Permasteelisa S.p.A.

Vittorio Veneto is a cozy town of 15,000 inhabitants some 35 miles north of Venice. Headquarters for Permasteelisa lies on the outskirts of town in an industrial park. What does this company with revenues of 990 million euros and 5,300 employees do? They manufacture and install external cladding on buildings around the world-cladding is also known as steel curtain.

The three-story head office building fronts a factory. The site is fenced in and one can't get enter the property unless the metal gate is opened. I press a button next to the entrance gate and I'm let in without having to talk into a speaker box. The sidewalk in front of Permasteelisa has a sign designating it for pedestrians and cyclists but evidentially it's disregarded by employees as they park their cars blocking the sidewalk.

I count nine plants (real) as I check in with the receptionist. Two framed 25 foot tall pictures of office buildings in Hong Kong and Shanghai hang on a wall and find out the two impressive-looking modernistic towers have been clad in Permasteelisa products.

In a few minutes I'm meeting with Sonia Pasquali, assistant to Chairman Davide Croff. It's an excellent visit thanks to the accommodating Pasquali. Between the factory and head office, a total of 600 people work here. Management enjoys reserved parking spots with the rest on their own. There's no on-site cafeteria or recreational facilities and no formal dress code. Those who bicycle to work enjoy covered parking. It's a mile to downtown Vittorio Veneto, less than a mile to the nearest freeway and 30 miles to the nearest airport (Venice). As we walk around the various floors you can't help but notice all the framed pictures of buildings hanging on the wall. Many are instantly recognizable such as the Sydney Opera House and Guggenheim Museum in Bilbo, Spain. What do they all have in common? Yep, clad by Permasteelisa.

Co-CEO Alessandrini occupies a top floor middle office. I count two plants (real), note the computer and family photo. What's the view out his window? An unexciting view of the street out front.

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