Page 10 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology - April 2019
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         tinued  wrestling  until  he  was  45.  In   Roland Verreet, owner of Wire Rope Technology Aachen
         1976, he was inducted into the Lafay-      (wire rope designer, inspector, consultant and speaker)
         ette Hall of Fame as a two-time heavy   “I met Donald about 40 years ago   of OIPEEC, the International Orga-
         weight champion. In 1993 he received   when he was working as a wire rope   nization  for  the Endurance  Study
         the  Order  of  Merit  from  the  National   salesman. He told me he had been a   of Ropes. He will always be remem-
         Wrestling Hall of Fame for his writing   member of the US Olympic wrestling   bered for defining OIPEEC as the or-
         and research of amateur wrestling.   team at one time. I said that wres-  ganization where engineers ‘discuss
           With a B.S.  in  metallurgical engi-  tling and selling wire rope were pret-  broken wires in broken English.’
         neering,  Don  was  hired  in  1956 as  a   ty much the same thing.     “Donald and I had a deal: He would
         sales trainee for Bethlehem Steel Corp.   “In 1984 Donald presented a paper   come to my funeral. A few days be-
         After two years in training and six as a   at a symposium in Esslingen,  Ger-  fore his death we had another Skype
         salesman, Don spent four years in staff   many, celebrating the 150th birthday   conversation. He had told me several
         sales  for  the  rod  &  wire  department.   of wire rope. Donald sent me his pa-  times before that the doctors insisted
         There  he  began to  see  chinks  in  the   per a few days before and asked me   that he was ill but that he did not feel
         huge steel corporation’s heavy armor of   to  translate  the  first  page  into  Ger-  any pain, and he seemed to be in very
         management.                          man. We drove to Esslingen together,   good shape. We talked about barbed
           In  addition  to  functioning  as  a  spe-  and during the four-hour  trip Don-  wire and he wanted to send me some
         cialist in rod and wire,” he explained,   ald practiced the pronunciation. The   historical  papers  about  that subject.
         “I was put in  charge  of sales  policies   next day Donald presented his paper   But then I got his last email: ‘roland
         for nails, fence, barbed wire and other   in perfect German, but after about   and regine…sudden downturn…unex-
         things known as “wire products.” These   five minutes he stopped and told the   pected…unable to gather barbed wire
         articles  were  among  the  first  steel   astounded audience that he would   files…no chance to say goodbye…don.’
         items to be imported from Japan after   now continue in English because he   “That was Donald as we knew him:
         World War II.                        did not speak a word of German.  he was more concerned that he could
           “That was really good experience for   “During his professional career,   not hold a promise than about the fact
         me because I was outside the main-   Donald also served as the president   that he was going to die.”
         stream of the Bethlehem Steel orga-
         nization,  in  direct  confrontation  with   profit-taking at every level of manufac-  dling wire rope products.” He was also
         articles  made abroad, some  of  which   ture so as to provide for bonuses at ev-  nominated for a part-time lobbying job
         were excellent quality, all of which sold   ery level. Not a very smart way to count   in Washington.
         cheaper than (our accountants said) we   costs in a highly competitive business.   “That (lobbying job) was really edu-
         could make them.                   It made a lot of people fat…and lazy.”  cational,” he said. “In connection with
           “Of course, the accountants were only                               the lobbying, I sat down and read the
         doing their job, which was to pad the   Working For A Company That    text of our trade laws. I came to un-
         cost of everything, because the big, in-  “Could Only Think Big”      derstand our USA world posture, and
         tegrated steel companies all worked on   In 1969 Don was promoted to “a low-  saw how difficult it is to get anything
         a bonus system. They had to do a little   level management job in the office han-  done in Washington because there are
                                                                               so many conflicting special interests at
                                                                               work.  When  I  first  got  to  see  Bethle-
                                                                               hem Steel cost/profit data back in 1964,
                                                                                                continued on page 12
                                                                                        John Josendale,
                                                                                   Sr. Vice President — Global
                                                                                    Director of Marketing &
                                                                                    Business Development,
                                                                                      WireCo WorldGroup
                                                                                  [Josendale’s  grandfather  started
                                                                                Wire Rope Corporation and he has
                                                                                worked in the wire rope industry for
                                                                                46 years.]
                                                                                  “Don was always such a gentle-
                                                                                man to me. He was well established
                                                                                in the industry by the time I came
                                                                                on board. He was the historian — he
                                                                                loved  talking  about  the  history  of
                                                                                the product and the history of the
                                                                                Roebling family. We’d be at shows
                                                                                and  talk about the  fact  that very
                                                                                few industries like wire rope touch
                                                                                so many places. There’s something
                                                                                about this industry that gets in your
                                                                                blood. Don and I had a lot of neat
         Don was an avid writer, contributing to many publications in the lifting industry.  conversations over the years and
         Editor: In this photo, I’d like to think he’s making notes for one of the great articles he wrote   lots of laughs. He’ll be missed.”
         for Wire Rope News!

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