Published September 18, 2007
Volume 15, Number 9

Simpson Strong-Tie – Committed to Safe Construction, Strong Communities

Terry Kingsfather, president of Simpson Strong-Tie, in the company’s
product testing lab, part of their W. Las Positas Boulevard headquarters.

By Barbara Lewis

The Simpson family has been part of the San Francisco Bay Area building community since 1914, but a chance request by a neighbor in 1956 set the company on its current course as an industry-leading manufacturer of structural connectors, shearwalls and anchor systems.

Barclay Simpson took over his father’s window screen business in 1947. In 1956, he agreed to help the friend of a neighbor make structural connectors for the ends of 2x4s used in roofing. From that obliging act grew a nearly $800-million business for Simpson Manufacturing Co. The company now employs more than 2,800 people in multiple facilities in North America and Europe and recently opened an office in China.

Publicly traded since 1994, Simpson is known for its product innovation, focus on research and development, and strong fiscal management. Simpson Strong-Tie, one of Simpson Manufacturing’s two main subsidiaries, is the maker of products used to strengthen, support and connect joints in building construction -- wood-to-wood, wood-to-concrete and wood-to-masonry connectors as well as screw fastening systems, collated screws and pre-fabricated shearwalls. The company also provides adhesives, mechanical anchors and power tools for concrete, masonry and steel.

Simpson’s other subsidiary, Simpson Dura-Vent Company, designs and manufactures venting systems for gas, wood, oil and pellet-burning appliances.

Throughout its history, Simpson’s bent for innovation has led to the development of scores of better, safer connectors for all applications. Today, the company holds more patents than all other connector companies combined and has nearly 40 engineers on staff. In 2003, Simpson opened the Tyrell Gilb Research Laboratory in Stockton, a world-class testing facility designed to continue research into safer building construction. The laboratory work is not limited to new product development, but also involves new technology and ideas pertaining to how structures are designed and built.

Simpson is committed to the advancement of construction education. Through a half million dollar donation, the company helped fund the Simpson Strong-Tie Materials Demonstration Laboratory at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. In addition, it assists students nationwide through its Simpson Strong-Tie Structural Engineering/Architecture Scholarship program.

Simpson Strong-Tie has also been a strong supporter of Habit for Humanity at the local level for more than a decade. In August, it announced a national sponsorship agreement with Habit for Humanity International, committing to a $1 million donation of cash and products over the next four years. The donations will help Habitat for Humanity’s house projects across North America as well as national efforts such as the Gulf Coast-recovery program and the Jimmy Carter Work Project. The agreement also includes employee volunteer time to help with the building of Habitat homes.

“Simpson’s mission is to help people build safer and stronger homes economically. By sharing similar goals with Habitat and working together on a national level, we can provide more people homes that are built to last,” said Simpson Strong-Tie CEO Tom Fitzmyers.

Much more information about Simpson Manufacturing - history, products and philosophy - is available at www.strongtie.com.


Also in this issue ...