2023 Hall of Fame
Steven Robert Webster’s interest in construction and building dates back to when his father, Bob, started Channel Building Co. back in 1964 when he was just eight years old. Previously, Bob had been selling steel buildings for Package Industries when he moved the family to Andover, Mass., opened his own office, hired a salesman and started selling metal buildings. Before long, Bob hired an architect, they did drawings, erected the building, and did the general contracting work.
This was also about the time Steven really got interested in construction. “When I was probably 12 or 13, I during vacations and summer, I would go and help the guys in the field,” he says. “Digging holes and doing whatever I could to get in the way, but that’s where I started out learning construction.”
After high school, Steven took a year off and worked in the field before discovering the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston and took a two-year course in civil construction. From there, Steven started as a construction superintendent for one of his father’s companies.
Dutton & Garfield
George Dutton, owner of Dutton & Garfield, met Bob through the Metal Building Dealer’s Association (MBDA), now known as the Metal Building Contractors and Erectors Association (MBCEA). When George decided to retire, he wanted to sell the company to a family who would do business as he did, in an honest, straightforward way. George sold the company to Bob and his partner, and Webster went to work as his protegee, leading up to his retirement. In the late 80s, Webster bought the company from the partnership, which is now called DGI, and they continue to do a combination of design-build and general contracting while working with selected partners to do supply and erect work.
Webster is a second-generation Butler Builder. His father served on Butler’s advisory council, as did he, and now his nephew, Keith Wentworth, DGI vice president, is on the council. Wentworth is in line to take over the business when Steven retires.
Keith Wentworth, vice president of DGI, says Webster has been an amazing mentor/leader. “I feel very lucky he got me involved with the MBCEA when I started working with him 25 years ago. The people and relationships I’ve developed over the years not to mention the knowledge gained can’t be measured. He is a role model for me and many others.”
We’re very proud of our industry. Because of our history with it, but also our faith in the industry. There are a lot of like-minded builders out there and it’s amazing how many connections we’ve made through the different gatherings with MBCEA, and now connected with the MBMA, which is really important to the industry.
During the early ‘80s, Webster was part of the Northern chapter of the MBDA, which combined with the Massachusetts Pioneer chapter. “It was a pretty big deal at the time and there were a lot of contractors, erectors and suppliers that started to enjoy those meetings again,” he says. “It was a great way for me to meet people in the industry. George was a great guy, so that’s how I ended up involved with the MBCEA and continued with that group through being the chapter president and eventually the national president.”
Webster was involved in the development of the MBCEA training series and apprenticeship program, which was approved by the Department of Labor, as well as being active with the Metal Buildings Institute, the educational arm of the MBCEA, growing the educational programs needed to train new workers for the metal construction industry.
“Steve played an important role while president, in setting the stage for the resurgence of MBCEA as the leading association of metal building assemblers, and subsequently served as president of the MBI,” notes Art Hance, president, Hance Construction Inc., Washington, N.J. “I have served on many boards and committees with Steve and valued his ability to confront difficult issues with clarity backed by his quick smile. It’s a combination our industry is better because of.”
“Steve has a keen eye for detail and quality, and his professionalism has assisted raising the bar in our metal building industry for many years,” adds Martin E. Barnes, CEO of BARNES Buildings & Management Group Inc., Weymouth, Mass. “Steve’s participation and partnership to help provide a guideline and format satisfactory for both the MA State Sheet Metal Licensing and our charter
When not working, Webster, who still has his first car, has a passion for muscle cars and drag racing. He is also his wife’s biggest fan as she stages homes with her company, Great Impressions Staging. His two daughters Brooke and Tori are in Colorado and are avid skiers and hikers.