A lifelong steel salesman from Naples, a metal company founder in New Gloucester and a South Paris engineer will be inducted into the Manufacturers Association of Maine’s Hall of Fame on Thursday.

A fourth person is being surprised during the association’s annual meeting in Portland.

The group, formerly the Maine Metal Products Association, has had a Hall of Fame since 2005, according to Executive Director Lisa Martin. It has honored about 30 people who’ve put in lots of volunteer time, networked to bring business to Maine and dedicated themselves to the industry, she said.

All three men being honored this year are past presidents of the group. A quick snapshot of the honorees:

• Richard McCann, New Gloucester

McCann founded McCann Fabrication 25 years ago with his brother, Bill. The company employs 40 people and specializes in custom metal fabrication in stainless steel. Richard McCann said some of the industries they work with include wastewater treatment plants, paper mills around the world and microbreweries.

Now president, three of his sons work for the company.

“After I retire and go golfing and fishing, they’re going to carry on,” McCann said.

• Jeffrey Sutton of South Paris is one of the directors and owners of Maine Machine Products Co., co-founded in 1956 by his father, Roland, a past Hall of Fame inductee. With 150 employees, it makes precision plastic and metal components for products like auto transmissions and kidney-dialysis machines.

“In this country there’s a lot of manufacturing still being done, which dispels a lot of myths,” Sutton said. Low-skilled, high-labor intensive manufacturing may be on the wane, but high-tech manufacturing isn’t, even if the results are sometimes out of sight.

“You don’t usually see our products; they’re under the hood or they’re embedded,” he said.

• Dan Smart of Naples was a steel salesman for most of 1961 to 2008, spending 25 years at Edgecomb Steel of New England Inc. and 11 at American Steel & Aluminum.

Recently retired, he has seen the industry through lots of changes, he said, and met hundreds of people at paper companies, forest products businesses, Bath Iron Works and Fisher Plows. His last big account was Hussey Seating Co.

“It’s just been a wonderful experience,” Smart said. “I’ve really seen all of Maine, and it was a really great experience.”


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