Written by The Business Journal Staff
Ron Heskett, CEO
Borga Steel Buildings
What we do:
Borga is the largest independent metal building and component manufacturer in California. With over 90,000 Sq. Ft. of manufacturing space, Borga provides a number of different building package solutions for the commercial, agricultural, governmental, and personal use. We also sell metal building components and engineering services.
Fresno State, B.S. Mechanized Agriculture
Certified Black Belt in LEAN
SBA Emerging Leaders Program
Family: Full time single father of the two greatest kids on the planet. My daughter, Kaitlyn is a senior at Ohio State University and will graduate with a degree in landscape architecture next year. My son, Hunter attends Granite Ridge middle school and is involved in choir, enjoys cycling and working out at GB3 with Dad.
Tell us a little about your career leading up to Borga Steel Buildings, Ron.
My career has been and continues to be very interesting. My first “real job” was working for the J. G. Boswell Company in Corcoran. I stayed on for a couple years after receiving my degree from Fresno State. It is a great company. They invest in training team members as well as community.
I transitioned from agriculture to manufacturing when I was 26 and joined Oatey Company started in 1987. I began my career as a production manager in the Bay Area and eventually became the vice president of manufacturing. A couple of the promotions required that I move. The first city was Minneapolis— my family and I lived there for three years. When I became VP of manufacturing I moved to Cleveland. I was managing 1,200 people in the United States, Mexico and China. We had grown the business from $40 million to a half billion dollars.
I was flying about 100,000 miles a year. It was a very different lifestyle. A large component of the growth was acquisitions. I was responsible for turning around six companies. Sales, distribution, product engineering (development), manufacturing, engineering, human resources and marketing were all part of my organization.
After eighteen years on the road, I transitioned to a regional position that required quite a bit less travel. I was a general manager for a recycling company. When my daughter finished her first year at Ohio State, my son and I moved back to Pleasanton.
After arriving back in the Bay I was approached by a Mumbai, India-based chemical manufacturer to redesign their plant. The CEO of HP International, Karan Motwani, flew in from India for an initial meeting and hired me.
How did you become CEO of Borga Steel Buildings, Ron?
I responded to a position posting. Borga is owned by Prospect Capital, a $5.5 billion private equity group. I had a couple of interviews, one in Fresno and one in Manhattan and was fortunate enough to get offered the position.
How is current demand for your product, Ron?
We have implemented quality processes in all departments, significantly improved the engineering capacity for large structures, and engaged a public affairs firm, Carter & Co. Communications to drive the brand development. The results have been truly remarkable. We are feeling pretty good at the moment. My team is very dedicated to taking care of the customer.
What industries are currently expanding with new construction, Ron?
Great question. We have been busy. We just won a contract in San Francisco and will be shipping that building at the end of the first quarter. We are shipping buildings to schools in Castro Valley. We have shipped several buildings to San Antonio, Texas. We recently finished the design and engineering for the Robert Millar Art Studio in Los Angeles. Locally we have done and are working on projects with Chevron, Pickett, Harris Construction, Lyons Magnus, Harris Ranch, Westland’s Water District, The Wine Group, Wawona Foods, ECI Air Conditioning, Paramount, and many others.