HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTERESTED IN THE ASPHALT / EMULSIONS INDUSTRY?
I became a licensed civil engineer at Mississippi State. Right out of college, I worked for the Mississippi Department of Transportation testing asphalt. That’s where my love for roadwork and construction began. From there, I went on to work for Chevron and learned another angle of the business – getting materials to refineries. I left Chevron when a former professor of mine called me back to pursue graduate work. I completed my Masters in Engineering and spent the next 12-13 years working for DuPont. Through a variety of roles there, I developed a passion for managing operations. My earlier interest in asphalt merged with my operations experience when Brittany approached me to work for Blacklidge. You could say I’ve come full circle with the industry – it’s been great to reconnect with the DOT after all those years.
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT BLACKLIDGE?
I am the Chief Operations Officer at Blacklidge but I wear many hats, and honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel like everything I have done previously in my career has prepared me for this job. I use my operations experience, civil engineering background, facility planning expertise and more to build a safer, more efficient working environment. I am honored to be a part of an incredible leadership team that is focused on making a great company, even better.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT AT BLACKLIDGE?
Since I started at Blacklidge over two years ago, not a single person has missed work due to a work-related injury. As COO, I also consider myself the Chief Safety Officer of the company. When I came on board, I did a thorough assessment of our plants and implemented a stringent protective equipment plan. We’ve invested in better controls and better ergonomic stations, as well, and all of this work has had a tremendous impact on employee safety.
ARE YOU PART OF ANY PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS?
I’m the Blacklidge representative for the Asphalt Institute, the Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association (AEMA), and Modified Asphalt Producers (AMAP).
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING?
The three reasons I wake up in the morning are my two young daughters (ages 7 and 5) and my beautiful wife, Laura. When I’m not home with them, you can find me chairing the deacons at First Baptist Gulfport, coaching little league softball, or supporting the Gulf Coast through various non-profit organizations. I’m also an avid golfer and tennis player, and I enjoy hunting, fishing and just being outdoors.