HOF 2008: A.R. Ginn

The year 2006 marked a true milestone in the history of NCI Building Systems and MBCI. The company took great steps towards securing its future by solidifying its position as the largest integrated manufacturer in the metal construction industry. NCI continued to elect leaders and cultivate employees knowing they would serve the company and its customers as never before. It was also in 2006 that NCI Building Systems learned that the man who led the company into the 21st century with the vision, passion and knowledge that propelled it to the forefront of its business would retire.

A.R Ginn, the respected chairman of the board since 2000 and chief executive officer since 2003, stepped down as CEO in December 2006 and announced his plans to retire from the company at the close of 2007.

Although A.R.’s decision to resign after almost 50 years in the business came as little surprise to most, those who have worked by his side throughout his long and distinguished career are certainly saddened to see him go.

While NCI was not officially formed until 1984, A.R.’s association with the company dates back to 1958, when he first joined Metallic Steel Buildings group as an assistant on the shop floor. Several years later, he joined A&S Building Systems, where he learned the true ins and outs of metal building plant operations. By 1969, Metallic convinced A.R. to come back and though he had left the company as a foreman, he returned to it as a young vice president of operations. Under his direction, the company flourished and grew to be the number one company, profit on sales, in the MBMA in just a single year’s time.

On July 12, 1976, A.R., along with his brother and business partners, founded MBCI which, by A.R.’s own account “lost $4,000 its first month in operation and never lost money again.”

After many years of successes, product innovations and new business ventures, it was A.R. who spearheaded the initial merger resulting in the enterprise we know today as NCI Building Systems, Inc. Needless to say, he leaves the company in a vastly different position than when it first came into fruition.

NCI Buildings/MBCI Timeline

1976 A.R. Ginn, along with his brother and business partners, founded a small metal components company in Houston, Texas, known as MBCI. What started as an 8,000 square-foot production facility quickly grew beyond everyone’s expectations. Today it is the largest company of its type in the nation.

1982 MBCI initiates its long history of industry-leading product innovations with the introduction of snap-together trapezoidal standing seam roofing system. Exactly 10 years later, the company develops its mechanically seamed trapezoidal standing seam roofing system, followed up by a vertical leg standing seam roofing invention in 1994.

1984 National Components, Inc., which later changes its name to NCI Building Systems, Inc., is founded in Houston to manufacture and distribute metal construction products. The company begins acquiring metal building manufacturers and grows considerably into one of the area’s most recognized producers of metal building systems.

1987 MBCI acquires what turns out to be the first of several companies specializing in metal coil coating services. The purchase is momentous as it marks the initiation of a uniquely integrated three-part business model — which to date remains unlike any other in the industry. Adding metal coil coating to the inter-company resources has saved other divisions substantial time and money that would have otherwise been invested externally.

1987 A state-of-the-art testing facility is established at MBCI’s Hardy plant in Houston putting the power of product performance and improvement into the company’s hands. Previously, product testing would have to take place via an external provider. Now, equipped with its own authorized replica of the UL test chamber and a working model of the FM test chamber, the company enters a new era of product excellence and self-sufficiency.

1992 After less than a decade in operation and following several years of rapid growth, NCI Building Systems, Inc. officially becomes a publicly held corporation and begins trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol “BLDG”. Since then NCI has increased market capitalization from $16.6 million to over $1.0 billion.

1998 MBCI and NCI Building Systems, each valued at just over $400 million, enter into an agreement to merge corporations. This historic move combined two leading companies representing the metal coil coating, metal components and engineered building systems industries. The power of 38 manufacturing facilities strategically located throughout North America result in combined sales approaching $1 billion by the close of 1998, the first full year of operation. In the summer of 1998, NCI moves to the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NCS”.

1999 NCI launches its proprietary Long Bay System, one of the first metal building solutions in the industry to offer unobstructed bay spacing of up to 65 feet.

2003 NCI opens its technologically advanced production facility in Lexington, Tenn. The plant boasts exceptional automation systems that allow for the development of products with uncommon speed and efficiency. Since its inception, frame shipments have increased by as much as 50 percent from one year to the next.

2006 NCI Building Systems acquires Robertson-Ceco Corporation. The acquired manufacturing facilities result in a 38 increase in square footage and the addition of industry-leading technologies and resources.

—Source: NCI Building Systems financial reports.

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