The Rotary Club of Jamestown recently welcomed Bil Andrews , CEO of The Monofrax Plant in Jamestown.
Bill lives in Marilla, NY with his wife of 33 years, Dixie. They have two children, Derek and Dixie. Bill has an AAS degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from Erie County Community College and a BS degree from St. Bonaventure University. He has spent his whole career in manufacturing, primarily in turnarounds of areas, divisions and entire companies/sites.
Bill was hired in June 2016 when the new owners, Calista Private Equity, took over Monofrax with an aging infrastructure, just coming off of a 26 week strike. The company had no orders, no budget, no plans and was earmarked for closure.
Established in 1948 by the Carborundum Company to manufacture fused-cast refractories used for glass melting, steel reheating, electrolytic reduction cells fo resmelting light metals, coal gasification, nuclear waste vitrification and black liquor gasification. It is a four furnace operation with 300,000 square feet, that employs 145 employees.
Establishing itself as a manufacturer of a diverse range of high quality products, Monofrax also entered into a joint-venture and technical licensing of its know-how with other producers of fused-cast refractories in Japan, France and India in the 1960s and 70s.
Since the 1990s, Monofrax has supplied its product to the glass industry worldwide. The company has never been owned by a glass company, making it one of the only fused-cast refractory suppliers that is truly independent of its customer base.
Ownership of the company has changed hands several times, and today things appear to have turned around. The company is expanding globally and is doing well in the export market. It has a new four year labor contract and has aligned itself with Alfred University and other educational facilities to help assure a well trained future workforce.
Local Rotarians Amy Rohler, Mike Moots and Randy Sweeney all spoke highly of Bill’s involvement in the community where he engages people and puts his values and beliefs into practice. He and his employees are active in the community including the United Way, Junior Achievement to name just a few.
Congratulations to Bill and the employees of Monofrax for a the glimpse of am encouraging and successful turn around of a well-known company in our community.