In Memoriam: Charles W. Walton

Dr. Charles W. Walton, the founder of equipment manufacturer Wastequip, Charlotte, North Carolina, died Nov. 3, 2015, at the age of 83.

Walton established Wastequip in the late 1980s with his sights on consolidating the fragmented waste equipment industry. Wastequip thrived under Walton’s leadership and eventually became one of the largest manufacturers of waste and recycling equipment. After Wastequip was acquired by a private equity firm in 1999, Walton continued to lead the company until his retirement in 2007.

“Charles was a born entrepreneur and an idealistic businessman. He not only founded Wastequip but [also] built it into the world-class company it is today,” says Wastequip CEO Martin Bryant.

“His passing falls heavy on our hearts, but his vision and spirit will forever be the foundation of Wastequip,” Bryant continues. “Our deepest sympathies go to his family and friends. He will be missed.”

In Memoriam: Norman Kramer

Norm Kramer, who for decades supplied equipment and processing advice to scrap recyclers, died in late November 2015 at the age of 91 near his Florida home.

In 1971, Kramer and his partners, Jack West and Robert Flanagan, started Mobile Auto Crushers (MAC) Corp. in Texas, helping to introduce the mobile auto flattener concept to the scrap industry. The MAC product line remains a part of Granutech Saturn Systems, Grand Prairie, Texas.

After leaving MAC, Kramer continued to provide equipment and processing advice through his Dallas-based company, Kramer Consultants LLC.

Throughout his career, Kramer was involved with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and its predecessor organizations. In 1994, he and his wife, Dolores (Happy), were honored with the Israel Proler Award for their contributions to the scrap recycling industry by ISRI’s Gulf Coast Chapter.

Kramer is survived by his wife, two daughters, four children and four great-grandchildren.

La Farga chairman steps down

Vicenç Fisas Comella has left the position of chairman of La Farga, Les Masies de Voltregà, Spain, after 35 years.


La Farga partnered with Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) of Fort Wayne, Indiana, to open SDI La Farga LLC in New Haven, Indiana, in 2012. The facility, which includes a 320-metric-ton furnace, produces copper wire rod from recycled copper.

On Oct. 30, 2015, Vicenç Fisas chaired the board of directors for the last time and bade an emotional farewell to its members. This was followed by a ceremony at the company’s Copper Museum to commemorate the 35 years that he has devoted to La Farga.

Vicenç Fisas is credited with having created a rigorous protocol at La Farga that governs the rules of the company and that serves as a point of reference in the country.

The company’s new chairman will be current CEO and partner Oriol Guixà. Guixà will combine the two posts by serving as executive chairman, La Farga says.

The other members of La Farga Lacambra’s management team remain in place, with Miquel Garcia serving as managing director of La Farga Lacambra and La Farga Rod, Jordi Magnet in charge of La Farga Tub, Carles Camprubi in charge of La Farga Intec and Inka Guixà in charge of strategic management and planning.

His position on the company’s board of directors has been taken by his youngest daughter, Cristina Fisas, leaving Guixà as chairman and Vicenç Fisas with an honorary chairmanship. The shareholder structure of the company remains unchanged.

Vicenç Fisas’ time at La Farga dates back to 1980, when as a lawyer he was tasked with solving the financial and industrial crisis in which the company, then known as Francisco Lacambra Lacambra of Les Masies de Voltregà, found itself.

Although the company was near bankruptcy, Vicenç Fisas, with the assistance of his colleagues in the law firm and his son-in-law Guixà, fought for its restructuring, setting up La Farga Lacambra SA, the company reports.

He also has played an important role in creating La Fundació La Farga, the company’s foundation, which devotes nearly $107,000 annually for higher education scholarships for its employees, the children of employees and residents of Les Masies de Voltregà.

General Kinematics appoints director of North American sales

General Kinematics (GK), a Crystal Lake, Illinois, manufacturer of custom engineered vibratory process equipment, has hired Jim Egan as director of North American sales.


Egan joins GK after a long career as sales manager for the industrial parts services division at Advanced Technology Services (ATS), Peoria, Illinois. He has a history of implementing effective sales processes and creating the organizational structure to meet corporate objectives, according to GK. In addition, Egan has experience selling services in both Mexico and Canada.

“I’m thrilled to be joining a team whose reputation for quality and dependability is unmatched,” Egan says.

“The GK leadership team has some aggressive growth targets,” he adds. “To meet our objectives, the sales team is going to continue its high level of service to our existing customers while diversifying our customer base.”

GK President Tom Musschoot says, “We are delighted to welcome Jim to General Kinematics as we continue to grow our North American sales team. Jim’s strong commercial expertise complements our already strong technical sales team. In addition to finding new ways to solve process problems for other businesses and industries, his skills and knowledge will help us better serve our great existing customers.”

ARA welcomes new president

The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), Manassas, Virginia, has installed Mike Swift of Swift’s Trails End Auto Recycling, Des Moines, Iowa, as its new president. Swift gave his inaugural speech as president of the ARA at the 72nd Annual ARA Convention & Exposition in early October 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Swift has previously served on the ARA Executive Committee as secretary, second vice president and first vice president.

An ARA news release describes Swift as “extremely active in the industry as a cutting-edge automotive recycler and leader in his community.”

In his first remarks as ARA president, Swift encouraged the association’s members to “live the dream” so ARA could remain strong and continue to be an invaluable resource for them. He also credited his father for teaching him the business from the ground up, beginning in 1979.

Swift has served as an officer of the Iowa Auto Recyclers and is a current board member.

Swift’s Trails End Auto Recycling was the first salvage yard in Iowa to be I-CARE certified, according to the ARA.

The ARA, founded in 1943, says it represents more than 4,500 auto recycling facilities in the U.S. and 14 other countries dedicated to the efficient removal and reuse of “green” automotive parts and the proper recycling of inoperable motor vehicles.