Eagle Manufacturing Group may not be a household name in the Miami area, but people walking along the city’s streets are likely to step on some of Eagle’s products every day.
The Hialeah-based parent company of a diversified industrial group, Eagle makes a range of iron, steel and concrete products, including manhole covers still used in downtown Miami that date back to the 1930s. “Our manhole covers are in thousands of cities,” said Ronn A. Page, who took over as Eagle’s CEO in 2012.
Eagle, which has four subsidiaries, also makes steel gratings, doors and a wide range of custom metal equipment for industrial and commercial applications, as well as concrete pipes and other concrete products used in public works and private construction projects in Florida and other states. Aside from manhole covers and gratings used for drainage, Eagle’s subsidiaries sell precast and prestressed concrete products to city and county governments, steel access doors and metal gratings to commerce and industry and a range of custom-designed metal products to contractors, distributors and end users.
“Our products last forever … we’re not too smart,” said Alex L. DeBogory, Eagle’s executive chairman of the board, president and grandson of the company’s founder, Alex DeBogory Sr., a machinist who worked on construction of the Florida East Coast Railway and started up the 7th Street Bicycle Repair and Welding Company in Miami in 1916. Yet the family-owned company, in business now for 97 years, has been as durable as its long-lasting products, having weathered the Great Depression, the Great Recession and a collapse in construction, a key market for much of its product line.
As Miami expanded and demand increased for iron and steel products used in municipal, housing and industrial projects, DeBogory Sr. expanded beyond the original bicycle repair and welding shop, adding a foundry in 1937 to make castings for the city and buying machinery to fabricate steel and aluminum products. Alex DeBogory Jr. went to work at the family foundry in the 1950s and the family set up the precast concrete business in the late 1960s. Alex L. DeBogory, the founder’s grandson, began his career with the company in the early 1970s in the concrete subsidiary.
At the beginning of this year, the company, formerly known as U.S. Holdings Inc., rebranded itself as Eagle Manufacturing Group.
"Eagle Manufacturing is an important player in Miami’s manufacturing sector and demonstrates that when manufacturing is specialized – like in the case of Eagle – it can be successful here,” said Jaap Donath, senior vice president of research and strategic planning at the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade’s economic development agency. “Manufacturing has a role to play in Miami, but only certain types and levels of manufacturing can make it. We have a good sized manufacturing sector here. Sometimes the companies are not household names, but they make important products and pieces of other products.”
Over the years, as the company grew and consistently reinvested profits in its operations, the owners sometimes saved money on capital equipment by buying used machinery and refurbishing it using the foundry and metal fabricating facilities. Today, Eagle continues to reinvest in new equipment and technology in order to maintain a competitive edge. The foundry, for example, uses the latest software and laboratory equipment to ensure product quality while the concrete business offers a range of specialized products for marine, highway, bridge, drainage and construction projects that require technological expertise.