Solder & Soot: A NARSA/IDEA Podcast

“Solder and Soot” is produced by NARSA/IDEA, an international trade association connecting shops, manufacturers, and distributors in the cooling systems and diesel emissions industries. Each episode, hosts Mark Taylor and Bobby Duran interview entrepreneurs and industry leaders to learn more about their business challenges and success stories.

You can find “Solder & Soot” on iTunes, Spotify, Anchor.fm as well as http://narsa-idea.org/podcast.

Interested in sponsoring an episode of Solder & Soot? Email marymargaret@narsa.org.


Latest Episodes

“Solder & Soot” Podcast Episode 21: Pat O’Connor

In this episode of “Solder & Soot,” we sit down with cooling systems industry expert Pat O’Connor, Vice President of Sales at Johnson Manufacturing. Pat will be inducted into NARSA’s Cooling Systems Hall of Fame in 2023. Without a doubt, NARSA would not be what it is today without Pat’s influence. In addition to hearing about his successful career, we learn how Pat was instrumental within our association in bridging the gap between manufacturers and service shops.

“Solder & Soot” Podcast Episode 20: L&M Radiator

Minnesota-based L&M Radiator is well-known in the cooling systems industry, but our listeners may not know the company’s origins and how it can be traced back to WWII. In this episode of Solder & Soot, we sit down with David “Sully” Sullender to learn what sets MESABI® products apart.

“Solder & Soot” Podcast Episode 19: Roppel Industries

In the cooling systems industry, the Roppel family of Kentucky is well known. In this episode of “Solder & Soot,” we sit down with father and son Tom and Corey Roppel to learn about the early days of the family business and how Roppel Industries has transformed over the past 75 years. This episode isn’t strictly all business, though. We also talk about Kentucky bourbon, learn about Tom’s best pranks, and hear why the Roppels refuse to wear socks.

“Solder & Soot” Podcast Episode 18: Luis Duran

We dive into the dynamics of running a family business with Bobby’s father Luis Duran in this episode of “Solder & Soot.” Learn how Luis first got involved in the cooling systems industry, his service in the Air Force, and how he ran two companies in New Jersey and Puerto Rico. You’ll also hear from Luis about how vital NARSA was to his success.

“Solder & Soot” Podcast Episode 17: BGR Radiator

On this episode of “Solder & Soot,” we learn the ins and outs of on-site generator service with the Davis brothers of BGR Radiator in Connecticut. Hear how the business has changed over the years, where BGR really shines, and what Jamie and Nick Davis say is one of their biggest challenges in the cooling systems industry.

“Solder & Soot” Podcast Episode 16: West End Radiators

We learn all about Canada’s West End Radiators and the Feeleus family in this episode of “Solder & Soot.” Wayne Feeleus walks us through the company’s 60+ years of history as a cooling systems service shop and growth as a manufacturer. Hear what Feeleus says drives his success. Plus, we also find out more about West End Radiator’s most recent venture, the launching of its new aluminum manufacturing plant.

“Solder & Soot” Podcast Episode 15: American Radiator

In this episode of “Solder & Soot,” we sit down with Joel Christianson of American Radiator which is based in Iowa. As we all know, the only constant thing in life is change. And Joel’s story is a great example of learning how to adapt in this industry and how to diversify. In addition to learning more about the history of American Radiator, we also discuss what makes business partnerships successful and what opportunities lie in DPF cleaning.

“Solder & Soot” Podcast Episode 14: Frank Finger Part 2

We couldn’t fit all of Frank Finger’s wisdom into one episode, so we continue the conversation with the legend himself in Part 2. Expanding your business can be tricky, and you need the right strategy. In this episode, we hear from Frank about his move into distribution and how he developed the sales business. Frank also talks about his own exit strategy when he sold his company. Plus, hear why Frank Finger says NARSA/IDEA members have to be brave when it comes to business in this episode of “Solder & Soot.”

“Solder & Soot” Podcast Episode 13: Frank Finger

We are kicking off Season 2 of “Solder & Soot: A NARSA/IDEA Podcast” with a pioneer in the cooling systems world: Frank Finger, whose career spans nearly 80 years. Mr. Frank is not only a dear friend to both Bobby Duran and Mark Taylor, but he’s also a wealth of information to everyone in NARSA/IDEA. In Part 1 of this interview, we learn about the early days of NARSA/IDEA in the 1950s, how the radiator industry has changed over time, and the piece of business advice that Frank’s father taught him that he will never forget.

“Solder & Soot” Podcast Episode 12: Empire Radiator Service

In this latest episode of “Solder & Soot,” we sit down with three generations of Schelkuns (Mike, Jim, and Andrew) who run Empire Radiator Service. We dive into the past, present, and future plans of the Rochester, New York-based company and dig into what it’s really like working with your family.

“Solder & Soot” Podcast Episode 11: Mike’s Radiators

We learn all about life in Zimbabwe with Mike Marques and Darren Maboreke of Mike’s Radiators in this episode of “Solder & Soot.” They are new members to NARSA/IDEA, but they’re both experienced in the world of cooling systems. From recruiting employees to finding materials, we discuss the challenges of operating a radiator shop in Africa. Plus, have you heard of the African tiger fish? We learn more about this monster of a fish, and why it’s especially tough to catch. 

“Solder & Soot” Podcast Episode 10: Jeff Thorpe (G & M Radiator)

This episode we jump across the pond to speak with Jeff Thorpe of G & M Radiator based in Scotland. G & M’s roots go back all the way to 1919. Not only do we find out about cooling systems industry history overseas, but we learn more about the skilled labor shortage challenges the UK is dealing with. A member of NARSA/IDEA for many years, G & M also shares some exciting breaking news with us about the company’s future plans!

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“Solder & Soot” Podcast Hosts:

ABOUT MARK TAYLOR:

Mark Taylor graduated from Wesley College before starting his own radiator repair business in 1981. He later owned and operated ERS Cooling Systems in Glen Burnie, MD for 36 years. He served as President of NARSA from 2014-2016, then Chairman of NARSA from 2016-2018 before becoming the Executive Director in 2019.

ABOUT BOBBY DURAN:

Bobby Duran is President of Cooling Systems Caribe in Aibonito, Puerto Rico.  Bobby started his career with S&F Radiator Service in New Jersey in 2005 and successfully exited the business in 2016.  He has been NARSA member for 15 years and board member for over 10 years. He is currently serving as the Chairman of the NARSA/IDEA Board of Directors.