Blog Archives

All for One and One for All, Our Shared Culture

2015 Plumbing Group Meeting at Tyler Pipe

L of Pipe: Raul Aguirre – Production Foreman, Anaco R of Pipe: Ken Nobriga – Shipping, AB&I Directly behind pipe: Dave Janney – Shipping, AB&I Second row, L to R: Dave Methot – Health & Safety, Bibby Ste Croix / Will Jones – Maintenance Supervisor, Anaco / Enrique Ramirez – Core Room Supervisor, AB&I / Carlos Gonzalez – Engineering, AB&I Third row, L to R: Sylvain Daigle – Production Supervisor, Bibby Ste Croix / Kelly Cheek – Coupling Supervisor, Tyler Coupling / Brian Lowe – Gasket Supervisor, Tyler Coupling / and Billy Ngiraikelau – Maintenance Supervisor

The McWane family of companies is an amazing amalgamation of four pipe facilities, four valve and hydrant facilities, seven soil pipe and utility fittings facilities, seven tank manufacturing facilities, one fire extinguisher facility, and five technology companies. The diversity and variety of product lines and business practices are certainly broad, but we all share an amazing amount of commonalities. Recently, Tyler Pipe had the opportunity to share their practices, culture, and expertise with team members from other McWane facilities in the Plumbing Division.

About three years ago, Alan Boscacci suggested that each of the facilities within the Plumbing Division take turns hosting their sister companies and sharing their knowledge, skills, best practices, and unique cultures. Initially HR team members attended the meeting, but that was eventually expanded to include the production team.

Tyler Pipe was proud to host representatives from Bibby Ste-Croix, Anaco, AB&I, and Tyler Couplings this year for the third annual meeting. Everyone was given a guided tour of Tyler Pipe and the opportunity to visit specific areas of interest that pertained to their every day job duties including Production, Maintenance, Customer Service Representatives, and Shipping.

After the meeting, Rod Burrus said, “We had a wonderful exchange of ideas and everyone left with a broader perspective of how our respective businesses can be improved.”

Tyler Pipe Hosts TSAPI

Tyler Pipe Hosts TSAPITyler Pipe and the McWane Plumbing Group were proud to have the opportunity recently to host a plant tour for attendees at a meeting of the Texas State Association of Plumbing Inspectors (TSAPI). The TSAPI held their annual conference in Tyler, Texas, from June 7-11 which included continuing educational programming and other activities both at the conference center and around town. Inspectors from the around state of Texas attended the conference.

A total of 46 participants signed up for lunch and a tour of the Tyler Pipe facility. The tour started with a brief history about Tyler Pipe and safety instructions for the foundry tour. Everyone seemed impressed with Tyler’s manufacturing processes, stringent testing procedures, and quality standards that help make Tyler Pipe the largest producer of cast iron soil pipe in America.

Tyler also hosted a Med Gas class on-site. This training is required in order to maintain a Plumbing Inspector’s License. The old pattern shop provided a nice area where the instructors could demonstrate techniques around a large table.

Team members from Tyler Pipe and the McWane Plumbing Group also participated in activities after-hours which included the President’s dinner, a raffle, and games. EST Representative Victor Hatcher built a custom set of inclined boards so everyone could play a fun game of corn-hole.

At the end of the day, there were numerous compliments about the foundry and the hospitality shown to the association. Gail Lux, president of the association, presented Tyler with a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the TSAPI for their generous time and effort shown.

AB&I Foundry’s Team has an Iron Will to Survive

AB&I Breast Cancer Walk TeamThe American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk is a powerful event that raises awareness and funds to find a cure for breast cancer. We are proud to report that on Saturday, June 20, 2015, AB&I’s team, Iron Will to Survive, was the second largest team at the walk with 40 participants!

The generous support of AB&I and their team members helped make Iron Will to Survive the first place team for the total amount of donations raised – over $10,000! Knowing that there were a total of 38 teams, 300 participants, and $57,689 total dollars raised, it is humbling to realize the impact our participation can have on the life of a cancer patient.

Thank you to the following AB&I team members and their families for joining Iron Will to Survive at the walk:

  • Amalia Beltran and her daughter, Margarita
  • Isaac Beltran, his wife, Guillermina, and son, Carlos
  • Gilbert Bolanos, his wife, Arisvel, and daughters Alexa, Cristal, and Stephanie
  • Nick Darling
  • Kevin Doran and his four-legged family, Gigi
  • Cris Forde, her four-legged family, Jack, and her friend, Laya, and her four-legged family, Nala
  • Isidro Gonzalez, his sister, Maria, and nephew, Saul
  • Jennifer Grundell and her husband, Greg
  • Zeydi Gutierrez, her son, Oliver, daughter, Chelsea, and four-legged family, Rex
  • Anthony Hernandez-Deanda
  • Harrison Lambert
  • Jenny Landon and her friend, Jessi
  • Dana Sherry and her friend, Assi
  • Nancy Tavares, her husband, Carlos, daughter, Natalie, son, Nathan, four-legged family, Darla, and extended family Josh, Bev, Rene, Danielle, Marla, Rhonda, Jeremy, Tony, and four-legged family, Bruno.

Sincere thanks and gratitude to AB&I for matching the donations that were made to Iron Will to Survive and to each and every team member that made a donation. Their support and generosity is a perfect example of what being a team truly means.

AB&I Recognized by the City of Oakland during National Small Business Week

AB&I Recognized during National Small Business Week

Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week (NSBW), which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. AB&I Foundry joined only three other companies that were recognized in a ceremony on May 4 and received an award from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

“This week is a tremendous way to celebrate and support the small businesses in Oakland that serve us year-round,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Our small businesses are vital engines for growth and stability in our communities. They add to the unique flavor of Oakland’s neighborhoods and foster vitality throughout our city, generating thousands of jobs and delivering tax revenues that help pay for essential City services. I’m committed to making sure this important sector of our local economy continues to thrive.”

Congratulations, AB&I, for being a cornerstone in the community for 109 years!

AB&I Adopts Local Elementary School

AB&I Adopts Local Elementary School

In 2014, AB&I adopted a local school in Oakland, California – Aspire College Academy. The school serves 280 students from kindergarten to 5th grade.

One of the first things the school needed was supplies for the teachers and books for the children. By year’s end AB&I team members had donated $1,000 in books and supplies, and Kip Wixson even gave access to his subscription to Paper Back Swap and used his credits to purchase books for the school. Aspire Principal Jessica Newburn also provided book suggestions for team members.

The teachers were ecstatic when they saw all of the supplies, and both teachers and children alike were overjoyed with the number of books donated. Kip has even applied to Paper Back Swap for the school to be on the donation list for all subscribers.

AB&I received a note from Principal Newburn:

“Happy New Year! I just wanted to extend a GIANT thank you for all the books that were donated before the holiday. Our teachers have incorporated over 40 books into their classroom libraries and have sparked some great independent reading coming into the new year already. We really appreciate your generosity!”

Some of the books donated were:

Dr. Seuss Series
– Frog and Toad Series
– Fancy Nancy Series
– Joody Moody Series
– Junie B. Jones Series
– Skippyjon Jones Series
– Eric Carle Series

Chapter Books (for older scholars)
– Magic Tree House series
– Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
– Biographies of minority leaders
– Mysterious Benedict Society Series

There was also an opportunity to provide hands-on help. Aspire has a playground in need of repair, so a group of volunteers plan to get together in February to clean up the playground, fix benches, paint, plant flowers and vegetables, and help put a net on the chain link fence.

Great job, Team AB&I! Way to give back!

AB&I Featured in The Wholesaler

AB&I Featured in The Wholesaler Magazine

We are proud to announce that AB&I Foundry was featured in the December 2014 issue of The Wholesaler. The article was entitled “AB&I Foundry – An American manufacturer committed to doing business with integrity, producing quality products and being environmentally responsible.”

You can read the entire electronic article on The Wholesaler’s website or the full print article in PDF here.

Anaco Conducts Clear Management Training [UPDATE!]

Anaco Clear Management Training
Anaco has been conducting Clear Management Training since March 2014. Managers, Supervisors, and Leads are interacting and exploring alternative ways to address items that affect the business such as employer and team member relations. The goal for this group is to improve their communication skills across the Team.

Group HR Director Joe Maziarz also made a trip to AB&I to help them facilitate their Conflict Management Training.

The Anaco Team is excited about the Clear Management Training and can’t wait to use the skills they have learned during this training!


 

Updated: 9/30/14 at 10:20AM

Anaco Clear Management Training 2

We are pleased to report that 17 team members concluded their training on September 16!

Management training is essential to the success of a business and team members with leadership responsibilities have extensive duties, from handling employee relations to making sure the business remains profitable. Since management responsibilities are complicated, and not exactly self-explanatory, Clear Management Training plays an important role in keeping our company on the right track.

The training curriculum included:

  • Management Zone
  • Time/Emotion Grid
  • Effective Communication
  • Clarity in Communication
  • Communication Styles
  • Active Listening Techniques
  • Steps in Effective Management Communication
  • Circle of Walls
  • High Performance Teams
  • SMART Goals
  • The Planning and Metrics Decision Making Grid

The Anaco team would like to thank trainers Zeydi Gutierrez from AB&I Foundry and Aimee Kenney from Anaco. Great job!