Thalle provides a high-level product while caring for the environment.
By Alan Dorich
Based in Briarcliff, N.Y., Thalle Industries provides aggregate and asphalt products to the New York metro area and the Hudson Valley. It also provides recycled rock and asphalt from construction projects.
Guido Pacchiana, grandfather of Glenn Pacchiana, president and CEO, started the company in 1947 as Thalle Construction. After nearly 70 years in the construction business, Thalle Industries has the expertise that its clients need. “Through our experience, we’re able to give them a recommendation on products to complete their job in a cost-efficient and on-schedule manner,” Vice President of Customer Relations John Amato says.
Serving its Niche
Thalle Industries sets itself apart with its high level of quality and service, Pacchiana says. “We go the extra distance for our customers by providing expertise, timely delivery and quality materials. This helps them get the job done efficiently and correctly, saving time and money.”
As a locally and family owned company, he adds, clients can easily talk to its owners. “We’re not owned by a foreign government or report to a multinational president that’s not local,” he says, noting that the firm also is flexible for its clients.
“If people want to get loaded in five in the morning, we’ll load them,” he says. “If we make a commitment to somebody, we’ll live up to that commitment.”
Many of Thalle Industries’ managers previously worked for Thalle Construction, Amato says. “They are very knowledgeable about how to build a project and what materials to use, and they’ve translated that experience to help out our customers when they call with a job,” he says.
These attributes have earned Thalle Industries the reputation of a company that can respond immediately to its clients’ needs and supply them material within a timely manner. “Our clients feel that it’s an added value to use Thalle Industries, because it helps them to stay on schedule and use the right materials, as per the project specifications,” Amato says. “Today’s materials specifications are much more complicated. Our clients depend on us to advise them on which materials to use for the job.”
This experience has proven to be useful when providing railroad ballast. When manufacturing the product, “Thalle has to be very cognizant of not only the quality of the stone and the gradation of the material, but also the cleanliness of that material,” Amato says.
The company’s reach extends beyond the product itself. “We have been able to meet with contractors that have placed railroad ballast orders and partnered with them to formulate a plan on how to handle the ballast from the time it leaves the quarry to the time it is put on the track bed,” he says.
A Green Leader
Glenn Pacchiana started working in his family’s business part-time when he was in the fifth grade. In 1990, he joined full-time after attending college. “I graduated from Cornell University on a Monday, and started working at Thalle Industries on a Tuesday,” he recalls.
Under his management, the company has continued to be environmentally conscious. “I believe that it’s very important that we give more than we take,” he explains. “I’m an environmentalist, and I’m also a quarry owner, and I show people that we can be both.”
Thalle Industries has proved this by allowing many environmental organizations to inspect its quarries and ensure that it follows safety and environmental standards. In addition, the company is concurrently performing reclamation of its Fishkill quarry as it mines the land.
During this process, Thalle Industries plants trees on the land as it is mined. Eventually, “The whole quarry will be reclaimed, and look like any other tree covered area,” he says. “We’re the only company in New York State doing this.”
Pacchiana hopes that the company’s environmental work changes the image people have of quarries. “I believe that the first impression that people have about a quarry is negative,” he admits. “Anyone that has that view should come to our quarry and see what we are doing.”
“I’ve seen too many people out there that give our industry a bad name,” he says. “So we really go out of our way to open doors, be supportive of the environmental community and do things right. It might cost us a few more dollars to do that, but I feel it’s worth it.”
Thalle Industries’ environmental focus has earned it numerous awards, Pacchiana says. “Being a community leader is to me more important than how we do economically,” he says. “I think we’ve been successful at that.”
Looking for People
Thalle Industries continuously engages with the challenge of finding good employees. “That’s one thing we try to do all the time,” Pacchiana says. “We look for good people who want to work.”
Previous industry experience is not necessarily required. “We’ll train, educate and hook our employees up with good wages, healthcare and a good benefit system,” he says, noting that being an environmental leader helps Thalle Industries recruit new workers.
Many people who come to Thalle Industries stay with it for a long time. “We’ve got many father/son father/daughter teams where guys are bringing their sons or daughter in and saying, ‘This is a great place to work,’” Pacchiana says. “That says a lot about us. I want our employees to retire from here.”
The company has kept its employees by treating them right, Pacchiana says. “I really believe that everyone has to enjoy what they do, whether it’s shoveling or running the asphalt plant,” he says.
This approach has helped Thalle Industries as its business has become more complex. “When I got into the business, we had one type of railroad ballast,” he recalls. “Now we’ve got five. And many specifications for all of our products have become more complicated. You’ve got to have everyone working together to make sure you can satisfy the customers.”
Thalle Industries’ key employees include Amato, who has been with the company since 1980. “I worked with John while he was in high school,” Pacchiana says, noting that Amato also worked as an auto shop teacher at Roosevelt High School in Yonkers, N.Y.
Thalle Industries rewards its employees through opportunities for advancement. Those employees have included Vice President Jeff Manganello, who joined the firm in 1997. “This is a true family run company,” he says.
“They care about the individual and not just the end-product,” he continues. “If you work hard, you’ll be rewarded. We’re successful because we have a core of highly qualified people who care about the company and our customers and that transforms to a good product, good service and good value.”
“Jeff manages the financial and operational end of the company,” Amato describes. “Jeff is involved in a lot of the short-and long-range planning with the management team through his introduction of sales meetings, receivables meetings and operations meetings.”
In addition, Manganello starts each meeting by asking whether or not the company is keeping safe. “He has been instrumental in Thalle Industries being the success that it is today,” Amato says.
Another key member is Operations Manager Joseph Perrone. “He is the best operations guy I’ve ever met,” Pacchiana says. “Those two guys really go above and beyond the call of duty.”
Amato also praises Perrone. A former Thalle Construction employee, “[Joe] has many years of experience in building construction projects throughout the northeast and southeast United States,” Amato says.
“Having Joe working in the operations and management end of both the Fishkill and Elmsford, N.Y., facilities makes them more safe and efficiently run operations,” he continues. “Joe’s knowledge of equipment and how to utilize manpower to get the job done enables Thalle to operate in a cost-efficient and safe manner.”
One practice that has nurtured employee loyalty at Thalle Industries is how it leaves the door open for feedback. “[They can feel] free to make recommendations to senior management on how to operate the company safely and efficiently,” Amato says.
One example, he notes, is when a senior operating engineer made a suggestion on equipment for processing material. “When he observed how that machinery worked, he recommended changes to the machine that made it operate more efficiently,” Amato recalls.
In fact, the suggestion worked so well that its use went beyond the doors of Thalle Industries. “When the manufacturer saw what his idea was, they ended up recommending it to other people and companies that purchased that same piece of equipment,” Amato says.
Another longtime employee is Dave Fitzgibbons, who originally joined the company in 1979 as a mechanic’s helper. Today, he oversees a multimillion-dollar asphalt plant.
Fitzgibbons, too, appreciates the company’s treatment of employees and credits its success to customer service. “It’s what has made the company so successful,” he says. “Hard work. Experience. Exceptional service. Good people. We run our plant to help customers fulfill their obligations.”
Amato takes pride in his 36 years at Thalle Industries. “What I’m most proud of is being part of management team that works together to make products for the construction industry in a safe and efficient manner,” he says. “Our respect for our employees and our customer base helps make Thalle stand out in the industry.”
He predicts that the company will keep standing out. “Thalle Industries [has the] ability to not only read the market but to work with contractors on specialized job requirements [and] supply materials to them in a scheduled manner so that they are successful,” he says.
Amato praises Thalle Industries’ vendors, which include Furlani & Son Machine Shop Inc., based in Highland, N.Y. “[It] is one of the last old-school machine shops and blacksmithing outfits in the Northeast,” he describes.
“Furlani will take ownership of remanufacturing parts for crushing equipment that are no longer available, because either the manufacturers do not exist anymore or they do not make or stock those parts,” Amato explains. “The one thing about Furlani that makes them stand out is they understand when a quarry needs a certain part. They pay close attention to making sure that the parts are manufactured and the quarry is back online.”
Another key vendor is Tradon LLC in North Haven, Conn., which Amato has worked with for many years. “What separates Tradon from other suppliers of ground-engaging tools, [such as] bucket teeth and cutting edges, is that they offer a personalized service,” he describes.
“The owner will actually come out to the quarry, review the equipment that needs the aforementioned parts and make recommendations,” Amato says. “Their control of inventory of these parts makes our on-time delivery an important part of their business model.”
Thanks to Tradon’s inventory, Thalle Industries can avoid keeping too many ground-engaging tools in stock. Instead, “We can buy as-needed,” he says.
White Plains, N.Y.-based R.K.B. Materials LLC provides transportation of granular and crushed stone materials to Thalle Industries on a daily basis, Amato says. “They are very responsive to the request of Thalle to provide excellent customer service to various parts of the Hudson River Valley and New York City,” he says. “Thalle Industries has confidence in R.K.B. that once we give them an assignment to bring a certain amount of material to a job site, it gets there as scheduled.”
He also praises VS Construction Corp., based in Ossining, N.Y. “[It] also supplies trucking for Thalle Industries to various projects throughout the Hudson River Valley,” Amato describes.
“VS also is a contractor in their own right that does site work, home development and the manufacture of excellent topsoil product,” he continues. “VS is very responsive to the needs of Thalle Industries when called upon to deliver materials on time and in a safe and efficient manner.”
Elma, N.Y.-based Baschmann Services Inc. provides the company with parts, equipment and repair services for its quarry machinery. “They have been instrumental in keeping our pan feeder for our crushing plant ... operating in an efficient manner,” Amato says. “Baschmann is known for their quick response to phone calls from our quarry so we can experience less downtime.”
He also highlights the work of Advance Testing Co., a Campbell Hall, N.Y.-based firm that “is the premier asphalt and crushed stone laboratory in the Hudson River Valley and New York City,” Amato says. “Advance Testing has a representative in Thalle Industries’ quarry every day while we are making asphalts and aggregates.”
The company, he notes, tests Thalle Industries’ products so that they are made within specifications. “They also manage a database of what Thalle Industries has produced day-to-day, week-to-week and year-to-year,” Amato says. “Advance also designs custom blends for us for our asphalt and aggregate products.”
Thalle Industries also has had a long partnership with John P. Noto Trucking Inc., in Milton, N.Y. “When I transitioned from Thalle Construction to Thalle Industries, I went from building Thalle projects to supplying quality aggregate materials to other contractors,” Amato recalls.
Those contractors, he notes, value professional and safe trucking to their job sites. Although Thalle Industries did not have its own fleet, “I was fortunate to meet John Noto Jr. and John Noto Sr., who each own a dump trailer,” Amato says, noting that Noto Trucking has transported aggregates to Thalle Industries’ satisfied clients and kept them on schedule and on budget.
In fact, Noto Trucking allows the company to provide same-day service. If a client calls Thalle Industries at 10 a.m., “We will respond with material trucked to your job on the same day,” Amato says, noting that he communicates with the Noto family on a daily basis for transfers of material throughout the Hudson River Valley, New York City and Long Island, N.Y.
“We often receive complements from our customers about the Notos’ safe and professional service,” he says. “I have to say that Thalle Industries would not have enjoyed the successes we have had over the past decade, without John P. Noto being part of the Thalle Industries’ team. It’s a wonderful thing to see when a father, John Sr. and a son, John Jr., can make their company a success for the family and in turn, help to make Thalle Industries successful.”
Pacchiana also expects Thalle Industries to continue to prosper. “We’re a company that has a solid foundation that really uses the talents of our team.
“Our basis is we’re customer-service oriented and we’re very environmentally conscious,” he says. “I think those are two things that will allow us to succeed going forward.”
“Service is our No. 1 priority,” Pacchiana adds. “Tell us what you need and we’ll make it for you; any time of day, any time of year. We’ll open early or come in on a Saturday or Sunday. We never turn away a customer.”
Thalle Industries is well known for its high level of community support. In addition to its actions in protecting the environment, the company has donated time and funds to many local businesses and community service organizations, including Scenic Hudson, The Fresh Air Fund, The Westchester Parks Foundation, Glynwood, Hudson Highlands Land Trust, Groundwork Hudson Valley and the New York League of Conservation Voters.
Pacchiana himself is strongly involved in the Westchester, N.Y., community. He serves on the executive committee of the Business Council of Westchester, as well as the board of the New York League of Conservation Voters, and is the President of the Briarcliff Manor Public Library.
In addition, the company sponsors a number of events and organizations including the Memorial Day 5k Race for the Briarcliff library.