RFC Celebrates 75 Years7 September, 2022
voestalpine Roll Forming Corporation celebrated its 75th Anniversary on Saturday, August 20th at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
In attendance were RFC Employees from its 7 locations across three states (KY, IN and PA), Retirees, Former CEO’s, the founding Brooks Family, Suppliers, Manufacturing Representatives and voestalpine AG Leadership including Dr. Peter Schwab, Member of the Board of voestalpine AG and Head of Metal Forming Division, Robert Ottel, CFO of voestalpine AG and Günther Felderer, former RFC CEO and current Member of the Board of voestalpine Metal Forming Division and Head of Business Unit, Tubes & Sections.
Guests enjoyed a cocktail and social hour upon arrival. Guests received a 75 year history book, custom ROPs tube with 75 year anniversary logo and a bag of candy from Kentucky, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Austria where all guests collectively represented.
The coffee table style history book is 500 pages and in the form of a mixed media book. It includes the first 50 years book originally published in 1997, newsletters, articles, photos and several other archives to date.
When the ballroom doors opened, guests were served dinner.
The program for the evening was hosted by third generation RFC employee and Marketing & Brand Manager, Kim Bentley, and 25 year RFC employee and Senior Software Engineer, Keenan Suter. Mrs. Bentley’s grandfather started working at RFC in the 1950’s and therefore decided to dress of the era with a few wardrobe changes reflecting the company’s brand colors over its 75 year history.
Mrs. Bentley and Mr. Suter recognized achievements in the room with families who have served RFC over second and third generations; the longest being 131 years collectively for one family, along with employees and retirees who served the company more than 40 years; the longest being 50 years.
Dr. Peter Schwab provided a speech communicating his pleasure of celebrating with RFC on a special night:
“This company emits the spirit of innovation and commitment to success everywhere. We, the board of Metal Forming Division, are very proud that you are part of the voestalpine family. RFC has a great history and an even brighter future. Let’s form the next 75 years together.”
The history of the company with the founding Brooks Family, in which sold RFC to voestalpine AG in 2000, was told through video storytelling.
CEO Panel Interview
There have been 5 President and CEO’s in RFC’s history. Four of those CEO’s were in attendance at the event and entertained the audience with a live interview session.
In attendance were Barlow Brooks, Jr. (1975-2002), Günther Felderer (2002-2007), Ray Leathers (2007-2017) and Kevin Dierking (2017-Present). There was an empty chair between Moderator Kim Bentley and Barlow Brooks Jr. in memory and honor of company founder, Barlow Brooks Sr. (1947-1975) who passed away in 1981.
Barlow Brooks, Jr. spoke about his early childhood memories of when his father first started RFC, the differences between his and his father’s leadership styles, and the acquisition of voestalpine AG.
Günther Felderer spoke candidly about why voestalpine AG was interested in RFC and had the crowd laughing about his hunting experiences and happy memories of living in Kentucky.
Ray Leathers spoke about how it is people, voestalpine AG’s support and technologies along with RFC’s continuous improvement culture that has directly impacted the 75 years of success.
Kevin Dierking explained what he has learned from each CEO and has put in his leadership tool kit, what his priorities were coming in as CEO and the future of RFC.
Special Presentation & Expansion Announcement
RFC CEO Kevin Dierking then made a special announcement of the recent purchase of 12 acres of property adjacent to the corporate headquarters in Shelbyville, Kentucky with future plans to build a new manufacturing facility.
Mr. Dierking also brought the Brooks Family up on stage to unveil the name of this new facility; Brooks Hall. Brothers Barlow Jr. and Bill Brooks were presented with crystal keys and a plaque with inscription in which Mr. Dierking read aloud; a portion of it as follows:
“… In its 75 year history, RFC has embraced the pride of generations… faced the business challenges of the day… and prepared itself for tomorrow. RFC was not built by one person, but by a family: The Brooks Family. Thank you Brooks Family for opening the door.”
Director of Engineering and Aerospace, Matt Work, and Director of HR, Stephanie Stinson, then presented RFC’s annual peer-nominated Culture Award winners recognizing employees who best demonstrate RFC’s five core values: Customer Success Is Our Success, We Care, Own It!, Embrace the Challenge and Winning Together Through STEPS. The winners were announced on stage:
2022 Peer-Nominated Culture Champions: Diane Young, Bryan Francis (not pictured), Harold Bickel (not pictured) and Keenan Suter
2022 Peer-Nominated Core Culture Award Winner: Kelly Cox
As the hosts closed out the program, guests were invited to stay for dancing.
Who We Are
Roll Forming Corporation was established in 1947 with 1 location, 1 roll line and 3 employees. Fast forward to 2022, the company has 7 locations, 100+ roll lines and adjacent technologies and processes combined and 440 employees.
voestalpine Roll Forming Corporation supplies custom roll formed metal components into several industries including Aerospace, Construction, Material Handling, Off-Highway, Office Furniture, Solar and Transportation.
In 2000, Roll Forming Corporation was acquired by globally leading technology group voestalpine AG and became part of the Metal Forming, Tubes and Sections division.
Today, voestalpine Roll Forming Corporation has seven production facilities across three states with five facilities and headquarters located in Shelby County, Kentucky and one facility each in Pennsylvania and Indiana.