Brenda Harris has joined the Oldcastle APG management team with direct line responsibility to grow masonry cladding market share. With more than 30 years in hardscape and masonry markets, she will take a leadership role with several new product lines, such as the Echelon Masonry Veneers’ new Be.On Stone, a mechanically fastened (anchored) product proven to enhance a building’s moisture deflection properties; improve labor efficiencies; reduce jobsite waste; and, equal to installation in virtually any adverse climate.

“Oldcastle is well known for setting the standard by which products and innovation drive the entire masonry industry forward. Now with the consolidation of its brands into Echelon Masonry, it was an opportune time to join the Oldcastle APG team and help grow this powerful lineup of brands,” notes Harris. “The market is in a stage of evolution where smart brands are deploying new technologies and solutions that will surprise, delight, exceed expectations and solve challenges.”

Harris began her career at Stewart Building & Roofing Material in Tucson, Ariz., proceeding to southern California, where she spent a decade at Orco Block and 11-plus years leading Headwaters Stone Division sales.

Echelon’s InsulTech

Separately, Echelon Masonry garnered recognition in three architectural/engineering/construction publications’ year-end features. The InsulTech Concrete Masonry Systems (shown here) landed an Architectural Record Best Product Award for 2016, published in the December issue and judged by a panel of architects and specifiers weighing innovation, functionality and aesthetics. InsulTech also ranked number 20 in Building Design & Construction’s “Top 101 Products,” a December report based on reader inquiries and editor input. Echelon Masonry was also named in Architectural ProductsTop 50 Readers Choice awards for the Artisan Collection’s Westpeak Lightweight Veneers.

“These recognitions are special to our brand because they come from industry peers who see the value in our newly consolidated masonry portfolio. They help energize our entire team as we begin the new year,” says Oldcastle Architectural Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Product Development Ken O’Neill. “To win product honors for both InsulTech, our masonry block wall performance system, and our new lightweight veneer collection offers validation that Echelon is helping answer market needs.”

InsulTech can meet and often exceed code while offering multiple design options, with thermal efficiency, continuous insulation, moisture management, and exterior and interior aesthetics. It features a structural concrete masonry unit, molded insulation insert and—on the exterior—a lightweight stone veneer finish. Westpeak is a unique lightweight veneer from Echelon’s Artisan Collection, featured in Onyx, Wheat and Magnolia colors. Westpeak Lightweight Veneer’s stone aggregate complements virtually any interior or exterior application due to its tight dimensional tolerance.

Coralville, Iowa precaster Zero Energy Systems has appointed Donn Thompson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, as vice president, Business Development & Communications, tasked with expanding market share for the company’s high performance, edge-to-edge insulated, structural concrete wall panel systems.

“Our panels meet new ICC energy standards for continuous insulation and FEMA 361 and ICC 500 wind load requirements,” he says. “With our state-of-the-art plant, we competitively offer advanced manufacturing exceeding industry tolerances for high performance concrete wall systems.”

Thompson has been active in the industry for nearly 20 years, with extensive sales support and field experience on a variety of concrete systems. Most recently, he was Portland Cement Association senior director, Market Development, responsible for coordinating target market, concrete product, and cement-based building system promotion strategies. Prior to PCA, he served as Reward Wall Systems commercial project manager and Owens Corning business development manager.

New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co. has acquired the assets of eastern Pennsylvania operators Berks Products Corp., Reading, and EJB Paving & Materials, West Lawn in transactions totaling $46.3 million. Berks’ four ready mixed and two aggregate plants plus a construction supply center, and two EJB asphalt plants, serve markets west and north of Philadelphia. They are situated between New Enterprise’s existing stone, aggregate, ready mixed and asphalt production sites from Lehigh Valley to Lancaster, Pa., and expand its operating footprint into the Reading market.

The acquisitions demonstrate the viability of a profit enhancement plan adopted five years ago, notes New Enterprise CEO Paul Detwiler III. “[They] were completed with no additional long-term debt and will push our operating profit to record highs,” he adds. “We have now shown our ability to grow operating profit while reducing debt—a cornerstone of our operating plan.”