How We Started
Evans Metal is an AISC and AWS Certified fabricator that has been in business since 1945. Started by my father, Clifford Evans, Sr. Located in Elkhart, Indiana, my Dad specialized in Ornamental Iron and Stairs for home owners, businesses, and general contractors in the Michiana area. I helped him in the summers from the time I was eleven. Like my father who graduated from Purdue in 1934, I graduated in 1968. For several years I taught school and then left teaching to start a photographic studio.
When Clifford retired, he asked me to again work with him one day a week. I was delighted! Having a close relationship with my dad was important. One day led to two. It wasn't long and I found myself working with him full time. It was good being close to my dad. During those years, we fabricated miles of railings and many flights of stairs from St. Marie to Mississippi and all through the Midwest. Our company was even shipping products to China, Belgium, and Saudi Arabia.
A Change in Course
Unfortunately, My father fell off a balcony while field measuring in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. It was then that I began managing all aspects of the business while he was recovering. In 1974 I ultimately purchased the business. I expanded our fabrications to include structural steel. Evans Metal won an AISC Award for Excellence in 1979 for an architecturally exposed steel project, the Michigan City Library. We built the 10 story atrium for the BP Building (now 200 Public Square) in downtown Cleveland in 1984. Evans Metal Products continued to expand in all aspects of capacity, diversity, and financially.
Growing the Business and Faith
As the company grew, I came to faith in Jesus Christ in 1979. My life was and continues to be transformed as a result of this realization. That change nudged me more deeply and I felt called to greater Christian service. As a result, from 1986-1989 I was asked by my bishop to attend seminary. My ordination to the priesthood was in 1989 as an Episcopal priest. I served as a parish priest from 1989 until 2002. I also served on a bishop’s staff from 2002 until 2007. Upon the retirement of the bishop and the election of a new bishop in 2007, all the staff were immediately released. For another 7 years I filled in as an interim and began to re-enter business life. I still serve at many local churches on Sunday where the good news continues to be shared.
Here We Grow Again!
While I was in ministry full time, the business was managed by Bruce Rienks. He was a faithful manager and continues to be a significant part of the business today. Upon my return to the business, we planned to increase the size of the business. During the mini-depression in 2008, we began to transform the business. We transitioned a small competent shop using older fabrication techniques and procedures into a significantly larger and more modern company. As a result of these difficult years, we have become a stronger and more able company as well as a recognized AISC & AWS Certified Fabricator.
Nothing has been left untouched during this modernization period. We continue to change how we engineer our products. Purchase of new machinery to hone our productivity has been beneficial. Increase in our sales staff and promoted talented workers has increased our efficiency. Today, we have 19 employees here at Evans Metal. Last year was our best year ever. At a rate of nearly 25% a year, we continue to see growth.
We also continue to offer quality products and service from a staff that is well-grounded in traditional production methods and is constantly being trained in today's technological advances. This year we will be adding nearly 50% to our fabricating and office space in an attempt to meet the ever growing demand of our clients.
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