Callanan paving the way for region to go, grow
COLONIE Callanan Industries has been paving the way for New Yorkers for 131 years and expects to keep on going for years to come.
The long-standing company, a supplier of aggregate, asphalt and concrete products in the Capital Region and beyond, recently has had a change in managerial ranks.
Don Fane, promoted from executive vice president, took over as president of the company Jan. 1. He succeeded Jonas E. Havens, who retired as president after six years in that role and 26 years with the company.
“I’ve had a tremendous career,” Havens said, “but it’s time to turn things over to the next team.”
Callanan Industries and its affiliated companies consist of more than 550 employees in more than 30 locations. In 1985, it was acquired by CRH, of Dublin, an international building materials group, but it retains local management.
It is perhaps best known for the infrastructure it has helped build in the Capital Region — notable projects include Crossgates Mall and the Empire State Plaza.
Havens attributes his and the company’s success to having heavily invested in new facilities and the introduction of innovative new products.
“I take great pride in everything we have accomplished,” he said.
Recently, Callanan Industries returned to the community where it was founded, with a $24 million investment in a new, state-of-the-art asphalt plant and aggregate-processing plant in South Bethlehem.
“Our work enhances opportunities for economic growth and maintains the safety of people in our communities,” Havens said.
Fane came to Callanan Industries in 1995 from Warren W. Fane Inc., a Troy-based wholesale gravel, sand, excavating and trucking business operated by his father. He opened Fane Concrete in 1986 and Fane Asphalt six years later. Callanan Industries purchased both businesses, and Fane then joined Callanan as a vice president and began moving up through the managerial ranks.
When people drive in upstate New York, there is also a good chance they are traveling on roads paved by Callanan Industries. From the Thruway between Albany and New York in the 1950s to the recently repaved eight-mile stretch of the Adirondack Northway between Central Avenue and the Twin Bridges, Callanan has been on the job for years.
“It is hard not to ride on something we have paved or our subcontractors,” Fane said.
Founded in 1883 by Peter Callanan, a farmer from South Bethlehem, Callanan Industries is one of the oldest companies of its kind. Back in the day, Callanan was a lobbyist and advocate for the roadways.
“We are still advocates for that; we just brought some newer technologies,” Fane said. These newer technologies include using recycled materials. In the case of the Northway project, 20 percent of that material was recycled, according to Fane. Most of the company’s expenses come from fuel for the equipment and delivery trucks, so energy conservation is important.
“It also helps being a good corporate citizen,” Fane said. “We are not a technology company; we do things the old-fashioned way, with modern day technology.”
Fane said he is optimistic and excited about the future of the company heading into 2014.
“We have come out of a prolonged recession from the last few years,” he said. “We are still hoping that the Legislature and governor come out with a little more robust road program. [It] kind of looks like they are working on that.
“I am optimistic talking to a lot of our larger clients.”
Many Callanan employees come from the Capital Region, and Fane said he is committed to keeping Callanan as an economic engine.
“Things are looking up,” he said. “We are feeling pretty good about 2014 and beyond.”