In memoriam: George Adams Sr.

Scrap metal industry veteran and pioneer George Adams Sr. died Tuesday, June 5, at the age of 96. In 1973 Adams founded Orange County Steel Salvage, which was renamed Adams Steel. In 2007 Adams Steel partnered with Sims Metal Management, forming SA Recycling.

Adams was born Sept. 29, 1921, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, to Mary (Kerston) and George Adams. He began his career in the tool and die department at Louis Marx and Co. as a teenager. In 1939, Adams started a mechanical engineering apprenticeship at General Electric in Erie, Pennsylvania. His work and studies were interrupted by the onset of World War II, with Adams enlisting in the U.S. Army in early 1942. He served in the 95th Infantry and received two purple hearts.

After the war, Adams went into the lumber business, opening the first all-electric sawmill in western Pennsylvania.

In 1950, he was called back into the service as a master sergeant in the 101st Airborne Infantry Basic Training Division at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky. After completing his service, Adams moved to Los Angeles to work at the Continental Can Co.

He started a succession of manufacturing and construction companies before buying a small auto-wrecking business with a one-man scrap metal operation in 1973 in Anaheim, California. From those humble beginnings, Adams founded Orange County Steel Salvage, growing the business with his four children: George Jr., Terry, Mike and Wendy.

He realized his dream to build a car shredding operation in 1980 when the company completed installation of a 2,500-horsepower automobile shredder in Anaheim.

The company grew over the years to become Adams Steel and eventually formed a partnership with Sims Metal Management, becoming SA Recycling.

His son George Adams Jr., who now serves as CEO of SA Recycling, says, “Of all the many things that he taught me, the most important one was to never give up, to never quit. No matter what happened, he just got back up and started swinging.”

Today, SA Recycling has 75 locations, including three deep-water port facilities and 12 auto shredding plants, and more than 2,000 employees across eight states.

Adams leaves behind his wife of 63 years, Dolores; their four children; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In Memoriam: David Serls

David Serls, owner, board chair and chief operating officer of Columbia, Pennsylvania-based brass, bronze and copper ingot maker Colonial Metals Co. Inc., has died at the age of 82. In addition to helping oversee the ingot making firm, Serls formerly served as a national officer, including as president, of the Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

According to an obituary posted by Palm City, Florida-based Forest Hills Palm City Chapel, Serls died from pneumonia complications in what had become his home state of Florida.

The “Our History” page of the Colonial Metals website states the firm was founded in 1946 and quickly grew to become “one of the nation’s largest producers of copper-base alloy ingots” before closing this summer. The company grew to melt and recycle nearly 90 million pounds (45,000 tons) of scrap metal each year.

In addition to his business interests, Serls was an avid boater and sports fan and also devoted time and resources to political causes, including several supportive of Israel, according to the obituary.

Serls is survived by his wife, Denise; five children; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. The family has asked those who wish to make a donation in honor of Serls’ life to do so by contributing to the United Jewish Appeal, the Jewish Federations or the National Kidney Foundation.


Upstate Shredding-Weitsman Recycling adds two executives

Owego, New York-based Upstate Shredding-Weitsman Recycling has hired Jack Canty as chief operating officer (COO) and Timothy Rake as chief financial officer (CFO). Both executives bring years of experience in their respective fields and will help position Upstate Shredding-Weitsman Recycling for additional growth and expansion in the latter half of 2018 and into 2019, the company says.

As COO, Canty will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations at all 17 locations. In this role, he will serve as a member of the corporate management team, contributing to the development and implementation of organizational strategies, policies and practices. He also will work hand in hand with the chief security officer and local and state law enforcement agencies to prevent the sale of stolen scrap metal and assist in the apprehension of those selling stolen goods.

Canty brings more than 25 years of experience in finance and operations to the position, having previously held various director/consultant positions.

In his newly appointed position as CFO, Rake will be accountable for the administrative, financial and risk management operations of the company, including the development of a financial and operational strategy, metrics tied to that strategy and the ongoing development and monitoring of control systems designed to preserve company assets and report financial results. His appointment comes on the heels of a new heavy media plant the company is commissioning as well as additional technology systems being built and installed at its primary processing facility in Owego.

Prior to joining the company, Rake served as tax manager for 12 years at Syracuse, New York-based Firley, Moran, Freer & Eassa and was at London-based Pricewaterhouse Coopers prior to that.

From left: Todd Miorin, Jeffrey Weido and Don Vollmar

Manitou Group appoints three to leadership roles

Ancenis, France-based Manitou Group, a manufacturer of rough-terrain material handling equipment, has announced the appointment of three new members to its North American leadership team: Don Vollmar has joined as vice president of engineering, Todd Miorin as senior director of program management and Jeffrey Weido as senior director of product management and marketing.

“These new leadership roles are essential to achieving the priorities laid out in Manitou Group’s five-year strategic plan,” says Rick Alton, president of the compact equipment products (CEP) division for Manitou Group. “Over the next five years, we are making significant investments in improving our value proposition for our customers. We are expanding our product and service offerings, strengthening our teams and driving quality and performance through innovation, digitalization and transformation,” he adds.

Vollmar will drive new solutions and product improvements for the market. His previous experience in product development will be an undeniable asset for Manitou Group, the company says.

Miorin joins Manitou Group with a focus on implementing strategic programs within the CEP division. He brings more than 20 years of industry knowledge to his role, with experience in developing and executing projects related to acquisition integration, strategic alliances and product development processes.

Weido will lead the product management, marketing and training teams at Manitou North America, West Bend, Wisconsin. In his role, Weido will steer the product-to-market team, focusing on delivering tools and supporting customers through training and marketing. He has held leadership positions at various companies.

“Manitou is investing in our team and working hard to deliver reliable performance, a strong return on investment and an exceptional customer experience,” says Mark Hanson, who serves as a regional vice president for Manitou Group and as CEO of Manitou North America.