WM President Inducted into Modular Building Hall-of-Fame

Modular Building Executive Inducted into Hall of Fame

South Whitley, Indiana.  April 6, 2012.  The Modular Building Institute (MBI) held its annual conference last week in Orlando, Florida.  Labeled “World of Modular” the event recognizes the industry’s past year of achievements, honoring both projects and people.  Through the “Hall of Fame” award, MBI seeks to recognize the contributions of those whose careers are, or were, dedicated to the modular construction industry or whose acts have had a significant impact on the careers of all others involved.  This year’s inductee, Simon Dragan (President / CEO and owner of Whitley Manufacturing), with over 30 years in the industry, has influenced the careers of employees and colleagues alike, along with significant contributions to the industry.

Mr. Dragan escaped Romania during its dictatorship in 1969 and found himself in a refugee camp seeking a new country to call home.  While Mr. Dragan could have left sooner for other countries, he waited for the opportunity to enter the United States.  “In America,” Mr. Dragan explained, “I had the opportunity to succeed or fail on the merits of my own efforts.  Despite a language problem, different customs, and just $10.00 in my pocket, the American Dream encouraged me to succeed.  Doors for opportunity are open in America.”

Whitley Manufacturing has been located in South Whitley since the close of World War Two with an initial goal of providing returning veterans with homes.  Over the subsequent decades, the company changed focus to providing commercial modular buildings and was acquired by Williams Mobile in 1971, until it was purchased by Mr. Dragan in 1993.

When he arrived in the country in 1972, he was hired as a draftsman by a Baltimore, Maryland firm engaged in the modular industry.  He was later hired by Williams Mobile (now Williams-Scotsman), where his career grew and led to the opportunity to purchase the Whitley Manufacturing flagship factory.  Mr. Dragan singled out Barry Gossett, former CEO of Williams-Scotsman, as a key mentor and his reason for embracing the industry he has been honored by.

Whitley Manufacturing now includes three factories with the acquisition of Evergreen Mobile (Marysville, WA) in 1999 and a second Midwest factory location (Rochester, IN).  Whitley and its associated businesses typically employ over 250 including tradesmen, factory workers, design and engineering staff, and management team.  Mr. Dragan elaborated on the contribution of his employees, “I have succeeded because of my employees, many who have been with me for over 20 years.  I thank them for their hard work and dedication to our industry.”  The firm (headquartered in South Whitley, IN) has produced countless projects in over 40 states and overseas.  Whitley has won over 50 “Awards of Distinction” from the MBI for their excellence in the modular construction marketplace.

Please join us in congratulating Mr. Dragan on the well-deserved honor!

Learn more about the Modular Building Institute.

Learn more about Whitley Manufacturing.

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Disaster Recovery Modular Buildings

Modular Buildings for Disaster Recovery

Case study:  gustavus adolphus university

modular dormitoryGustavus Adolphus University was founded in 1862 with strong Swedish and Lutheran heritage.  The school is a highly selective, private, coeducational residential liberal arts college.  The college is guided by five core values:  community, excellence, faith, justice, and service.

In light of the storm damage and disasters afflicting the Midwest, Whitley Manufacturing would like to share a past modular construction disaster recovery story with a happy ending.

On March 29, 1998, a tornado struck the campus of Gustavus Adolphus and the town of Saint Peter.  As the tornado swept across campus, it caused at least some damage to all 59 campus buildings with total damage estimates in excess of $52M.

Whitley Manufacturing was proud to assist the school in their time of need by joining the “Rebuilding a Greater Gustavus” recovery effort, constructing a modular student housing facility for the school.  WM built Prairie View Hall for the school, utilizing our accelerated modular construction system, to deliver the finished project by the start of the next year (project timeline from early April through August).

The modular dormitory houses 54 students in double occupancy rooms arranged along common corridors.

Modular Student Housing Case Studies

Modular Buildings for Disaster Recovery

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Investing in the Local Community

Whitley Manufacturing is Proud to Invest in the Local Community.

THE HARRISOn mixed-use project completes fort wayne’s harrison square development, the centerpiece of downtown revitalization plans.

the harrison fort wayne

The Harrison (pictured above) is the last phase of the Harrison Square development which includes Parkview Field (home of the Fort Wayne TinCaps) and is a vital component of the city’s downtown revitalization efforts.  The mixed-use development will offer Fort Wayne an upscale urban living option in a one-of-a-kind setting.

the harrison interior

The third and fourth floors of The Harrison (click here to download a brochure) feature forty-four luxury apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms with amazing views into Parkview Field or towards the Fort Wayne downtown skyline.  The first floor features retail and restaurant space with the second floor occupied by commercial offices.  The Harrison (scheduled for completion by February 2013) is the final component of the Harrison Square development which seeks to drive activity and economic growth back into the downtown area.

Despite the poor economy that hampered the initial phases of the project, a new public-private partnership including the owner of Whitley Manufacturing, have backed the project which celebrated a cake-cutting event on January 31st.

The New York Times profiled this unique approach to downtown revitalization in a feature article last year.

the harrison floorplanThe Anderson (a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment) featuring ballpark views over Parkview Field is shown at left.  The full floorplan package can also be downloaded here.

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