Our Town: Family-run manufacturing businesses in Cascade

Manufacturing companies in Our Town Cascade offer a variety of products to customers around the world
Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 6:27 PM CDT
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CASCADE, Iowa (KCRG) - American-Iowa Manufacturing, Webber Metal Products, Cascade Manufacturing Company. Three, family-owned companies totaling more than 150 years of business in Cascade.

“We have very little employee turnover. Our average length of time we have our employees is well over 10 years,” said American-Iowa Manufacturing Production Manager David Simon.

A.I.M. was started when Merlin Simon developed a five-wheeler product, which began John Deere’s Gator line. After Merlin died suddenly in a paraplane crash in 1998, his sons David, Shane, and Mark took over the business.

Then in 2001, another unexpected event. A fire destroyed most of the building. Webber Metal loaned A.I.M. a warehouse for nine months until its new facility opened in the fall of 2001.

At this facility, the business makes products for the golf and turf maintenance industry, including some exclusive products for the PGA and LPGA. A.I.M. has more than 40 employees and David Simon says it’s rapidly growing.

“From our standpoint, the small town is key for us. The employees have the same values and work ethic that we have, and that our dad had,” said Simon.

Less than half a mile away from American-Iowa Manufacturing in Cascade is Webber Metal Products.

“We’re a subcontract machine shop. We deal in highly precision components and equipment,” said Webber Metal Quality Control Manager Dave Webber.

The business was started by Dave Webber’s dad in 1973, in their garage. Webber Metal has more than 100 employees and utilizes 58 CNC machines.

“Broad base of customers. We service a lot of industries, we have to have a lot of capabilities, and we like to keep as much of that control in this facility as possible,” said Webber.

Some of the industries served are oil and gas, nuclear, and agriculture.

Less than a mile away from Webber, is Cascade Manufacturing Company. Under the umbrella of Cascade Lumber Company, it includes a retail lumberyard along with the manufacturing of wood trusses and light gauge steel trusses used in construction.

To date, the company’s steel trusses have been used in 46 states and eight countries. In Cascade, the company employs 150 people.

“It’s a hard-working group of people. We support the community and the community supports us. It’s a great relationship,” said Cascade MFG Co. President Tim Noonan.

The company was started in 1953 by Tim Noonan’s grandfather.

“We know the survival rate of a third generation business is lower, and a fourth generation is lower yet. We’ve successfully made that transition to 3rd and we’re looking forward to doing that into the fourth generation in the coming years,” said Noonan.

In addition to being longtime, family-owned manufacturing businesses - all three strive to give back to the community, which supports them.