Contech Engineered Solutions in West Chester, Ohio, has named Mike Rafi president, chief executive officer and director. He has served as acting president and CEO since October 2014, transitioning from the top post at Pipe Solutions, the company’s largest business.28 Mike 200

“The Board conducted a thorough process to find the right leader. Mike has all of the qualities that were important in making this hire [and] is the right person who can take this organization to the next level,” says Contech Chairman Tim Bernlohr. 

Rafi has been a senior leader at Contech for the past seven years, intimately involved in virtually all aspects of the business, and responsible for strategic planning, development and mergers & acquisitions. During the economic downturn, he managed all organizational redesigns, helping the company restructure its work force, improve productivity and significantly lower fixed expenses. He also completed two balance sheet restructurings, while closing eight acquisitions and multiple strategic alliances. Rafi joined Contech in 2008 from lifting equipment leader JLG Industries.


Kerkstra Precast in Grandville, Mich., has become the seventh producer to join AltusGroup in the past two years, bringing the total number of North American precasters in the organization to an all-time high of 19. With 50-plus years in the construction products business, the company specializes in structural and architectural precast for a wide variety of building types in the Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois markets. Kerkstra Precast will offer CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels and CarbonCast Insulated Architectural Cladding.

“CarbonCast will be an excellent technology addition to [our] portfolio and further position us for the increasing demands for higher performance precast products in the Midwest,” says President Greg Kerkstra. “The technology has proven itself to be highly efficient, effective and cost-competitive versus other systems.”

“Another high-quality precaster in the Midwest gives architects and the entire building team another source for CarbonCast technology in a part of the country that recognizes the inherent value of precast concrete,” notes John Carson, executive director of Bethehem, Pa.-based AltusGroup. “The proven team at Kerkstra will add to our technical and marketing resources moving forward.”

Since 2004, AltusGroup producers has delivered more than 34 million square feet of CarbonCast panels for 900-plus buildings. The enclosure products use C-Grid carbon fiber reinforcement as a shear connector to provide outstanding thermal efficiency, continuous insulation and full composite action to exterior walls, while maintaining the aesthetic flexibility of precast concrete.

Georgia-based clay brick and manufactured stone veneer giant Boral USA has added Scott Murray as technical installation manager for the Light Building Products Division’s West region. He is charged with meeting technical and sales needs to increase market exposure for Boral TruExterior Siding and Trim and Boral Versetta Stone products.

“[Scott’s]proven track record of success in strategy, sales and account management in the building and construction industry aligns perfectly with our goals to circulate knowledge and raise awareness about our new products,” says Boral Light Building Products Director of Strategy & Business Development David Odum. Murray’s addition signals an investment to advance the company’s growth efforts in the Western U.S. markets, he notes, providing additional value to existing customers and helping to drive further adoption of TruExterior and Versetta Stone product.

Recently introducted in the West region, TruExterior is the first siding and trim product in the poly-ash category, comprising fly ash and proprietary polymer blend. A mortarless manufactured stone veneer, Versetta Stone is also expected to launch in the region this year. 

Murray brings Boral Light Building Products more than 12 years of industry-related experience in sales, business operations, client relations and project management. He served as a sales and product manager with California Cascade Industries, a decking and lumber material producer and distributor. Prior to that, he worked as a product manager and designer for Custom Outdoor Kitchen Designs, focusing on project installations, design changes and process improvements.

Lafarge Canada Inc. has received three awards in the 2015 Top 100 Employers competition, through which Mediacorp Canada Inc. editors recognize companies offering employees exceptional programs, services, and initiatives. “Receiving these awards has not only reaffirmed that we are on the right path to Building Better Careers, but it also inspires us to continue to invest in and enhance the programs, initiatives, and services that we provide employees,” says Lafarge, Western Canada’s Stephanie McDonald, vice president, Organization & Human Resources.

The producer was honored in these categories: Alberta’s Top 70 Employers, a reflection of competitive benefits and an array of development programs and resources so employees have the tools to improve their technical and interpersonal skills; Canada’s Best Diversity Employers, underscoring continuous growth of female representation in management ranks, plus development of stronger relationships with Aboriginal groups and newcomers to Canada; and, Canada’s Top Employers for Young People, a nod to a variety of initiatives aimed at helping new employees gain a better understanding products and services, develop their leadership skills, and interact with senior managers.

One of the Pacific Northwest’s oldest and best rooted concrete masonry producers, Mutual Materials is set to install CarbonCure carbon dioxide-sequesting technology at its Kent, Wash, and Clackamas, Ore., plants. “We’ve always paid close attention to the environmental impact of our operations,” says Mutual Materials Chairman Joe Bowen. “When an opportunity to reduce our footprint comes along, we take it because it’s smart business and it aligns with our values.” 

The company has implemented multiple strategies to make operations more sustainable, he adds, including installation of stormwater management systems and energy use-monitoring smart meters. In 2014, it partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport program, aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions associated with industrial transportation. Mutual Materials tracks diesel used for product delivery, and has aimed to increase overall fleet fuel economy. On-site crushing equipment enables the company to use 10 to 13 percent recycled aggregate in masonry mixes.