HOW DID YOU COME TO BLACKLIDGE
I was working in a parallel industry when a mutual customer introduced me to Brittany Blacklidge at an event. We spent the evening chatting about all things asphalt, among other topics. A few weeks later, Brittany reached out to me to gauge my interest in joining the Blacklidge team. The rest, as they say, is history.
I’ve been working in the construction industry since my time at Auburn University, and my role here at Blacklidge is a natural extension of my passionate interest in infrastructure and horizontal construction.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT AT BLACKLIDGE?
For a period of time, to say our sales force was slim in our Florida market was an understatement. That market actually extends from Pensacola to Puerto Rico. This region is one of our most important markets and also home to some of Blacklidge’s toughest competition. Even with a skeleton sales force, we were able to not just maintain our market share, but grow it. We have been a part of nearly 90% of all paving on Florida’s state and federal roadways since 2014.
Maintaining and growing our markets is an important part of my job, of course, but my biggest personal accomplishment with Blacklidge is building a sales team with a family-centered culture. The aim in building our sales force is to assemble a true team of individuals. That team extends beyond the direct employee. I want the spouses, the kids, and the parents to understand our approach and goals. Most importantly, I want them to know that they’re not just in the bleachers, but a key part of the group. There are few things more powerful than a high functioning team.
FROM YOUR VIEW, WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF BLACKLIDGE?
Blacklidge is in such an exciting place right now. The products we have are already world class, so the bar is high, but I believe we’ve just scratched the surface of what the company can be. This is a company where everyone is valued, and that type of culture will move us to a very special place as a company.
YOU MENTIONED YOUR PRODUCTS – COULD YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THOSE?
UltraTack is the best product of its kind in the market. It’s our bread and butter, the original trackless tack, the highest performing and fastest drying tack solution available. UltraFuse is a game-changer. The value it delivers to the pavement constructor and the roadway owner is off the chart. Simply, they both make the roads we ride on better and safer. If our products don’t extend the life of a road, we’ve missed our mark.
WHAT’S THE MOST EXCITING CHANGE YOU’VE SEEN IN THE ASPHALT/EMULSION INDUSTRY?
Now more than ever before, the industry is moving toward pavement preservation, which is important for both taxpayers’ wallets and for sustainability. Asphalt is the most recycled product in the United States. Our customers also have a much stronger interest in understanding the science behind the products we offer. That increased interest ultimately creates stronger partnerships.
WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I fly fish every chance I get (regardless of the location). My pursuit of the Wild Turkey could be classified as an addiction by some. Living close to the Gulf of Mexico, I stand up paddle at every opportunity. For reasons unknown, I have just recently jumped into the sport of long distance running. Two marathons in the last two months. Without intention, running has really become an important part of my life.
All of the things above are a distant second to my faith and family. Our church is central to the family. My wife, Jackie, is the best thing that ever happened to me. We’re blessed to be the parents of some great kids. Ellis (daughter) is consumed by all things dance and Carter and Rigby (twin sons) eat, sleep and breathe baseball. To say we’re an active family would be accurate.