Damian Lang got his start as a laborer, mixing and carrying mortar to bricklayers on masonry jobsites. In 1984, he borrowed $800 to buy his first pickup truck and founded his own masonry company focusing on residential projects such as basements and brick houses. He didn’t start with the best equipment or safety gear, using 55-gallon drums for scaffolding and pine boards for scaffolding plank.
Damian started his masonry business, Lang Masonry, in his small community in southeastern Ohio. Living in a small town, Damian employed as many local workers as he could. The people he worked with on the job were more than just employees and coworkers—they and their families were people he knew personally. Safety training and equipping his team with the best equipment he could quickly became a top priority in the company’s early years.
Through high productivity standards and the dedication of the employees, the business quickly grew into one of the top masonry contracting businesses in the United States. After nearly 20 years in business by 2003, the company had grown to grossing $8 million annually.
Over time, the business shifted to focus more on commercial, industrial and institutional projects. Even as the company grew and became Lang Masonry Contractors, Inc., the close-knit, small-town spirit remained a constant part of the company culture. Many of the employees on the original crew are still with the company today in various leadership roles, continuing to focus on the basics that got them where they are: Safety, Quality and Production.
Damian soon began to see unmet needs facing his workers—some of the equipment on the market wasn’t up to his standards, and certain tasks were needlessly labor intensive. With an eye toward solving these problems
Damian founded EZ Grout Corporation in 1998 as a sister company to Lang Masonry to provide labor-saving equipment to the masonry business. Masonry equipment available at the time lacked sturdiness and reliability, causing operators headaches as they experienced systemic machine clogs and mechanical failures.
Damian developed the first Grout Hog® after numerous prototypes. Over time, he perfected models by patenting new features specific only to the EZ Grout line, like clog-prevention mechanisms and an innovative delivery system. Lang Masonry become the first users of the EZ Grout system, and the products proved useful to others in the industry as well. The company—today called EZG Manufacturing—quickly grew into a nationwide leader in masonry and construction equipment used for mixing and handling grout, concrete and mortar.
In the early 2000s Damian introduced his Fence Hog® to the EZG lineup, which now includes several models for the fencing industry. This automated fence installation equipment is well-known for saving construction crews hundreds of hours on large projects on virtually any terrain.
BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE
In 2008, Damian added Wolf Creek Contracting, a general contractor set up to serve in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and the surrounding markets. Wolf Creek Contracting boasts a diversified crew with experience in new construction, renovations, historic restorations, streetscapes, concrete, design/build, pre-engineered metal buildings and structural steel buildings.
Damian always makes sure his workers have the best available equipment and the safest possible working environment. These are his friends and neighbors, after all.
As the company grew to take on more challenging jobs, it wasn’t long before his workers began taking on projects that involved working at heights. Damian knew the risks of these tough jobs and had read the statistics about how many injuries and fatalities from falls occur in the United States each year. He couldn’t imagine such a tragedy affecting his team and his community—he wanted to keep his people safe.
He began building safety and fall protection equipment and training programs for his own workers. In the process, he saw an unmet need in the industry in general—there were lots of other people who needed quality, durable, affordable safety equipment.
In 2015, he teamed up with the former national sales manager from Guardian Fall Protection, Ken Hebert, to form Malta Dynamics, with a mission to manufacture the best possible products that deliver the perfect combination of efficiency, durability, and affordability.
A BIG ADDITION :
In 2018, Buckeye Construction and Restoration, Ltd., joined the family, bringing with them more than 45 years of experience in professional restoration for clients including public schools, colleges, commercial factories, banks, churches, residential homes and state and local government agencies. The company specializes in restoration, coatings and roofing, using the latest in technology in these ever-changing industries to serve customers in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia.
Damian remains an active member of his small community in southeastern Ohio, and his companies are among the largest employers in the area. He is an active member of Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA), Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), Ohio Masonry Association, Builders Exchange of Central Ohio and other local organizations in Washington County, OH.
Damian wrote a book, Rewarding and Challenging Employees: For Profit in Masonry, published in 2003, sharing his experience and offering a guide for other businesses looking for a model to motivate employees without sacrificing safety, quality, or production. He has also contributed to Masonry Magazine for many years, writing a regular Contractor Tip of the Month article that reaches thousands of readers.
In February 2018, Damian was recognized for his lifetime of achievements by becoming one of five inductees into the Masonry Hall of Fame at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas.