PITTSBURGH — Lewis-Goetz is celebrating its 80th anniversary in Pittsburgh. Today’s company is significantly larger and more diverse than the Ft. Pitt Boulevard storefront founded by Ben Gooding, Sr. on Dec. 11, 1935. Goodings’ Boston Woven Hose & Rubber Company started as a hose company and by the early 1950s was known as Gooding Rubber Company.
By the early 1980s, the Pittsburgh-based Gooding Rubber Company had two locations, Pittsburgh and Beckley, West Virginia, and was dedicated to serving the steel and coal industries of the region. Sales posted in that time frame were about $11 million a year. Ben Gooding, Jr. eventually sold the Pittsburgh company to long-time employees Andy Lewis and Dave Goetz who laid out a plan to grow primarily by acquisition. Many acquisitions later, Lewis-Goetz has grown to 90-plus locations that now offer a complete line of industrial products and services including: industrial hose, hydraulic hose, gaskets and sealing products, and conveyor belts and accessories.
In 2007, the majority ownership in Lewis-Goetz was sold to Audax, a private equity investment firm. Then, in 2011, Lewis-Goetz was acquired by ERIKS, a 75-year-old Netherlands-based industrial service provider. This acquisition made Lewis-Goetz part of a global organization that consists of 450 branches in 27 countries.
“Our Pittsburgh heritage is an important part of our identity and our employees’ expertise and experience – the average tenure is 13 years – is a valued part of our success,” said Donald E. Evans president and CEO, Lewis-Goetz.
With more than 1,200 employees, Lewis-Goetz posted sales of $435 million in 2014. Lewis-Goetz serves many industries including mining, steel, refineries, chemical and power generation with numerous industry-leading customers. As the company’s largest location, the Pittsburgh division provides best-practice coverage across North America. The Pittsburgh location features in-depth gasket fabrication capabilities with a flash cutter machine and 2D scanner, industrial and hydraulic hose production shops, metal hose welding area, and an extensive heavyweight conveyor belt inventory with service and production capabilities.
Lewis-Goetz and ERIKS North America headquarters are now located in Mt. Lebanon, a Pittsburgh suburb. The focus on growing through acquisitions and organic growth by providing superior customer service remains a core part of the company’s DNA.
“We will continue to grow through performance, going after niche markets and investing in people,” said Evans. “Our vision is to be the preferred industrial products and services provider for our product portfolio to OEM and MRO customers in diverse industries. We will do this by providing a broad range of technical products to our customers supported by deep knowledge of technology and its application, and a passion for problem-solving.”