CONSHOHOCKEN, PA — Specialty raw materials distributor Van Horn, Metz (VHM) is celebrating 70 years of serving customers in 2020. The VHM journey started with an office and warehouse in Philadelphia, and it continues as one of the leading distributors in North America. VHM’s mission is to deliver technology and high-quality products while providing superior service to customers. The company recognizes and believes in its responsibility to the wellbeing of its staff and the general community.
Harold Van Horn and Donald Metz incorporated VHM in 1950. The two entrepreneurs formed a partnership together in 1948 and immediately hired Douglas Everett, a salesman, who later became President. During World War II, Metz and Van Horn were formulating camouflage paint for the U.S. Government. Metz, a Yale University Chemical Engineer and the Government’s Chief Chemist for Coatings Technology, and Van Horn, a highly trained technical Pigment Salesman, collaborated on several projects for the military.
From the beginning, the two partners embarked on a mission to create solutions for customers in paints, coatings, plastics, adhesives, rubber and elastomers, inks, and other specialty markets. The passion for innovation has been the company’s core focus since the early days, which allows Van Horn, Metz to quickly react to market changes and respond to customers’ needs.
In 1960 VHM established a new headquarters in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, with an adjoining warehouse, and shortly thereafter added a warehouse in Pittsburgh. After Everett’s untimely death, Jack Boorman became President (father of current Executive Vice-President, Brian Boorman).
Upon Jack Boorman’s retirement, Morgan Smith assumed the role of President. During Smith’s tenure, the company’s customer base was expanded from Maine to Florida and the Midwest. VHM acquired Seaboard Sales during this time. The territory expansion and acquisition were possible because of the effective, sustainable and reliable relationships Van Horn, Metz developed with customers and principals.
Barrett “Barry” Fisher became VHM’s fifth President in 2010 and led the acquisition of the Thornley, Impact and Horizon companies. The Thornley acquisition expanded VHM into additional industrial markets and provided a new portfolio of products for personal care and color cosmetic applications. Under Fisher’s leadership, the company continues to serve a strong customer base, located across North America, Caribbean, Europe and Asia. In 2016, VHM expanded to Canada adding a Toronto office. With an ever-growing sales force, customers receive regional focus and attention. Van Horn, Metz effectively sources global raw materials for customer needs and provides local warehouse capabilities across 12 facilities.
At Van Horn, Metz, commitment to innovation and service comes first. The company’s alliances with a network of quality principals and industry partners, allow Van Horn, Metz to provide clients with a broad range of products and services. VHM’s ability to work closely with customers and understand their unique specifications and product requirements, not only contributes to business success but also encourages customers to set new standards of industry excellence.
Van Horn, Metz takes its distribution responsibilities seriously and continuously works to improve the performance in every facet of chemical storage, handling, transportation and disposal. The company is a long-standing member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) and embraces the NACD’s Responsible Distribution process and principles.
VHM stays constant in its vision to provide specialty raw materials with the highest service and technology to customers. As Van Horn, Metz celebrates 70 years, the company will continue on its mission to keep the customer first and provide them with the latest global technology and resources while adapting to new business environments.