Since 1992, the editors of FOUNDRY Management & Technology have taken the opportunity every September to honor those men and women who have made significant contributions to the foundry industry. In continuation of this tradition, we are pleased to recognize an outstanding individual who has made important contributions both to the company he bought 30 years ago, and to the metalcasting industry.
During his career, he has given tirelessly of his time and efforts to various foundry organizations. And, his contributions are ongoing.
His selection to our Hall of Honor is but one of the many ways he has been recognized for his hard work. His selection was based on numerous unsolicited recommendations from his metalcasting industry peers — contemporaries, colleagues, and admirers all — and unanimously endorsed by our selection panel.
He now joins our elite group of entrepreneurs, engineers, executives, researchers, and educators, each of whom has made their mark on the metalcasting industry for 25 years of more.
Dwight J. Barnhard
Director, Superior Aluminum Castings Inc.
The past year has been a busy one for this year’s Foundry Management & Technology Hall of Honor inductee, Dwight J. Barnhard, director of Superior Aluminum Castings. In April, at the American Foundry Society’s 2005 Annual Banquet in St. Louis, Barnhard was awarded the William H. McFadden Gold Medal. At the Foundry Educational Foundation’s annual College Industry Conference last November in Chicago, he was honored with the E.J. Walsh Award. None of this is a surprise, given what so many have come to recognize about Dwight’s career and service to the metalcasting industry. As one of the admirers wrote when nominating him for the Hall of Honor, “I can think of no one active within our industry that is more deserving of selection than Dwight Barnhard.”
Dwight’s foundry career started in his college days, unloading boxcars and running a muller in an iron foundry during his summer breaks. From 1964-75 Dwight worked for Independence Foundry & Mfg. Co. During his tenure at that 100-associate iron jobbing shop in Missouri, his responsibilities included lab manager, Q.C. manager, and foundry manager.
Then, 30 years ago he purchased and became President of Superior Aluminum Castings. This 16-associate aluminum-jobbing foundry uses state of the art processes to provide castings for a variety of industries. He served as president until May 1, 2000, when he opted to take on a broader set of responsibilities
That year, Dwight accepted an appointment from the American Foundry Society to be its executive vice president — a position he held until June 30, 2004. He then returned to Superior Aluminum as director.
Even before assuming the role as executive vice president, Dwight had a long record of active involvement in the metalcasting industry. A past AFS National President, he also has served on several AFS committees. He was AFS Vice President, 1994-95; AFS National Director, 1982-85; and twice held the post of Chairman for the Mo-Kan Chapter.
In addition, he served as Chairman of the Cast Metals Institute, 1989-90; and Director of CMI, 1986-90.
Dwight continues to teach CMI courses on various topics, and he has traveled extensively as a technical speaker at industry gatherings in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. During 1998-99 he served as President of the Foundry Educational Foundation where, as one person put it, “The interaction he has fostered amongst the (FEF) Board is one of the main reasons I continue as an active participant in that organization.”
At the 2001 AFS Casting Congress, Dwight presented the Hoyt Memorial Lecture — a keynote event for the industry that is always assigned to its most insightful and effective leaders.
Beyond the two awards mentioned above, Dwight also was presented the AFS Management Service Citation in 1991 and the 1995 AFS Frishmuth Award. In the latter case, he was recognized as the AFS Aluminum Division’s “Foundryman of the Year.”
In 1997 The U.S. Department of Energy recognized Dwight for his contribution to the “Industries of the Future” vision process. He also was a 1998 recipient of the Sam Walton Business Leader Award presented by the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Along with his many responsibilities to the foundry industry, Dwight is active in community organizations. He is serving as President of the Association for Industrial Development and Director of the Independence Missouri Chamber of Commerce. He is also a Director of the Bank of Grain Valley and a certified facilitator for Covey Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
Dwight holds an A.A.S. degree in Business Management from Longview Community College and a General Foundry Certification from the Cast Metals Institute. From 1966 to 1972, he served as a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force Reserve. He and his wife Caroline reside in Independence. Together, they have one son, Patrick, and a grandchild.