CLEVELAND, OHIO – The Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) inducted three industry pioneers into the 2016 Metal Construction Hall of Fame. As noteworthy contributors to the metal building industry’s early development, Wilbur Larkin, Jack Hatcher and Johnie Schulte became inaugural members of the Metal Construction Hall of Fame new “Founders” category.
The new category recognizes individuals who played a significant role in shaping and advancing the early development of the industry. Honorees were recognized last month at a special Metal Construction Hall of Fame event held at METALCON 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Wilbur Larkin was one of MBMA’s founding members and served as MBMA’s first chairman from 1956-1957. From the early 1930s to 1967, he held multiple positions at Butler Manufacturing Co., including chief engineer, project manager and vice president and manager of the buildings division. Larkin’s efforts helped to shape the metal construction industry by focusing on technical initiatives related to design specifications and building codes, which served to improve the efficiency, performance and acceptance of metal building systems.
Jack Hatcher served as an MBMA chairman in 1968. He began his career as an engineer at Varco Steel, and later helped form Varco Pruden Buildings, where he served as president. His leadership at Varco Pruden Buildings led the company to become one of the nation’s largest metal building systems manufacturers. Hatcher advocated for the widespread adoption of rigid frame metal buildings and helped spearhead engineering system advancements and market expansion. He also is recognized for supporting future generations of entrepreneurial engineers.
Johnie Schulte pioneered the hub-and-spoke approach as an effective method to manufacture metal buildings, proving that metal building companies could sell metal building components and multiple brands of products in a single market. He helped create and support thousands of employment opportunities, and championed a company culture that recognized members at all levels within an organization. Some of Schulte’s most noteworthy roles include founding Mid-West Steel Building Co., NCI Building Systems (formerly National Components Inc.) and Schulte Building Systems.