Blog Archives

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!

55 Years and Counting…

As written by Rod Burrus for the Tyler Pipe March 2014 Monthly Newsletter…

James Madison

James Madison

“I asked Mr. James Madison why he worked out here at Tyler Pipe for 55 years. To which he replied back, ‘That’s the question, huh?’ He said, ‘I guess I just like what I am doing. Every morning for the last 55 years I got out of bed and came to work, I never thought about how long I would be here.’ I asked how he got to Tyler Pipe back in 1959. This is his story.

It was early in the summer of 1959 and he and three of his friends were out riding in a car and they decided that they needed to find some work. The first stop that they made was out at Western Foundry. ‘There were all of these big guys out there pushing iron and we didn’t like it much. So we came on down the road to Tyler Pipe. We just drove up and went and looked inside of the foundry. Everything was open back then. You could walk right up and see where they were pouring iron. Well there was this fellow named Jack Sheffield and he kind of interviewed us. Out of the four of us he offered two of us jobs. Mr. Sheffield said that he sure needed us to come to work and so we started right then and there. I didn’t even get to go home. I called my mama from the office and told her I got a job and would be home sometime. They put us to work immediately and my buddy Jasper, he told me he couldn’t deal with it so at lunch time he was gone.

‘They put me on the piggin machine. Use to, we would pig our own iron because if there was still iron running at shift change, we would start up the pig machine and that iron would just run off into it. I was using a pick to drop those pigs out of the machine. It was hot. John Warner, President of Tyler Pipe came up there and he said, “You’ve been at it for quite a while, have you had a break?” I told him no, I hadn’t had a break. He told me to go take a 45 minute break. He rolled up his sleeves and started knocking those pigs for 45 minutes until I got back. Well evidently Mr. Warner talked to my supervisor because I never missed a lunch again.’

I guess some of my best memories are running that cupola bucket. It was a different time back then and we had a bucket that was hooked to a jib line and we filled that bucket with scrap. If the cupola was too full the jib line would come loose from the bucket. Well we needed to get our bucket out of there and since I was the smallest, they would tie a rope around my waist and lower me into the bucket that was inside the cupola so I could hook up the line. The fellas use to make fun of me because I would kind of wonder around aimlessly afterwards. Come to find out the gas was getting to me.’ Mr. Madison smiled and said, ‘Those were the good old days.’

I asked Mr. Madison what job he did that he disliked the most. He said, ‘There was a big boss out here, Bo Jackson, VP of the company. He wanted to go on top of the scrap pile and I was a running the crane. He brought some woman with him and he wanted to show her what it looked like on top of that pile of scrap. Mr. Jackson came over to my crane and told me to lift them up and put them on top of the scrap. I tell you, it was mighty cold that day, but I was sweating bullets. And I thought to myself, “I sure will be glad when they leave.”‘

Mr. Madison thought for a while and said, These folks out here are like extended family. My supervisor at one time was J.W. Buckner, that’s Greg Buckner’s dad. For some reason Mr. Buckner called me “Muscle.” I have been known as “Junior,” “Puny,” “Muscle,” “Jivin’ Horse Man” and of course, “Hoss” is what they call me now. There have been people that have worked with for years and I never knew their real name. My wife called out here one time and asked for James Madison. They didn’t know who she wanted. She said, “They call him ‘Junior.’” They came and got me immediately; they didn’t know my name. We had a fellows out here like “Reverend Star”, ole Melvin Hampton, Hampton was the “Lemon Drop Kid,” Wayne Walker was called “the Mayor,” that’s Tommy Walker’s dad. They said that Tommy learned a lot from Wayne. I don’t know if it was true but I would like to think so. Joe Wilson was called “City Man.”‘ Mr. Madison mentioned numerous names like Turner Morris, or “lead belly,” Uncle Roy, Leroy Anderson, Chester Moon, TC Porter and Big George Richardson. ‘Bo Johnson gave us our names. They were all good friends, just like family.’

When asked about the future, Mr. Madison said that he intended to keep working as long as his health would let him. Mr. Madison said, ‘I talked to an awful lot of guys that retired. They had nothing to do. I need a reason to wake up in the morning, someplace to go.’ Every day James Madison arrives out at Tyler Pipe at 6:00am or 7:00am, depending on the day of the week. He takes his lunch and his coffee and heads up the flight of stairs to the crane at the Cupola. He says he takes everything up there because it is too far to come down. He said it makes you plan your day. He has come a long way since he and his three friends went for a drive in the summer of 1959.

Tyler Pipe is honored and proud to have Mr. James Madison work here and is appreciative to the 55 years of service that he has provided. We would like to mark the month of May as “Madison Month” [and would like to celebrate] Mr. James Madison for passing his 55th year milestone at Tyler Pipe on May 25, 2014.”

We always love to see employees who have put it years and years of work and truly enjoy what they do. We commend Mr. James Madison on his hard work and devotion and look forward to his contributions in the coming years. Congratulations, Mr. Madison!

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!