Pride in not only getting the job done, but also going beyond what is expected of them in contributing their time, energy, and talents to further the growth and development of our Company.

Pride is a personal commitment! It is an attitude which separates! Because to them “It is a Matter of Pride”

This year’s winners were: Bill Littell – Westbrook, Sam Alejandro – Connecticut Call Center, Albany HUB, Tim Woodger – Purchasing.


Mike Natale accepting on behalf of Sam Alejandro


The next award given out was for Inside Sales Rep of the Year. This person exemplifies what we feel Atlantic Plywood inside salespeople of the future should be- in work ethic, intelligence, follow through, pride of accomplishment, and overall attitude.  He/She is perceived by  his/her peers to be the Best of the Best. The nominees for ISR of the Year were: Michelle Moore – Connecticut Call Center, Pete Correia – East Providence and Alexa Carpenter – Rochester. This year’s winner was Pete Correia.

The next award was for Most Improved Outside Sales Rep of the Year. To qualify, this Individual, as of January of 2015, had to have a minimum of two years employment, and have shown remarkable improvement in his/her territory with respect to certain products, overall results and in professional growth as an Outside Salesperson.

The winner of Most Improved OSR was Dan Hanlan.


Dan Hanlan, Eric Brooks


Our next award was for Outside Sales Rep of the year. This person bests represent and has accomplished the goals that each manager has set forth for that individual.  He/She is a good representative of Atlantic Plywood on the street and shows quantitative results in selling the whole product line. He/She is perceived by their peers as the best of the best! This year’s nominees were Arsenio Alvarez – Carlstadt NJ & Lew Paine – Westbrook Maine.

This year’s winner was Arsenio Alvarez.


L to R: Steve Ciecura, Arsenio Alvarez, Marty Wojick


This year we had the great honor of introducing a new award.  From our VP Marty Wojick, “Awards are given as recognition of excellence in a particular field.  In many endeavors, the top award is named for an individual who has excelled in his or her particular field over many years and whose name becomes synonymous with being the absolute best in that field.”

“To receive such an award is an honor indeed, but to have the award named after you puts you at the very top of your profession and recognizes you as the very best in your field. It is in this spirit that we are re-naming the Atlantic Plywood Salesman of the Year Award.  From this year onward, it will be known as the Bob McKenna Award in recognition of Bob’s dominance in the area of sales over his many years at Atlantic Plywood.

Some fun facts about Bob:

Bob’s total sales in 2014 were more than 3 of our branches and almost equal to 5.

Bob’s sales were up in 17 out of 19 key product categories.

Bob sold more hardwood plywood than 6 of our branches.

Bob sold more pre-finished plywood than 8 of our branches.

Bob has accomplished all of this while raising 12 kids with his wife!

We congratulate Bob and know he will continue to be an inspiration to all in years to come.”


L to R: Paul Vella, Bob McKenna, John Blakeney



Chris Ripley congratulating Bob


Our final individual awards of the night were for our Gold Circle of Excellence. The Gold Circle recognizes those individuals who not only accept difficult assignments, but complete them with results beyond expectations. These individuals recognize challenges on their own and take it upon themselves to find a solution or come up with an idea that will make Atlantic Plywood a better company.

To all of us, these individuals are worth their weight in gold.

In 2011 the past winners were Jeff Engelbrecht, Wayne Moriarty, Tom Palie, Lew Paine, Earl Nelson and Charlie Woodger. In 2012 the winners were Bob McKenna, Pete Correia, Ken Gill, and Sean McDonald. And In 2013 we recognized David Prifti and Eric Brooks.

Each of these individuals received an engraved watch and a Solid Gold Eagle coin and has their name engraved on the Gold Circle of Excellence plaque that hangs in the corporate offices reception area for all to see.

The first recipient this year was Gail O’Keefe – Purchasing. Gail has taken our demanding Atlantic attitude and defused it with experience and confidence.  She does her job quietly, effectively and always with a pleasant demeanor.  She accomplishes all of her daily duties even if it means coming in early or staying late to see it through.  Gail is always looking out for Atlantic’s best interest by questioning pricing, delivery dates and production issues, and is never afraid of going to the top to get resolution.  Nothing fancy, just solid gold performance every day. Congratulations, Gail!


L to R: Paul Vella, Gail O”Keefe, John Blakeney


Our second recipient this year was David Beaudry – Regional Sales Manager. Dave interviewed for his job at Atlantic at a Friendly’s where he was working back in 1983. He told Paul Vella back then that he knew everything about the products we sell because his father did woodworking in his basement.

Dennis Zdun, who was the foreman in CT at the time, told Paul Vella many times over to get rid of this guy while Dave was standing there. He just wouldn’t go away! Slowly but surely he became the go to guy in CT! He grew the Tape and Veneer business by double digits for many years. He survived a screwdriver that came flying out of Paul Vella’s office, through the drywall, and stuck into the back of his chair! He sets an example everyday with his dedication and work habits. He has become a salesmen’s salesmen and a great example of how to succeed in our company. He moved into a hotel for more than 2 years to help teach the metro market how and why AP is so successful! He became a grandfather a few years back and his daughter proudly named his grandson DAVID! And one of the things we all love about him the most- he is always the first to laugh at his own jokes.

One thing is for CERTAIN…Atlantic Plywood would not be the same without him. Congratulations, Dave!


L to R: Paul Vella, David Beaudry, John Blakeney


Our final award of the evening was for Branch of the Year. This year’s award went to the branch that generated the greatest increase in operating income over the prior year and far exceeded the budget that was set for them. This branch saw a significant increase in profit while maintaining their expenses. Their talented sales staff worked as a team to generate great results. This year’s branch of the year was Carlstadt, NJ.


L to R: Mike Viviano, Steve Ciecura, Bob McKenna, Arsenio Alvarez, Dominick Wright, John English


L to R: John English, Steve Ciecura, Arsenio Alvarez, Mike Viviano


After the awards, we had the chance to test out some new delivery options for our new Formica® samples….



Our President, Paul Vella, wrapped up the dinner portion of the evening with some inspirational words and lofty goals for Atlantic Plywood and our new vendor partners.



L to R: Marty Wojick, Steve DeMay- Formica Corporation, Paul Vella


Our day concluded with some team bonding.


L to R: Tom Rader, Justin Krasinski


Bob McKenna, Dominick Wright, Rory Kennedy


Back Row, L to R: Neil Madramootoo, Marty Wojick, Steve Ciecura, Eric Brooks, Front Row: David Beaudry


L to R: Irwin Weinfeld, Ralph Badia, Joe Patterson, Doug Erlagen, John Svitek


Wally Quinn, Eric Brooks


Sean McDonald, Ralph Badia