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.”

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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!

Meet McWane: Recent Retirees

We have had several of our team member retiree from various divisions over the past month and would like to highlight them for their service!

Glen Cox 45 YearsGlen Cox, Pacific States: 45 Years

Pacific States Team members bid a fond farewell to Glen Cox at his retirement party at the beginning of the month. Glen joined the Pac States team over 45 years ago in 1968. His most recent job was in the Melding Department as the Iron Yard Crane Operator, a job he had held since 2008.

Jack Terrill 43 Years

Jack Terill, Tyler Pipe & Coupling: 43 Years

On January 9, team members at Tyler Pipe & Coupling, retirees, family, and friends came together to bid a fond farewell to Jack Terrill who was retiring after 43 years of service. Jack joined the Tyler team on December 20, 1971, and worked as a Warehouse Worker “B” in the Coupling Department at the time of his retirement.
Everyone enjoyed taking a walk down memory lane with Jack. To show Jack their appreciation, Plant Manager Bill Hoffman gave Jack a watch and a Tyler Pipe & Coupling hat.

Nelson Greenleaf 47 Years

Nelson Greenleaf, Atlantic States: 47

Atlantic States will be bidding a fond farewell to veteran team member Nelson Greenleaf in February. Nelson is retiring after almost 48 years of service! During his tenure with the company, Nelson has seen a lot of changes. In fact, the company has changed names 3 times since his arrival!
Since he started in 1968, Nelson has worked throughout the entire plant and currently holds the position of Scale House Technician. Nelson is known for saying thanks for coming in today, and the entire team will miss hearing that.
An amazing thing about Nelson is that he hasn’t been absent or late since 1995 which gives him perfect attendance for the past 20 years. Wow! He is an exceptional and dedicated employee who will truly be missed. Nelson has helped build Atlantic States to what it is today and we are thankful for all his years of service.
Nelson is looking forward to retirement so he can spend time with his family at their vacation home at the beach in Delaware. The team presented Nelson with an aerial view picture of Atlantic States signed by the entire team on the back along with $1,500 in gift cards.

Sam Wester 31 Years

Sam Wester, Amerex: 31 Years

The Amerex team bids a fond farewell to HR Manager Sam Wester who retired last week after 31 years of service. You would be hard-pressed to find somone at Amerex whomSam didn’t help or hire over the years. The team held a retirement party for Sam on Friday, January 23, at Flemings.
Everyone enjoyed the night and had lots of laughs taking a walk down memory lane with Sam.

Virgel Esteban 30 Years

Team AB&I recently bid a fond farewell to Virgel Esteban after 30 years of service as an Electrician. His send off included a luncheon with a wide variety of Chinese food, including roasted duck and chow mein.
In gratitude for his service to AB&I, Virgel was presented with a trip for two to Chicago, Illinois. He also received a gift from the Sales Team and a retirement plaque.
Thank you, Virgel. for being a dedicated member of the AB&I Team for the last 30 years. We will surely miss you and hope you enjoy your retirement as well as your time in the windy city.

We are honored to have such committed team members to dedicate life-long service to the McWane Family of Companies. We appreciate all that each of you have done and wish you all a very happy retirement. Thank you for you service!

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.

AB&I Featured in October Issue of Modern Casting Magazine

AB&I in Modern Casting Magazine

We are pleased to announce that AB&I was the feature of an article in the October 2014 issue of Modern Casting Magazine.

The article talks about the “Melting Crime Initiative” started by eight local law enforcement agencies and AB&I. This initiative has helped reduce the number of gun related crimes in Oakland, California.

AB&I Holds Fifth Annual Wellness Fair and Offers Free Flu Shots to Team Members

AB&I Wellness Fair

AB&I held their Fifth Annual Wellness Fair for team members on September 25. The goal of this year’s Wellness Fair was to raise awareness through education the importance of keeping fit and eating healthy as well as the critical importance of preventative care.

To accomplish this, AB&I partnered with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Alabama to offer onsite biometric screening. Team members took advantage of the opportunity to participate in the voluntary confidential biometric screening that was provided to them at no cost on-site. The screenings included measurements of blood pressure, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides and glucose. Team members were furnished the results right away so they could begin making any necessary changes to improve their results.

AB&I’s insurance broker, Filice, provided a healthy lunch, massages, and a fun way to find out your brain age through a card game. AB&I’s Mickie Nguyen finished the game in 28 seconds making her the youngest team member in “brain age” under 20 years old.


AB&I Free Flu Shots - Isaac Beltran, Jr.

AB&I Team Member – Isaac Beltran, Jr.

As part of the preventative care program, AB&I provided on-site flu shots to all team members free of cost and through U.S. Health Works on October 2.

This program followed the recent Wellness Fair at AB&I.

Announcing the Winners of the 2013 EHS Awards

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The winners of the 2013 EHS awards were announced in February recognizing McWane facilities in five different environmental, health and safety performance categories. The winners were:

The Most Improved Recordable Injury Rate Award – The most improved total recordable injury rate (TRIR) is determined by calculating at year end the TRIR for each facility and comparing it to the prior year. The facility with the greatest percentage of improvement from the previous year is the winner. This year’s winners were:
AB&I, Oakland, California (Foundry)
Tyler Pipe Company, Marshfield, Missouri (Fabrication)

The Outstanding Health & Safety Performance Award is given to the facility that has the best overall health and safety performance in 11 different categories, including program compliance, incident rates, implementation of health & safety initiatives, and risk reduction efforts.
Manchester Tank & Equipment, Elkhart, Indiana

The Outstanding Environmental Performance Award is given to the facility that has the best overall environmental performance including management commitment, program implementation and compliance. The winners were:
Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company, Provo, Utah (Foundry)
Manchester Tank & Equipment, Bedford, Indiana (Fabrication)

The Outstanding Environmental Progress Award is given to the facility that showed the greatest overall improvement in environmental performance during the year. The winners were:
AB&I, Oakland, California and Tyler/Union, Anniston, Alabama (Foundry)
The Solberg Company, Green Bay, Wisconsin (Fabrication)

The EHS Excellence Award is given to the facility that has the best overall performance in both environmental and health and safety company-wide. There was no clear winner for this award in 2013.

Although the Screaming Eagle (pictured) was not awarded for 2013, we anticipate all facilities will continue with excellent health, safety and environmental programs during 2014 and strive to be this year’s winner.

Every team member plays a role in helping us become safer and more environmentally conscious and we must work together to continue to improve our EHS performance.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

AB&I Foundry Shares the Story of its Community in an Artful Way

AB&I Mural

For more than a century, AB&I Foundry has been producing pipe and fittings for use across the country. From its site in Oakland, California, AB&I has made components for U.S. Navy submarines in World World II and bronze statues for Market Street in San Francisco. Building off the work of founder Joseph Boscacci, AB&I products are recognized for their superior quality and craftsmanship and are 100% “Made in America” from post-consumer recycled scrap material.

But for all its history in Oakland, AB&I has been walled off from its community – literally. The foundry’s amazing work has been taking place behind a high wall tracing the edge of the property, wedged between Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train tracks and San Leandro Street. To transform the relationship between company and community, AB&I embarked on one of the largest public art projects of its kind in the area: a beautiful mural 253-feet long, eight-feet high containing 2,026 square feet of history and inspiration.

With the city’s former luster dulled by years of economic uncertainty, AB&I’s efforts not only help beautify, they remind the community of all it has accomplished while inspiring it anew.

“Our story is one worth telling, and our city is in desperate need of beautification,” said Kurt Winter, AB&I’s general manager. “The walls around our neighborhood are constantly tagged by graffiti artists, so we decided to take action and turn our own facility into a canvas for the benefit of everyone in the community. The art is beautiful, and so too is the message behind it.”

Instead of bare walls, commuters on the BART train and drivers cruising on San Leandro Street are presented with a striking tableau of milestones, memories and moments of genuine civic pride. Block by industrial block, AB&I is transforming its community while celebrating both local history and its own. Initial scenes in the mural depict Boscacci making ornamental castings for the city and the foundry’s work on behalf of the nation during World War II. Later images illustrate AB&I’s pride in its city and neighborhood, with iconic renderings of the Oakland Zoo, the Oakland Raiders football team, Fox Theater and the Christ of the King Cathedral at Lake Merritt. The richly detailed mural also honors team members who have worked at AB&I across its history.

Murals have long been used to celebrate achievement, highlight important issues and inspire future generations to greatness. From Michelangelo to Diego Rivera to contemporary art prankster Banksy, the mural is art in one of its most vital forms – directly engaging us in our everyday lives, sharing beauty and inviting new optimism for tomorrow. With so much value in the images, finding the right artist was paramount. Luckily for AB&I, acclaimed Bay Area painter Jean Bidwell from Castro Valley embraced the commission and embraced AB&I’s commitment to community and sustainability by including visuals celebrating the foundry’s accomplishments alongside those of the surrounding community.

“We have a long history of social and environmental responsibility,” said Winter. “This is yet another contribution we are making to improve our community, and it’s one we hope will inspire for a long time to come.”

AB&I’s deep involvement in its community goes far beyond the pigments and personalities used in the mural. For over two decades, AB&I has made environmental concerns a top priority, investing $10 million in environmental technology and training to set an industry standard for cleanliness and environmental responsibility. Its community faces more threats than just environmental ones, which is why AB&I has also helped law enforcement get guns off of the streets by taking in over 50,000 weapons and melting them down. This provides local law enforcement a cost-free way to permanently keep guns out of the wrong hands. AB&I also gives specialized confined space rescue training to new Oakland firefighters.

There’s been a lot to celebrate in the more than 100 years since Joseph Boscacci cast his first iron in his backyard. And now, there’s an appropriately sized canvas for this story to finally be shared with the community.

We just hope that there is room enough saved on the wall so that AB&I’s future accomplishments can be artfully memorialized too!