Rural Builder Hall of Fame Recipients: 1982-Present

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James Walter

James Walter

Walter, James
Inducted:  1999
H-W Systems – Fairbury, Illinois

Walter’s career in the building business began in 1953 when he helped his father, Edward, erect a Doane building package.  By 1956 he was skipping school on occasion to help his uncle build arched-rafter machine sheds, becoming a full-time carpenter upon his high school graduation in 1957.

During 1959-60, Walter worked in a factory making prefabricated homes, moving on in 1961 to a company which prefabricated farm buildings.  There he was promoted to the company’s drafting department and became involved in the early stages of hog confinement systems building development.

Walter founded H-W Systems with a partner in 1971 concentrating on livestock production buildings and other prefabricated structures for other contractors.  He bought his partner’s interest in the company in 1982 and added a lumber yard and a hardware store to the operation.

H-W Systems added a Metallic™ dealership to its product line in 1996, and two years later began installing stabilized cellulose insulation in commercial, residential, and agricultural buildings.  In 1999 Walter closed the lumber yard and hardware store division to concentrate on the construction division as a general contractor.  His son, Thadd, bought H-W Systems, which Walter now serves as president.

 

Jack Walters

Jack Walters

Walters, Jack
Inducted:  1992
Jack Walters & Sons – Allenton, Wisconsin

Jack Walters turned a part-time activity selling pole barns into a career when he founded Jack Walters & Sons in 1965.  Now employing 250 people and doing business in 35 states, the Allenton, Wis.-based company designed, patented, and now manufactures the truss plates, trusses, columns, and steel frame sliding doors which go into Walter’s Buildings.  The company, whose management includes two Walters’ sons, finds its building customers in the agricultural, commercial, and industrial markets.  A U.S. Marine who was wounded during World War II in the South Pacific, Walters is a Wisconsin native and still makes an occasional sales call with grandsons who are active in the business.

 

Randy Wanta

Randy Wanta

Wanta, Randy
Inducted:  1997
Wanta & Son – Hatley, Wisconsin

Randy grew up in the construction business, working with three brothers for his dad’s company.  He assumed management of the business in 1975 at a time when its focus was entirely on the agricultural market.  By the mid-1980’s, Wanta & Son had begun to turn its attention to the commercial market, as well, and eventually separate crews were formed to handle the business in each market.  Under Randy’s direction, the company’s annual sales by the mid-1990’s was twenty-five times what it had been two decades earlier.

Randy has served on the Wisconsin Frame Builders Board of Directors from 1984-86 and from 1990-92, was a National Frame Builders Association director from 1986-88, and has won numerous awards from the national and Wisconsin associations, including the 1987 Grand Prize Winner in its Building of the Year competition.  In the mid-1980s he helped form the state chapter’s “Buyers’ Guide”.  He has also served on the Star Building Systems Presidents Advisory Council and won that company’s Master Builder Award in 1990, 1993, and 1994.

 

John F. WickWick, John F.
Inducted:  1994
Wick Building Systems – Mazomanie, Wisconsin

John Wick, the chief executive officer of Wick Building Systems, founded the company in 1954, because, as he says, “there simply was no one in Wisconsin specializing in pole buildings and offering a complete package of design, layout, materials, and erection for one fixed price.”  Wick saw that to be really efficient, farmers needed large one-story buildings with lots of clear height and clear width to accommodate larger post-war farm machinery.  It became his “mission” to develop better buildings to house the improved equipment being developed to relieve farmers of their “endless hours of hard physical labor.”  Today Wick Building Systems has three operations:  Wick Buildings, the original post-frame building manufacturer; Wick Homes, which builds panelized homes; and Marshfield Manufactured Housing, which builds mobile homes.

 

Jerry L. Wille

Jerry L. Wille

Wille, Jerry L.
Inducted:  2004
Curry-Wille & Associates – Ames, Iowa

Wille has been an engineering consultant for the rural construction industry since the 1970’s, and the principal of his firm since 1979, providing engineering design for many projects.

Wille has been a member of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers since 11973, and was elected its president for 2003.  He has worked to make ASAE’s continuing education programs more valuable, and to encourage participation by practicing engineers in annual meetings.  His other memberships include the National Frame Builders Association, the Construction Specifications Institute, and the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology.

 

Frank Woeste

Frank Woeste

Woeste, Frank
Inducted:  1989
Virginia Polytechnic Institute – Blacksburg, Virginia

Frank has probably done more testing work with post-frame columns, posts and trusses for rural buildings than anyone else in the entire United States.  He has shown a tremendous interest and dedication to the rural construction industry and has always been willing to spend time in determining the best designs and construction methods for rural builders.

 

Clyde M. Wynn

Clyde M. Wynn

Wynn, Clyde M.
Inducted:  1997
Alpine Engineered Products – Earth City, Missouri

Marketing manager for Lumbermate when it was a division of  Alpine Engineered Products, Clyde had more than 39 years of service in the management of the design and construction of wood-frame buildings and components at the time of his Hall of Fame induction.  Previously he had been chief design technician for nine years at Hydro Air Engineering and served 11 years at truss and component plants and six years a construction manager for a general contract/developer.

A member of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, he has also been a director of the National Frame Builders Association and the Illinois/Missouri chapter of the NFBA.  He has served on several committees of the Wood Truss Council of America, is a member of the Construction Specifications Institute, and an associate member of the National Association of Home Builders and of the Southern Building Code Congress International.

Clyde has been a frequent presenter at workshops and seminars on the topic of wood-frame structures, addressing building officials, fire service officials, architects, engineers, and contractors.  He has also authored and edited a number of industry publications and papers.

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