P&Q Hall of Fame Profile: David R. Thomey

By |  March 28, 2022

Editor’s note: Four men will be enshrined in the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame during the March 28 induction ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee. David R. Thomey, a member of the 2022 Hall of Fame class, is the subject of this profile.



Dave Thomey’s heart and home have always been in Maryland, with the 74-year-old living his entire life within the state.

Thomey’s allegiance to Maryland is one reason why he took a job seven years ago with Martin Marietta, which he continues to serve today as a community relations consultant. The job allows Thomey, an aggregate industry veteran, to maintain two of his greatest joys: Maryland living and interacting with people.

“I have seven grandchildren, and I wanted to schedule myself so that if those grandchildren have anything at all, I’m going to be there,” says Thomey, who previously spent 27 years of his career at Maryland Materials, a company his father ran while he grew up. “I attend community meetings. I give tours. I run a grant program. I do a lot of different things, but I do it as a consultant.”

Thomey did many of those same things throughout a career that’s stretched outward to 42 years, making a name for himself industrywide in the area of community relations. Thomey, time after time, emerged as somebody others could trust – and he proved especially valuable as a communicator with quarry neighbors.

When neighbors came to Thomey with complaints about noise, dust, vibrations and other issues, he listened. Just as important, he regularly encouraged other producers to engage their neighbors with a delicate touch.

“I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to do something, bring your neighbors in,” Thomey says. “Let them know what you want to do, and then listen. We want to work with the surrounding community to make our own small world just a little bit better.”

Throughout his career, Dave Thomey has held positions at the local, state and national level. Photo: NSSGA

Throughout his career, Dave Thomey has held positions at the local, state and national level. Photo: NSSGA

In the field

Those who know Thomey best say he has a friendly demeanor and a calm, level head that puts others at ease. Thomey applied these innate qualities well to his community relations work.

“I wanted to get all of the complaints [at Maryland Materials],” Thomey says. “I wanted them to personally come to the guy who is running the operations.”

Thomey recalls one instance when he received a call from a neighbor who detailed how her house allegedly lost air conditioning because a blast from the quarry tripped her breaker. While Thomey says he could have gotten defensive with the woman, knowing she was wrong, he remained calm and pointed her in the right direction.

“I told her: ‘Call an air conditioning expert, find out what happened and send the bill over to me,’” Thomey says. “The air conditioner man came down, [and] the main circuit had tripped. He tripped it, [the] air conditioning went on and I never heard another word about it – and didn’t get the bill.”

In another instance, a neighbor who was on a council of community organizations said during a meeting that quarry dust was affecting her health. Again, Thomey listened.

“I didn’t know what she was going to do,” he says. “I think she really wanted to put the quarry out of existence.”

At the next meeting a month later, Thomey articulated a plan for how the quarry could better work with the community. Because of the approach, Thomey says he gained support from council members, as well as a state senator to whom the neighbor initially reached out.

Still, Thomey is well aware there are genuine complaints that arise because of quarries.

“You have to admit your warts,” he says.

At the same time, Thomey is a firm believer in the benefits local quarries provide to communities.

“We are right there with farming as the most important industry in the world,” he says. “I also believe we do a terrible job of telling people that [and] getting people to believe that. That’s what I want to do with the rest of my working career. I want to let people know how important and how wonderful this industry is, and how it is populated with really, really good people.”

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About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or jkopanski@northcoastmedia.net.

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