Part of the "Our Beginnings" documentary series, "Going Global" shares the story of Wood-Mizer's humble beginnings to serving customers on six continents throughout the world with globally-recognized sawmill and woodworking equipment. Subscribe at youtube.com/woodmizer and don't miss upcoming videos!
“I don't think Don [Laskowski] and Dan [Tekulve] ever dreamed, it would be much more than a little shop here and a little shop there. And just so happened, it just grew way bigger than they ever dreamed it would. And so I think that's just the blessing that, comes from doing the right thing first.” – Dave Mann, 30+ Years with Wood-Mizer
“When Dan started, it was basically with his brothers. And then as we grew it was, ‘Hey, do you have any friends? What are they going to do after school? Well, I know this person...’ A lot of us are from right here [Oldenburg, Indiana, USA], it's where it kind of started. It's where our very beginnings were.” – Charlie Lamppert, Founding Family & 40+ Years with Wood-Mizer
“None of us would've imagined it, I mean this started in a little house in a two-car garage in a basement at Dan Tekulve's. It's beyond what any of us could imagine. I can remember the first time we got an international call. We were in an office in a little rented space in Speedway [Indiana] and somebody called in and asked about a sawmill, and it was like everybody got kind of giggly and quiet, like ‘they're calling from England!’” – Jeff Laskowski, Founding Family
“I get asked the question a lot about Wood-Mizer and its history, and where we are today. Wood-Mizer has been successful I think for a lot of reasons. Number one is I think the foundation was there. You can't have a good place without a good foundation. They built a culture in the company that was second to none. Dad always talked about running a company with Christian values in a corporate environment.” – Scott Laskowski, Founding Family
“The big thing, that Don was a big believer in was, to grow, you need to be an international company.” – Charlie Lamppert, Founding Family & 40+ Years with Wood-Mizer
“Well, you can blame Jerzy Hajduczyk. Hajduczyk was living in America at the time, he was up in the New England area and Hajduczyk had come to father to say ‘I've seen your machine, your mill, and it is exactly what we need.’ In the first year, he sold almost a hundred mills.” – Dan Laskowski, Founding Family
“I think it was then that we realized that we had something far bigger than we would've even imagined.” – Jeff Laskowski, Founding Family
Wood-Mizer Co-Founder Don Laskowski (front right) and Jerzy Hajduczyk (front left).
“Don Laskowski called me. He found out somehow that there is a guy from Poland who wants to build wooden houses, and that guy thinks that Wood-Mizer ‘this is it!’ Don said, ‘You know what, I think we should do something together.’ I believed that it would be something huge. I borrowed a car, a Fiat 126p (Maluch), I got Don into that car and off we went to see Poland. We started a company, called Wood-Mizer Poland. We didn't have anything. The first sawmill was assembled under the street light. It took us all night to do it.” – Jerzy Hajduczyk
The Wood-Mizer company has grown rapidly. Back then, at the beginning, we were selling several hundred machines, today we see the company in a completely different place. – Robert Baginski, 25+ Years with Wood-Mizer
Richard Vivers (left) and Jerzy Hajduczyk (middle) touring Europe and demonstrating Wood-Mizer portable sawmills in the 1990s.
Having the European presence was the acknowledgment that we had to develop and allow our customers to be successful in many different environments - Asia, Africa, very cold climates, very hot climates. I think that influx of experience and necessity was very important to the growth of Wood-Mizer globally. – Richard Vivers, 30+ Years with Wood-Mizer
“We're working with customers throughout the world and our customers in each different part of the world benefit from things we learn in other parts of the world. When Dan and Don got together and thought about that first sawmill, they were thinking, ‘We could grow this company and continue to grow it,’ but I don't know that they were thinking, ‘We're going to have employees on six continents taking care of customers with our Wood-Mizer sawmills.’" - John Smith, CEO & Wood-Mizer Sawmill Owner