AggMan of the Year 2008: David W. Carroll
Carroll gets results by building coalitions, aligning goals, and creating win-win situations for groups accustomed to working against rather than with one another.
by Therese Dunphy, Editor-in-chief
David W. Carroll, Lafarge North America’s (LNA) recently retired vice president of environment and public affairs and current senior advisor/consultant, gives the following advice to his two college-age sons: “Be careful in selecting what your first job is going to be because that’s what you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life.”
He elaborates that, although a career can branch and diversify, its core is likely to remain the same and should center on work that excites and energizes. Carroll speaks from experience. When he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 and the Georgetown University Law Center in 1971, his first job was with the newly formed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Working in the EPA’s Air Enforcement Division, he served on the ground floor as the agency developed its enforcement protocols and procedures. In 1978, Carroll went to the Chemical Manufacturers Association, now the American Chemistry Council (ACC), where he developed an environmental team and litigated several cases against EPA that helped him develop a blueprint on how to engage and influence regulatory agencies from the business perspective. A dozen years later, he joined Lafarge as it began to organize its North American presence, and he created the framework for its environmental policy, procedures, and environmental structure.
Throughout his multi-faceted career, Carroll has excelled at bringing together groups with disparate points of view, engaging them in common goals, and creating benefits for all parties. “I enjoy developing partnerships and relationships with different organizations,” says Carroll. “These people could be your opposition in other circumstances, but we work together as a team.” He says that, although progress is slow, the partnerships have led groups to identify actions that may have long-term impacts.
For these contributions and many others, the staff of Aggregates Manager magazine is pleased to announce that David W. Carroll is the AggMan of the Year 2008.
Building the framework
Carroll’s influence over environmental issues within the aggregate industry began when he joined Lafarge North America in 1990. At that time, the French company was building its presence on this side of the pond through a series of acquisitions. As numerous smaller organizations came together under the Lafarge umbrella, Carroll explains that one of his early responsibilities was to develop an environmental program that created consistency and structure and covered all the operations in the United States and Canada.
“I had to learn the industry, and that involved a lot of travel to some out of the way locations,” he says. “That was important because I could see that there was no structure for managing environmental issues.” In Lafarge’s early days, environmental issues often fell under the umbrella of human resources or operations personnel, and staffing was inconsistent throughout the various divisions of the company. Carroll drafted an environmental policy that described what the company stood for and became the basis for how the company would work on environmental issues. Throughout his first year, he steered the policy through the LNA Board of Directors.
He then began to push not only for structure, but also adequate staffing. “I was, for a long time, a one-man marching band,” Carroll says. “Lafarge has always been fairly thin in its corporate offices, but we’ve made sure that over time we had environmental leaders in the various operations.”
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