Started in 1961, Preferred Sales Inc. began our storied history as a standout manufacturers’ representative in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania when founder Ed Snell established our original offices in Columbus, OH.
In 1978, Pete Lewnes, Tom Poole, and Jerry Cameron bought into the organization. Lewnes and Poole would become the guiding force for Preferred Sales as the company created a place for itself in the plumbing manufacturers’ representative industry. As Preferred Sales continued to grow, Lewnes and Poole discovered an opportunity to open a warehouse for the company which would prove valuable in the evolving buy/sell economy trending in the rep world at the time. In 1984, Preferred Sales moved to a 32,000-square-foot office and warehouse space in Hermitage, PA. Strategically located minutes from Interstate 80, the company was now in a position to deliver exceptional results from the heart of its sales territory.
The next two decades would see a period of exponential growth as Preferred Sales recruited high-level talent and landed top-line manufacturers into its line card. As the new millennium approached, the company began an acquisition period in which several small-to-mid-size rep agencies were purchased and transitioned into the PSI sales team. These acquisitions brought on new talent and new manufacturers allowing Preferred Sales to continue growth during the 2000s. Our territory would grow to encompass all of Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
In 2003, Lewnes’ daughter, Michelle, joined the company after working for Deloitte Consulting following her graduation from Miami University (OH). She would prove a vital member of the company’s success throughout the 2000s. In 2009, Pete Lewnes stepped away from the everyday business and appointed Alan Guidish, one of the talents recruited in the early 1990s, as the new President of Preferred Sales. Guidish became the fourth president in our company’s more than six decades of operation. Michelle Lewnes was appointed Vice President of Sales, and Pete Lewnes remained CEO, which is the management structure still in place today.
Under Guidish’s guidance, Preferred Sales has evolved into a multi-faceted manufacturers’ rep agency servicing its niche industry in the plumbing sector while also growing to encompass hydronics and HVAC. Preferred Sales is primed for future success with a multi-generational succession plan in place and sales team that spans four decades’ worth of age groups and experience, bringing layers of perspective to all business scenarios. We continue to pursue the top sales and marketing talent in the Midwest region to join our team.