Concrete Products

MAR 2016

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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Page 49 of 75

48 • March 2016 "Work smarter, not harder." Anyone who manufactures precast concrete will tell you hard work is essential to success. It's the driving force behind making a quality prod- uct and the reason why the industry has excelled. Andy Wieser, president of Maiden Rock, Wis.-based Wieser Concrete Products, learned the importance of hard work at a young age from his parents, Joe and Mary Wieser. But Joe taught his son something else: Think one step ahead of your actions and your work will be easier. Andy Wieser will apply this mindset to his term as chairman of the board of the National Precast Concrete Association. In doing so, he will not only build on the solid foundation set by his predecessors in the organization's first half-century of work, but also ensure the precast concrete industry remains ahead of the game amidst an ever-evolving con- struction landscape. TAKING IT ALL IN Growing up, Wieser and his brothers Mark and Dan Wieser lived just 19 feet from the edge of the precast plant their father estab- lished in 1965. For the boys, this meant the family business was a part of everyday life. It also provided ample opportunity for getting into trouble. When he was eight years old, one of the pro- duction workers at the plant asked Andy Wies- er to move a forklift that was blocking a door. Eager to assist, he agreed. After jumping in and starting the engine, he figured out how to put the forklift in reverse. But before he could get too far, his father came around the corner. "What are you doing?" Joe asked. "Well, he needed it moved," Wieser replied. "I'm just moving it." "Okay," Joe said, allowing his son to carry on. Even though he didn't realize it at the time, this was just one of many learning opportunities the family business offered. Because Wieser Concrete was so closely inter- twined with the family, he was constantly taking in new information. "I learned a lot just by being around the business and absorbing things," he says. "I got a lot of first-hand knowledge that way." By the time Wieser entered high school, he had decided his goal was to work full- time for the family business after gradu- ation. He got right to work, assisting the installation crew, contributing to dry cast production and holding a variety of other responsibilities before earning his first man- agement position as a dispatcher when he was 20 years old. Although the work was difficult, Wies- er kept his parents' advice in mind, putting everything he had into earning the respect of those around him. "The first year was tough because I didn't know a lot," he recalls. "Overall, though, it went pretty well and I started to prove myself. Showing everyone you're not afraid to work is one of the biggest things dad taught us. That carries over and people start to trust you." With the trust and respect of his employ- ees in hand, Wieser moved into project and operations management positions before ultimately taking over as president when Joe retired in 1999. GROWING, GROWING, GROWING For nearly two decades, he has helped the company continue to expand, focusing on forward-thinking strategies that have resulted in Wieser Concrete achieving its most success- ful years in 2014 and 2015. That level of per- formance has been made possible by consis- tently improving facilities and equipment as well as diversifying product lines. Although he attributes much of the compa- ny's success to the foundation his parents built, he is keen to the fact that Wieser Con- crete benefits tremendously from its high-qual- ity employees, noting: "Without all of our great people, there's no way we could do what we're doing today. We've got some long-term people that have had a huge impact. They deserve as much credit as anyone." In a similar way, Wieser has relied on the networking opportunities and knowledge made available to him through NPCA mem- bership to grow Wieser Concrete. He recalls feeling the camaraderie of the association and like he was "part of the group" even as a kid. That feeling of inclusion—along with a little push from his father—led Wieser to become involved with several NPCA commit- tees. He joined the Plant Certification Com- mittee as it was working toward establishing a nationwide program. "That committee was really active," notes Wieser. "As I got involved and met more peo- ple, I gained tremendous knowledge from all of the relationships that developed." Recognizing the many benefits of com- mittee work and giving back to the indus- try, he served an initial term on the board of directors from 2003 to 2005 before serv- ing a second term beginning in 2011. The latter culminated in his late-October 2015 appointment as chairman of the board during the NPCA 50th Annual Convention in Minneapolis. CHAIRMAN'S REPORT BY MASON NICHOLS EVER FORWARD 2015-2016 Chairman Andy Wieser will rely on hard work and staying one step ahead to move NPCA into the future Andy Wieser Continued on page 50

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