International Decorators was founded by my father, Tony Pintozzi, back in 1952. He called it "Pintz & Company Decorators". He lived and worked in the city of Chicago. He performed interior and exterior residential painting.
In 1954, Tony moved to McHenry, IL and operated the business out of the basement of his house. That same year my uncle, Chuck Pintozzi, joined my father as his partner. The two of them ran the company as a residential painting company.
They grew the business and moved it into a small commercial building in 1960. During the 1960’s, they painted offices and retail stores which led to them into Commercial Painting. In 1965 they changed the name of the company to International Decorators Inc. When asked why he chose that name, Tony states he wanted a name that sounded “really big”! In 1969 they decided to get into the Residential Drywall business. Looking back on it, Tony recalls this year as his “college education”. There was a lot of learning during that first year in the drywall business. In 1975, they started installing metal stud framing and thus the Commercial Drywall division was formed.
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While having dinner on an early June night in 1976, right after my eighth grade graduation, my father informed me I was going to work in the morning. I told him, “No I’m not dad. I’m going to play baseball with my friends tomorrow.” I was in the shop at 6:30 a.m. waiting to be placed on a work assignment. Thus my career at International Decorators Inc. had started. The following year, Randy Freund started with the company as a painter apprentice. He went through the three year apprenticeship program and became a journeyman painter.
With the expanding business, Tony & Chuck moved the business into a larger facility (still in McHenry) in 1978. They continued to grow the business, Randy was working in the field, and I was working during school breaks. The company was performing work on a wide range of projects: house additions, housing projects, apartment buildings, churches, retail stores, office buildings, hospitals, etc. Bill Preston joined the company in 1983. He joined the carpenter apprentice school and became a journeyman four years later. I graduated college in 1984 and started full-time with the company that year.
1988 brought more changes for us as a company. We moved yet again, into a larger facility which was in Lake County. At this point Randy, Bill, and I were all running work as superintendents. The company was continuing to grow. This is also the year we started our Acoustical Ceiling Division. This was a natural fit for us to install the acoustical ceilings along with the performing the drywall and painting work.
Tony and Chuck approached us in 1992 and asked if we were interested in purchasing the business. If we were not, that was fine, they would just continue the company as is and “ride it out”. If we wanted to purchase the company, we would continue to grow. We bought the company in 1996 from Tony and Chuck. We had some huge shoes to fill, but, Tony and Chuck set us up with a great foundation on which to continue.
A major advancement was made in 1999 when we hired a full-time Safety Director. Though safety had been important for the company over the years, the new role I was now in was keeping me from giving safety the attention it deserves. With our full-time Safety Director, we have gone from viewing safety as a “compliance issue”, to viewing safety as “a way of life”. I am extremely proud of our safety culture and believe we have the best in the industry.
Randy, Bill, and I continued growing the business. In keeping with the business philosophy of providing the services our customers need and demand, we opened up our Metal Roof Truss Division in 2000. Within one year, we were the contractor for the largest metal roof truss job in the United States. This project was the Garlands, located right here in Lake County. We provide the engineering, layout, and installation of these metal roof trusses.
As we turned the page into the 21st Century we continued to expand our business. In 2008, we moved into a new facility in Wauconda. We had also expanded our business by opening our Industrial Paint Division. To better serve our clients, we started providing sandblasting, industrial coatings, and tank painting. This is a specialty area that is more challenging than conventional painting. We have the expertise, equipment, and “safety-mindset” for this demanding industry.
We have faced some challenging times since the end of 2008. Like so many others in the United States, our timing was impeccable. We moved into a new facility and the economy just shut down. In April 2009, Randy Freund, our friend and business partner, passed into eternal life. The construction industry was constricting rapidly. To remain competitive we had to down-size our company and our operations. In 2011, we moved back into our Barrington facility.
So here we are today, strong and resilient. We supply and install metal roof trusses, steel stud framing, drywall hanging and taping, acoustical ceilings and sound panels, painting & wall coverings, sandblasting & industrial coatings. We perform all of this work with high quality, high productivity and safely! I am pleased, proud, happy, and humbled to think of how many great projects we have completed over the decades. I am more excited about having you become a part of our history as we become a part of your future!