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P&Q Profile: US Aggregates’ Mark Scott

By |  November 18, 2020

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2020 was a strange year for everybody. What was your work experience like in 2020?

2020 has been strange in some sense, but in other senses it’s been like any other year.

I live in Greencastle, Indiana – it’s almost 40 miles from where I work in Crawfordsville. On the Monday when they started the lockdown, I drove and only saw two cars on that road. That was astounding to me. Where was everybody?

As far as [US Aggregates] went: We made some changes at our plants. We tried to minimize contact with the outside world, and scale operators locked their doors so nobody could come into the scale house – things like that. When we had meetings, we had guys wear masks.

Really, I think it probably affected the people in the main office more than us because they stopped going to the main office. They had to do their work from home.

Construction in Indiana this year is very robust. We’re probably going to have a record year at US Aggregates. 2020 seems strange, but it has been very normal or regular for us. When I look back on it, we made the adjustments that we needed to make in order to move forward.

What are two or three highlights that stick out from your career?

When I was first hired, we might do 150,000 tons of production a year. We ran an old Universal plant. With the tonnage, we did what we could to the plant but it wasn’t very much.

Between my two plants now, we will produce close to 800,000 tons of sand and gravel this year. That, to me, is a large change. Then again, the demand for our product has changed. As far as all the building goes, sand and gravel and stone is in demand. It doesn’t seem like you can make enough of it.

I remember when I was at the Plainfield Plant [that] we provided sand for a Walmart distribution center in Greencastle. It was over 60 acres in size. I remember that summer they told us we were going to have to make 150,000 tons of sand for this particular job. We had never done that. We ran daylight to dark and wound up getting all the sand up there. It makes me proud when I see that Walmart distribution center now.

I can drive all over central Indiana, seeing subdivisions and warehouses that were built using materials that I had a part of producing. There are a lot of jobs where people push paper around, and they don’t necessarily see the results of what they’re doing. But I tell my guys: ‘You make a product where you can see a bare field one day, and two years later there’s a gigantic building there – and you were part of all the material that went into that.’ It helps you understand your place.


FIVE THINGS

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED – It came from my first US Aggregates manager of 23 years who said: ‘These guys here can make you or break you as a manager – don’t ever forget that.’

FIRST JOB – Right out of college, I took care of walk-in customers at a small lumber company in Greencastle.

HOBBIES – Attending dirt track and IndyCar races. I’ve been to every Indy 500 since 1974 to the present, but we didn’t get to go [in 2020].

SPORTS – I’ve been a big Chicago Bears fan, and I follow all of the Indiana colleges. But my biggest love is high school sports and South Putnam High School.

TRAVEL – Anywhere there’s a beach but especially Maui, Hawaii. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve been.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

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

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