Dick Bus got his start in
the metal construction industry early in life, when as a
nine-year-old boy he would accompany his father to job sites,
helping him install metal siding and trim. Along with his brother
Jim, Bus has spent 40 years working to grow the company their
father started into an international manufacturer of metal roof and
wall products. In addition to his work at ATAS International Inc.,
Bus has been active in a number of industry associations, helping
to create a name for the metal construction industry and further
the use of metal roofing.
Growing the Company
Bus' father, Jacobus, started the metal siding and trim
installation company in 1962 in Rochester, N.Y. The next year,
Jacob purchased his supplier's equipment, and started designing and
bending trims for himself and other contractors, under the name of
Aluminum Trim and Shapes. Throughout high school, Bus helped out,
bending trim and running equipment. By 1972, when the company moved
from the basement to a 12,000-square-foot manufacturing facility,
Bus was doing more sales and accounting work.
In 1978 the company was renamed ATAS Aluminum Corp. and started
manufacturing architectural siding products, such as light-gauge
commercial panels and residential siding. When the business
relocated to Allentown, Pa., in 1984 to be more centrally located,
Bus was put in charge of hiring people and running the new
In 1986, Bus became the vice president of ATAS, and in 1995, he
took over the role of president, while Jim became vice president.
By 1990, the company began developing standing seam products, and
by 1995, changed its name to ATAS International Inc. In 2008, ATAS
purchased a sister company, Brightsmith Coil Coaters, and now has
its own paint line.
Under Bus' vision and leadership, ATAS is a leading manufacturer
and the company has grown to more than 100 employees with three
plants. Additionally, the company is currently pursuing entry into
the international market.
Leading the Associations
But it was under the urging of a competitor that got Bus
involved in the Metal Construction Industry. Bus explains that it
was V. Srinivasan of Dallas-based Howmet Aluminum Corp., who
invited him to attend his first meeting of the Metal Construction
Association (MCA). He attended his first meeting in January 1986,
and has been involved ever since, serving as a board member for 18
years, vice president from 2000 to 2006, and president from 2007 to
2009. Throughout his time with the Association, Bus was one of the
founders and first president of the Metal Roofing Alliance, and was
a founder of The Metal Initiative. He also chaired the committee
that wrote the "Minimum Guide Specifications for Residential Metal
Roofing," and has been a supporter of METALCON, MCA's trade show,
where ATAS has exhibited every year since its founding in 1991.
In addition to MCA, Bus is active in several other associations
and organizations, including the Construction Specification
Institute (CSI), U.S. Green Building Council, and the National
Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA). He chaired the AISI
residential roofing committee and is a member of the NRCA's
industry advisory committee.
In 2006, Bus won the American Iron and Steel Institute Market
Development Industry Leadership Award, and in 2011, he was honored
by the MCA with the Larry A. Swaney Award. Among the highlights of
his career, Bus was selected among five local business people in
Allentown to have lunch at a local restaurant with President Barack
Obama in December 2009.
"I grew up in the metal industry, surrounded by friends and
family, and this team is important to me," Bus says. "With them, I
have always strived to take metal to the next level and grow its
use in the construction environment. The manufacturing process,
product lines, standards and overall industry have changed greatly
since my career began, and I enjoy being part of this innovation.
This is an exciting time for the industry because of our
capabilities, and I am looking forward to future growth for all
Strong Community Roots
Outside of work, Bus has been very active in the local
community. When their youngest son was attending school at their
local church, Bus and his wife, Peggy, helped create a Cub Scout
and Boy Scout program. Peggy helped locate a Cub Master and
establish the packs, and Bus spent six years as a Scout Master.
Throughout his time with the Scouts, Bus installed many metal roofs
on campground buildings, and continues to supply metal roofing to
the camp today.
Bus has also been involved with a local inner city elementary
school and provides scholarships to underprivileged students of
immigrant parents. He has also served on many committees within
Allentown Central Catholic High School, where his three children
He also enjoys traveling and spending time with his
grandchildren, with his seventh on its way. Additionally, two of
his three children are full-time active within ATAS, with his
oldest son, Eric, running the plant in Mesa, Ariz., for 10 years.
Bus and his wife have traveled all over the world, with his
favorite places being South Africa, New Zealand, Holland and Italy.
On his bucket list are visits to Antarctica and Argentina, to
complete his goal of visiting every continent.