Joe Silvius, an exotic tonewood specialist at Martin, has been with the company for 27 years.

Before Joe Silvius started working for Martin 27 years ago, he thought he was going to become a professional baseball player. When his shoulder told him he could no longer pitch, however, he was forced to come up with a plan B. He grew up five minutes away from the Nazareth, Pennsylvania, factory, and, given that his father, brother, aunts, and uncles had all worked there, taking that path for himself only made sense. Unexpectedly, it turned out to be an ideal one.

“I can’t explain it. It’s incredible. It really is,” he says. “Obviously there’s thoughts—I’m sure everybody has them—of something else, maybe better, but I can’t see anything better than this.”

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