Tell us about your career at U.S. Concrete.
The company exited bankruptcy in 2010 and had a new board seated. The new board commenced a search for a CEO and I was hired to grow the business.
We moved U.S. Concrete from Houston to Euless in 2012. Today we have more than 2,000 employees. Our revenue for the 2014 fiscal year was more than $700 million.
What is your career background outside of U.S. Concrete?
I went to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, from which I received a Bachelor of Science degree in management and basic science. Then I spent 13 years on active duty in the U.S. Army. I went into the construction materials industry after I left the service.
I joined Tilcon New York as a vice president in 1992. After Oldcastle Materials acquired that business in 1996, I eventually rose to become CEO of its Americas Products & Distribution businesses, whose revenue by 2008 was more than $5 billion and the employee count of which exceeded 2200.
Oldcastle is the U.S. subsidiary of CRH plc, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. I remained there until U.S. Concrete recruited me in 2011.
What is your view of the business climate in Texas?
I think that the climate is excellent. The state has a favorable tax and business climate, which make it an extremely attractive state in which to headquarter the company. On the downside, while the state economy is less dependent on oil than in the 1980s, the fact remains that we are in an extended period of depressed energy prices. That chapter is yet to be written. On the other hand, I don’t know of anybody that is leaving Texas to move to California or Illinois.
Why did you decide to join YTexas?
I like a networking group of like-minded individuals with similar responsibilities to myself. I like to meet them on a personal and professional level.
What makes U.S. Concrete different?
We’re the only public company that is dedicated to aggregates and concrete. There are other companies in building materials and concrete, but these are divisions of much larger national and international product companies. Our primary revenue generators are ready-mix concrete and aggregate products. This allows us to focus all of our efforts on only two end products.
What issues are affecting your company that you are concerned about?
We’ve been most concerned about trying to get skilled truck drivers and tradesmen. With the building boom in the oil fields and the North Texas area, there have not been enough experienced trades to satisfy the demand to go around. The shortage of skilled labor is our biggest threat right now.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I like to hunt, fish and grow hot peppers. I grow everything from Jalapenos to Tabascos, Thai Dragons and Hot Bananas. I also hold four master’s degrees. They are in business administration (from Pennsylvania’s Wharton School,) systems engineering (also from Penn,) international relations (Salve Regina University) and public policy administration (Naval War College.)