Agg Man of the Year 2011
Through his early ventures, Mellott quickly realized that, although he knew elected officials in his home state such as Bud Shuster, neither he nor other industry executives had the personal relationships in Congress needed to see members of committees who were developing legislation on important industry issues outside of transportation. “It was humbling not to know anyone on a committee making decisions that greatly impacted our industry,” he says.
Working first with STONEPAC and now ROCKPAC, Mellott has helped to build a well-known and respected group of trustees, as well as a strong grassroots network. Earlier this year, the National Association of Business Political Action Committees released its latest rankings of the top 250 trade association PACs, based on fundraising during the first half of 2011. ROCKPAC landed in the top 20 for the first time, placing 19th. Its successful climb has been a swift one. During the last decade, the PAC has grown by 268 percent.
“When I think of my dear friend, the one word that really comes to mind is enthusiasm. Paul exudes enthusiasm,” says Dave Thomey, executive vice president of Maryland Materials, Inc., and NSSGA’s chairman of the board. “It is his enthusiastic vision that has helped make Mellott Co. the success it is today. It is his enthusiastic love of family that manifests itself whenever he is in your presence. It is his enthusiastic support of ROCKPAC that has made it the major PAC in the construction industry.”
Despite ROCKPAC’s success, Mellott points out there is much more work to do. “It has become my passion to see how we can continue to grow ROCKPAC and have a voice in Washington,” he says. “There has never been a more important time to be involved. If we could get all 120,000 people working in the industry to call their Congressmen when we need them to listen to us, then that’s real power.
“Employees should be educated and encouraged to contact their Congressmen on company time. We should make sure they are registered to vote and participate aggressively in the process,” Mellott adds. “We’ve got to get people to be engaged and fully understand what’s happening next fall.”
And if anyone doubts Mellott’s ability to bring his vision to reality, they need simply to listen to those who know him best. “It’s an understatement to say that Paul, particularly through his ROCKPAC efforts, changed our industry’s political strength and influence in Washington,” Nye says. “It has actually been quite amazing to watch: people just can’t say no to Paul — whether it’s for a ROCKPAC contribution or a vote on a critical issue to our industry.”
“His leadership, vision, inspiration, and energy have fueled NSSGA’s political action and the growth of ROCKPAC,” adds Pamela J. Whitted, NSSGA’s senior vice president, legislative and regulatory affairs. “He is passionate about the aggregates industry and understands the importance of building relationships with lawmakers to amplify the voice of the industry on Capitol Hill and achieve success in advancing industry policy positions. I can think of no more deserving individual for AggMan of the Year than Paul Mellott.”
A Personal Perspective on Paul Mellott
“Paul was my first chairman of the association’s board. He guided the association members and staff through the transition of my predecessor announcing his retirement, and through my selection and orientation. Paul’s team attitude was palpable. With his fellow officers “in the chairs,” Mark Towe and Tony Basolo, a rare synergy resulted in their being dubbed “The Three Amigos.”
Paul is a discerning visionary. He sees values ahead and steers the ship to those ports. From helping incubate Young Leaders as a way to bring new industry talent into leadership through the association’s networking and educational capabilities, to seeing ROCKPAC as a powerful tool demonstrating our industry’s commitment to democracy and engaging in the political process, Paul naturally motivates and stimulates different thinking. He is all about growth — of our country, our communities, and our industry. He is a fierce patriot and somehow he doesn’t let cynicism bog down his energy or his enthusiasm.
AggMan of the Year couldn’t be more appropriately awarded to Paul Mellott. Paul’s devotion to the incessant education of and advocacy before Congress is only matched by his determination — and that of our ROCKPAC Trustees, the generous donors, and our staff team — that ROCKPAC should demonstrate the caliber of our industry’s leaders. Paul Mellott deserves the lion’s share of the credit in leading NSSGA’s political participation program to greater heights.
Congratulations to Paul and his vivacious wife, Lotta, who have approached their experience of NSSGA as a team. Paul embodies the characteristic of so many in our industry who seek no accolades, but contribute heroically every day toward making the world, nation, and industry better by never taking his eye off the goal of being the “best.”
—by Joy Wilson, NSSGA CEO