- Why did you get involved with NPCA and decide to become chairman?
When we first became aware of the association, it was a burial vault group and they met over in Dayton. Mr. Yoakum had died the day before. After that, they hired Bob Walton to manage the association and I think his first Convention was Denver where I joined. That’s where I got involved with the association. I think that was 1966. To get anything from an association, you need to get involved.
- When you first got involved with NPCA, did you envision it becoming what it is today?
I did not envision NPCA becoming what it is today. Bob Walton got the association on the right track. At the present, Ty Gable is continuing the success of NPCA.
- What was the best thing you accomplished as chairman?
One thing we started that I’m really proud of is ASTM C-27. Frank Brooks, Frank Moeller, Bob Walton, myself and a couple others got this thing going. We had four or five trips to Philadelphia to get that thing through but it worked.
- How has your company and precast as a product changed over the years?
Regulations have changed over the years. Also, I started in septic tanks and then we just multiplied out of that – they wanted this and they wanted that and that’s how we went. We’re making big stuff now at our Lancaster plant. It’s good once in a while to get a change of pace. If you get set in your ways, you don’t advance. You’re locked in that same old static position. You’ve got to change once in a while. That’s what makes life interesting.
- What’s your favorite NPCA memory?
The year I was president of NPCA, Convention was held in San Francisco. The trade show was run by Jack Doris and that was the year I received the Yoakum Award. I was surprised when I got the Yoakum Award. I had seen others get it but I wasn’t thinking about that. I had both my boys, my mother and my wife with me. It was a little bit of shock.
- How did the friendships formed via NPCA impact your business and life?
Our involvement with NPCA has impacted our business very much and also our personal lives with the meeting of many wonderful people. We had very close relations – the Wiesers, the Barbours, the Lendrums, Frank Brooks, Frank Moeller – we all became very close. We got to know one another and their families and it worked out great.At meetings, we partied whether there was a party going on or not – we were that close to one another and enjoyed each other. Joe Wieser was a very good friend and he always brought his motorhome. He had a 16-gallon keg of beer in the motorhome and cheese curds. We’d get in that motorhome and let the meeting go on inside and we’d go out there and eat cheese curds and drink beer.
It’s been a very good experience, belonging to the association. If you wanted to start a new product line or something, you just found somebody that was doing it and was willing to give you information to help you get started. It’s just been enjoyable. People who don’t join NPCA are missing the boat because there’s always something different and something you can learn from other precasters. If you’re not too proud to listen, you can get a lot of information.
It’s been a great adventure for me.