As part of women’s history month, we continue our discussion with Bianca Vogel-Quigley, the President of ErtelAlsop. ErtelAlsop is the result of a merger between Ertel Engineering and Alsop Engineering, both were founded in 1932 and 1920 respectively. In 1943, Ertel patented the first enclosed horizontal plate and frame filter press. Also, in the 1940s, Alsop invented the accordion shaped filter cartridge. These advancements, were the beginning of a successful business.
Bianca had sat down with HV MFG back in 2016 to share her experiences growing up in the family business. Her grandfather founded the company before her father took over operations for 40 years. Interestingly, while her destiny would ultimately lead to manufacturing; her initial passion was with horses. Bianca was a competitive rider and had dreamed of competing in the Olympics. However, she knew as nice of a dream it was, she needed to pursue something realistic. Bianca quickly realized that her strengths were in math and science, which she eventually used to go into engineering.
After graduating from RPI with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management, Bianca started her career with IRECO in Port Ewen. After a company shake up, she suddenly became in charge of over a dozen people at the age of 24. This unexpected experience, helped her gain confidence in her leadership and engineering skills. In 1995, she joined ErtelAlsop as the third generation of the family business. Ten years later, Bianca and her husband George Quigley took ownership of the company.
Since then, there’s been a lot of “excitement” as Bianca mentioned within the business. Prior to 2013, ErtelAlsop had multiple locations within the town of Kingston which proved to be inefficient. Consequently, the company decided to consolidate into one streamlined location, investing $6 million into the former Colony Liquor Distribution Center. With this new location, ErtelAlsop has the capacity to greatly expand its operations.
When asked about the biggest challenges for the company within the next 3 to 5 years, Bianca highlighted the need for a new generation of motivated individuals to join the workforce. The strong dollar has made competition fierce from overseas manufacturers who are able to produce a cheaper product. However, Bianca argues that ErtelAlsop products are as good if not better than the competition. The future does hold opportunities for the company like new products aimed at the pharmaceutical market. In addition, ErtelAlsop has valued the long-term relationships it has with its clients. Bianca plans to use these relationships to help foster new opportunities for her company.
While the future always holds uncertainty, ErtelAlsop continues to pave the road towards success. Bianca Vogel-Quigley and her husband, George Quigley know the challenges that lie ahead but are also well aware of the opportunities to come.
Read the full interview between HV MFG and Bianca Vogel-Quigley here.