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Obituary: Stephen Candiloro, Sr., Plating Industrial Giant

Stephen Candiloro, Sr., one of the plating industry’s technical giants, suffered a fatal heart attack on Feb. 6. He was 77. During the latter half of his 60-year career in plating, Candiloro was the technical heart of the team that propelled Epner Technology, Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y., into its second century as one of the world’s leading high-tech contract electroplaters.

After serving in the Army, Candiloro achieved a degree in chemical engineering from Newark College of Engineering and was employed as a lab technician at Westinghouse Electric Corp. In the ensuing years, and through a variety of laboratory assignments, he was hired as a plating process troubleshooter by Grumman aircraft company.

Candiloro became part of the job plating industry in 1965 and never looked back, opening his own chrome plating shop in 1973. After “partner trouble” caused the demise of that firm, Candiloro went on to become the quality control manager of a large plating job shop on Long Island. In 1979, a chance meeting with David Epner, president of Epner Technology, led to a position of plant manager with a promise of an equity position—“if things worked out.”

Indeed, they did. Candiloro’s talent and dedication earned him a full partnership in the company, and in 2001 he moved up to vice president of research and development. His innate curiosity, coupled with his incredible depth of plating experience, led to the development of Laser Gold, the world’s gold standard for infrared reflective performance. This technology alone propelled Epner Technology to a unique position in the world of aerospace and high-tech plating.

Candiloro’s work developing techniques to plate on difficult substrates, such as titanium, molybdenum, and particularly the engineering plastics, has permitted Epner to secure its position as the leading “go-to” shop for such customers as Lockheed, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and NASA.

As David Epner has often said, “What Steve has forgotten about plating, our competitors wish they knew.”

Candiloro was a member of the AESF and countless other philanthropic and business organizations. He is survived by his wife, eight grand children, a daughter, and his son Steve, Jr., Epner Technology’s plant manager.

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