Linetec's Scott Platta Calls it a Career

Scott Platta has retired and come full circle back to where he started: hunting, fishing and riding snowmobiles.

After a 40-year career as founder and former president of Wausau, Wisconsin-based aluminum finisher Linetec, Scott Platta has retired and come full circle back to where he started: hunting, fishing and riding snowmobiles.

Born and raised in northern Wisconsin, Platta’s father and grandfather were sure to get him into the great outdoors at an early age. And that's how Platta plans to spend his retirement­—out on his land, hunting, fishing and finishing his cabin.

“I’m an avid sportsman,” Platta says. “I fish a lot, I hunt a lot. I go to extremes. I grew up that way. Of course, my mother-in-law thinks I’m crazy.”

Platta founded Linetec in 1983 with a single paint line of only 20 employees in a 40,000-square-foot building. Today, Linetec is the nation’s largest independent architectural finisher, providing paint and anodized finishing services for products such as windows, curtainwalls, entrances, hardware and other components.

Platta put Linetec on the map in the early 1980s with a range of high-performance Kynar colored paint for architectural products, especially windows, a service not many companies offered at that time. Platta saw potential in the architectural coatings market, and by 1982, he was networking and researching equipment for his business.

In the early 1990s, Linetec was one of the first finishers with a thermal oxidizer. The oxidizer eliminates harmful chemicals prior to their release into the atmosphere, while operating 98.8 percent air-pollution-free. This gave the company more leeway to apply high-performance liquid paint coatings, a marketplace advantage.

In 1999, Linetec provided part of its factory space to help incubate a PVC fabrication business, Polywood Fabrication. Platta continued to manage Polywood Shutter’s fabrication facility located in Wausau, in partnership with owners Sunburst Shutters of Las Vegas, and served as its liaison with Linetec. Throughout the years, Linetec continues to grow. This autumn, it completes the addition of a third anodizing line and is on track for a record year.

Platta remembers hunting with his great uncles and father on the land that his uncles owned. The hunter brought the tradition into his own family, bringing his sons, his wife and close friends out onto the land that is now his.

Of course, Platta has other projects up his sleeve, including a cabin he is building on a lake in northern Wisconsin. “I’m doing a bunch of the work myself,” he says. “Of course, when you’re building something, you make dumb decisions like, ‘I’ll drywall the lower level’ or ‘I’ll drywall the garage.’ So I’ve got a couple years of fix-up work.”

Originally published in the September 2015 issue.