2017 inductees into the Rural Builder Hall of Fame were announced March 9 at the annual Frame Building Expo in Nashville. This year’s inductees include Glen S. Graber, Kenneth J. Guffey and Joseph Zulovich.
Glen S. Graber
Owner, Graber Post Buildings
In 1971, Glen Graber began a carpentry business, and two years later was running a 3-man crew building post-frame buildings, a rather new industry at the time. He would work with the crew during the day, rush home to shower and eat supper, then grab his briefcase and sell buildings to customers at night.
In 1976, with Graber Post Buildings now housed in a 60×244 foot building, he began buying and selling building materials by the truckload to save costs, selling off the excess to other construction crews. This launched GPB into the retail and wholesale markets.
Graber grew his business organically without job descriptions or organization charts and without taking out loans.
The years 2006 and 2007 were years of great physical expansion. After a devastating fire, new truss manufacturing and trim manufacturing facilities were built, giving GPB more than 300,000 square feet of under-roof production area. A new $1 million state-of-the-art facility was built to house the company’s offices, showroom and hardware store.
Kenneth J. Guffey, PE
General Manager, Rigidply Rafters Inc.
President, Blue Chip Structures, Inc.
Ken Guffey grew up on a dairy farm in Northern Pennsylvania, the son of a Penn State Agricultural Extension Director and dairy specialist. He attended Penn State University where he received B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering under the guidance of Dr. Harvey Manbeck.
While completing his M.S. degree, Guffey accepted a position at Fabral as an application engineer. There he was introduced to Rigidply Rafters Inc. and subsequently partnered with its owner, Arthur Shirk, and Dick Taylor in founding Blue Chip Structures, Inc., a pre-engineered post-frame package building company. He simultaneously assumed the role of general manager for Rigidply.
Guffey has authored or coauthored numerous articles and technical papers related to metal roofing and siding, as well as post-frame design and construction. He is also the primary author of a patent for the structural horizontal metal roofing concept. He considers his most significant achievement, however, his association with Rigidply Rafters Inc.
Joseph M. Zulovich, PhD, PE
Extension Agricultural Engineer
University of Missouri
Joe Zulovich grew up on a dairy farm in northwestern Pennsylvania and attended Penn State University where one of his early influencers was
Dr. Harvey Manbeck.
He credits the diversity of his background as allowing him to have a well-rounded understanding of the environmental needs of buildings. For his masters degree he delved into ventilation heat recovery to lower energy cost. For his doctorate, he developed a temperature-humidity index for laying hens. At Iowa State University, where he was employed as a post doc, he took a close look at ventilation failures in swine facilities and solutions for recovery. Before his final move to the University of Missouri, he was an extension engineer at the University of Minnesota working on the engineering aspects of condensation and ventilation in residential housing.
Zulovich settled in at MU in Columbia in 1991. One of his earliest projects there was to develop flexible building plans for swine production.
The Rural Builder Hall of Fame is sponsored and maintained by Rural Builder magazine, with past inductees, now numbering over 100, nominating and voting for newcomers.