Incoming SMACNA president George Edinger, C&R Heating & Service Co. Inc., St. Louis, started his career in the sheet metal industry on August 26, 1963 at the age of 19.

Edinger began by working for Kenneth F. Werley at T-W Heating and Sheet Metal Co. in the St. Louis area, where he literally learned the business from the floor up.

Edinger did everything from sweep floors to drive trucks and repair machinery.

Edinger’s goal to one day own his own company was fulfilled after he went to work for C&R, where he became a partner in early 1975 and later, president.

“We grew the company sales rather rapidly, from $1.7 million to $25 million, and soon outgrew our old facility,” Edinger said.

“In 1981 we bought ground, designed and built a 20,000-square-foot, tilt-up concrete facility designed primarily for the fabrication of rectangular ductwork. Between 1985 and 1986, we expanded our facility to over 52,000 square feet for the purpose of fabricating round and oval, both single-wall and dual-wall, spiral duct and related fittings.”

The company today employs between 100 and 200 pipefitters and sheet metal workers to go along with an office staff of approximately 45 that includes engineers, project managers, estimators, accounting staff, clerical workers, and managers.

Edinger became active in SMACNA-St. Louis and the Metal Working Industry Fund, serving on both boards. The company is also active in the St. Louis Mechanical Contractors Association. In the 1990s, Edinger was elected to the board of directors of national SMACNA, and later to its Executive Committee.

Meanwhile, the outgoing SMACNA president is Wayne Mertz, Goergen-Mackwirth Co. Inc., Buffalo, NY, who pursued training and volunteer participation as his primary goals while in office.

Sidebar: SMACNA introduces distance learning

SMACNA has spearheaded education and training for its members over the past year. In July, the association began offering its members a distance learning program via the computer and the Internet.

Distance learning is an inexpensive way to take business, college, and technical courses on your computer via the Internet. Contractors work at their own pace and at times that are convenient for them, day or night.

The first two SMACNA educational programs to be offered via the university on-line are on the Architectural Sheet Metal manual and the Hvac Systems — Duct Design manual. SMACNA’s distance learning program will also offer courses on CAD, building maintenance, ISO, and other topics with specific applications to member firms.

Plans were also made over the past year for the first-ever joint labor-management conference for the sheet metal industry scheduled for February 2000.

Cosponsoring the event is the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA), to be represented by its top national and local leadership. The conference will be held Feb. 27-29, 2000 at Wyndham Palace Resort & Spa, Orlando, FL.