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2015-12-01 / Spotlight

The Inventor

SpotLight
Paul Silvis
Head Coach | SilcoTek

For as long as he can remember, Paul Silvis has been filled with non-stop energy. As his wife, Nancy, puts it, “He has two speeds: full blast and off.” It is that very energy that creates a sense of urgency, allowing him to get things done — like launching Restek in 1985 (an international provider of chromatography products), spinning off a Restek division in 2009 to form SilcoTek (which produces coating services for manufacturing that can withstand ultra-high temperatures), and volunteering on numerous boards, including being a founding board member for Central PA 4thFest. Beyond his companies and community service, we talked with Silvis about his five favorite things.




Not many people can say they hold five patents personally and have had a part in many, many others, but Silvis can. He’s been dreaming and tinkering and coming up with new things seemingly since his first breath. “I’m an inventor. Since I’ve been young, I’ve been inventing things and fixing things. … The reason you’re born is to make a difference.” Not many people can say they hold five patents personally and have had a part in many, many others, but Silvis can. He’s been dreaming and tinkering and coming up with new things seemingly since his first breath. “I’m an inventor. Since I’ve been young, I’ve been inventing things and fixing things. … The reason you’re born is to make a difference.”



When building his home in 1997, Silvis engineered a three-acre pond that is deep enough to zipline into in the summer and great for ice skating in the winter. The pond was instrumental in his meeting Nancy in 2000: “I was having an ice skating party for about 60 people, and I invited Nancy and her son.” When building his home in 1997, Silvis engineered a three-acre pond that is deep enough to zipline into in the summer and great for ice skating in the winter. The pond was instrumental in his meeting Nancy in 2000: “I was having an ice skating party for about 60 people, and I invited Nancy and her son.”

Silvis loves all aspects of the building process, from figuring out the best slope and banking for his mountainside driveway to customizing the floor plans of their log cabin “camp” to designing the SilcoTek facility in Bellefonte. “People say I can’t go more than two years without building something,” says Silvis, noting that he might be due for a new project soon. Silvis plays as hard as he works, frequently hanging at his 4,500-square-foot Brookville, Pa., camp home with family or buddies. “I have a fleet of ATVs down there and we have hundreds of miles of trails. We also hunt, fish, shoot skeet and pistols, and smoke cigars. And we have late-night corn hole tournaments until two in the morning.” Silvis loves all aspects of the building process, from figuring out the best slope and banking for his mountainside driveway to customizing the floor plans of their log cabin “camp” to designing the SilcoTek facility in Bellefonte. “People say I can’t go more than two years without building something,” says Silvis, noting that he might be due for a new project soon. Silvis plays as hard as he works, frequently hanging at his 4,500-square-foot Brookville, Pa., camp home with family or buddies. “I have a fleet of ATVs down there and we have hundreds of miles of trails. We also hunt, fish, shoot skeet and pistols, and smoke cigars. And we have late-night corn hole tournaments until two in the morning.”


With six grown children (and soon to be five grandchildren) living all over the country, Silvis says it takes effort to stay connected. A few years ago, he and Nancy started the “Milestone Birthday Plan.” “When a kid is reaching a milestone birthday like 30 or 40, they get to pick a place for a trip that we pay all expenses for. At least four out of the six kids and their spouses and their kids have to be able to go and it has to be a familycentric place. Atlantis was the first trip.” With six grown children (and soon to be five grandchildren) living all over the country, Silvis says it takes effort to stay connected. A few years ago, he and Nancy started the “Milestone Birthday Plan.” “When a kid is reaching a milestone birthday like 30 or 40, they get to pick a place for a trip that we pay all expenses for. At least four out of the six kids and their spouses and their kids have to be able to go and it has to be a familycentric place. Atlantis was the first trip.”

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