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Dick Bus: A leader with a lifelong career dedicated to the industry

2012 Metal Construction Hall of Fame


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 plant.

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.

"I grew up in the metal industry, surrounded by friends and family, and this team is important to me. 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 things metal."

Dick Bus

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.

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 attended.

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.