The foundry industry was booming during the height of World War II. This was an excellent time to fulfill his desire to start his own foundry supply business. So, at age 46, Fred moved his family back home to Buffalo and started Weaver Materiel. He had a flare for words and capitalized on the military spelling of “Materiel” associated with the tremendous, ongoing war effort. The first company Weaver Materiel represented was the Wedron Silica Company in Wedron, IL.
In 1952, Fred and his wife Betty, who handled all the office work, moved from Buffalo to their summer home on Chautauqua Lake and the office was relocated to Jamestown, New York. During the first eight years of business, Fred realized that there was a missing link between metallurgy and ceramics. Many metallurgists were using ceramic materials, i.e., refractories, and coatings, about which they knew very little. Likewise, ceramic engineers were designing materials for the hot metal industry with little knowledge of metallurgy. It was on this premise that he prevailed upon Don to obtain a degree in Ceramic Engineering. After graduation from Alfred University in 1957 and a tour in the Army as an artillery officer, Don joined the company in January of 1958.
In 1960, the company was incorporated and began to grow by the addition of more foundry materials such as no-bake binders, ceramic tile, core and mold coatings, and equipment. Betty retired in 1968 and a new position was created, now known as Full Charge Bookkeeper, with responsibilities that include but not limited to Accounts Receivables and Payables. Fred retired in 1969 after 25 years of growth and Don became President and CEO.
Don, Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps by earning a degree in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred in 1983. He came to work for the company immediately as a Technical Sales Representative. After many years of learning the territory, ‘Dean’, as he is known, was promoted to Vice President and Sales/Marketing Manager. With Don Sr. entering “semi-retirement” in 1999, Dean has become the third
generation President and CEO and Don Sr. is now Chairman of the Board. Careful business continuation planning has provided a long-term outlook for our principals.
Dean had not been with the company long before it was obvious that more help was needed in the office. In 1985 the position of Customer Service Manager was created to deal directly with our customers and principals. Since 1986 Weaver Materiel has utilized the IBM AS/400 platform to handle all our back-office computing needs such as order entry, inventory control, invoicing, accounts payable and receivable and our financial statements. This very powerful platform has served us well so we continue to update our system on a regular schedule.
In the late months of 2013, we decided to consolidate our public warehouse space in Syracuse, NY, Erie and Reading, PA and Holyoke, MA to Jamestown, NY. This move has given us the distinct advantage of less inbound LTL freight costs, better inventory control, more flexibility to meet our customers’ needs and better overall service to our customers. We are now able to deliver our products from our Jamestown warehouse directly to our customers using NACO Express, a trucking company which was purchased by Dean in January of 2014 and is near our warehouse. Two sand trans loading operations have also been implemented, enabling us to capture additional market share in New England and Pennsylvania.
The companies we represent who comprise the major portion of our business include Fairmount Minerals (who’s Wedron Silica Division we have represented for 65 years), Foseco, Inc., HA International, Prince and Industrial Ceramic Products.
An interesting diversification to our business has been the golf and sports turf industry. We began selling Best Sand (a division of Fairmount Minerals) bunker sand to golf courses many years ago. Recently we began representing Arms Turf Products / DM Boyd in Volant, Pennsylvania. Arms Turf produces top dressing sands and mixes, construction mixes and a variety of Divot Fix materials. A Certified Golf Course Greens Superintendent, was hired in March 2014 and is now responsible for all our golf and sports turf sales. Having a Certified Golf Course Greens Superintendent on staff has enabled us to delve into providing chemicals and fertilizers to the industry as well. We market ourselves to the turf industry as Weaver Golf & Turf Solutions (www.weavergolf.com).
Our legacy continues as the fourth generation has joined our company. Don S. Weaver, III or “Drew” graduated from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY with a B.A. Communications degree in May 2010. Drew played competitive hockey beginning at the age of 5, culminating in a four-year collegiate career playing for the NCAA Division 1 St. Lawrence Saints. Drew is an avid sportsman including hunting, fishing, golf and now adult league hockey. Drew has quickly learned the foundry supply industry and now in his new role as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, will take our company to “the next level”. Once again, the long-term sustainability of our company is enhanced with the addition of Drew to our team.
All of us at Weaver Materiel are proud of our long and enviable reputation of representing the highest quality companies and products in the industry. We are also proud of our Customer Service and our ability to enhance our customer’s market position and profitability by solving their problems with a competent, dedicated Sales and Office staff.