Our History:

MD Designs by Metal Decor was founded in 1961 in Springfield, Illinois by Owen Marsh and Larry Wells under the name Associates Engraving Co. Along with Jim Hess and Dick Hawker as founding members, Associates Engraving started out making half-tone and zinc engravings for letter press printing, yearbooks, magazines and other print uses.

In the early 1970s, the company changed its core business to designing and manufacturing sales and service awards, as well as donor walls and recognition awards for hospitals and colleges nationwide. At the same time, we added Metal Decor, a division of Associates Engraving to our name and became the industry leader in quality donor wall and award recognition products and systems.

In 2007, we changed our name to MD Designs by Metal Decor to better reflect our commitment to developing creative, one-of-a-kind donor wall and recognition award products. Today, MD Designs operates a 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Springfield. 

Recognition done right

MD Designs, Inc. is excited to announce new ownership. Effective in June of 2015 this family owned company, operating in since 1961, is now owned by the Arbuthnot family and current CFO Diane Dolenc. The Arbuthnot family includes Steven C. Arbuthnot, his wife Dr. Jane R. Arbuthnot, his daughter Lindsey Arbuthnot Clancey and his son Steven R. Arbuthnot. Steven C. will assume the responsibilities of President and CEO. Steven R. will serve as Vice President and focus on research and development and engineering. Diane Dolenc is a 23-year employee of MD Designs, Inc. and will continue to serve as Executive Vice President and CFO.

Steven C. Arbuthnot, an accountant by education, brings a 35-year career in corporate accounting and banking. Steven R. Arbuthnot is a 2010 graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Jane, a graduate of Southern Illinois School of Medicine and Lindsey, who hold both undergraduate degrees and a Masters in Justice and Criminology from the University of Missouri, will serve on the board of directors.

This marks an exciting new beginning. The above leadership team is in the process of evaluating all aspects of the business. Products, processes, designs, marketing, delivery, quality, pricing, make up a long list of challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the coming months.