Monessen pair finds home in Kentucky
William Tweardy and Gary Bello met when they were 12, growing up in Monessen in the late 1950s.
Partners on the Greyhounds' boys' tennis team, they were good friends in school. They graduated from Monessen High School and went their separate ways.
Many years later they met in Kentucky, where their business venture was formed in honor of their hometown.
Bello earned a degree in industrial engineering from Penn State University.
Tweardy earned a degree in metallurgical engineering from Lafayette College.
Tweardy worked for Westinghouse Electric, first in Pittsburgh and then in Austin, Texas.
Bello moved to Kentucky from General Motors in 1982, working for the Clark Material Handling Company, the lift truck division of Clark Equipment in Lexington, Ky.
Lexington is centrally located in Kentucky, 90 miles south of Cincinnati and 90 miles east of Louisville.
Tweardy came to work for Clark Equipment in 1986.
“We worked for Clark until they sold the company in 1993,” Tweardy said. “We pooled our resources and bought Stamping Ground Tool And Die.”
Together, Tweardy and Bello purchased Stamping Ground Tool And Die and converted it into a company that produces hearth fireplaces, gas logs, wood burning. They named the company in honor of their hometown, Monessen.
Thus Monessen Hearth Systems was born.
Monessen Hearth Systems Company is a leading supplier of hearth and grill products throughout North and South America, Asia and Europe. Under its four brands, Vermont Castings, Majestic, Monessen and Ambient Technologies, MHSC offers a full line of direct vent, natural vent, vent-free, wood-burning and electric fireplaces, inserts and stoves as well as outdoor grills and heating products. With more than 600 employees and four locations, MHSC is proud to be on the cutting edge of design, efficiency and environmental technology and responsibility, the owners said.
“We said, “Let's name it after our hometown. It will be something unique and identifiable,'” Tweardy recalled.
“We had a wonderful experience growing up in Monessen, which we were proud of. We had a great high school experience.”
Occasionally, Tweardy said, the company's name would conjure up memories from customers or business acquaintances who were familiar with Monessen.
The two Monessen natives sold the company in 2006. “We were getting into our 60s and looking to divest ourselves and company doing quite well,” Tweardy said.
Tweardy said he last visited Monessen five years ago for a cousin's wedding in the Pittsburgh area.
“I came back to drive around and see the place,” Tweardy said. “It was quite disappointing – when you grew up Monessen in the 1950s and 60s.”
Tweardy said he is looking forward to coming home for his 50-year high school reunion.
“It was a very interesting experience since Gary and I were friends from childhood,” Tweardy said. “To buy this company and grow it into successful company. It was a wonderful experience.”
Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Belle Vernon man who allegedly offered dope to young girls jailed
- Valley men accused of burglary in Charleroi
- Rostraver man sent to jail, faces new drug charges
- Donora woman picked up on drug charges
- N. Belle Vernon hires police officers
- Belle Vernon Area chief paints rosy picture of district
- New Charleroi cameras helping cops catch criminals in the act
- Italians savor rich Mon City moments