WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO BLACKLIDGE?
I’m a military guy with a 10-year background in the Army. I left after Desert Storm and went to work at GAF Materials Corporation as a laborer for 11 years. During this time, I became a supervisor and went back to school for my business degree. In 20+ years, I learned a lot about operations from a lot of different angles. I came to Blacklidge over five years ago and have been working to improve our plants ever since.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISMENT AT BLACKLIDGE?
Definitely process improvements. When I started at Blacklidge, I was a manager for a plant that produced about 380,000 gallons of asphalt emulsion. I made some changes, and after just seven months, production went up to 1.5 million gallons. The year after that, we increased to 2.5 million gallons. Our product has been extremely successful, and we’re continually improving production to meet customer demand.
Another big accomplishment is that the Florida Department of Transportation now requires that all contractors use a trackless tack. This is a big change and one we’re proud to have encouraged with UltraTack, which is a far superior product that doesn’t track at all.
WHAT’S THE OUTLOOK FOR BLACKLIDGE AS A COMPANY?
Our future is bright. We’ve worked hard to narrow down our portfolio and now we’re focused on what we’re really good at – making the highest quality and longest-lasting asphalt and emulsion products. Because of our success, we’re going to be getting a lot bigger than where we are today. The company is really investing in the facilities, so improving capacities won’t take a lot.
WHAT’S THE COOLEST INNOVATION YOU’VE SEEN AT BLACKLIDGE?
The automation that is available now is pretty amazing, if you ask me. We used to do a lot of processes the “old school” way, but now I can stand behind a screen and open valves. I can perform a complete process from a central location. Automation improves quality control, safety, and efficiency.
WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF WORK?
Family time is really important to me. I’ve been married for 19 years and I have three grandkids. My whole family lives in Tampa, so this is a great place to be.