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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.

Knowledge is Power at Tyler Pipe

Tyler Pipe Firefighter Training Day

If you happened to drive by Tyler Pipe on Wednesday, May 27, you may have noticed a very unnerving scene. No worries! Tyler Pipe’s EST Team Member, Troy Johnson, hosted a training day with the East Texas area local firefighters. Troy, one of the Engineering Specification Team (EST) members, invited the firefighters to come out to Tyler Pipe so they could be educated on the positives for installing cast iron pipe in our local and city buildings versus installing PVC.

There were a total of 15 firefighters from Lindale, Tyler, and Longview. The goal was to give them a voice whenever our local city officials are making decisions on the construction of our local schools and public facilities. By educating the firefighters on the positives for installing cast iron versus PVC, they will be able to make better choices.

The day included a demonstration from the Tyler Pipe Rope Rescue Team, a plant tour, and a catered lunch. All in all, the meeting was fantastic and very enlightening!

Team Tyler Pipe Shows Up Big at the 2nd Annual Fresh 15 Run

Tyler Pipe Fresh 15 Fun Run

On Saturday, March 7th, over 30 Tyler Pipe & Tyler Union team members joined together on a very chilly morning to support the local community by participating in the second annual Fresh 15 Fun Run benefiting the Bethesda Health Clinic and The American Heart Association. Last year they had approximately 15 Tyler Pipe team members to register, so they were overjoyed to see that the numbers of those willing to participate had doubled.

Tyler Pipe encourages participation by paying the registration fees for each team member and one guest. This year over $80,000 was raised to support a handful of charitable organizations that provide care and health services to residents in Smith County and surrounding counties.

This year a couple of Tyler Pipe team members hit the mark with their participation. Ross Caldwell, Stationary Machines Supervisor, won 1st place in his age bracket. Running partner David Puckett, Electrical Maintenance Supervisor, won 2nd place in his age bracket, missing 1st place by only 3 seconds. As David said, “I would have pushed a little harder if I would have known I was that close.”

All in all it was a great experience and Tyler Pipe and Tyler Union were glad to be a part of over 3,000 people that participated that day.

Congratulations, Team Tyler Pipe, and many thanks to each of you that participated! A special congrats to Ross and David for their race performances!

Meet McWane: Anna Burchett, Tyler Pipe & Coupling

Anna Burchett 8 YearsThe Tyler Pipe & Coupling Team in Marshfield, Missouri, bid a fond farewell to Anna Burchett who retired on January 30, 2015. Anna started out in the Coupling Department in 2007 when she joined the company, but was soon promoted from Production Machine Operator B to Pre-Assembly Operator.

Anna was honored with a retirement reception complete with cake and punch. She was also given a strand pearl necklace and earring ensemble and bouquet of flowers to thank her for her years of dedicated service.

Congratulations, Anna! Enjoy your retirement!

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!

Tyler Pipe Collects 1,988 Pounds of Food for Path

Tyler Pipe Donates to PATH 2014

Every year the Tyler Pipe team collects non-perishable food items for PATH (People Attempting to Help) and they try to increase the amount collected each year. We are proud to report that they increased the amount of food collected in 2014 by 474 pounds! The effort put forth by the entire team was extraordinary. The outside sales team donated Walmart gift cards to buy food for the drive, and local hourly and salaried team members brought in cases and cases of canned good daily to fill the crates. It was truly a group effort.

Tyler Pipe HR Manager Faye Pettigrew said, “I’ve been fortunate enough in my life that I never had to endure hunger; however, I’m not oblivious to the fact that hunger exists in East Texas. I can sleep well at night knowing that the Tyler Pipe team took it upon themselves to do something about hunger during the holidays and did it in a big way.”

As an added bonus, Tyler Pipe General Manager Greg Simmons wrote a check for $1.00 for every pound of food collected to PATH. They hope PATH can fill their food pantry with the necessary items to assist families in East Texas long after the holidays.

Way to go, Tyler Pipe!

Tyler Pipe & Coupling Team Works Together to Reduce Injuries and Set Goals for 2015

Tyler Pipe 2015 Planning Meeting

Pictured clockwise starting at bottom left: Bill Hoffman (Plant Manager), James Christian (Press Operator), Brian Hopper (Gasket Machine Operator), Mike Emhoff (Maintenance Manager), Danny Minor (Plant Engineer), Tim Graham (EHS Tech), Brian Lowe (Gasket Manager), Kelly Cheek (Coupling Manager), Nick Labiak (Screw Machine Operator), and Alicia Hardacre (Safety Manager)

At Tyler Pipe & Coupling, planning and team involvement are key to their success. In 2014, the Safety Department asked both management staff and hourly team members from each department to work together to identify action items for both the Injury Reduction Plan and goals and objectives for 2015. They came together as a group and analyzed trend data and developed a plan for 2015 over a plate of BBQ.

It’s exciting to see teams at all job levels working together to make our workplaces safer and more efficient.

Tyler Pipe & Coupling Holds “The Right Stuff” Challenge

Tyler Pipe Right Stuff ChallengeThe Wellness Committee at Tyler Pipe and Coupling in Marshfield, Missouri, recently rolled out a new team wellness challenge called  the “Right Stuff” challenge. The challenge will run from May 11 to August 15, and has 3 categories to develop habits by doing the “Right Stuff” for health.  

 Category #1 has 4 parts which include:

  • Drink half of your body weight in ounces daily; 
  • Exercise 30 minutes or more daily;
  • Eat a healthy breakfast daily – Grams of Carbs that are equal to or less than Grams of Protein; and
  • Get 7 or more hours of sleep nightly. 

Team members earn 1 point for each “Right Stuff” habit – up to 4 points daily and up to 28 points per week which they keep track of on a weekly score card.

Category #2 – Greatest percentage of weight loss

Category #3 – Most inches lost

Monthly prizes will be awarded in each of the three categories and team members will have the opportunity to win in each or all categories. Grand prizes will be awarded at the end of the Right Stuff Challenge.  

Gineine Rust provided a very interesting and informative presentation about the benefits of drinking water, exercise, eating a healthy breakfast and getting adequate sleep. She then measured and weighed participants for the Challenge. Gineine will assist by maintaining the “Top Secret Binder” with the recorded measurement numbers throughout the challenge.

Tyler Pipe and Coupling “CHALLENGES” other McWane facilities to do the “Right Stuff,” too!

McWane Boasts Seven Plants in the VPP Program

VPP Flag No other company in the waterworks foundry industry has a single plant in the VPP program.  McWane has seven. Clow Valve, Metal Casting Facility (Oskaloosa, Iowa), Clow Water (Coshocton, Ohio), Manchester Tank (Elkhart, Indiana), Manchester Tank (Petersburg, Virginia), Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company (Provo, Utah), and Tyler Pipe (Marshfield, Mississippi) are all VPP Star facilities with Pacific States being the latest as of September 2013. Clow Valve, Machine Shop (Oskaloosa, Iowa) has earned VPP Merit accreditation – an effective stepping stone to achieving Star status.

In order to receive this accreditation, a facility has to successfully pass certification by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to become a Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star Facility. According to the VPP website, “The VPP recognize employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. To participate, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals.”

Receiving a VPP Star ranking is no small honor as only .03% of all American companies qualify – putting those facilities awarded with the certification in an elite club for sure. For example, in the entire state of Utah – where Pacific States is located – only eight other facilities are considered VPP Star! Approval into VPP is OSHA’s official recognition of the outstanding efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health programs.

“The VPP designation indicates a true commitment from management and team members in working together, with everyone taking personal responsibility for safety and health,” said Barbara Wisniewski, Vice President of Health and Safety, McWane. Inc.

Brian Lichtenfels, Safety Manager at Pacific States, gave several words of advice for facilities preparing for an upcoming audit.

“If I could give someone three learned lessons to focus on in an upcoming audit, they would be: prepare, prepare, prepare. Make sure the whole facility is on the same page and do not be defensive with OSHA. Take a cooperative and open approach.”

Congratulations to every team member at all of our VPP Star facilities, and especially those at our latest – Pacific States, all of whom demonstrated their supreme commitment to the best safety practices and VPP principles! This is more proof that the McWane Way is about being the best by doing our very best.

Our own Andy Boise, a melting foreman at Clow Water Systems, composed lyrics and music to create a VPP Song, Everyone Goes Home From Here. Take a listen!