In 2001, Fastener Industry News reported on three people involved in the fastener industry who were close to the World Trade Center. Here is an update:
On September 11, 2001, the fastener import specialist for the U.S. Customs Service was in her office in 6 World Trade Center. She heard a low flying plane overhead and knew there was trouble. The plane crashed into One World Trade Center, and the explosion sent debris blowing past Kathy Campanelli's fourth floor window. Campanelli and colleagues evacuated and waited by the river for a signal to go back into the eight-story building neighboring the Twin Towers. Then the second plane struck.
Today Campanelli is still handling fasteners, but no longer as part of U.S. Customs. In 2003, the U.S. Customs & Border Protection was established within the Department of Homeland Security and she is now in its Office of International Trade. After 9/11 her office was moved to One Penn Plaza in midtown Manhattan. Her title now is national import specialist in the National Commodity Specialist Division of Regulations & Rulings in the Office of International Trade at U.S. Customs & Border Protection.
When the first plane struck the north tower of the World Trade Center at 8:48 a.m. Tuesday, September 11, most of the 30 people working at fastener distributor NABS headquarters were at work five blocks to the north. "Most people were in the office. Some were on the way in and saw the crash," executive vice president Sam Laufer told FIN days later. "We decided to stay put, because at that point it was difficult to get home." Police and rescue crews came in during the day for water and the bathroom. About 2:30 p.m. Laufer decided to close the office and allow employees to make their way home.
NABS, founded by Jack Laufer in 1953 as North American Bolt & Screw Co., was acquired by the ILS business segment of Park-Ohio Holdings Corp. in 2006. Today NABS has five domestic and 14 international locations, with sales of US$45 million in supplying the computer, electronics and consumer products industries. Sam Laufer has moved from New York City to rural Connecticut and started an audio distributorship, Laufer Teknik.
When the first plane struck, Richard Hagan of Pinnacle Capital Corp. was inbound from New Jersey on a commuter train. His office was just two blocks from the Twin Towers. Hagan never made it into Manhattan that day because the train under the Hudson River was shut down. "I watched the carnage from across the river," Hagan told FIN. It was eight business days before Hagan could reach his office to retrieve his computer and critical files.
Hagan continues his role as an independent consultant putting together fastener company acquisitions. Since 1997 Hagan has compiled an annual list of the Top 10 Fastener Company Transactions, which is published each spring in GlobalFastenerNews.com.