By Roberta Codemo

Nudo Products, Inc. has a long history dating back to 1954 when the late Sam Nudo, Sr. and his brother founded Economy Awning and Tile Co. Sam and his wife, Wanda, purchased his brother’s share of the business in 1962 and began manufacturing laminated products with the help of their sons.

Today, the company operates out of six buildings totaling close to 500,000 square feet on the corner of South Grand and Taylor with manufacturing and distribution facilities nationwide, including Ohio, Texas and California. The company has 400 employees, 200 of which work out of the Springfield headquarters.

In 2008, the family sold the company to RFE Investment Partners, a private equity investment group in New Canaan, Connecticut and in 2015 RFE sold it to Grupo Verzatec, an international company with headquarters in Monterrey, Mexico, and the parent company of Stabilit America.

The family of Nudo brands – Prime Panels, Inc., Midwest Folding Products and Marlite, Inc. – manufactures laminated panels for the building and construction industries. The company is an industry leader in its field and partners with customers in the architectural design, building products, signage and transportation industries to provide customized solutions to meet their needs.

“Nudo is a pretty special company,” said Darryl Rosser, president and CEO. Its unique custom batch manufacturing operations lets the company service a wide range of customer requirements. It can tailor products to any cut size or specification.

“We have a diverse product mix,” continued Rosser. “The company is a one-stop shop and that’s what makes it unique in the industry. We offer a complete building package to the customer.”

Nudo specializes in ceiling, exterior, floor, sign and wall panels, as well as a wide range of panel accessories, for agricultural and commercial facilities. It is also one of the largest manufacturers of trailer swing doors.

Panel products are manufactured using a variety of substrates including composites, gypsum, plywood and oriented strand board, and finishes like aluminum, fiberglass, high-density polyethylene and high-pressure laminate. As the largest laminator in the country, it performs more than one million laminations a year.

The key to the company’s success is its customer base which includes Burger King, Macy’s, Planet Fitness, Rite Aid, Urban Outfitters and Wendy’s. It has maintained long-term customer relations with some companies for more than 10 years and delivers responsive, consistent and solution-oriented customer service.

“From the first order and every subsequent one after that, customers can expect the company to deliver the right product at the right price at the right time,” according to Rosser. Its customer satisfaction score is the highest in the industry and management’s goal is to simplify the process for the customer, including a simple ordering process, fast turn times and its own transportation network.

In 2015, the company received the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. “We try to be good environmental stewards,” said Rosser, who added, “Commercial developers are increasingly requesting FSC-certified wood products because use of these products helps them attain LEED status from the U.S. Green Building Council.”

The company has a deep commitment to the FSC mission to promote environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests and is committed to providing a better environment for our planet today and our childrens’ tomorrow.

A segment of their customer base also demands that their products meet more stringent environmental standards going all the way back to the forest and the process used to convert trees into the finished product. By selecting FSC-certified products, customers are able to maintain their commitment to using products derived from responsibly managed forests.

“We issue a certificate of authenticity to ensure the product meets their requirements,” said Rosser. The company tries to provide its customers with the materials they need in the most responsible manner possible.

Every company has its own unique culture. “Our company culture defines who we are,” said Rosser. “It’s what drives us.” The company has identified key elements that are important to it: focused, professional, customer sensitive, team oriented, trustworthy, innovative, respectful, consistent and giving back.

This culture is exemplified in the daily work environment at Nudo, from the products the employees produce to the services they provide to the customers and the way the company gives back to those less fortunate in the community. The company strives to create an environment that is rewarding and makes it enjoyable for employees to come to work every day.

The company created Nudo Cares, a volunteer group of employees who have the motto of “Helping the Springfield Community One Person at a Time.” To date, it has given more than $50,000 to local charitable organizations and its employees are involved with a number of different community activities.

“Today, the company remains strong,” said Rosser. “It has strong financials and a strong leadership team at all levels.”  

Roberta Codemo is a full-time freelance writer. She can be reached at