Two decades ago, the A. Zahner Company was a regional metals manufacturer in Kansas City. Today, it’s the go-to manufacturer of impossibly-shaped metallic pieces for the world’s premier architects: Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Rem Koolhaas, among others. Bill Zahner, the company’s fourth-generation president, spoke with Inc.com about how the firm innovated its way from the Midwest to projects in South Korea and Qatar.
When Bill Zahner joined the family business, in 1978, conventional wisdom said the company should stay local, as it had for nearly a century. But he decided the future was in high-end architectural work—the company did mostly roofing and siding— and to do that, it had to look beyond its home. “As a kid I was intrigued by these big projects that were done by famous architects,” Zahner said. “There wasn’t much architectural work in Kansas City, so I pushed the company to look elsewhere.”
See more of Zahner’s projects on Inc.com.