Ever been in a large building like AT&T Stadium or a terminal at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and wondered why you can’t hear all the mechanical noises going on behind the scenes? If you have, you likely have Mason-Dallas Inc. to thank.
The Fort Worth Report spoke with Steve Farco, president of Mason-Dallas. This interview has been edited for content, grammar and clarity.
What: Mason-Dallas sells and manufactures products used in noise suppression for large and small buildings.
Company founded: 1978
Bob Francis: How is business these days?
Farco: There’s a bit of slow down right now, a lot of bidding right now. And just because usually a lot of the federal projects, they want to get it on the books by the end of the year. We do a lot of bidding this time of year. We’ve slowed down a little bit, but knock on wood, we have been blessed the last few years. We really didn’t shut down in COVID and it’s been a blessing. I know a lot of people have struggled, but we’ve been truly blessed.
During the pandemic we had stock so when our competition shut down and they didn’t have product, we were sitting in a great position. And, if we had to do something custom, we could do it in the shop, and knock on wood, supply chain issues really haven’t slowed us down tremendously. We’ve had a little hiccup here and there where our orders were stacked up. We got them all at one time, but we’ve been truly blessed in what we’re doing.
Francis: What’s a big project you’re working on now?
Farco: We’re doing the Baylor basketball arena. Our specialty is acoustics and noise and sound control. We supply the spring isolators or the rubber mounts or whatever to keep the equipment quiet in buildings, and we do acoustical ceilings.
Francis: What are some of the projects people might be familiar with that Mason-Dallas has done?
Farco: AT&T Stadium, Winspear Opera House, Bass Performance Hall, Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library. But we do smaller projects as well. Those are just some that people might have been in.
Francis: And you manufacture some of the parts yourself?
Farco: Mason Industries, who is our manufacturer in New York, and they’re world renowned in noise and sound control. My dad was an engineer there and then a national sales manager in the ’60s and ’70s. He had a very close relationship with the owner of Norm Mason who passed away a few years ago. He convinced my dad to start the Dallas area office, because Mason did a lot of work at the DFW Airport. We started this office in 1978 and it was starting to boom, so Norm said “Hey, to be more effective down there,” he goes, “I want you to also do fabrication.”
So we fabricate our inertia bases and any specialty brackets. Or even sometimes mounts if we have to with the understanding that all the springs and everything come from Mason Industries. We have that agreement with him, and it’s propelled us to where we can fabricate what a contractor needs sometimes in two days and get it out. It’s been very beneficial for us over the years. It’s a small portion, it’s probably 15% of our business, but it has been the part that has helped us stand out. And kept us in survival mode over. Next October will be 45 years.
We deal with spring and rubber mounts and air springs. But equipment bases like pumps will sit on what we call an inertia base. It’s a manufactured pouring form that they put concrete in to give it mass and stability. We design the brackets that the springs sit in so that it can be a total floating system. It’s called an inertia base. And we work on that. Anytime there’s an existing unit that might need specialty brackets, or specialty mounts, we’ll design the mount at a lower height. Or a higher height if needed to do that and get it out.
Francis: Forty-five years and in the second generation. Lots of companies don’t make it that long. What’s the secret to staying around that long?
Farco: We’re Italian and we treat everybody like family. We want to be part of your team and your family, and we want to be the one that you think about and take care of. We need to make sure that we jump when people ask, get back to them to make sure that we can do what we can.
We’re not always perfect and I tell my customers that all the time. We’re not perfect, we make mistakes but we’re there to fix them, and make sure that it’s taken care of. I don’t know how people get away with not doing that. We have a lot of competition. We don’t hold grudges because you never know who’s going to switch companies, or who’s going to have a job. We just move on and do what we need to do.
Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.