A five-star salute to a 50-year career in copper and brass

Aug 01, 2009 | 05:14 AM |

When Franklin Brown Jr., 75, stepped down as executive vice president of the Copper and Brass Servicenter Association (CBSA) earlier this summer, he had spent twice as many years serving the metals industry as not.

"He certainly dedicated his working career to the association and definitely was committed to the association right up to the end," said Bruce Seeger, president of Seeger Metals & Plastics Inc., Toledo, Ohio. Dan Kendall, president of Logansport, Ind.-based ABC Metals Inc., agreed. "I was most impressed by Frank's loyalty," he said.

Brown, who entered a well-deserved retirement at the start of June after being at the helm of the CBSA for 50 years, leaves behind a multi-faceted legacy of steady navigation through turbulent times, according to copper industry players.


CBSA, like the world around it, witnessed innumerable changes between 1959 and 2009. Some overhauls were unmistakably Brown's doing. Others, like last fall's precipitous economic collapse, were out of his hands.

Of the changes orchestrated by Brown, the most manifest involved the expansion of CBSA's membership. Founded in the spring of 1951, the CBSA was at first a trade group exclusively for copper and brass distributors; the following year, domestic brass mills were invited to join the ranks as associate members. But then membership generally was static, with a handful of new distributors and U.S. mills joining each year but the group never again opening its doors to a new group of companies—that is, until "globalization" became a household term.....

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