Isaiah Industries: Celebrating 40 Years of Building Relationships
November 2020 marks Isaiah Industries’ fourth decade of providing more than just metal roofing. From the very beginning, our goal as a company has been to build a relationship with each customer while equipping them with unmatched support. We carry this same goal with us into the future.
Our Past Informs Our Future
We are thankful for this opportunity to share our story and what it means to you.
Dreaming of a New Business
In 1980, Don Miller saw an opportunity. Kaiser Aluminum, the third-largest aluminum company in America at the time, was divesting itself of its fabricated building product lines. Among these were the tooling and equipment for two aluminum shingle lines: Rustic Shingle and Rough Shake. Don bought both, dreaming of a manufacturing business poised to become a leader in the young but growing market for commercial and residential metal roofing.
This new business could bring the advantages of aluminum roofing to the under-served residential market. Aluminum makes for excellent roofing with its lightweight, resistance to rust, and long-term durability. All of these combine to create a superior roofing product for the residential market.
The new company Don formed, Classic Products, Inc., had many firsts in metal roofing. The first multi-colored metal shingle in 1982, the first naturally-textured, color-varied shingle in 2000, and the first to use heat-reflective coatings in 2002. Classic didn’t stop here, though, expanding from their original two product lines to twelve in total.
Today, Classic Products is Isaiah Industries, Inc., now operating under a different name to reflect our “Kingdom Business” goals but with the same mission. We offer three metal roofing brands: Classic Metal Roofing Systems, Kassel & Irons, and Green American Home, along with an underlayment brand, RoofAquaGuard.
Don passed away in 2014, but his son Todd and CFO Kelly Joseph have led the company to new heights, continuing to innovate while honoring the traditions Don left behind.
From the Beginning
Classic started full production in 1981 with five full-time employees. Employee number five was Chris Mescher. Coming up on 40 years at Isaiah, Chris has been present at every milestone, product launch, building expansion, and tooling upgrade. He started as a Press Operator in 1981 and has since worked in many different positions at Isaiah.
Today, he serves as Director of Maintenance and Engineering. He is responsible for ensuring the machines are running smoothly, creating CAD drawings for new and existing parts, and coordinating work with machine shops. Chris’s favorite part of his job is the design aspect. The challenge of creating and modifying parts to make new products or improve old ones still excites Chris after nearly 40 years.
Chris’s journey at Classic started when founder Don Miller told him he was starting his own business. Don and Chris had worked together before at Stolle Co., and Chris was looking for a new job. The same day Chris interviewed for Don’s new company, he also got a call from Stolle offering him a new job. He had to choose between a stable but low-mobility job with Stolle or an uncertain but high-mobility job with Classic. Chris asked his father for advice, and he responded with, “if I could pick someone to start a company, it would be Don Miller.” Chris chose Classic, and almost forty years later, he thinks he made the right decision.
When Chris first came into Classic to meet with Don, he found him on the shop floor, working on the 401 press. Don was buried in the press, with a bundle of wiring over his shoulder, determined to fix the electrical problems. Chris says, “Right away, I was here to help.” He dove in and, ever since, has become an expert on all the machines in the plant.
Working at Classic and Isaiah Industries
Chris has been around long enough to have worked for both Don and his son Todd along with Kelly. The difference between working for Don and working for Todd and Kelly is their area of focus. Chris says, “Don was very hands-on with the Shop floor, comfortable spending time there, and was heavily involved in Production. Todd is more engaged with the sales and marketing side of things, and Kelly, the CFO, has taken over the production side. Both have been great to work for, and the company has needed both of their respective leadership styles.”
Chris says he’s stayed at Isaiah because “I enjoy working here, I like the focus on investing in people, and I like that we hire great people to work with.” Chris hopes people remember that he always shares himself and his knowledge with anyone. His goal is to be a source for people to learn from. When he looks back on his time so far at Isaiah, Chris says, “Every day I come in, I improve the company, and the company improves me. I think it’s been a great union so far.”
Chris’s dedication to Isaiah mirrors our commitment to the most important part of this story: you.
Our goal has always been to build a relationship with each customer while equipping them with unmatched support. As Isaiah Industries has grown and changed over the years, we’ve been proud to celebrate our amazing customers.
Here’s to the next 40 years of building relationships together.