by Carlos David Mogollón, Managing Editor
An attorney by training, new Smith & Loveless President Frank Rebori keeps his answers clipped as if he were in a courtroom, until the subject changes to a topic he can get his legal teeth into – contracts.
For the September 2008 issue of sister magazine, WaterWorld, he wrote an article on “escalation clauses” in water and wastewater industry contracts as a way to control the run-up in costs and better share related risks at a time when raw materials prices were shooting up due in part to peak oil prices.
In fact, he notes, if such clauses were in municipal contracts among those “shovel ready” projects to be rushed to delivery as a result of the infrastructure portion of the new Obama Administration's economic stimulus plan, cities might share more in the savings to be had on the other side of that equation as raw materials costs fall.
“As it is, when they go to buy those raw materials -- be it rebar, steel or equipment from manufacturers -- the actual cost to produce those products has probably dropped 25%, if not 30-40%, from when they quoted it in June or July. So, I'm guessing that they won't give the city back the money. It's just the nature of it,” Rebori said.
Founded in 1946, privately held Smith & Loveless Inc. is a global water and wastewater industry leader, boasting installations in over 70 nations worldwide. One of the only companies to focus on both transfer and treatment for municipal and industrial markets, it specializes in packaged pump stations and treatment systems, including grit removal and membrane bioreactor applications. On the industrial side, markets in which it enjoys significant strengths include mining, oil & gas, power generation and beverage markets.
Formerly vice president and general legal counsel for Smith & Loveless, Rebori was named president in December 2008 – succeeding his father, Robert L. Rebori, as its sixth president. He also has served as a board member of the Water & Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association, Bio-Microbics, Kalsep UK Ltd., and RLR Inc., where he was also corporate legal counsel. Before joining Smith & Loveless in October 1999, he was an attorney with two law firms in Kansas City, MO.
For his full interview in Q&A format, click on the online version of this article at www.industrialww.com.