A Conversation With Jonathan Duty, president and chief operating officer, Signature Custom Cabinetry

Jennifer Botchie Deinlein//September 30, 2022

A Conversation With Jonathan Duty, president and chief operating officer, Signature Custom Cabinetry

Jennifer Botchie Deinlein//September 30, 2022

How does Signature Custom Cabinetry maintain the balance between form and function? 

We maintain a product development objective focused on offering relevant fashion forward products that fit our production system capabilities and represent the majority of our dealer base. As we actively engage with our dealer design partners, we find through addressing their needs, this healthy balance between form and function is met. 

In what ways has the company had to adapt to meet the challenges of the last few years?  

We’ve always maintained that business is about 3 O’s; opportunities, objectives and obstacles. Business leaders must constantly evaluate and leverage opportunities, establish objectives to keep them focused and on task, and they should expect obstacles, not growing weary because they’re part of the journey. While the pandemic created many challenges, it also provided opportunities to innovate and adjust to new and emerging realities. Evaluating supply chain vulnerability became necessary for us. In some cases we needed to bolster our internal capabilities to insulate us further from supply disruptions.  

Developing new avenues for recruiting talent in a post-pandemic tight labor market has been critical in responding to increasing market demand for our product. Looking for new ways to communicate with our team of internal associates, ensuring we were staying unified as a team in the midst of turbulent and sometimes divisive issues, was necessary.   

Can you describe some of the eco-friendly practices the company employs in manufacturing and the impact of those practices? 

We use patterning software to optimize the cutting of our cabinet parts to reduce the amount of plywood waste. We utilize specialized equipment in our finishing process aimed at reducing the amount of finish material wasted. Through partnering with our materials suppliers, we reuse much of the material used to package the inbound receipt of our products. We collect, bale and recycle our cardboard. We collect wood waste and give it to a large greenhouse operation where it is converted to energy for heating their buildings. We collect and save sawdust and give it to a local farmer for animal bedding. We recycle cleaning materials used in our finishing process.  

(We also) reduce our impact with Earth-conscious materials. Our plywood materials are manufactured using only formaldehyde-free glues and resins. Our pre-finished cabinet interiors are 100 percent free of formaldehyde gases, hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), resulting from a roll coated application and a UV curing process. Our drawer boxes use a highly durable water-based finish. No formaldehyde, hazardous air pollutants (or) volatile organic compounds are produced. Our exterior cabinet finishes are the result of a conversion varnish process which yields a highly durable, long-lasting finish. We monitor and maintain HAPs and VOCs below regulated levels, ensuring minimal impact to our environment.  

Pumpkin spice or apple cider?  

Apple cider. I like pumpkin pie and all, but this whole pumpkin spice thing is a bit much. 

About Jonathan Duty 

Jonathan Duty, 54, has spent nearly three decades with Ephrata-based Signature Custom Cabinetry. Starting as lead customer service representative, he later moved into a managerial role in information technology, and later became a vice president, first of administration then operations, before moving into the president and chief operating officer role in 2021. Before Signature Custom Cabinetry, he spent eight years with Conestoga Wood Specialties. 

Duty lives in West Earl with his wife of 30 years. They have two adult children, one who works in health care and the other in information technology.