Structuring a Path for Growth
Mark & Son Metal Products, Inc. adds equipment, second location to expand capacity
When the go-to company for steel fabrication and erection in a tri-state area wants to grow, what happens? They add a second location, new state-of-the art equipment and more employees to build their capacity for more and larger construction projects. And what happens then?
“Over the last three years we have nearly doubled our gross tonnage and sales,” says Henry Marfe, Owner and President of Mark & Son Metal Products, Inc. The steel fabrication company is headquartered in Bedford Hills, New York, and serves New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
In July 2020, Mark & Son bought the assets of a company called Putnam Steel and took over their location in Brewster, New York. That became the second location for Mark & Son. “We moved our miscellaneous steel operations to that location. That gave us more capacity for structural steel projects in the Bedford Hills plant,” Marfe explains. The company fabricated and erected the latter building and moved into it in 1999.
State-of-the-Art Machinery Drives Speed, Accuracy
Modernizing and adding new machinery has been huge in helping the company grow. A Peddinghaus PCD-1100 was purchased in January 2020. The machine has a three-spindle drill line, automating the drilling of holes in the steel. According to Peddinghaus, the multiple spindle drilling allows for the simultaneous processing of surfaces, increasing a company’s throughput and tonnage capabilities. “We are always adding new equipment,” Marfe says. “This helps us produce structural steel faster and more accurately.” Mark & Son also updated its welding machines to be state of the art and added two new service trucks.
Adding work and a second location meant the need to increase the employee count to 28 from 16. Rene’ Dega was hired as Shop Foreman in Brewster and Carlos Lobord and Joe Dullea were added as Project Managers. Other key personnel are Josh Cohen, Lead Project Manager; Donna Nelson, Estimator; Dan deManbey, Front Desk Manager; Luiz Lopes, Shop Foreman; and Carlos Paltin, Field Foreman for H&H Erectors LLC. (H&H is a sister company that goes to building sites and erects the steel that Mark & Son fabricates.)
Creating Steel Frames for Bigger Buildings
The changes at Mark & Son have increased the capacity and size of the projects that the firm can handle, Marfe says. Among their recent projects is a 10-story building at 139 East Houston St. in Manhattan, requiring 1,000 tons of steel. Another project was reinforcing the steel at the Terminal Warehouse at 261 11th Ave. on the west side of Manhattan. The 800-ton project braced the existing structure for future new construction.
A different kind of project for Mark & Son was the construction of a four-story mixed-use building at 70 Memorial Plaza in Pleasantville, New York. The first floor is for retail, with apartments above. The developer is Vito Errico, Founder of Equinox gyms.
Another part of Mark & Son’s business is steel fabricating for other fabricators—“for the trade,” it is called, Marfe says. Under this sector, the company prepared 17-ton trusses for the redevelopment of the Domino Sugar Factory on the East River waterfront in Brooklyn. The old factory is being modernized and renovated into luxury townhomes.
In addition to the expansion of capacity, Marfe attributes the success of the company to a tradition of honesty with customers. “I am always upfront with people and always extremely honest with my customers. I don’t always tell them what they want to hear.” He believes that building trust through honesty with clients has led to a lot of repeat business.
Teamwork, Family Atmosphere
Also, much of the credit for Mark & Son’s long history of success goes to the company’s team and the firm’s family atmosphere, Marfe says. “I’m upfront with them,” he says. “They are all important to me.” Although it has been difficult to have employee gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, Marfe rewards the workers with picnics and pizza parties when it is possible.
Another member of the Mark & Son family is Marfe’s bulldog, Rocky, who comes to work with him and greets customers as they come in.
Mark & Son has always been a family operation, going back to 1926 when Wolf Mark founded it as a scrap yard in Mount Kisco, New York. He added a small miscellaneous steel shop. His son, Isadore Mark, later owned the company with two partners and incorporated the firm in 1969. In 1999, the company moved to Bedford Hills and evolved into a steel fabrication company. Marfe’s father, Jerry Marfe, was Shop Foreman and bought a share of the ownership. When the elder Marfe retired in 1992, his son Henry—who had begun working at Mark & Son immediately after high school graduation—purchased his share and later purchased the remaining share after the retirement of Owner Jeffrey Herman in 2018.
Longevity in Field with Ups and Downs
“We’ve had changes in the generations of ownership but continued growth,” Marfe notes.
In the community, Mark & Son makes monetary donations and purchases sponsorships to support numerous organizations, including the American Cancer Society Relay For Life and local police and fire departments.
The teamwork, advanced equipment, expanded workspace and organizational skill all combine to make Mark & Son successful in a competitive field. “We plan and execute very well, and we always hit our schedules,” Marfe says. “That’s important to our customers.”
Mark & Son has attained longevity in the steel fabrication field despite recessions and the cyclical nature of the construction industry. Construction work has been steady even through the pandemic, Marfe says. “We’ve had a good backlog of work.”
The company never changed its name from the original Mark & Son. “There’s respect in the name, earned by different owners throughout the years,” Marfe says, a value that marketing dollars can’t buy.
Through thick and thin, Mark & Son Metal Products, Inc. has been consistent in its commitment to top service, accurately fabricated material, timely delivery and technical support for all products.
Marfe sums it up simply: “In the end, we put out a quality product.”