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P&Q Profile: Lynx Cat Mountain Quarry’s Gina Zatica

By |  July 21, 2022
Gina Zatica headshot Lynx Cat Mountain Quarry

Zatica

Lynx Cat Mountain Quarry opened just under a year ago in Hinkley, California, supplying aggregates to the state’s High Desert region. P&Q visited with president and CEO Gina Zatica to discuss how Lynx Cat came to be and her growth plans for the company.

How did you get your start in the industry, and what led to your decision to launch Lynx Cat?

I’ve actually been in the construction industry my whole life. My dad owns his own construction company, so I’ve always been around it. I originally went to school for interior design. Once I graduated and started working in residential, I got pretty bored doing things like picking paint colors and fabrics. I missed construction.

So, I started working for a general contractor, started working out in the field and just fell in love with the civil side of construction.

After five years, I had learned that one of my co-workers owned the Lynx Cat Mountain. We were out at a jobsite up in the High Desert, and he was telling me about the mountain. I really wanted to own my own company and follow in my dad’s footsteps. So in October [2021], I launched Lynx Cat.

How have operations been thus far? Were there any obstacles to overcome during your first year?

Operations have been great. Crushing at the quarry has been going really well. We have great rock. Every time we turn in new testing, trying to meet a new specification, we’re always passing.

Because we are a new company, you have to get your name out there. I met this woman, Annie Fox, who has been in the aggregate field for 20 to 30 years. She’s been mentoring me, and she knows a lot of different contractors that do work up in the High Desert. Now that I’ve got Annie on board, it’s been going a lot more smoothly, and I’ve been meeting with contractors and getting our name out there.

What growth opportunities do you see for Lynx Cat?

Short term, I would love to start supplying ballast rock to the BNSF Railway. They have a rail yard in Barstow, [California]. We’ve been testing, and we’ve been passing to meet all of their specs. I’m hoping soon that we can start supplying them ballast.

A long-term goal would be to supply ballast rock for the Brightline Railway. It’s this high-speed rail that they’re going to build from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. I’m really hoping that when they go across Hinkley and Barstow, I can supply them rock.

Lynx Cat was recently certified by the California Public Utilities Commission to serve Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual Business Enterprises (LGBTBE), Minority Business Enterprises and Woman Business Enterprises. What was the impetus behind acquiring those certifications?

The first reason: It gives you more access to job opportunities. So now that I have those certifications, I’m sending out emails notifying all of the contractors that we can help them meet those goals that they have to achieve for their projects.

General contractors, often when they’re bidding work, have to meet requirements that the owner is requesting. Some of those requirements are working with subcontractors that have these certifications. So these certifications that I recently got are really going to open us up for growth.

The second reason: to bring diversity to the construction industry. You don’t see very many women in the field, and I wanted to definitely have Lynx Cat be a woman-owned, certified business. When I saw the LGBTBE certification, I really wanted to represent that community. I wanted to help the culture shift in the construction world.

Featured photo: Alex Gonzalaz

Carly Bemer

About the Author:

Carly Bemer (McFadden) is the associate editor at Pit & Quarry. She can be reached at 216-363-7930 or cbemer@northcoastmedia.net.

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