I had the good fortune to get invited to the second Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame celebration and was so impressed, I went back and researched the first class. These men are truly the leaders in aggregate mining and equipment marketing. Each one of them demonstrates how it takes imagination, men, women and hard work to create and grow a business and an industry. Here's what Pit & Quarry has published. Enjoy.
Seven men whose work and dedication made them pioneering leaders within the aggregates industry were honored March 17, 2013 as the inaugural class of the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame. The seven were honored at a black-tie recognition dinner and induction ceremony at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio before the AGG1 Aggregates Academy & Expo. The inaugural class includes:
Emil Deister Sr., Deister Machine Co.
LeRoy Hagenbuch, Philippi-Hagenbuch
Charles W. Ireland, Vulcan Materials Co.
Charles Luck Jr., Luck Stone
Samuel Calvin McLanahan, McLanahan Corp.
Paul C. Mellott Jr., Mellott Co.
Arthur Taggart, Columbia and Yale Universities
The staff of Pit & Quarry launched the Hall of Fame in September 2012 with the intention of making the induction ceremony an annual tradition that recognizes the pioneers, icons and leaders – past and present – and creates a permanent legacy for their contributions to the industry. To nominate a deserving candidate for the second Hall of Fame class, visit www.pitandquarry.com/hall-of-fame.
Pit & Quarry’s 2014 class of hall of fame inductees were honored at a black-tie induction ceremony and dinner Monday, March 3. The six new inductees, detailed below in alphabetical order, were selected by a group of peers from a pool of nominees submitted by industry experts and you, our readers. This group joins the inaugural class in the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame. For more information on tickets to the black-tie induction ceremony and dinner, click here.
J. Don Brock, Astec Industries Inc.
J. Don Brock, chairman and CEO at Astec Industries Inc., founded his company in 1972. Under his leadership, Astec grew into a family of 17 companies - 13 of which are located in the United States. Astec also has companies in Australia, Brazil, Canada and South Africa. Brock presently has about 100 U.S. and foreign patents on construction machinery and drying equipment to his name.
Bernie Grove, National Stone Association
Bernie Grove, former chairman of the National Stone Association, grew up in the industry, as his family owned the M.J. Grove Lime Co. in Frederick, Md. As chairman of the National Stone Association, Grove was an advocate for community outreach. He formed the association’s Public Affairs Committee to focus on the issue. As a member of the National Stone Association’s Executive Committee, he was a driving force in the formation of the Environmental, Safety and Health Committee. In addition, Grove built a career for himself as the vice president of aggregates operations at Genstar.
Howard Hall, Iowa Manufacturing/Cedarapids Inc.
Howard Hall, founder and president of Iowa Manufacturing/Cedarapids Inc., enters the hall of fame posthumously. After serving in France during World War I, Hall started his business career in 1919 by buying Iowa Steel & Iron Works in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Four years later, he and associates formed Iowa Manufacturing Co. to manufacture rock-crushing equipment. The company quickly became known nationally and internationally for crushing and screening equipment sold under the brand name Cedarapids. Hall’s company later became part of what is presently Terex Minerals Processing Systems (MPS).
Chuck Lien, Pete Lien & Sons
Chuck Lien established Pete Lien & Sons in 1944 with his father, Pete, and brother, Bruce. The company grew from one of three employees and one location to a company with nearly 400 employees across 30 sites in three different states. Lien reinvested the company’s earnings into reserves in South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado and grew Pete Lien & Sons into a $100 million company. He served in World War II and the Korean War.
Bruno Nordberg, Nordberg Manufacturing Co.
Bruno Nordberg, a Finnish-born immigrant, founded the Nordberg Manufacturing Co. in 1886 and first achieved success and recognition in the field of steam engines. He later expanded into a range of products that included crushing, grinding and screening equipment for the aggregates and mining industries. Nordberg Manufacturing later formed into the present-day Metso Corp.
Ralph Rogers, Rogers Group
Ralph Rogers laid the groundwork for what is now one of the largest privately owned aggregate companies in the United States. Rogers and his partners were among the first road builders involved in President Dwight Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System, supplying stone and building major interstate sections in Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.
The 2015 Class continued the great parade of industry leaders.
Glen Barton, Caterpillar
Glen Barton, who joined Caterpillar as a trainee in 1961, led the company into the 21st century during a career that spanned nearly 43 years. Barton was named chairman and CEO of the company in 1999, emphasizing diversification of products and services during his five-year leadership term. He is credited with redirecting Caterpillar’s efforts into areas that exhibited higher demand, including truck engines and smaller machines. Barton worked for Caterpillar on four continents during his tenure and served as a group president overseeing mining, construction and forestry equipment from 1990 to 1998.
Eli Whitney Blake, Blake Rock Crusher Co.
Eli Whitney Blake, a 19th-century inventor, found a less costly and more efficient way to crush stone when he developed a rock crusher in 1851 that he patented by the end of the same decade. Before Blake’s invention, stones were crushed with hand hammers in what amounted to an expensive and tedious process. As a town committee member in New Haven, Conn., Blake took an interest in this area because road builders were encountering challenges with the construction of a two-mile road leading out of town. Blake’s answer to their challenge was the development of a steam-powered machine that consisted of a pair of jaws that crushed stone into desired shapes and sizes. Blake originally called his invention a “stone breaker.” He later formed the Blake Rock Crusher Co.
Paul Detwiler III, New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co.
Paul Detwiler III, president and CEO of New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co., has carried on the traditions of his family-owned company whose origins trace back nearly a century. Today, New Enterprise Stone & Lime is a top 25 U.S. aggregate-producing company and a top 10 crushed-stone producer. Detwiler, who is currently the chairman of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA), has been a champion in achieving improvements in operations and safety. His top priority as NSSGA chairman is to implement Rocks Build America, the association’s strategic plan to rebuild the nation’s crumbling transportation infrastructure, create jobs and drive economic growth.
Neil Schmidgall, Superior Industries
Neil Schmidgall, whose career began as a Minnesota sand-and-gravel producer, founded Superior Industries in 1972. As a man who started as an aggregate producer, Schmidgall realized equipment mobility was necessary to meet the needs of an industry that required action from site to site. He applied his engineering skills to build greater portability into his own washing, screening and conveying equipment. Schmidgall’s early innovations included the first washing and dry screening plant mounted on a single chassis, as well as the first jig-mounted portable plant for the removal of deleterious materials. The addition of a conveyor idler line was a crowning achievement of his, as well.
Thanks to all the folks at Pit & Quarry for leading this effort. At the 2014 ceremony I got to sit down with Don Brock and once again learned from him. When asked, "What are the top universities for aggregate and asphalt operations?" He said, "None, the companies in those industries are the leaders." And that's one of the reasons I admired him and what he did for all the companies he took under his wing and grew. Now Astec takes up a whole block at IMTS! Don passed away March 10, 2015. Here's an article by the Times Free Press.
Stop by and say, "Hello" at the awards ceremony for the 2016 Class.