Global Fastener News

1992 FIN – Things Going Management’s Way at RB&W Corporation These Days

August 16
00:00 2012


By Dick Callahan
FIN Editor
May 8, 1992 FIN – Management at RB&W Corp., Mentor, Ohio, can be excused if they’re looking a lot more cheerful these days than at this time last year, and for good reason. Make that, reasons.
Among other things, the company’s financial situation looks rosier now than it did last year. There has actually been some black ink making its reappearance on the bottom line. Net sales of the company for the first quarter of 1992 increased 10% to $44,062,000 compared to $40,043,000 for 1991 while net income of $556,000 (10 cents per share) compared to a net loss of $852,000 (or loss of 16 cents per share) in 1991.
Also, major lenders to the company, like Metropolitan Life have extended the timetable for paying off loans (based on RB&W’s good record of paying off loans ahead of schedule).
Perhaps most encouraging to management has been the support for its efforts that it has just received from the company’s shareholders. At the Annual Meeting held on April 30 it was announced that proposals for the sale of the company (or parts of the company) made by California investor Glen F. Ceiley and his Bisco Industries Group (owners of about 8% of the RB&W’s stock) were soundly (by a vote of over 90%) rejected by RB&W’s other shareholders.

Six directors standing for reelection all were elected as was a new director, Trevor O. Jones, chairman of the board of Libbey-Owens-Ford Co.
There was also some major changes in top management. Ronald K. Leirvik, 54, who joined RB&W last September as president was promoted to chief executive officer of RB&W. John J. Lohrman, 72, who had been chairman and CEO will continue as chairman.
Prior to joining RB&W, Leirvik was executive vice president and general manager of Moen, Inc., the Elyria, Ohio based manufacturer and supplier of kitchen and bathroom faucets, shower valves, stainless steel sinks and do-it-yourself plumbing repair products with annual sales exceeding $380 million. From 1980 to 1984 Leirvik was general manager of the Crane Co., New York, New York and managed all valve and fittings operation consisting of three divisions: Valves, Valve Repair Services and Fittings. Before that (from 1978-1980) Leirvik was executive vice president of the Talon Division Consumer Products of Textron Corp. where he managed all North American operations (annual sales $150 million) and before Talon (from 1959 to 1978) h was with Chrysler Corp., serving in a variety of production and general management positions.
Lohrman joined RB&W in 1957 (when it was known as Russell, Burdsall & Ward Bolt & Nut Co.) as distribution manager, moving up successively to assistant to the president (1960-61), vice president-administration (1961-1969), executive vice president (1969-1973), president & CEO (1973-1976) and chairman and CEO (1976-1992). Before joining RB&W, Lohrman was with McKinsey & Co., the management consultant firm (1946-1957) after serving as a major in the U.S. Army (1941-1945) in China, Burma and India during WWII.
RB&W, founded in 1845 in Connecticut (moving to Port Chester, New York in 1900 and to Mentor, Ohio in 1973) besides being, at 147 years, one of the oldest companies in the fastener field, is also one of the largest manufacturers (having absorbed most of  Lamson & Sessions fastener assets in April, 1981) and distributors of fasteners.
The company (which has a total employment of around 1100 people) has plants in Kent, Ohio; Corapolis, Pennsylvania; Rock Falls and Chicago, Illinois; and Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Its Distribution Division (formerly made up of Bosco Fastening Service Center, The Fastener House, and major operations of Southeastern Bolt) now consists of 34 branches nationwide and a central service center in Dayton, Ohio.
RB&W Corp.’s headquarters address is 5970 Heisley Rd., Mentor, Ohio 44060 Tel: (216) 357-1200. ©1992/2012 Fastener Industry News
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