SFNE Newsletter
Summer 2014

In This Issue


Acecad Software
American Punch
Atlas Tube

Calendar of Events

July 25th Motorcycle Ride

September 16th Golf Tournament

September 19th Steel Day

Legal Update | DECAM Certification
Legislative Alert 

Message from the President

May Dinner Meeting

Steel Design Conference

Welcome New Members


Legislative Alert


state house capitol boston

Apprenticeship Programs
S.874, An Act Relative to Apprenticeship Programs, was filed for the Laborers Union by Senator Michael Moore and currently in the Senate Ethics Committee, chaired by Majority Leader Stan Rosenberg. 


The bill amends the definition of Apprenticeship Program and Apprenticeship Program Sponsor to require the Program be in place prior to bidding on public projects AND to require that the Program commit to having apprentices on the jobsite within 90 days of the start of the contract.


The second requirement imposes a NEW mandate that contractors MUST employ apprentices on their public projects - which is not now the case.


Attached are proposed amendments to the bill that would include a waiver process.


This information was provided by the 
Associated Subcontractors of Massachusetts.




July 25, 2014


SFNE Motorcycle Ride



Download an invitation


Register online



September 16, 2014


New Date | New Location


SFNE Golf Tournament

Red Tail Golf Course

Devens, MA



Download an invitation


Register online 



September 19, 2014 


SteelDay: Interact. Learn. Build.



Your chance to get to know the structural steel industry personally! SteelDay takes place in cities all over the country.


SteelDay is an annual event sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction and hosted by its members and partners. SteelDay is the industry's largest educational and networking function, with events occurring all over the country. It's an opportunity for individuals from various professions to see how the structural steel industry contributes to building America.


Click here to learn more.



Welcome New Members


Ashmont Welding 

Co. Inc. 

10 Cranmore Drive 

P.O Box 5

Bridgewater, MA 02324 

Phone: (508) 279-1977


Jason Welch




Bay Crane Northeast

275 George Washington Highway

Smithfield, RI 02917 

Phone: (401) 349-2755


Tom Dombroski

Director of Safety



G.W.Y., Inc.

217 Forest Road 

P.O Box 293

Greenfield, NH 03047 

Phone: (603) 547-3800


Heath Mitchell

General Manager 






Contact SFNE

11 Robert Toner Blvd.,  

# 234 

North Attleboro, MA 02763

Phone: 603-766-7363 

Fax: 508-232-6005


Catherine Flaherty

Executive Director 



Victoria Ranko

Project Coordinator 




Message from SFNE President


Stephen Capone SFNE President

Dear Members,


It gives me great pleasure to report back to you six months into my term as your President.


As we make the turn to start the third quarter of 2014, the market is flush with work of all types. Yes, prices remain low and margins are tight but at least the availability of work has increased and maybe... just maybe, the worst of the "Great Recession" is behind us?


While I personally think we will never see the type of construction boom experienced prior to the "bubble" bursting, those of us who survived can honestly say we have all learned some valuable lessons and taken our licks but made it through much smarter and leaner.


At SFNE our committees have been hard at work bringing added value to your membership with hopes of building upon newfound membership enthusiasm.


The early May meeting at Gillette Stadium was a huge success. I would personally like to thank all of our sponsors for their time and effort, because without them we couldn't have done it. As I stopped by each showcase exhibit, I was confident that every one of our attendees found something new and of interest that could benefit their companies.


I would also like to thank our speaker Jack Klimp of Cianbro. I am positive that his presentation hit home with all of us, in one-way shape or form. Perhaps we already practice some of what Jack discussed? Needless to say Jack's words were a welcomed reinforcement that we might be doing something right and then again maybe there were some valuable points that we currently don't practice and should consider.


Either way, it's always good to hear from an industry leader and reflect upon how you handle your own business.  The overall attendance was a decent show of support from our members as well.


The 33rd Annual Steel Design Conference held at WPI this past June 5th, was another successful event. NESDA, SEAMass and SFNE presented the conference and Bill Pascoli from AISC moderated the conference. 


Once again, the contributions, showcase exhibits and presentations from our sponsors made this event possible. The information provided on their products was of great value and I would like to extend my gratitude to them. 


Special thanks to our speakers including James D'Aloisio from Klepper Hahn & Hyatt, Jerry Hajjar from Northeastern Universality, Eric Hines from LeMessurier Consultants, Larry Muir from AISC and The Steel Connection LLC, and Ross Wecker from Kenney and Sams.


Thanks are also due the SFNE Education Committee, which served as the conference host and coordinators.


While this conference can have the appearance of being a strictly "engineers" type of event, I am sure that the fabricators in attendance were able to pick up some helpful tips and insights on what we should expect to see in our industry in the near future.


Moving forward I hope to see you all at one of the SFNE summer events including the July 25th Motorcycle Ride to benefit Wounded Warriors and the September 16th Golf Tournament to be held at Red Tail, one of the region's most sought after courses.  


Sign up, get your bike and get out on the road! The bike ride is a great opportunity to get out and ride all in the name of a great cause. Even if you don't ride, I urge you to make a contribution and support the many men and women who have sacrificed while serving in the name of our great nation.

The Golf Tournament is another great SFNE event not to be missed. We will be playing at a new course this year and I understand the conditions are great ensuring fun for all. 
It's an opportunity to play golf and connect with your fellow members, have some fun and have a shot at winning some prizes. Again even if you don't play, send a person or more to represent your firm or just sign up as a sponsor.


In any case your association counts on your support!


We are now also working on the fall dinner meeting to be held on October 28thThe event will feature a great opportunity to network with your colleagues in the steel industry as well as a thought provoking panel discussion between fabricators and engineers.  In the meantime, have a wonderful and profitable summer.


This week our nation will celebrate its independence. I'm sure you'll agree that there is no better celebration than the 4th of July. The birth of a great nation! A nation that has afforded us as Americans the freedom and independence unlike any other country in the world and the ability to operate as independent business people.


This very independence has afforded us the right to unite and proudly call ourselves the Steel Fabricators of New England as well, which is why we need to do all we can to preserve this independence by promoting our American built steel products. 


Proud to be an American and Proudly Serving as your President.








Stephen J. Capone

Capone Iron Corporation

SFNE President


Annual Steel Design Conference

WPI 2014 

The 33rd Annual SFNE Steel Design Conference was held on June 5, 2014. 


The Conference was held at WPI and offered several sessions that were of interest and benefit to the engineers, architects, detailers and fabricators in attendance.


These sessions included:  


Building Structures and Thermal Bridging

Presented by: James A. (Jim) D'Aloisio, Principal

Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt


TR Higgins Lecture | Statics, Strength, Ductility and the Uniform Force Method

Presented by: Jerry Hajjar, Professor and Department Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University and

Eric M. Hines, Principal at LeMessurier Consultants and a Professor of Practice at Tufts University


New Developments in Structural  Steel in the Northeast 

 Presented by: Larry Muir, Directors of Technical Assistance, AISC President, The Steel Connection, LLC


BIM Contract Forms and Potential Legal Issues

Presented by: Ross Wecker, Attorney, Kenney & Sams, P.C.


Click here to review the presentations and related conference paper


Click here to see the conference photos


The Conference was hosted by: 





The Conference was sponsored by: 


Capone Iron




May 13th Spring Dinner Meeting


SFNE held the spring meeting on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.  The dinner meeting was held at Gillette Stadium overlooking the lighthouse and football field.


The keynote speaker was Jack Klimp, Vice President / General Manager for Cianbro Fab. and Coating Corp. 


Jack talked about his leadership philosophy and how he manages a company in the changing steel fabrication industry.


The meeting included a Gillette Stadium tour, a networking tabletop exhibit social session with dinner, followed by the Jack Klimp presentation.


Click here to view more photos


Click here to view the Jack Klimp presentation



Spring Dinner Meeting Sponsors

CT Galvanizing


Mass Crane


Novel Iron 7.14





Contractors Have Limited Remedies for Denial of DCAM Certification

Ross Wecker
Ross Wecker
Kenney & Sams, P.C.

In early 2014, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals issued a decision that should be of interest to any contractor or subcontractor that is certified to perform work on public construction projects in Massachusetts. Massachusetts law requires that every contractor biding on public work, which is estimated to cost $100,000.00 or more, must be certified by the Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM).[1] Contractors are required to submit a certification application to DCAM each year, and if the contractor's application is denied, the contractor is prohibited from bidding on public work.


In the recent case of Mello Constr. v. Div. of Capital Asset Management, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals answered some important questions about the rights of a contractor whose certification has been denied and the legal grounds for barring a contractor from public work. After performing public work for a number of years, Mello Construction ("Mello") submitted an annual application for certification to DCAM. DCAM denied Mello's application citing four reasons: 1) failure to achieve a minimum average project rating required for certification[2]; 2) receipt of two failing scores on projects; 3) failure to disclose a termination for cause on its application; and 4) failure to disclose a claim against its performance bond on its application.


After exhausting its administrative remedies, Mello brought a suit against DCAM in Massachusetts Superior Court seeking monetary damages related to the denial of its application for certification. In essence, Mello was claiming that DCAM had improperly denied its application and that Mello was entitled to the funds that it would otherwise have earned on public construction projects if its certification application had not been denied. Mello's claim against DCAM was ultimately dismissed, with the Massachusetts Appeals Court issuing two important rulings: 1) a contractor cannot bring a claim for monetary damages against DCAM for the denial of certification applications; and 2) DCAM has wide discretion in approving or denying contractor certification.

In issuing its ruling the Appeals Court clearly indicated that a contractor does not have a right of action against DCAM for monetary damages. The Appeals Court stated that a contractor's remedies in this arena are limited to the modification or annulment of DCAM's actions. Thus, the most that a contractor can obtain is a reversal or modification of DCAM's licensing decision, and even that can only be obtained upon a finding that DCAM's decision was arbitrary or capricious. Mello was simply not allowed to bring a suit against DCAM to obtain lost profits, but rather was limited to an action aimed at correcting errors in DCAM's administrative decision.


After determining that Mello was not allowed to sue DCAM to recover its lost profits, the Appeals Court also laid out a potentially more important ruling addressing the basis for denying a contractor's certification application.

More specifically, the Court ruled that DCAM's discretionary grounds for denial of an application include: 1) termination for cause from a building project; 2) a record of two project ratings that fall below the passing score established in DCAM's Contractor Certification Guidelines; 3) a record of an invoked performance bond; and/or 4) evidence that a contractor omitted information or provided false or misleading information in its application. Where there was evidence of a number of these factors in Mello's application[1], the Court ruled that DCAM was well within its discretion to deny Mello's certification application.


Thus, the clear takeaway from this case is that contractors have limited remedies with respect to contesting the licensing decisions of DCAM and DCAM has relatively wide discretion when denying a certification application. The most an aggrieved contractor can expect is to have DCAM's decision reversed. However, if a contractor has been terminated from a project for cause, has had claims made against its performance bond, or has otherwise received poor evaluations which must be included in its certification application, DCAM's decision will likely stand. In light of this case, contractors should be exceedingly careful to protect their reputation when performing public contracts or risk losing their right to bid on public work.



Ross Wecker, 

Kenney & Sams, P.C.



 Join an SFNE Committee
You can 
get even more from your investment in SFNE if you volunteer to  serve on a committee.   


As a committee volunteer you can help the association, make sure your company's interests are heard and have more opportunities to network with your colleagues. SFNE committee members plan educational programs, steel promotion initiatives, the golf tournament and develop membership recruitment and retention campaigns. 


Click here for the SFNE Online Committee Nomination Form.