Staples & Stroder Continue Family Dedication to the Industry
SBCA’s Emerging Leaders Committee welcomed two new members this spring who enjoy the shared experience of having grown up in the structural building components industry.
“Wood Tech was founded in 1982 by my grandfather, Henry Staples,” explains Phillip Staples. “My father, Michael, took over as company president when my grandfather passed in 2008. I would frequently go into work with my father throughout my childhood and thought everything about it was exciting. I began working for Wood Tech the day I got my driver’s license, and I have been here ever since.”
Phillip says that the most rewarding part of his position as production foreman at the family’s operation in Byron Center, Michigan, is to see the financial impact from the implementation of a continuous improvement manufacturing process. “We have built a culture comprised of one cohesive team that enjoy working together and, as a result,” he says, “both production efficiency and employee moral have increased considerably.”
Wyatt Stroder, quality control manager for California TrusFrame LLC (CTF), says he has also been around the business since he was a kid, though he didn’t get involved until after he graduated from high school. “Once I got into it and really started learning and pushing myself to do more, it became a passion,” Wyatt remembers. He says this started about two years ago when he started his position as QC manager: “I took the job of fully integrating SBCA’s 3rd Party Quality Assurance program into CTF’s three locations personally because I believed it would help our company in a big way.”
For Wyatt, QC is rewarding because it puts him “right at the center of all the departments,” which puts him in a prime spot to learn from all the other managers and departments around him. “If something is changed or needs to get done or checked, the QC team is consulted,” he explains. “Having access to experienced personnel in our company has given me the opportunity to learn a lot in the two years I have been in this position. It has helped me push the QC team to be the best it can be and operate efficiently.”
Phillip and Wyatt also share a common motivation for getting involved in SBCA – the opportunity to network, learn, and give back to the industry – and have already experienced tangible value from their involvement with SBCA.
“While attending multiple Open Quarterly Meetings as well as BCMC over the last three years, I have witnessed the impactful role that the SBCA has on the industry,” says Phillip. “As a young professional, I am motivated to make a contribution to the continued success of an industry that my family has been a part of for almost 40 years.”
“Networking through events held by the SBCA has resulted in visiting other facilities of association members,” Phillip continues. “These plant tours have directly impacted our manufacturing process and have resulted in less waste due to a more efficient production process.”
Wyatt concurs. “After experiencing the BCMC show for myself and interacting with all the employees from the SBCA and all the members who are a part of it, it was very clear to me that the best of the best worked with the SBCA team to improve the industry. If I wanted to learn more about the industry and improve my knowledge, SBCA is where I was going to do that.”
“CTF has been on the forefront of testing SBCA’s Digital QC program and we became SBCRI QA certified in all three of our California locations,” says Wyatt. “Our overall quality has improved immensely and we have received more ideas for improving the quality of our trusses.”
Both Wyatt and Phillip see great potential for growth and advancement in the industry for those in their generation willing to work hard and learn. “This industry is not something you are going to be able to read about and then be able to do on the spot,” says Wyatt. “But if you are willing learn from others, you can succeed in this industry.”
“Understanding the basic concepts of prefabricated components can create a foundation for future job security,” says Phillip. “Education through school programs and hands-on programs could bring interest to a larger audience of potential future emerging leaders.”
Visit the SBCA website for more information about the Emerging Leaders Committee and how to get involved.