Our Team


Keith Isdell

No one calls Keith Isdell Keith. They call him Tennessee. And as soon as he opens his mouth you’ll know why. He speaks with a pronounced southern drawl and drops all types of peculiar phrases unknown to the Old Line State.

For example: what was he doing before he came to B&B? “Well, I worked at a party tent place and was just a mule for ten dollars an hour,” he says.

The kid from Tennessee, however, also had a little welding experience under his belt. In high school he welded together trailers for shop class. “I’ve liked welding ever since I figured out what it was,” he says.

Welding is in Tennessee’s blood. “My grandfather was a welder, my uncle is a welder, my brother welds, and my Dad—he was a truck driver who owned a welder.”

Mostly it was his dad, though, who lit the fire for welding in the young boy’s psyche. “I remember back in the days when my dad used to weld out back on the sidewalk,” he recalls. “It would be just getting dark out, and it was just neat how the light would glow and light things up.”

“I thought it was cool as hell,” he says.

Tennessee came to Baltimore for work. “Down there, it’s really hard to find a job,” he says. His hometown of Mountain City, Tennessee is so out of the way, he says, “that it takes 45 minutes just to get to Wal-Mart.”

Everybody he met in Baltimore told him he should get a job at B&B. The first time around, he filled out an application, dropped it off and never heard anything of it. A year later he tried again. “I came through the door and there’s Mr. Dennis standing there.”

Dennis McCartney, B&B’s Vice President remembers the encounter: “He was six feet two, ready to learn and strong as a bull,” says Dennis. The two talked. Dennis showed him the shop.

Over the years, Dennis has taken in young guys looking to learn the trade and taught them how to weld on Saturdays. Dennis took a chance on Keith, teaching the eager 21-year old the fundamentals of the craft.

“I can’t tell you how many dang welding practice tests I did,” Tennessee says. “It was aggravating.” With time, he passed his first test. And Dennis hired him on.

Keith’s been at B&B for just over a year. In that time, he’s learned to work with press breaks and sheers. He’s passed his Flux Core and 3/8 Vertical Overhead tests. He’s learned how to drive a forklift, punch holes in plates, and he’s studying for his pipe test. Today, Keith works mostly in the field, assembling stairwells alongside his new best friends and fellow B&B employees, Brandon Gilner & Jeff Howell.

“I feel like I’ve found my calling,” Keith says. “I’m in a real good spot. Learning more every day. I love seeing all that heavy equipment. I can’t get enough of it.” In five years time, Tennessee wants to learn how to run the machines, the angle master, plate machine, or the beam line.

“I just try to be the best I can be at B&B,” he says with a laugh.

And as for the fishing, let’s just say the kid from Tennessee is enthusiastic. “Where I come from, you just put a piece of corn on a hook, drop it in a creek and wait,” he says. But on his first charter boat trip with the B&B team, he sat there watching the guys catch huge rockfish “left over right.” Then it was Keith’s turn to reel one in.

“I ain’t never caught a fish that big in my life,” he says.

We suspect Tennessee will have many good fishing trips to come with his new family at B&B.

Chris Swieczkowski

I originally started welding in Quarryville, PA, at SSI Steel Systems Incorporated. My sister told me she seen a sign that said B&B Welding was hiring. I came in, filled out the application, talked with Ralph and was hired. I have learned a lot since I started working here and I’m eager to learn more. B&B Welding is devoted and hands on to make you who they want you to be in the welding/fabrication field.

Peggy McCartney

President/Treasurer, B&B Welding Company, Inc.

Peggy McCartney is President of B&B Welding Inc. She wears many hats: she pays the bills, manages health and life insurance plans, and does payroll. In Peggy’s words, her job is “to let the money go.” She is in effect, the human resource director here. To Peggy, B&B is like her second family. “A lot of these guys have grown up here,” she says. “Two came right out of high school,” and have been with B&B ever since.

As President, Peggy is also the voice of caution. Every new CNC machine B&B purchases comes with a hefty price tag. One gets the feeling that without Peggy’s fiscal prudence, heavy machinery wouldn’t just take up every square foot of shop space, but would spill into the office hallways as well. The fact is, the guys here at B&B love these machines. They can’t get enough of them. As Peggy’s husband Dennis says, “We want to be first with all the new toys.” It’s Peggy’s job to invest wisely in new technology. For all Peggy’s talk of fiscal caution, the numbers prove otherwise.

Over the last four years, B&B Welding has invested over 1.5 million dollars back into the company. Each purchase came with Peggy’s final approval. This investment is what separates B&B from the other shops in the area. “This equipment puts us in a better position to get bigger jobs,” she says. “It’s paying off.” Peggy credits Dennis for his foresight. “I don’t think we’d be where we are today if it weren’t for Dennis pushing us to buy into automation,” she says.

Peggy’s been known to outfish them all at B&B. “But,” she says, “I don’t really care if I catch fish or not. I go fishing to relax.”

Wayne Brooks, Jr.

Wayne Brooks spent ten years banging dents out at a local truck body shop. And for just about that long, Dennis McCartney had been razzing him about coming to work at a real job. “When you get tired of that tin-knocking work,” Dennis would joke, “Come see us.” Wayne finally did just that. He may not have known much about welding, but he knew the McCartneys. He played on the championship Patapsco High School soccer team with Brendan McCartney. Watching Wayne excel on the soccer field, Dennis and Peggy knew him to be a natural competitor. And they always knew he’d bring that same work ethic to the shop. Which is precisely what he’s done. “I remember the first day I came to work here,” says Wayne. “ I sat in the lunch room and didn’t know what to expect. I felt lost, but a good lost.” Quickly, Wayne learned the finer points of welding. Wanting his chance on the big machines, he channeled his competitive drive into learning the CNC equipment. He took college classes in computer science and drew heavily on his earlier mastery of college calculus 3. Soon, he’d go toe to toe with the angle master and the beam line. Today, he’s B&B’s “Master of the Pipe Bender.” Fabricating handrails has become his specialty. These days, you might also find him tackling the plate machine. Looking back, he’s happy to have made his transformation from knocking tin to welding steel. He is, as we say around here, “a worker.” And that’s the greatest compliment you can earn at B&B. “It’s nice to work for an employee-owned company,” says Wayne. “Because really, you’re working for yourself — for your own future.” For all his success in our shop, Wayne harbors one great flaw: he prefers softball to fishing (Hey, what do you expect from a guy who played college baseball?). But like with everything else he does here at B&B, Wayne steps up to the plate. “I always go out on the fishing trips,” he says. “I get my line wet.”

William Chambliss

A Richmond, Virginia native, William believes he has improved greatly since coming to work at B&B Welding. He looks at B&B as his family, and greatly benefits from the desire of the company to grow and for him to grow along with it.

“I’m very fortunate to be employed at B&B Welding. All of the other companies I have worked for have not given me the experience, knowledge, and opportunity to reach my goal. I look forward to learning more of my trade”.

Brendan McCartney CWI

Been with B&B Since 1998

Brendan McCartney figures he started working at B&B Welding in the seventh grade. B&B Welding is in his blood. His grandfather started the company and his mother and father run it today. Needless to say, Brendan has a feel for the business. As a kid he spent time hanging around the shop “bugging the guys, asking ‘How do you do this?’ ‘Show me how to do that.’” Since 1998, Brendan’s been another one of the full time employees at B&B. Out there in the shop Brendan gets no special treatment from mom and dad. “Here, they don’t look at me as their son,” Brendan says. “If anything, they expect more out of me.” Brendan specializes in the CNC machinery, working on the angle master, the beam line and the new plate machine. “CNC machines make you think. It’s challenging. It’s math and reasoning and being able to read drawings. It’s knowing what the machine can and can’t do. And even knowing how to make the machine do stuff it can’t do.”

Brendan’s studied engineering at Widener University in Pennsylvania and at UMBC. He also does layout work and is part of the Quality Control Department and a certified welding inspector (CWI). “Around here,” he says, “you have to be flexible; you have to know how to do a little bit of everything. One day you might be running the machines, the next you’re burning or driving the truck making deliveries.”

He’s as proud as anyone of the work that comes out of B&B: “We have guys that are dedicated to not only the company but to the work they do. They take pride in what they do. They don’t let a substandard product go out the door. Because they know that their name, their mark is on that.”

Jeff Howell

On May 17th, 2008, the prodigal son returned to B&B Welding. Jeff Howell — seasoned welder, proud son of Dundalk, and trophy shark fisherman — grew up in a neighborhood of Sparrows Point welders. His father welded up at the Point. His grandfather welded beside Pop McCartney, B&B’s founder. And the young Jeff grew up across the street from Dennis and Peggy McCartney. So, it was only natural for him to walk into B&B, pass the vertical weld test, and join the team.

From 1994 to ’97, Jeff Howell was a quintessential B&B guy. He loved the B&B camaraderie and especially the fishing. But he grew restless. And, he admits, sometimes he and Dennis sparred. “I rode him pretty good back then,” Dennis says. In ’97, Jeff left. He found work in other Baltimore shops and then in Ocean City — closer to the fishing. In 2003, he took first place in the White Marlin Tournament, pulling in the biggest wahoo. But over the years, he stayed close to the guys. After a day out on the Bay, he’d drop a rockfish off at Sam’s place. He kept in touch. And it began to down on him: he could go back.

Eleven years later, he returned to a shop that has dramatically changed. More CNC equipment, greater quality control and a shop that’s become employee owned. Jeff laughs thinking back to the old B&B: “It used to be old school here,” he says. “We unloaded steel with pry bars. Now, it’s a shop that scans and tags every piece of steel.” “I made a huge mistake leaving,” he says. “I could be a part-owner. I’d have a huge 401k. I should have stayed right here.”

In this parable of the prodigal son, the homecoming couldn’t have been more auspicious. On Jeff’s first day back, he helped to install the 9’x 24’ Dundalk Heritage Sculpture on the CSX train bridge that crosses the street running through his hometown. “I was really proud to be part of that,” he says. “We even made the front page of the Dundalk Eagle.” He remembers his first day back vividly: “Dennis looked up at me and said, “Well, you’ve been with all the rest, now you’re back with the best.”

Tiffany Heron

Tiffany Heron graduated from Seton Keough High in 2006. Soon after she applied to CCBC – Dundalk. While going to school she worked several retail/customer service jobs such as, Cold Stone Creamery, Dunkin Donuts and AMF Bowling. In 2009, she took a break from college and started working at Santoni’s Grocery Market as an overnight manager. October 2013 Santoni’s closed and in April 2014 she took an offer at Royal Farms training to become a store leader. On July 27th, 2015 Dennis McCartney offered her a job at B&B Welding training in the office. She started on August 24th and so far is a happy “rookie”.

Dave Mills

Been with B&B Since 1991

Dave Mills, nothing gets the man more fired up than a thick, bulky book of engineering drawings with architect’s notations. He cracks open the drawings and breaks them down into man hours, pounds of weld wire and tons of steel. “Estimating can be difficult,” Dave says. “It’s an art, but it comes with experience. You got to know steel.”

Dave knows steel all right. He’s been a certified welder since 1972. Over the years, Dave worked with some of the biggest fab shops in Maryland; in fact, he once worked for the biggest fab shop on the East Coast. Though he works mostly in the office now at B&B, he keeps his hands in the middle of everything. He project manages jobs, does purchasing, and in a pinch he’ll weld, fit, and even drive the delivery truck. A 25 year veteran at B&B, Dave cherishes the democratic nature of B&B: “The guys have more say in what they do here,” he says. As a result, “They take more pride in what they do. I’ve worked for a lot of large shops, but B&B has some of the best pride. I’d put these guys up against any other guys I’ve ever worked with.”

Dave is straight shooter. Speaking of his work, he says, “I get into it. What I like is to estimate a job, buy the material for it, product manage it, go out in the shop and build it.” “Every day is different,” he says. “Once I walk through the door and close it, anything can happen. And it usually does.”

Sam Drumm III, CWI

36 years ago, Sam Drumm showed up at B&B Welding without a clue how to weld. So they gave him a can of spray paint. And he’s been hard at work ever since. He’s worked his way through the ranks-taking on just about every job in the shop. “When I started here, we had six trucks in a bay. You’d jump in a truck and go weld for other people.” But things sure have changed. “We used to have competition,” Sam says, “now we do work for the competition-a lot of the local fabricators come to us.” Sam’s rise coincides with B&B’s transformation from small job shop to the most fully automated shop in the Baltimore area. “The bigger we got, the more machines we got. The more we had to learn to keep up with the trends. We took computer courses, from DOS, to Windows, to basic instructions just to learn how to run these machines.” Today, Sam specializes in CNC work (“It’s my little niche,” he says) and Auto Cad design. What motivates Sam to show up for work each day? “I just like working with my hands,” he says. “I like to stand back when we’re done and say, “Yeah, I built this.” The Twenty-nine-year veteran is stock owner in the company. And no one speaks more boldly about B&B’s competitive edge: “Why should you choose B&B? We work to a standard. And it’s the highest standard. We have a good quality control program and nothing leaves unless half a dozen check it before it leaves. We have machines that do it right the first time. And we have a bunch of guys who are good at what they do.” And does Sam fish? “Yeah I fish.” he says. “You can’t work here unless you fish.”

Ralph Eisenhuth, Jr.

Been with B&B Since Jan 1980

When Ralph Eisenhuth signed on with B&B, he just wanted to learn how to weld. 37 years later, he’d mastered just about every machine in the shop. Today, he’s the shop foreman. “B&B is home,” he says. “I’ve made it my home. I’ve worked hard, put a lot of time and I think I’ve helped make this company successful.” Ralph schedules and assigns jobs, orders materials, and does some billing. “My job,” he says, “is to get stuff done and get it out the door.” Ralph has seen B&B transform itself from a four-man shop that welded structural steel and pipe work out in the field to an in-house, fully automated steel fabrication shop. “1994 was the transition year for us,” he says. A construction company approached B&B to fabricate steel for the HS Crocker building in southeast Baltimore. It was a challenge B&B couldn’t refuse. They built a new roof using structural steel I-beams and trusses. “We tried it,” Ralph says, “We succeeded and we went from there.” Today, B&B is a showcase for automation. They are Baltimore’s most automated shop. Says Ralph, “You really need to see B&B’s shop with your own eyes, see how complicated the fabrication of steel is today.” “We are the best,” Ralph says. “We have the newest and latest equipment and we do quality work.”

John Tanner

I’ve worked at a few other fab shops but B&B really challenged my skills. I was bored at other shops but here they really keep me on my toes. You never know what you’re going to be doing from day to day, but it’s always interesting and I like that.

Michele Dosch

Been with B&B Since 1999

When Michele Dosch first interviewed with Dennis McCartney, he told her about the family atmosphere at B&B Welding. It was just what she was looking for. “I was only here about two months and felt like one of the guys”, she said. Today, she is an important part of the B&B family. She is in the process of training the new girl, Tiffany Heron, most of the duties that she learned early on, which include all of the usual administrative jobs so that she can focus on the accounting end of the business as she will be taking over this position when Peggy McCartney retires. She understands that this is a very important position and is very honored that it was offered to her.

As far as fishing, she has gone on a few trips with the guys and really enjoyed the day. She has even caught a couple fish!

Dennis McCartney

When Ernest “Pop” McCartney bought B&B Welding Company, Inc. some 46 years ago in 1971, he had no idea how far his son Dennis could take the business. What started off as a small welding job shop could have continued as a small job shop. Or, it could have gone the way of so many other smaller welding shops-extinct. But that’s not what happened. Since Dennis and Peggy bought out Pop’s interest, B&B Welding, under Dennis’ guidance, has evolved into a fully automated, multi-million dollar structural steel fabrication company.

Dennis is the first to admit that he had no grand business plan. Instead, he had the foresight to invest heavily in new technology. He saw the benefits of AISC quality certification-B&B Welding became the second shop in Maryland to gain certification (the first in Baltimore). He made the jump from welder to steel fabricator by slowly investing in new equipment. In 1990, the company bought its first Peddinghaus Anglemaster. Today, the shop is full of sophisticated CNC equipment.

Dennis is a builder. “When I go to White Marsh Mall,” he says, “I could get a stiff neck just looking at how the trusses are bolted together. I look up and think, ‘Man I’d like to detail that job.’” In 1989, Dennis started a structural detailing business, Chesapeake Design Services, Inc. Dennis conceived the idea for the business after attending a software demonstration. “What I thought was way in the future,” he says, “They were already doing.” In typical entrepreneurial fashion, Dennis recalls: “I knew that if I had a need for shop drawings, then everybody else must need them too.” So, Dennis decided to take a calculated risk and invest $80,000 in detailing software and hardware. Today, Dennis is president of Chesapeake Design. His office is on the same campus as B&BWelding. He splits his time detailing jobs for B&B Welding and for outside clients. Obsessive compulsive, technologically savvy, always looking for smarter ways to get a job done, Dennis’ newest venture is in Electronic Data Interchange. Through B&B’s web site, he now has the ability to electronically share data with engineers and architects. They send him stick drawings; Dennis translates and details them; and he sends them back to the engineers with the value-added shop drawings. Who knows what the future holds for B&B Welding, bridge building? If “Pop” McCartney were to see how B&B Welding has grown, there’s no doubt he’d be smiling. “He’d give his stamp of approval,” says Dennis. “God’s been good to us, that’s for sure.”

What does Dennis like about fishing? “The catching part,” he says. “Every day’s a good day for fishing, but you remember the days you catch fish more than days you don’t.” Since 2006 we added production control software, bar coding for tracking painted and galvanized members, and in 2015 wi-fi tablets for the shop fitters to use in lieu of paper drawings.

Our most significant and noteworthy investment, however, has been in the staff of dedicated, smart working men and women that own this company through our ESOP plan.

Pablo Galvan

To Pablo Galvan, the difference between a shop that values quality control and one that doesn’t is as real as a medevac helicopter ride to the shock trauma unit of University of MD Hospital.

For 21-plus years, Pablo worked at Baltimore area shops doing miscellaneous steel and fieldwork. Over that time, the companies struggled through tough economic times. He watched as his employers grew more and more erratic. At first, they took away the employees’ holiday time, then a large portion of their benefits, and then regular hours became irregular. Every December, his last employer would tell the guys, “Pack up your tools and go.” Sometimes Pablo would be laid off for a couple weeks. Sometimes it would be months before he was called back to work.

“It got to be the point,” Pablo recalls, “when I said to myself, ‘Nah, this isn’t for me.’”

And then there was the day Pablo got hurt. He was working out in the field with a young guy who had never worked construction before. Their job: to install a new lintel to a building. Pablo was climbing up a ladder with a heavy welded tube. Halfway up, the tube became stuck. In haste, the young kid picked up the bottom end of the tube and heaved it up. Pablo was thrown off the stairs, hit the ground, and the steel tube crashed down on his body.

“It hit me right on the chest,” says Pablo. “I remember just gasping for air. Then I looked down and there was a gash on the side of my stomach and chest.”

Pablo was Medevacked by a helicopter to University of MD Hospital where he received 12 staples & 8 stiches. To add insult to his injury: his employer said it was his fault.

To say that Pablo is happy to now be working at B&B is an understatement. Especially since he recently married, has a child and another baby on the way.

“I called B&B up because they have steady work, experienced guys who have been with the company for a while, and they care about quality and safety,” he says. “With my family, it’s very important to me to have that stability. But mostly, I want to go to work and go home in one piece.”

It comes as no surprise, then, that Pablo embraces B&B’s rigorous quality controls. “It’s great here to have another set of fresh eyes on your work,” he says. “It builds up trust among the guys.” Today, you’ll find Pablo punching holes, shearing metal to size, bending it, or laying it out for drilling holes and then pushing it down the line. He’s experienced with lots of equipment: the press break, saw, shear and small iron worker. And when Pablo goes out in the field with the younger guys, you can bet he’s watching out for everyone. “I always tell the younger guys: ‘Take your time. I’m not rushing—I’m Mexican,’” he jokes.

With a second child on the way, Pablo is enjoying the stability and camaraderie of B&B. “ Yeah,” he says, “I’ll be here for a while.”

Don Benges

60 and feisty, Don Benges—everyone just calls him Benge—came to B&B after the company acquired George Eckart Company Inc. in 2013. When Mr. Gathright sold off and retired, B&B bought out not only his client base, but also its machinery.

“I came along with the equipment,” Benge jokes.

He also came highly recommended. A son of South Baltimore, Benge brings years of experience working on handrails and stairs. For 12 years, he ran his own shop doing structural, miscellaneous and ornamental iron work. “When the economy went down, so did the business,” he says. Was he worried when Eckart got bought out? “Na, I wasn’t worried,” he says. “I’ve been doing this a long time. In this trade, it’s hard to find people who know what they’re doing and who don’t mind doing all the hard work it takes to get the job done.”

At B&B, he’s off to his own side of the shop, making angles and cutting pitches for ornamental handrails. “We can turn work over to Benge, and he’ll get it done,” says Dennis McCartney, B&B’s Vice President. His transition to B&B was quick. “I came in one week and talked to Dennis and Ralph,” Benge remembers. “They told me to come in on Monday, and I was ready to go.”

But there was one thing Benge wasn’t quite prepared for: B&B’s exacting quality controls. “At first I had a hard time,” he admits. “I was so used to laying out stuff, drilling, and welding clips all on my own. At B&B, somebody else has to check it, and then you cut it and somebody checks what you cut.”

For a guy who’s been welding over 31 years, constant quality checks seemed like a waste of valuable shop time. Benge remembers thinking: “Man, this will take me forever to finish a job if someone’s checking it every time.” While, at first, he was put off by the quality controls, today he’s a convert. “It’s a good thing,” he says now. “Look, mistakes cost money, and even I make mistakes a little bit here and a little bit there—everybody does. But with people checking it, the work goes out the door and 99.9% of the time it goes out the door right. So it’s not wasting time, it’s saving time.”

Looking back over his career, Benge takes real pride in what he has achieved. Over the years, he’s worked jobs at some remarkable places. Back in the Reagan years, he installed metalwork in the back of the White House. He fabricated iron for the top of the Washington Monument, did rails for the Natural History Museum, both the NSA and FBI buildings, as well as Ft. Meade and the Aerospace Museum. “I’ve been doing this a long time,” he says.” If you don’t have pride in what you do, it isn’t worth doing it. “

“When I go to bed I don’t have to worry,” he says. “I can sleep well because I know whatever I did that day ain’t coming down.”

Glen Weekes

I have been in the field of welding for about 23 yrs and had the pleasure of working for a great company (Plastech) for 11 years. I came to B&B Welding Company in April 2016 and have grown to enjoy working here. Welding is my passion and I knew it when I graduated from Samuel Gompers School and landed my first job at ATI in their fabrication shop. I have been welding ever since.