Founders Story: Tony Hynes
Tony Hynes was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His mother, a union activist, worked at GE. She was a single parent to Tony and his two brothers after her husband lost his 15-year battle with PTSD and alcohol following his service in WWII.
Tony had an early interest in athletics and received a basketball scholarship from Westfield State College despite being in the bottom 10% of his graduating class. After a rough start, including several semesters on academic probation, Tony graduated with a B.S. in Social Science, a minor in business and recognition on the Dean’s List.
Following college, Tony joined the industrial sales community and relocated to Latham, NY, where he spent the next ten years advancing his sales career while running a small construction and property management company. Tony was released from his role as North American Sales Manager for a Swiss Manufacturer of adhesive dispensing equipment. His manager told him his removal was a result of Tony’s inadequate sales skills selling dispensing equipment.
In 1992, Tony founded Precision Valve and Automation (PVA) in his basement. In the beginning, PVA sold dispensing equipment and as of today, the company distributes and manufactures highly specialized robotic systems for the application of adhesives, sealants and coatings. PVA employs more than 250 employees worldwide and has become a global phenomenon while maintaining its roots at the Cohoes, NY headquarters.
Due to PVA’s success, Tony was able to launch Spa City Management in 2000, a family office that manages his manufacturing, real estate and personal assets, as well as his charitable efforts, such as the Fast Break Fund. This fund, which Tony started early in his career, helps local special-needs and underprivileged children get involved in sports and attend local camps.
Tony holds several patents. He believes in ingenuity and hard work; he has incubated and mentored the start of several companies and acquired companies of social importance that would benefit from PVA’s business model. This has led to the purchasing of several businesses, including The Adirondack Barrel Cooperage in Remsen, NY and Create Orthotics & Prosthetics, a New York-based provider of 3D printed prosthetic devices. This acquisition, a visionary step into the future that holds a strong place in Tony’s heart, enabled the establishment of PVA’s Medical Device Division and is dedicated to improving the lives of those who have lost a limb.
Tony’s social innovation positively affects the people it touches, especially his employees. To Tony, employee health is of utmost importance. He demonstrates his commitment through continuously improving a “healthy” work environment for his employees. PVA has an onsite health center providing employees access to healthcare including physical therapy at no cost to the employees or their families. PVA’s onsite health center business model is becoming an industry-standard guiding other businesses on the path to better employee care and well-being.
Tony joined Upstate Capital on Thursday, March 5, 2020 in Albany to talk about his experience growing his company. To check out our upcoming events, please see our calendar.