Former McLanahan president reflects on his career journey

By |  April 11, 2019
In his induction remarks, George Sidney characterized the aggregate industry as a noble industry, one that represents a base for everything. “Everything starts with us,” he says, “whether it’s construction aggregate or the mining and mineral processing industries.” Photo by PamElla Lee Photography.

In his induction remarks, George Sidney characterized the aggregate industry as a noble industry, one that represents a base for everything. “Everything starts with us,” he says, “whether it’s construction aggregate or the mining and mineral processing industries.” Photo by PamElla Lee Photography.

George Sidney is the second representative from McLanahan Corp. to be enshrined in the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame, joining Samuel Calvin McLanahan, a member of the Hall’s inaugural 2013 class. Sidney, who joined McLanahan as a design engineer before working his way up to president and COO, delivered a heartfelt speech in Indianapolis, paying tribute to the many people over the years who drove him to succeed.

On how his parents prepared him: We’re all products of our parents. … I looked at my parents. They were great – Greatest Generation people. … I had a mom, a homemaker [who was] the essence of love – unconditional love. … My dad was tough as nails. He was a World War II vet. He landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day [and] survived. I hoped he wasn’t playing the lottery because later he joined up with George Patton and fought at the Battle of the Bulge – and survived. I tell you that because that’s how I was raised.

Sidney’s first key to happiness: The number one thing you have to do right in life to be happy – and there are three components of this formula: Get yourself right with God. You just have to.

George Sidney with his wife Leanne, left, and daughter Elizabeth. Photo by PamElla Lee Photography.

George Sidney with his wife Leanne, left, and daughter Elizabeth. Photo by PamElla Lee Photography.

Sidney’s second key to happiness: Find the right spouse. … I’m talking about the person you can’t live without. The person that you’re best friends [with]. I did that. I hit a grand slam. … You don’t become successful without sacrifice. I’ve had plenty of it. Not long ago I surpassed 2 million air miles, and they just started keeping track of air miles not that long ago. … That’s a lot of missed birthdays, missed anniversaries, missed holidays. But that’s just how it is. She (Sidney’s wife Leanne) never complained one time – not once. She deserves this award as much as I do. But you can’t be successful in life if you don’t sacrifice.

Sidney’s third key to happiness: Find a job you love, that you’re passionate about. I sure did that. I couldn’t make my mind up whether or not I wanted to do engineering or geology. I collected rocks since I could walk. … So imagine when I go to work for a company (McLanahan) where I can be a design engineer and play with rocks all day. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

On spending 45 years at McLanahan: I’ve had a great career at McLanahan Corp. What a treasure of a company it is. One hundred eighty-five years next year of continuous family ownership and management. That’s a modern-day industrial miracle with all the acquisitions and mergers going on today.

On his greatest achievement: What I’m proudest of is our people, especially those people that I had a hand in hiring and watching them grow and take on more responsibility. That was so rewarding for me to see.


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