Baker, Thomey selected for Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame

By |  January 5, 2022

Media: Pit and Quarry

The Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame will add four new members this year, including two men who were selected at the start of the new year to be enshrined as representatives of the 2022 class.

Edward L. “Ted” Baker (Florida Rock Industries) and David R. Thomey (Maryland Materials) were selected for induction to the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame, adding two leaders from producer companies to the Hall’s ranks.

Baker and Thomey will be enshrined along with Edward J. “EJ” Burke III and Nathan P. Stedman, whom the Hall of Fame selection committee chose last year for induction as members of the 2021 class.

This year’s Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is Monday, March 28, marking the first time in the Hall of Fame’s 10-year history that classes from two different years will be enshrined together. The induction ceremony takes place the evening before the start of AGG1 Aggregates Academy & Expo in Nashville, Tennessee.

Edward L. ‘Ted’ Baker

Edward L. "Ted" Baker, pictured at the far right, is seen here in 1973 along with Florida Rock's Thompson S. Baker and William Mayer of the American Stock Exchange. Photo: P&Q Archives

Edward L. “Ted” Baker, pictured at the far right, is seen here in 1973 along with Florida Rock’s Thompson S. Baker, center, and William Mayer of the American Stock Exchange. Photo: P&Q Archives

Baker, now 86, served Florida Rock in capacities such as CEO and chairman during a career that spanned nearly a half-century.

Baker was the biggest driver behind Florida Rock’s growth, taking an enterprise his father started during the Great Depression and expanding its reach across the Southeast tremendously during the 20th century.

“He was instrumental in taking the company public and instrumental in its growth,” says Ted Baker II, nephew of the Hall of Fame inductee. “He spent his whole career there and grew it from a little company to a pretty large public company when it sold in 2007.”

Vulcan Materials ultimately purchased Florida Rock that year in a deal valued at more than $4 billion, but not before Baker diversified his company and grew it through his own strategic acquisitions over many years.

“He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met,” says John D. Baker II, the younger brother of the Hall of Fame inductee who at one time served as Florida Rock president. “Intuitively, he had great judgment about making moves. He was an amazing people person. Even when we had 10 or 15 plants, he knew most of the workers in the plant. They all adored him.”

David R. Thomey

Photo:

David Thomey has made several career stops along the way during his career in the aggregate industry. Photo: NSSGA

Thomey, who has a history of leadership within the aggregate industry, currently serves Martin Marietta as a contributor. His focus for the company is on community and public relations within the state of Maryland, with his outreach efforts serving as a significant part of his industry legacy.

“I do a lot of public speaking, but I start off every talk with: ‘If you forget anything else I tell you, remember the world as you know it does not exist without our product,’” Thomey says. “Secondly, we at the local level want to work with you, our surrounding community, to make our world a better place.”

Thomey previously served Maryland Materials as executive vice president, and he is a former chairman of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA). He received NSSGA’s Barry K. Wendt Memorial Commitment Award in 2021.

“There’s an old saying in the aggregate industry that I’d rather pay a PR man than a lawyer,” says Bernie Grove, a longtime Genstar executive who was enshrined in the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame in 2014. “I think that probably describes Dave’s contribution. He gave the aggregate industry a different reputation than it previously had.”

According to Grove, Thomey’s contributions in community relations covered everything from dust and explosives to truck traffic and the strategic use of overburden.

“Dust and explosives were probably the biggest issue,” Grove says. “He (Thomey) was very out in front and encouraging operations to control their dust.”

Celebrating the inductees

The March 28 induction ceremony will be the eighth in the history of the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame, and the addition of Baker, Burke, Stedman and Thomey will take the total number of inductees to 36. Pit & Quarry welcomes the industry to attend the ceremony at the Omni Nashville Hotel. Tickets can be purchased here.

Pit & Quarry established its Hall of Fame in 2013 to pay tribute to the pioneers of the past, as well as present-day industry leaders. The Hall of Fame is comprised of those who made significant contributions to the aggregate industry. Inventors, innovators, forward thinkers and leaders are among those who have been enshrined. Inductees were not only successful in their own businesses, but gave of themselves to advance the greater industry.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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