Industry News

MBCEA mourns loss of two from the metal building industry

MBCEA announces the metal building industry lost two friends this past week, Gino Demyan and Al Kessel.

Gino Demyan (1944 – 2021)

Gino Demyan, a long time metal building erector in the Lehigh Valley, Pa. area, passed this Sunday, July 18, 2021.

Gino was born in 1944 in Bethlehem Pa. After finishing school at Bethlehem Catholic High School, Gino followed in his father’s footsteps by going to work at “The Steel”, as locals referred to Bethlehem Steel. In the early 1970’s, Gino took a job as an erector with Bethlehem Applicators, a local metal building company. Gino learned the trade from owner, Dave Webster, who in 1976 turned the business over to him and remained his mentor and friend.

Gino’s new company, Allentown Applicators and Erectors, was ideally positioned to take advantage of the growth of the Lehigh Valley and erected countless buildings there, in Northeast Pa. and in NJ. Gino closed operations in 2012 after 36 years in business. He continued to act as a consultant for various metal building and roofing companies while also honing his golf and fishing skills.

Gino was an active member of the MBCEA from 2003 – 2012 and held positions on the Mid-Atlantic Chapter Board, serving on numerous committees. He was inducted into the Pioneers Club for MBCEA members who have been in the industry over 25 years, and was made a Lifetime Member in 2012.

One of Gino’s outstanding legacies is his daughter, Sasha who serves as the Executive Director of MBCEA. By involving her in all aspects of his business, he gave us a wonderful resource to guide and grow our Association.

Read his obituary here.

Al Kessel (1942-2021)

Al Kessel, a long-time member of the Carolinas Chapter passed on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

Al Kessel was born July 24,1942 in Bradford, P. He was the middle of three children with an older brother and younger sister. Al’s father left the hills of West Virginia during the depression, eventually settling in Bradford, PA lured by the opportunity for work in the Pennsylvania oil fields. After working for several area companies such as Piper Aircraft and Dresser industries, he eventually started W.O. Kessel Construction Co. in 1934. In 1950 W.O. Kessel became a Butler Builder and six years later Al’s older brother Dick joined the firm. Finally, after a stint in the US Air Force, Al joined the company in 1966. He had various roles within the company, including erecting foreman and then progressed to project management, where he remained until leaving the company.

Around 1978, Al moved to Charlotte, N.C., where after a brief stint working for a contractor, he founded A.R. Kessel Inc. in 1980. Unlike the family general contracting business, Al chose to concentrate on metal building erection and sales. He was a dealer for American Buildings Company and Metallic Buildings. Al also was involved in the System Builders Association (SBA) which later became the MBCEA from the early 1980’s until 2009. Al was honored by the MBCEA with a Pioneers Award for 25 or more years in the metal building industry. He also received an Oil Can Award for his service to the metal building industry from the Carolinas Chapter. Al’s company typically ran multiple crews erecting for his own clients as well as for other builders.

Al retired in 2009 and enjoyed retirement including a membership in the Queen City Corvette Club. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.