Rural Builder Hall of Fame Recipients: 1982-Present

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Barry Bahler

Barry Bahler

Bahler, Barry
Inducted:  2002
Fbi Buildings – Remington, Indiana

Bahler is CEO/chairman and one of five owners of Fbi Buildings, a specialist in the design and construction of commercial/industrial, professional, church, retail, office, agricultural, and equine facilities.  Fbi is a family-owned business established in 1958 by Barry’s father, Edwin A Bahler.

The elder Bahler was a founding father of the post-frame building industry (and member of the Rural Builder Hall of Fame), and Barry grew up working and learning alongside his father.

Bahler joined Fbi in 1971 after graduating from Purdue University.  He has held positions throughout the company, starting as an equipment operator and working his way up through estimating, purchasing, project management, and sales.  He became president in 1982, chairman of the board in 1991, and CEO in 2000.

Bahler has long been active in the National Frame Builders Association, twice serving as chairman, and he has given a lot of his time to the rural building industry.

He has also served on the boards of directors of Frame Building News Magazine, the Indiana Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, and Stoller Honey, and as deacon of his church.

 

Ed Bahler

Ed Bahler

Bahler, Ed
Inducted:  1982
Farm Builder, Inc. – Remington, Indiana  

Ed started his rural building career in 1958, using square oak-treated posts, wood siding and post-frame construction techniques.

A real industry leader, Ed helped develop many innovative techniques used in rural construction today.  A mover in forming the National Frame Builders Association, he served as that group’s first president.

He and several sons operate this family business, which encompasses all phases of rural construction, including post-frame rural housing.

 

Calvin Baird, Sr.

Calvin Baird, Sr.

Baird, Sr., Calvin
Inducted:  1988
Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation – Louisville, Kentucky

Creative and innovative growth has been the mettle upon which Calvin built his construction career.  For more than 30 years, he has never lost sight of rural construction as a growth market.  Calvin founded Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp. in 1963 and since then he has pioneered custom-cut lengths and many pre-painted and galvanized products for agricultural, industrial and commercial buildings.  His remarkable system of distributing roofing and siding products has served as a consistent supply source for rural builders and lumberyards.

 

Walter Behlen

Walter Behlen

Behlen, Walter
Inducted:  1982
Behlen Manufacturing Company – Columbus, Nebraska

It was 1935 when Walt first ventured into manufacturing with a variety of industrial products.  By 1945, he and other family members had come up with an improved process for scaling and drawing wire rod which led them into the wire mesh corn crib business.

Development of other products, such as grain dryers, bins and accessories, soon followed.  In 1949, the firm developed a way to sue deep corrugations to stiffen sheet metal panels that allowed them to be used as the frame, walls and roof of a structure.

This man’s pioneering development of the frameless panel building system certainly must take its place as a very important advancement in building design and construction.

 

Donald A. Bender

Donald A. Bender

Bender, Donald A.
Inducted:  1995
Texas A&M University – College Station, Texas

Don has been a leading educator in the post-frame building industry for many years.  A registered professional engineer, Prof. Bender teaches courses in structural design at Texas A&M University.  He regularly teaches continuing education courses on post-frame building design to industry professionals across the U.S., including courses and seminars at the National Frame Builders Conference and Rural Builder Show.

The author of numerous articles on the reliability of wood structures and post-frame building design, Don has served on the Structures and Wood Construction & Engineering committees of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers and is an editor for ASAE technical journals, contributing to the ASAE monograph on post-frame building design and assisting in the revision of ASAE post-frame standards.

He has served on the NFBA Education and Research committee and the FRAME BUILDING NEWS Editorial Review committee.  Don has also chaired technical committees and task groups for the American Institute of Timber Construction and the American Society for Testing and Materials.

 

Bill Bickert

Bill Bickert

Bickert, Bill
Inducted:  1988
Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan

Bill is well known for his affable and gregarious rapport with rural builders.  His expertise in the field of agricultural engineering has left an indelible mark of excellence, particularly on dairy housing design.   Having served many years as a valued member of the Midwest Plan Service, Bill is an excellent leader and tremendously knowledgeable in all aspects of rural construction.

 

Ben Boehler

Ben Boehler

Boehler, Ben
Inducted:  1985
Girard Wholesale Supply

Since getting into rural construction in 1957, Ben has worked as a salesman, builder and supplier of materials to builders.  Often finding it frustrating to be short of needed materials to wrap-up a construction job, Ben started a wholesale distributing firm that stocked materials for contractors.

Along with the wholesale business, Ben used his crews to experiment with new products, different products and new building techniques.  A true innovator, Ben developed many ideas used throughout the industry today.  Having served as a director of the National Frame Builders Association, Ben has played an important role in the growth of our industry.

 

David R. Bohnhoff

David R. Bohnhoff

Bohnhoff, David R.
Inducted:  1996
University of Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin

Prof. Bohnhoff has been a leader in the testing and research of post-frame buildings and components, with emphasis on laminated post design and construction techniques.  He has developed special finite element analysis methods for modeling vertically and horizontally mechanically laminated assemblies and has used the programs to improve and optimize post designs.  Recently he developed procedures for improving and simplifying diaphragm design of post-frame buildings.

A registered professional engineer, Bohnhoff has been active in ASAE at both the state and national levels, where he chaired the SE-20 Structures Group and a committee developing new mechanically laminated post engineering practice.

His teaching has included courses in construction, methods, building codes and materials, and the design of agricultural structures.

He was named to the College of Agriculture’s outstanding undergraduate student advisor in 1992, its outstanding teacher in 1993, and its outstanding internship advisor in 1995.

 

Borkholder-Dwayne-3

Dwayne Borkholder

Borkholder, Dwayne
Inducted: 2013
Borkholder Buildings & Supply – Nappanee, Indiana

As the son of one of NFBA’s founders, Borkholder has been a member of the NFBA since its’ beginning.  The Borkholder business was established in 1962.  Since then, it has grown into an engineering center, full-line lumberyard, custom truss and post manufacturing plant and delivery fleet.  It supplies quality products to a post-frame dealer network as well as selling retail products in its’ lumberyard.  As one of the entries to the 2010 competition of the National Frame Buildings Association, their Zero Energy Home, an innovative Borkholder building design, received a Building of the Year Award.

 

Freemon Borkholder

Freemon Borkholder

Borkholder, Freemon
Inducted:  1984
Borkholder Buildings – Nappanee, Indiana

A real believer in the rural building business, Freemon has spent a great many years helping this industry grow to where it is today.

Always willing to give of his time and talents, Freemon was one of the early members of the National Frame Builders Association.  He remains active in a number of industry, community and religious activities.  He helped pioneer a number of innovative ideas used by rural contractors today.

 

Thomas J. Boston

Thomas J. Boston

Boston, Thomas J.
Inducted:  1998
National Manufacturing Company – Sterling, Illinois

Born on a farm in central Illinois, Boston began his career with the FBI in Washington, D.C., later becoming an insurance fraud investigator.  A subsequent position with a large lumber company paved the way for his entrance into the construction industry.  Boston managed the company’s “pole building division,” supervising a sales force, yardmen, and erection crews.  He credits this experience with teaching him the “nuts & bolts: of post-frame construction.

Next he served Growmark, Inc. as a structures representative managing crews and training and assisting member companies with post-frame and grain structures.

Boston came to National Manufacturing as Farm & Industrial Products manager in 1984 responsible for development of new products, training salespeople, pricing, and overall management of the product line.  He was promoted to marketing product management in 1994 with responsibility for all products at National.  A promotion in 1997 to senior manager of Electronic Marketing Services followed.

Boston credits his membership in the National Frame Builders Association with advancing his understanding of the industry.   He served the NFBA on its board of directors for many years.

 

Harry Bott

Harry Bott

Bott, Harry
Inducted:  1987
National Steel/Granite City Division – East St. Louis, Missouri

Product Manage for National’s Building Products in the days when unpainted galvanized corrugated sheet was their only product, Harry persuaded management to develop a color-coated roll formed panel which ended up revolutionizing the rural construction market.  Using a network of key distributors, he worked to nurture and develop the “farm builder” as contractor who could build attractive, cost-competitive structures.

An early-day solid promoter of both Rural Builder magazine, and the National Rural Builder Show, Harry is well known and well respected in the rural construction market and played an all-important role in development and marketing of color-coated roofing and siding.

 

Rick Bragg

Rick Bragg

Bragg, Rick
McElroy Metal, Marshall, Michigan
Inducted: 2011

Rick Bragg grew up in a family of carpenters and decided early to continue the tradition, but in sales rather than construction. He started on the counter at Wick’s Lumber and was also employed by HNP prior to joining McElroy Metal, headquartered in Bossier City, La., as a sales representative in 1987. He became a regional manager in 1994. Always on the lookout for innovation and improvement, Bragg developed trim packages and details to improve the aesthetics and functionality of post-frame buildings and is the chief inventor and patent holder for McElroy Metal’s MESA wall and roof panel. He has been a strong and vocal advocate of post-frame construction, and was part of the initial movement that led to the formation of the National Frame Building Association. His contributions to the organization are many.

 

David Brakeman

David Brakeman

Brakeman, David
Inducted:  2016
Alpine, an ITW Company

While studying for a degree in civil engineering at Washington University-St. Louis, Dave Brakeman started working part-time for Lumbermate Company, a manufacturer of metal connector plates for wood trusses. He essentially remains at the same company. Lumber mate was acquired by Alpine Engineered Products, which today is an ITW Company. As an active member of the Truss Plate Institute Brakeman has been part of the standards that govern truss plates in the construction industry, referenced in the Building Codes as TPI-1. The organization also established the HIB-98 Post Frame Summary Sheet, a warning guide governing the handling, installing and bracing of metal plate connected wood trusses used in post frame construction, the forerunner of today’s BCSI-B10. Brakeman also served as a member of the Technology and Research Committee for the National Frame Building Association, and has authored or co-authored a number of papers.

 

Karl J. Brickl

Karl J. Brickl

Brickl, Karl J.
Inducted:  1994
Brickl Brothers Inc. – West Salem, Wisconsin

Karl Brickl, president and general manager of the Brickl Brothers contracting firm, began his career as the foreman of a pole building crew and without any construction experience.  He and brothers Stan and Jim founded their own pole building business in 1970, erecting machine sheds, garages, and other simple projects.  By the mid-1970’s they were constructing turnkey dairy facilities, and by the end of the decade had become known over a wide area as one of the better and most knowledgeable builders of turnkey dairy facilities.  Since the early 1980s the company has operated as a general contractor, building industrial, commercial and agricultural turnkey projects.  Credits include churches, restaurants, banks, convenience stores, offices, manufacturing facilities, and many more using wood, steel, precast concrete, masonry, and combinations of materials and methods.’

 

Stan Brickl

Stan Brickl

Brickl, Stan
Inducted: 2006
Brickl Bros. – West Salem, Wisconsin

Brickl is one of three brothers who started their own construction business more than 35 years ago. The initial crew consisted of Stan, his two brothers, and one brother-in-law.

Brickl Bros. has grown to a company that employs nearly 100 talented individuals that build structures from post-frame to traditional wood frame to pre-engineered steel, to masonry and precast concrete. As sales manager, Brickl credits the company’s continued growth to a true design-build philosophy that creates an environment where a customized plan and design can be developed for each individual client.

Brickl has helped design two projects that have won Building of the Year honors from the National Frame Builders Association. He served as president of the Wisconsin Frame Builders Association in 1999 and 2000. As a founding member of the association, he and his brothers have served on the board several times.

 

Michael Brugger

Michael Brugger

Brugger, Michael
Inducted: 2016

Ohio State University

Michael Brugger received a New Holland scholarship to attend college for agricultural engineering at Pennsylvania State University. He earned his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Brugger helped to form the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Frame Building Association during his stay in Wisconsin, and later, following his move to Ohio, assisted with forming the Ohio Chapter of the NFBA. He spent most of his career in the Agricultural Engineering Department at the Ohio State University teaching wood structural design, spending the balance of his time in extension work. Working in concert with the needs of farmers, he led the way in the use of curtain walls for dairy freestall barns. Now retired from Ohio State, he continues to work part-time for engineering firms and in so doing is attempting to pass on the knowledge of post-frame design to the next generation.

 

Dwaine S. Bundy

Dwaine S. Bundy

Bundy, Dwaine S.
Inducted:  1992
Iowa State University – Ames, Iowa

Dwaine S. Bundy, a 1992 inductee into the Rural Builder Hall of Fame, is a professor in the Agricultural & Bio-Systems Engineering Department at Iowa State University in Ames.  Born and reared on a farm in southern Illinois, He has served as a consultant in seed plant design and livestock housing in the U.S. and Russia, Turkey, Egypt, and the Azores.  A teacher of structural environmental engineering in agricultural structures, Prof. Bundy’s research in fan housing produced 10-20-percent improvements in fan design by several manufacturers.  His research in diaphragm design for post-frame structures developed an early version of the procedure, later validated the design procedure with a full-scale building, and more recently performed tests analyzing end walls and building frame both with and without metal siding and roofing.  He is an active member of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers.

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