Agg Man of the Year 2011
by Therese Dunphy, Editor-in-Chief
In an industry faced with uncertain funding streams, declining production, and constant regulatory challenges, the most successful businesses are those with entrepreneurial-style leaders at the helm. After all, there have been few times in the last century when identifying opportunities and managing risks were more important.
Paul Mellott, Jr., chairman and CEO of Mellott Co. is just such a leader. Throughout his 37 years in the aggregate industry, he has amassed experience from such diverse perspectives as the seat of a front-end loader and a seat before Congressional committees. He has served in leadership positions in state associations, as well as the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA). And, he is the force behind ROCKPAC’s rapidly growing political clout.
According to his close friend of 25 years, Kim Snyder, president of Eastern Industries, Inc. and chairman of NAPA, the first two qualities that come to mind about Paul are his passion and his integrity. “His passion — for the industry, NSSGA, his company, and his employees — is and has been unwavering,” Snyder says. “While most of us dedicate years of service, Paul has dedicated decades and will continue to serve as long as he is able. And, he will not compromise his integrity, not for anyone, for any reason, at any time. Period!”
For his many outstanding personal qualities and professional contributions, Aggregates Manager is proud to recognize Paul Mellott, Jr. as the 2011 AggMan of the Year.
Building the family brand
Mellott says he began his career on the frontlines — working in roles such as quality control, running loaders and trucks, and setting up portable plant crews and sites — because his father wanted him to have hands-on experience in operations before beginning any managerial role. For his first eight years in the family business, he worked in nearly every capacity of the operation, and then moved into a management training role. “I had a desk in my dad and uncle’s office: one big room with three desks,” he says. “I listened to what they did and started to develop the way we were going to run the contract crushing business.” Working with his superintendents and many hard-working employees, he grew the business, particularly in the South.
By the early ’90s, Mellott’s father retired, so he took over the contract crushing part of the company while his uncle assumed duties for the quarry business. “We began to grow after the recession of 1990-91 and started to build our own equipment,” Mellott explains. The company even constructed a building where it could fabricate its own conveyors, frames, and hoppers.
They quickly realized that the business couldn’t consume enough equipment to cover the costs of a standalone fabrication shop, so Mellott Enterprises, Inc. was born, and the manufacturing group resides in the building today. As internal manufacturing provided for many of the company’s equipment needs, H.B. Mellott Estate, Inc. grew quickly. “We could build what we wanted, when we wanted it, much more quickly and much more cheaply,” he says.
In 1997, Mellott was named president of H.B. Mellott Estate, Inc and Mellott Enterprises, Inc. “We started aggressively pursuing and hiring top quality people,” he says. A manager was hired for the company’s southern region with a goal of doubling its production, and that goal was met in three years. The company also hired Terry Randall, a Hagerstown accounting executive, who brought significant accounting and business experience to the team. “He helped us recruit really good people and brought strategic planning to our company,” Mellott says. “It became a major part of our thought process.”
Six weeks after Randall joined the company, Mellott’s father passed away. “It became crystal clear to my family that we had to be prepared to take the business to the next generation, whether we had members of the fourth generation working here or not,” he says. “The economy was good, so we continued to recruit from outside the area and invest in quality people.