Adhesives Magazine

OBITUARY: Pioneer of Fastening Industry Fred B. Powers, Jr. Dies at 72

February 27, 2006
Frederic Booth Powers, Jr., a pioneer in the construction fastening industry and former chairman and president of Powers Fasteners Inc., New Rochelle, NY, died at his home in Larchmont, NY, on Dec. 20, 2005. He was 72.

The announcement was made by Jeffrey R. Powers, who succeeded his father as president in 1997 and now runs the company with his three brothers: Christopher, who is CEO; Stephen, vice president, MIS; and Frederic III, vice president, Materials. Jeffrey said his father felt his most notable achievement was the continued operation and expansion of the business by his four sons.

Mr. Powers, a 1998 inductee to the National Industrial Fastener Association's Fastener Hall of Fame, started in the industry in 1958 when he joined The Rawlplug Co., a small fastener company founded by his father. Under Powers' direction, the company emerged as a leader and innovator in the fastening industry, and broadened its product line into a complete offering of mechanical and adhesive anchors, roofing fasteners, gas-firing tools, and powder-actuated fastening systems serving professional construction and plant maintenance markets. He also added manufacturing facilities in Michigan, Indianapolis and Chicago; acquired a Canadian firm; and established 28 regional sales locations throughout the United States.

In 1995, the business name was changed to Powers Fasteners Inc. with the intended purpose of international expansion. The company has since added locations around the globe, including those in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Southeast Asia. Early in 2006, the firm will open its new world headquarters in Brewster, NY.

A native of the Bronx, Powers attended Fordham University and graduated from Iona College in New Rochelle before serving as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corp. He was a philanthropist for many Westchester County charities, having served as board member and former chairman of the Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle, and board member and former president of the Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle. Powers was a former board member of the National Board of Junior Achievement; a member of the board of directors of Westchester Federal Savings and Loan; chairman of the Pinnacle Health Care Group; and chairman of the Howard Foundation, whose contributions were almost entirely earmarked for Westchester Charities.

Powers is survived by his wife of 50 years, Virginia Van Deventer, their four sons, their wives and thirteen grandchildren.