B&B Welding

Our Team

Our Team

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.

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.

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.”

Vicki Alley

I worked in a construction sales office for 17 years where Dennis was a customer. We were formally introduced by my Pastor where I serve as Treasurer. When the company I worked for closed after a long economic struggle, Dennis had an opening. Michele was retiring and I was blessed with the opportunity to take over her empty seat. B&B is a great company. I’ve been here long enough to settle in. I’m learning about ESOP and new things specific to this industry. Looking forward to many years here.

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.”

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.”

Nick Perez

I used to work right up the street and didn’t feel i was progressing in my career so a buddy of mine told me about B&B. My first day was quite intimidating because I’ve never been in a fab shop to this scale. I didn’t have much experience with welding so I became the painter. Some days i’d have more paint on my uniform than on the steel. But after a short time with practice and help from co-workers I was able to pass all my weld tests. Then I was able to become more involved in the fabrication part of the job. The guys here at B&B are always looking out for your best interest. They’ll teach you anything you want to know, you just have to be willing to listen and learn. 

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.”

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.

Hunter Taylor

As was the case with another “B&B” employee, a neighbor of Dennis McCartney’s had a friend whose son wanted to get exposure to, and learn, welding. Unlike the other employee, the time for Hunter to be introduced was much shorter and happened the day after the neighbor arranged the meeting. 

From the initial introduction Hunter was deeply engaged in coming to the shop daily, before going to his regular job, to “burn some wire” and hone his stick welding skills. Diligence paid off as Hunter was offered a job upon demonstrating vertical and overhead test passing ability.

In Hunter’s humble, quiet, way he puts it simply, “Coming straight out of High School I have always found welding interesting. Mr. Dennis and the team at B&B hired me on with little to no experience. In just the short amount of time I have been here, I feel like I have learned more than I ever could have anywhere else. Everyone is very informative and wants me to succeed. I am glad to be a part of the team.

Kyle McCollum

Kyle’s journey in coming to “B&B” began about a year before his arrival. His mother, a friend of Dennis McCartney’s neighbor, mentioned to the neighbor that her son had an interest in learning to weld. That conversation led to neighborly chat asking if “B&B” would be willing to expose an eager person to the trade, which the answer was, “Yes”.

Numerous chats ensued between neighbors until months later when Kyle was first introduced to Dennis, and in his own words, “When I started at B&B I barely knew what wielding was and what it was for. I came in on a weekend so Dennis and John could show me the basics and let me try it firsthand. I kept coming in early to practice and once I showed some significant improvement, they let me fill out my application and ultimately hired me. It wasn’t until I got to spend a couple of days on a job until I realized that there’s so much more that goes into the work that B&B does than simply just welding. I want to learn as much as I can so I can be an asset for any type of work that we come across.

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!

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!

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