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AGAWAM — To further its commitment to a ‘people-first’ philosophy, OMG Inc. has restructured its Human Resources Department to focus on initiatives that provide employees with opportunities to improve themselves, feel appreciated, and continually progress in their careers.

OMG has promoted Maggie MacElhiney to the position of director of Talent for the organization. In her new position, she is responsible for managing human-resource activities including talent acquisition and onboarding, talent development, performance management, compensation, succession planning, and workforce planning.

MacElhiney has been with OMG since 2006, most recently as the senior Talent Development manager. She holds a master’s degree in adult education and human resource development from the University of Texas, Austin, and is a member of the Assoc. for Talent Development and the Society for Human Resource Management.

OMG has also promoted Geri McCarthy to the newly created position of director of Employee Engagement, where she is responsible for managing and implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives; employee wellness and engagement programs; and general HR responsibilities.

McCarthy has been with OMG since 2012 in a variety of roles, most recently as director of Operations, where she also headed the company’s DEI council and wellness committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from American International College and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

“Maggie and Geri have worked very hard with regard to expanding our workforce and developing our employees,” said Hubert McGovern, president and CEO. “In their new roles, they will continue to focus on building an exceptional OMG experience for all employees. They are both outstanding managers with great track records, and they will play important roles as OMG continues to grow and evolve.”

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AGAWAM — Brittany Yvon, credit manager for OMG Inc., has been named as a Rising Star by HBS Dealer magazine in its annual Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply listing. She was selected from among a record-breaking number of nominations of up-and-coming and high-performing leaders who are making an impact in the hardware and building-supply industry.

Since 2020, HBS Dealer and industry partners have promoted the role of women in the hardware and building-supply industry. Individuals are nominated by their peers and selected by a panel of judges based on their contributions and attributes that go above and beyond the call of duty. Professionals receiving the Rising Star designation have been identified as women with the potential to make a significant, positive difference both within their company and within the industry for years to come.

“It is a great honor to be recognized among this group of outstanding industry leaders,” Yvon said. “Collectively, the women named as Rising Stars will potentially make some very significant differences in our industry, and I’m very proud and humbled to be part of the class of 2023.”

Yvon has been with OMG for seven years and was promoted to credit manager in 2021, where she is responsible for overseeing OMG’s Accounts Receivable department, including researching customer credit reports, creating credit scoring models to predict risk, monitoring customer balances, and preparing end-of-month reports and reconciliations. She is a member of the National Assoc. of Credit Management, a certified international credit professional through the Finance, Credit, and International Business Assoc., and a credit business associate through the National Assoc. of Credit Management.

Yvon and the other award recipients will be honored at HBS Dealer’s annual Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply convention on Nov. 15-16 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk Hotel.

Daily News

AGAWAM — OMG Inc. and Joey’s Deli of Agawam are hosting the Whoopie Pie Waddle, a 5K run or two-mile walk around the Agawam Industrial Park, on Saturday, May 20 to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project and the Michael J. Dias Foundation.

The running and walking events start at 8:30 a.m. at OMG, Inc., 153 Bowles Road. The entry fee is $30 per runner or walker and includes a race bib and T-shirt. Prizes from OMG and Joey’s Deli will be awarded to the top three men and women racers. All participants will be treated to a whoopie pie from Joey’s Deli.

“This is a great event for two wonderful charities in need of funding, and we are proud to sponsor it with Joey’s Deli,” said Geri McCarthy, OMG’s director of Employee Engagement. “Employee wellness and giving back are important to our corporate philosophy and culture. We have a highly engaged wellness committee focused on nutrition, financial wellness, mental well-being, and physical health, and believe our employees are happier and more productive due to this attention to personal improvement.”

Jonathan Cunningham, owner of Joey’s Deli, added that “we at Joey’s Deli are excited to co-host and sponsor our first 5K. Both Joey and I love to share our passion for running and giving back to the community that we call home. We look forward to raising a lot of money for these two worthy charities.”

Guests and spectators can enjoy snacks, beverages, kids’ activities, and raffles during the race, which will be held rain or shine, and is expected to end by about 12 noon.

Participants for the 5K run or two-mile walk must register online before the start of the race by clicking here. In addition to the $30 entry fee, there is a $2.80 sign-up fee.


View from the Top

From left, Web Shaffer, Hubert McGovern, and Dewey Kolvek on one of the plant floors at OMG Inc.

From left, Web Shaffer, Hubert McGovern, and Dewey Kolvek on one of the plant floors at OMG Inc.

The past three years — spanning the pandemic and all the ways it has impacted industry, from supply chains to workforce challenges — have been rough on businesses of all kinds.

But for OMG Inc., it’s been a different story.

“I want to say three-quarters of the business is re-roofing,” said Web Shaffer, senior vice president and general manager of the firm, which encompasses two main divisions: OMG Roofing Products and FastenMaster. “So, while it’s not entirely recession-proof, when your roof goes, you can patch it for a little while, but you can only do that for so long.”

OMG President Hubert McGovern agreed. “You either get a bucket, or you get a new roof.”

And the bucket isn’t the ideal choice for a large company — think of an Tesla factory, a Target store, or an Amazon warehouse — with plenty to protect under that roof.

Meanwhile, 2020 found people stuck at home, not going on vacation, and, in many cases, investing in their homes, said Dewey Kolvek, OMG’s senior vice president of operations. “During the pandemic, it was crazy, with everybody battening down the hatches. A lot of people were at home, looking around, and saying, ‘you know, maybe we should remodel our bathroom. Maybe we should remodel the kitchen. Oh, let’s put a deck out in the back.’”

OMG Roofing Products, which manufactures and supplies roofing fasteners, adhesives, and rooftop drains, pipe supports, and solar mounts, as well as proprietary installation technology for the flat-roofing market; and FastenMaster, which develops fastening and adhesive products used by remodelers, deck builders, residential framers, home builders, and floor installers, both benefited from this environment.

“We’re not making basic drywall screws or something like that. If we have a new product, it’s got to have a feature, a benefit, a patented intellectual property, and something the customer wants.”

And during a time of global supply-chain issues in 2021 and 2022, “we grew out of control, and we couldn’t keep up,” McGovern said. “These last two years have been record years for the company because of the demand. It’s finally starting to settle, but we’ve been under the gun to produce as much as possible, as fast as possible, for probably two and a half years.”

Kolvek recalls it all vividly. “For a period there, we were on 24/7 for two months, just to try to put a dent in it. It was brutal.”

OMG is no stranger to growth spurts. After launching in 1981 as Olympic Fasteners, by 1987 it was manufacturing 100 million fasteners a year. In 1993, the company became Olympic Manufacturing Group — hence the OMG acronym — and in 1997, it was acquired by Handy & Harman, which was later taken over by a public company called Steel Partners. Throughout its history, OMG has grown about 10% a year, on average, through organic growth, constant product development, and a series of acquisitions.

Today, OMG boasts more than 650 employees — about 450 of them at its Agawam campus, which spans 480,000 square feet over a half-dozen buildings — and records about $400 million in annual sales. Its three other plants are located in Addison, Ill., Charlotte, N.C., and Rockford, Minn., in addition to field salespeople located across the U.S. and overseas. The company estimates that around 65% of all commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings in the U.S. that have been built or reroofed within the past 25 years have one or more of its products on their roof.

“The good news about roofing is, people need roofs,” McGovern said. “So if you have a decent building, you’re not willing to let it just deteriorate; you’re going to get a new roof if you need it. Or you’re going to have a lot of buckets and be running around like a chicken with your head cut off every time it rains.”


Hot Stuff

During BusinessWest’s recent visit to OMG’s factory in Agawam, Shaffer pointed out a Chinese advertisement for RhinoBond, the first non-penetrating, induction-based roof-attachment method in North America, which OMG introduced in 1999.

“RhinoBond is a global leader in induction heat welding, and a leading-edge technology in the commercial roofing industry,” he noted. “So we make stuff in Western Mass. and export it to places like China, which is pretty cool. It usually goes the other way.”

McGovern said OMG has a family of about 20 patents on its induction roofing technology, which uses heat to meld the roofing membrane to a fastener plate without having to puncture the membrane with a screw. “It’s a different way of doing roofing — and we lead the market with that.”

On an aerial photo of the Agawam campus, he pointed out a building dedicated to research and development that houses about 30 employees, mainly engineers, who work on developing new products. Over the years, the company’s developments have included TrapEase, the first composite deck screw that does not mushroom; OlyBond Insulation Adhesive, a two-part, low-rise polyurethane foam; OlyBond500 canisters, a new method of applying adhesive, and many more.

OMG’s patented heat-induction system

This flat roof will use OMG’s patented heat-induction system, which requires no screws to pierce the membrane.

“A lot of the growth has come from looking at our customers and saying, ‘what else can we sell these guys that will help them build a better roof?’” Kolvek said. “And that’s where you see our drains come in, or the solar mounts and other things. Those accessories have helped grow the business, as well as new technologies that cannibalize some of our original product line or allow a more premium solution to builders.”

Shaffer agreed. “We’re really getting out there to the customer and saying, ‘how can we help you? What are your challenges you’re facing?’ And maybe we can bring a solution to the table.”

FastenMaster in particular has been introducing new products at a brisk pace, as evidenced by an innovation award it received from Home Depot in November, for its Cortex Hidden Fastening System, which is used to build a deck with fully hidden hardware and fasteners. That kind of continuous development is possible only by staying atop and even spearheading industry trends, McGovern said.

“Some of the technology is changing, but we’ve changed some of the technology with our products,” he noted. “And we’re not making basic drywall screws or something like that. If we have a new product, it’s got to have a feature, a benefit, a patented intellectual property, and something the customer wants.”

“We’re in Western Mass., and we’re all vying for the same pool of workers. So what makes you different than someone else you’re competing against for that same labor?”

Clearly, customers do want them — not only domestically, but in a place like China that’s known much more for its imports to the U.S. than its exports from stateside manufacturers. “You don’t see that a lot in any industry — maybe in some more high-tech ones,” Kolvek said. “But in the construction industry, there’s a lot more imported product. So we have to be different — and better. That’s the bottom line.”

And when OMG develops a successful product, similar products will follow, as with the OlyBond canisters. “We introduced that technology to roofing and, it took off — tens of millions of dollars of sales in a very short period of time,” McGovern said. “Now everybody has a canister technology.”

OMG’s Cortex Hidden Fastening System

Last year, Home Depot gave one of its three innovation awards to OMG’s Cortex Hidden Fastening System.

“In business, that’s what happens,” Shaffer added. “If you’re successful like Tesla, well, somebody else is going to come out with electric cars. They’re not going to let you just do that forever. So you’ve got to move on and innovate again, which is what that whole R&D building is all about.”

And being first to market is important when operating on a global scale, McGovern said. “Then it’s everyone else playing catch-up.”

A key element in OMG’s success has been its embrace of lean manufacturing concepts, Kolvek explained.

“We have a pretty robust continuous-improvement program where we want all employees to be engaged with that thought: what is a better way? How do I improve efficiencies? Can I work safer? Can I work faster? You know, really just instilling people to understand the principles of driving the waste out of everything that we do. There’s always an alternative, and we have to pursue that to stay competitive and stay out in front.”

Shaffer agreed. “How do we compete globally from Western Massachusetts, which is not an industrial region? It’s the innovation plus lean operations keeping costs down and improving that value proposition to the end user. Managing costs and innovating — that’s how we succeed here in Western Mass.”

Focus on People

McGovern said the importance of employees is also reflected in initiatives ranging from tuition reimbursement and financial-wellness programs to company picnics, subsidized healthy meals, and physical-wellness programs such as yoga, massage therapy, and a gym and fitness trainer on site.

“These are all things that enhance people’s lives, that aren’t necessarily attached to the working piece of the company. But if people feel better about themselves, if they’re financially well, if they’re physically well, then we know they’re going to be a better employee. We win, and they win.”

Such efforts are even more important at a time when businesses of all sizes struggle to recruit and retain talented workers.

“It’s a huge issue. That’s why we spend a lot of time and money on it,” McGovern said. “We want the best employees, and we want them to stay. And it’s not an easy market.”

The goal has been to create an employee-centric culture, Kolvek added, and the proof of that model’s success is OMG’s continued growth.

“Management will walk the floor every day, in different areas of the company, just to find the pulse: ‘what are your challenges? What can I help you solve? Do you need anything from me?’ Maybe we’ve got to make an investment somewhere, and who better to highlight that than the person who’s dealing with that challenge day in and day out?

In addition, “you have to differentiate yourself from your competition,” Kolvek said. “We’re in Western Mass., and we’re all vying for the same pool of workers. So what makes you different than someone else you’re competing against for that same labor? If you have employee programs where people see value and benefit, they’re going to be more inclined to come here, stay here, and make a career here.”

Daily News

AGAWAM — OMG Inc. has hired Brianna Akers as talent-acquisition specialist. In her new role, Akers will work closely with the talent-acquisition manager and the company’s management team to develop and implement strategic hiring strategies that expand the employee base across all facilities for continued growth. She reports to Gina Williamson, talent-acquisition manager.

Akers began her career at ProAmpac as a human-resources coordinator, supporting payroll, recruitment, benefits administration, and other aspects of human resources. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Western New England University and a master’s degree from Springfield College.

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AGAWAM — OMG Inc. has added to its Technical Services department with the addition of a technical-support specialist in its OMG Roofing Products division.

In his new role, Curtis Haines will provide the roofing sales team with expanded technical product training and technical support in the field. Additionally, he will work with the new-product-development team to assist in expanding the company’s product lines. He reports to Stephen Childs, Technical Services manager.

Haines comes to OMG Roofing Products with eight years of technical and product management experience from ITW/Permatex in Hartford, Conn. Most recently, he was involved in inside technical sales. Earlier, he had been a technical services manager and an associate innovations manager for the company. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University.

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AGAWAM — OMG Inc., a Steel Partners company and a leading manufacturer of fasteners, adhesives, and construction-productivity tools marketed through its FastenMaster and Roofing Products divisions, named Cecile Mejean director of the New Product Development & Innovation Department for its OMG Roofing Products division.

Mejean will lead the new-product development team, driving product and application innovation for the division. In addition, she will lead the Technical Services organization in delivering technical product support and managing codes and approvals. She reports to Peter Coyne, senior vice president and general manager.

“We are very excited to welcome Cecile to lead our new-product development team and continue our rich history of product development and market innovation,” Coyne said. “Cecile is a proven leader and strategic thinker who has led business and R&D teams to develop and launch new products that enhance customer experiences.”

Mejean joins OMG Roofing Products from Saint-Gobain High-Performance Materials. She spent the past nine years in research and development and business-leadership roles, most recently as business manager for the electronic market. Before Saint-Gobain, she held research positions at Yale University Medical School and Harvard University.

She holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and materials science from Yale University and master’s degrees in soft matter, colloids, and polymers from the University of Bordeaux and in chemical engineering from the Ecole National Superieure de Physique et Chimie de Bordeaux, both in Bordeaux, France.

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AGAWAM — OMG Inc. promoted Brent Fournier to the position of director of Procurement. In this new role, he will develop and implement procurement strategies that meet OMG’s customer demands by focusing on customer service, reduced supply-chain risk, as well as stronger supply partnerships across the value chain. He reports to Brad Bedard, vice president of Supply Chain Management.

“Brent has developed a process-oriented approach to managing the dramatic growth in the number of suppliers and raw materials we purchase during the past six years,” Bedard said. “He has played a critical role in our continued success, and we are excited about his broader role as part of the OMG team.”

Fournier started with OMG as part of the Tiger Claw acquisition in 2011, as a service delivery manager, and was promoted to manager of Purchasing in January 2014. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Connecticut State University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

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AGAWAM — OMG Inc. recently promoted Josh Kelly to the position of senior vice president for Business Development. Meanwhile, OMG Roofing Products hired Elli-Ann Oskar as Sales and Marketing assistant.

In his new role, Kelly will focus on strategic growth opportunities, including mergers and acquisitions, product development, licensing, as well as strategies to expand OMG’s business. He reports to Hubert McGovern, president and CEO of OMG.

“Josh is uniquely qualified to fill this key position,” McGovern said. “He has a deep knowledge of both our Roofing and FastenMaster businesses and markets. He also has a proven track record for developing disruptive technology, the best example of which is our industry-leading RhinoBond induction welding system. He will also play a critical role on the senior management team at OMG.”

Kelly started with OMG in 1991 as a project coordinator and has held several positions within the roofing division, including key account manager, vice president of Marketing, general manager, and, most recently, vice president of Product Development and Innovation.

Josh is a member of the Single Ply Roofing Industry trade association, a past president of the Roofing Industry Alliance, and a current member of the board of directors for the National Roofing Contractors Assoc. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst and an MBA from Western New England University.

In her new role, Oskar is responsible for a wide assortment of administrative functions to support the sales and marketing teams, as well as the company’s key account managers and Customer Service department. She reports to Monte Horst, vice president of Sales and Marketing.

Prior to joining OMG, she was a Business Development assistant at Teracode. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Westfield State University.

Daily News

AGAWAM — OMG Inc., a leading manufacturer and global supplier of fasteners, products, and value-added components and technology for the commercial roofing and residential construction markets, announced its 40th anniversary serving diverse construction markets.

Established in 1981 under the name Olympic Fasteners Inc., the company originally distributed fasteners for commercial roofing applications. In the mid-1980s, after several years of prosperous growth, the company began manufacturing and marketing its own line of construction fasteners at its current plant in Agawam.

Recognizing that on-site customer service and support were critical to its long-term success, the company began building a strong sales and technical support network of direct company employees, which today is the largest of its kind in the commercial roofing industry. By the early 2000s, the company had changed its name to OMG Inc.

What started as a fastener company has expanded over the years into a diversified manufacturer of components and technology for both commercial roofing and residential construction applications.

Through its two operating divisions — OMG Roofing Products and FastenMaster — OMG has developed many innovative products and technologies. Most notable from OMG Roofing Products are OlyBond insulation adhesives, RhinoBond induction technology for installing thermoplastic roofing membranes, and its exclusive Vortex Breaker drain technology for commercial roof drains. Notable FastenMaster products include the line of LOK products for structural wood-to-wood connections in residential applications, the Cortex hidden fastening system for composite decks and trim, and FrameFAST, a tool for structural framing applications.

Today the company has nearly 600 employees globally and more than 400 in Western Mass., making it one of the area’s largest employers. In addition, the company operates manufacturing plants in Agawam, Addison, Ill., and Rockford, Minn., and has a global sales force of more than 100 in North America, Europe, and Asia. Company capabilities include cold forming, stamping, heat treating, cathodic e-coating, adhesive formulating, and mixing, as well as packaging. OMG produces more than 1 billion fasteners each year.

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AGAWAM — OMG Inc. appointed Kate Keiderling to the position of director of Human Resources and Environmental Health and Safety (HR/EHS). In her new position, she is responsible for developing and executing strategies that continue to provide a culture that is safe, healthy, supportive, inclusive, open, and creative.

In her new role, she will work closely with the senior management team to plan and execute business strategies that address corporate safety, as well as effective personnel management. She is also responsible for improving the company’s current HR/EHS structure, programs, and processes as necessary to support OMG employees and business goals. She reports to Hubert McGovern, president and CEO of OMG.

“We are very happy that Kate has joined the OMG team,” McGovern said. “She has extensive experience managing and implementing the types of programs that we are looking to strengthen, and a proven track record of success. She is a strong addition to the team, and our management team is looking forward to working with her.”

Keiderling joined OMG Inc. from Paradigm Precision in Manchester, Conn., where she was director of Human Resources for North America. Earlier, she spent 16 years in various HR positions with Pratt & Whitney, most recently as associate director of Human Resources for military engines. She also worked for the Travelers Insurance.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Elms College and a master’s degree in human resource development from American International College.

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AGAWAM — As part of previously announced organizational changes by OMG Inc. to accelerate growth, the company has named Geoff Medeiros vice president of Sales and Marketing for the Roofing Products Division.

In this role, Medeiros is responsible for developing and executing the division’s overall sales and marketing strategy to support its three business units: Fasteners, Adhesives & Solar, and Metal Accessories, which includes Edge Metal. In addition, he is responsible for overseeing the company’s Marketing Communications and Customer Service departments. He reports to Peter Coyne, senior vice president and general manager of OMG Roofing Products.

“Geoff is a great fit for the company and this position,” Coyne said. “He is a strong leader with a proven track record of helping companies create long-term customer value.”

Medeiros joins OMG from Welch’s, where he was general manager, responsible for strategic growth and marketing for the company’s core product lines. Prior to joining Welch’s, he was vice president of Brand Management and Product Development with the Yankee Candle Co. He started his career at Nestle before becoming a brand manager for Hasbro.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Providence College and an MBA in international business from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.