The engineering and business intelligence of Dave Arnold was the driving force behind the growth of L. M. Scofield Company during almost four decades. Far beyond Scofield, his pioneering vision and leadership helped define and create the architectural and decorative concrete industry of today.
Among his many accomplishments, these milestones stand out as most significant:
- In 1962, the Arnold family acquired the company from George Scofield, the son of Lynn Mason Scofield, who had developed the first Scofield stain and color hardener products in the 1920's. Dave saw the incredible potential of redefining how concrete could be used to beautify buildings and hardscapes inexpensively compared to other construction materials.
- To overcome early concerns in specifying and installing colored and textured concrete, Dave created "engineered systems" of compatible families of products formulated and manufactured to enhance the strength and durability of concrete while achieving consistent performance and appearance.
- Dave actively promoted the advantages of "integrally colored concrete" to architects, engineers, building departments, ready mix companies and contractors for all kinds of horizontal and vertical construction projects, not only growing Scofield, but increasing the market for concrete as a whole.
- Comprehensive technical documentation, called Tech-Data Bulletins, were designed and introduced by Dave for all Scofield products, and they became the basis for the development of industry standards including the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Spec-Data program.
- As a member of the American Society of Testing and Materials for over 25 years, Dave Arnold chaired the subcommittee that developed ASTM C 979 "Standard Specification for Pigments for Integrally Colored Concrete". This work also became the basis for a similar standard in Europe.
- Dave Arnold contributed to the development of the imprinted concrete industry with materials, promotion and leadership from the early days when stamped concrete patterns were just being introduced. He also sponsored testing to demonstrate the durability of colored and textured concrete enabling its wider specification and use across the nation in all climates and conditions.
- As the use of decorative concrete grew, Dave captained the design and construction of Scofield's Eastern headquarters, research and development center and manufacturing site on a twenty acre campus near Atlanta, Georgia that opened in 1991.
- As more Scofield products were specified internationally, the company expanded into Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Education & Career
Dave Arnold was renowned for his quick wit and intelligence. He received his B.S. in Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) at the early age of nineteen, and was already one of the youngest commissioned officers in the Navy. As a fire control specialist he developed solutions that allowed the largest 16-inch battleship guns to operate accurately in extreme climate conditions. Following WWII, he served as a chief deck officer on the Navy flagship during atomic testing in the Bikini Atoll, South Pacific region. After his military service, Dave continued his education by obtaining an MBA from Stanford Business School.
A believer in life-long learning, he also was a graduate of the Harvard Small Business Owner/Manager Program. He remained active in the Associates Group for Caltech and the Men's Garden Club of Los Angeles. As a natural leader, he served as the president of a number of community organizations and associations throughout his career. Prior to acquiring Scofield, Dave was a professional engineer and served as a Manager of Engineering and Construction Services for Signal Oil Company.
Employees who worked with Dave remember him as a brilliant and inspiring leader who took every opportunity to teach and encourage. He created a feeling of family within the company, while maintaining an unwavering commitment to excellence. His absolute belief in ethics and morality guided his personal and business life. Always leading by example, Dave's integrity was legendary and he never compromised on principles. He balanced his life with taking time for his family and the community. He was also an impressive hand ball player who competed in national and international tournaments until the age of 75.
Phil Arnold recalls his father's life experiences and how they shaped a wonderful and generous husband, father, grandfather and professional. Dave was raised in Los Angeles by his father, Homer J. Arnold, M.D., a successful doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, who was blinded in childhood. Along with his mother, Florence, a piano instructor, Dave was responsible for assisting his father overcome the everyday obstacles and discrimination which life presented the blind before ADA provisions became commonplace. From childhood, Dave developed compassion for the welfare of people facing any form of disability which impaired their quality of life. He remained an advocate for equality and diversity throughout his life, long before these terms became politically correct.
The Arnold Family
Dave Arnold is survived by his wife, two sons, and one granddaughter. Agatha Dee Arnold, known as "Dee", worked alongside her husband for many years. Their younger son, Robert Arnold, has resided in Europe for the past 25 years. The elder son, Phillip J. Arnold, became President of L. M. Scofield Company in 1994 and is the present Chairman and CEO. He and his wife, Kathy, have a teenage daughter, Melanie.
The Arnold family has designated the Braille Institute of America for memorial donations to be made to the David R. Arnold, Memorial Fund, in lieu of flowers. (741 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90029 (1-800-BRAILLE or www.brailleinstitue.org