Gary Moore went to Orchard Park High School and then earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University at Buffalo. He then joined Birdair in 1991 and left eleven years later for Watson Bowman Acme, where he’s been ever since.

In January 2019, Moore was named WBA’s business director, the top position at the company. He took over for retiring Rick Patterson.

Moore now oversees a company that leads the market in the design and manufacture of joint expansion systems, all done from its Amherst headquarters and factory. About 130 employees work there.

The company traces its roots to the 1950s and is now owned by industrial conglomerate BASF, though BASF recently announced its plans to sell its construction chemicals unit to a Dallas-based private equity firm.

Moore spoke to Business First recently about being an engineer-turned-executive, staying ahead of competitors and the future of Watson Bowman Acme.

How are things going at Watson Bowman Acme?

We’ve been on a continuous growth path for a number of years and 2019 was a record sales year for us. Not only do our customers appreciate our existing products, but we bring new products to the marketplace on a very regular basis. We fully anticipate another strong year in 2020.

We were started in Western New York in the 1950s, and we’ve always been leaders and innovators by pushing technology into the market and making sure we provide responsible solutions to our customers. We are the go-to company in the market for engineers and architects for the most simple of projects to very complex projects for expansion control.

So what does the business director do here?

As business director, I steer the entire company, not just from a technical standpoint but also marketing and sales efforts. That all goes along with making sure we have technically responsible solutions. My education and training from a technical standpoint provides me that foundational element to understanding our products, and being an engineer affects your organizational philosophy as well. I have a very fact-based approach to the industry. We don’t do a lot of guessing here. We take research and facts and we apply them in a very logical stream.

Talk to me about the future of Watson Bowman Acme.

We constantly push the envelope in our market as structures get designed with all the digital technology that architects and engineers are using. Buildings are no longer just simple rectangular glass monuments, and we make systems that can accomodate not just simple expansion but very large movements at high velocities.

We see the need for expansion joints and sophisticated joints as our industry gets more advanced and the structures we put our product into get more advanced.

Our efforts at digitization are very strong and growing. That includes everything from our customer-friendly user-based website to the shop floor, where we have PCs and workstations literally at the tables where the welders and assemblers are.

We are applying digitization throughout our entire organization from our first customer touchpoint to marketing to how we fabricate our products.

Dan Miner


Buffalo Business First

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