Whitehall-Coplay Press

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Cement Worker of the Month

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Local News

Stuart H. Guinther

Mr. Stuart Guinther was born in Boston, moving to Kutztown in his youth and graduating from Kutztown High School in 1980.

He recalled, “I enjoyed all the math courses; they were taught by Mr. Gougler, a real perfectionist.”

Stuart pursued his education at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., earning a degree in chemistry.

Mr. Guinther’s remarkable cement odyssey started as a chemist at Lone Star in Nazareth. He then moved to Michigan and was hired as a process engineer at St. Mary’s Peerless Cement Company.

A few years later, he returned to Essroc as a process engineer and production manager. There, he visited seven company plants to improve plant operations. He has also served as a process engineer at Medusa Cement in Cleveland, Ohio, and plant manager of the Dragon plant in Maine. This plant was a sister plant to the old Dragon Cement plant in Northampton, which closed in 1983.

In Maine, the Dragon plant was modernized, changing from a wet to dry process operation. He has also served as plant manager at the Glen Falls, N.Y., plant of Lehigh Cement and vice president of Penta Engineering in St. Louis.

He recalled, “After all of these experiences, we wanted to return home, and I was happy to be hired by Keystone in 2017. Our local plant is a diamond in the rough, and our goal is to improve operations to reach full capacity.

“The plant has many dedicated workers,” he said. “Some family members have worked here for generations. Another objective is to develop a good relationship with the community.”

Mr. Guinther has visited 83 cement companies all over the globe — from Latin America to Europe, Russia and India.

Stuart is an encyclopedia of the cement industry — one of the most knowledgeable gentlemen I have interviewed in the last 25 years.

He said, “The cement industry is not glamorous, but it’s solid and has been good to my family.”

He has been married to his high school classmate, Kim Hoffman, for 32 years. They are proud of their sons, William and Andrew, and twin daughters, Emily and Rachel. They reside in Macungie.

We wish Mr. Guinther and all my friends at Keystone a safe and prosperous year.