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Planned Partnership By Patricia Brehm, Associate Editor More than 30 years ago, two men created the foundation for an industry leader

Miller Clapperton Partnership Inc., Austell, Ga., was founded in 1979 by Ted Miller and Dave Clapperton. The two founders pooled their previous experience working with H.H. Robertson, Ambridge, Pa., and created a traditional manufacturer’s representative fi rm. In the mid-1980s, Miller Clapperton changed directions as the products developed whereby Miller Clapperton could buy all the parts necessary to execute a project or subcontract themselves. In 1988, the company developed into working with Alcoa Architectural Products, Eastman, Ga.; the producers of Reynobond. For the past 20 years, Miller Clapperton has transformed itself from a manufacturers’ representative into a fabricating representative and what Miller Clapperton Presi- dent and Sales Manager Zeke Miller refers to as an, “exterior envelope subcontractor.”

The Power of Composite Eighty percent of Miller Clapperton’s business lies in metal composite material (MCM) panels, while 20 percent of the company’s business is found fabricating various other types of metal panels. According to Miller, MCM panels are ideal as they are lightweight, easy to fabricate and become more and more common on buildings. “It’s not something we seek to do,” notes Miller. “It’s just what we do.” Moreover, Miller Clapperton’s CEO, Ted Miller, frequently educates readers about the popularity of MCM panels in “Ted’s MCM Corner” found in Metal Architecture magazine.

Competitive Challenges The biggest challenge Miller Clapperton faces is retaining good people. “When you’re an industry leader often people come after your talent,” says Miller. Yet Miller Clapperton continues to perse- vere. “We differentiate ourselves with a great attention to detail and our company delivers a high- end product people can count on,” he says. More- over Miller adds, Miller Clapperton distinguishes itself as a company that is always willing to do the right thing even if it’s not the easiest.

At Home and Abroad Miller Clapperton’s work can be seen at home and abroad. When looking at projects, the company tends to focus on projects of a larger scale, as Miller explains, “We’ll do just about anything, but

for the larger projects we are much more competi- tive. On the larger projects, you weed out a lot of companies that aren’t as stable.” One of the company’s most successful

projects is the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. The world’s largest aquarium consists of 52,500 square feet of MCM panels with more than 4,000 panels in multiple custom colors. The structure is reminiscent of a ship’s hull and the MCM panels in four different colors are arranged in a random bond pattern are arranged in a random bond pat- tern. Opened in 2005, the aquarium now houses a variety of aquatic wildlife and has attracted mil- lions of visitors. Miller Clapperton has worked closely over the

years with Georgia-based companies. Of particular note is its work with national retailer, The Home Depot, based in Atlanta. As the company has grown over the years, so has its Support Center in Smyrna, Ga. The project features 520,000 square feet of Reynobond MCM panels in Oyster White from Alcoa. Miller Clapperton fabricated the panels that create the sills, wraps, sunscreens, fi ns and fl at panel areas that defi ne the building. The company has also worked abroad fabricat-

ing and training local Chinese installers to install MCM panels in the Beijing Capital International Air- port in Beijing, China. Not only did Miller Clapper- ton design the 516,000 square feet of Reynobond panels in Eastman White, the project was com- pleted on deadline in time for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Chinese government.

A Changing of the Guard One generation has worked to establish Miller Clapperton under the leadership of Ted Miller and David Clapperton. Now Zeke Miller stands as president of Miller Clapperton Partnership and the rest of the staff is poised to continue on Miller Clapperton’s success that includes looking into new technologies. “We’re going to expand to the newest and most cutting-edge product,” Miller ex- plains. “We are also an employee-stock ownership plan company and we’ll try to expand on that.” As the company looks to new projects and

new industry innovations, the founders are taking a step back. “The owners are in a phase-out mode and are working on a succession plan,” says Miller. The time has come for the next generation to lead Miller Clapperton into another period of success.

Interior of the Beijing International Airport, Beijing, China.

The Home Depot Support Center in Smyrna, Ga., is one of the many projects Miller Clapperton has completed in its home state.

The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is the world's largest aquarium attracting millions of visitors every year. The MCM panels are designed to be reminiscent of a ship's hull.


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