Alabama Inter-Forest (AIF), a subsidiary of Panel Processing, Inc., is located in Eufaula, Alabama.
AIF joined the Panel family in 2004 and provides a majority of the same capabilities as all Panel manufacturing locations with the addition of sophisticated cabinet component fabricating equipment. Together with the Panel family, AIF makes and supplies parts for store fixture manufacturers, store chains, point of purchase (POP) display designers and producers, furniture and kitchen cabinet manufacturers, juvenile furniture, toy and game manufacturers, flooring display producers, tradeshow general contractors, exhibit designers and producers, partition wall manufacturers, van converters and other OEMs.
AIF manufacturers cabinet components, chalkboard, color matched hardboard and MDF pegboard and panels, shelving, display components, Kor-Board® lightweight honeycomb panels, markerboard, flooring sample display boards, melamine panel components, metallic laminate and paint finishes, P.O.P. display components, custom and standard pegboard and slatwall woodgrain laminates and woodgrain printing.
AIF utilizes the latest CNC machines and equipment and offers custom paint coating.
Alabama Inter-Forest History
Jack Winkleblack started Alabama Inter-Forest in 1982. His career in the industry began in the early 1960's selling particleboard for Gray Products out of Waverly, Virginia. Jack saw the potential for composite panels in the mobile home industry and opened a distribution facility in Elkhart Indiana in 1966. He expanded product lines and added some manufacturing operations during the 1970's.
In 1981, Jack's building in Elkhart collapsed due to a heavy snow load on the roof. A few weeks later Louisiana Pacific's Sales Manger called Jack to see why he had not been buying any MDF. After hearing Jack's problem, L.P.'s manager said "Why don't you move your operation here to Eufaula, Alabama where the sun shines and there isn't any snow?"
In addition to L.P.'s MDF plant in Eufaula, there were several particle board plants located within 120 miles of Alabama Inter-Forest . Being close to sources for raw materials was a primary factor in Jack's decision to re-locate to Eufaula, Alabama. AIF's southeastern location is also beneficial in servicing the Panel Processing, Inc. customer base. We are within one day's drive to several furniture, cabinet, and store fixture markets.
Jack and his wife, Sue Winkleblack, worked hard to get AIF established. The first products manufactured were U.V. filled MDF and particleboard sheet stock. A panel saw, edge foiler, and print line were added a short time later. This expanded their product line into cut-to-size, drawer sides, shelving, and award plaques.
In 1985, Jack's son, Doug Winkleblack, joined the company. Jack and Doug worked day and night over the next several years adding new machinery and expanding product lines. A few key employees joined the AIF team during this period: Darrell Calhoun, Panel Plant Manager, Don Wood, Maintenance Supervisor, and Rusty Norton, Fabrication Plant Manager were all big contributors to AIF's growth.
Through the years, AIF has had one primary goal: satisfying customers. AIF continually strives to improve the quality of products, on-time deliveries, and overall customer service.