Case Studies

The Moro Corporation

Bringing Comprehensive Quality Under One Roof

Any good contractor will tell you that one of the most important of a project is communication. Open lines of communication are what keep a project on time, on budget, and accident free.  Ideally, one company would have all of the various trades in-house to ensure communication and quality levels are maintained, but in reality subs are need for the overwhelming majority of projects. One company, however, is taking a unique approach towards creating an in-house network of trades.

The Moro Corporation, headquartered out of Wayne, Pa., is an industrial holding company that is rapidly creating a roster of companies that will be able to work on every aspect of a project with standardized safety measures established throughout one parent company. Founded by David W. Menard in 2000, Moro has acquired seven companies with stellar reputations in the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England regions, assembling a group engaged in the production of reinforced steel, sheet metal, steel products, HVAC, security and building controls, electrical contracting and industrial work.

Moro, which is a publicly owned company and traded on the NASDAQ market, is currently comprised of seven non-competing firms: J&J Sheet Metal, Appolo Heating, Rondout Electric, Whaling City Iron, RADO Enterprises, Titchener Iron Works and J.M. Ahle.  The seven companies each had developed a loyal customer base and established their reputations prior to being acquired and Moro allows each of the firms to freely operate in the manner that made each of them a success.

Investing in Healthy Relationships

Debbie Chianelli, the business development manager at Moro, describes how the corporation is different than its competitors: “The culture here at Moro revolves around value investing and healthy relationships with customers and employees. We have a frugal and no-frills management style that allows our high-energy workforce to give our customers outstanding products and services.”

Other than having the stability (and mind-calming knowledge) of a parent company with liquid reserves to fall back upon if needed, one of the biggest changes for each of Moro’s divisions was the addition of a full-time safety director. The safety director provides each of the seven companies’ employees with the training they need to ensure that their already outstanding safety records will stay accident free.

Michael Arensky, president of J & J Sheet Metal, is excited to be part of the Moro Corporation. “J & J Sheet-Metal has been around for over 70 years, and I really enjoy the peace of mind knowing that we are now part of a larger family of companies. When one of our sister companies bids on a project, we find out about it, and are able to bid on it as well. It’s working out really well for us.”

Best of Both Worlds

John Ahle, son of J.M. Ahle company founder Jim Ahle, is also happy to be part of the Moro Corporation. “We’ve been producing rebar and concrete products for construction projects in the Mid-Atlantic region for over 25 years. We have one of the best reputations in the industry, and I’m glad I made the decision to join the Moro Corporation. It gives me a chance to focus on what we do best, which is building quality products.”

Glen Peterson, manager of Whaling City Iron, a division of J.M. Ahle, based out of New Bedford, Mass., echoes Ahles’ sentiments. “It’s the best of both worlds. We have the stability of a big company, but with the flexibility of a smaller company.”

Indeed, the relationships between the subsidiary companies have evolved in a very productive direction, according to Chianelli. She explains, “When we first started out as an active company, the idea was that the divisions would retain their own identity and would continue to operate 100-percent individually. What we’ve started seeing, however, is that the divisions are still retaining day-to-day control of their companies, but are beginning now to operate more like members of a larger family. They’re working together and combining efforts to work on projects together as a team.”

David Menard’s hands-off approach towards managing his divisions is certainly succeeding. Under his leadership, the Moro Corporation has grown into a holding company of 400-plus employees. It’s not hard to foresee the day when a project is completed entirely by the collaborative, profitable components of the Moro Corporation.

Published on: February 16, 2012


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