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Thomey, now a Hall of Famer, looks back on life’s work

By |  April 28, 2022
Dave Thomey was enshrined into the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame as a member of the 2022 class. Photo: PamElla Lee Photography

Dave Thomey was enshrined in the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame as a member of the 2022 class. Photo: PamElla Lee Photography

Dave Thomey has spent more than 40 years advocating for the aggregate industry and the “local quarry” at the state, local and national levels. Thomey was inducted into the Pit & Quarry Hall of Fame during a March 28 ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee, where he reflected on the start of his career, lessons learned and mentors who emerged along the way.

ON GETTING HIS START IN THE INDUSTRY: I fell into this quite by accident. I was looking for a job while teaching school, and Maryland Materials had an intern program. [It’s] funny how I should get to be the intern. I spent the summer there and quickly fell in love with this industry and the people that populate it. I went back and taught the following [school] year, but at that time, I went back to Maryland Materials and never looked back. I learned a lot of lessons. I was fortunate that my father was the chief executive officer of the company. He taught me so many lessons, but two of them still stay with me to this day.

ON LESSONS FROM HIS FATHER: First, be a person of integrity. Be truthful, be honest, be loyal and treat every individual as you would expect to be treated. The second lesson I gleaned from him over the years was a wonderful sense of optimism. My father automatically believed that good things were going to happen – and they did, because of his attitude. And so my real education begins.

ON LEARNING THE ROPES OF THE INDUSTRY: There’s a saying that goes: ‘When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.’ As I got into this industry, I was determined to learn everything I could about it, and boy did the teachers appear. There were teachers in management, there were teachers in marketing [and] teachers in operation.

Dave Thomey, center, shares a laugh with John Baker II, left, and Paul Mellott after the induction ceremony. Photo: PamElla Lee Photography

Dave Thomey, center, shares a laugh with John Baker II, left, and Paul Mellott following the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Photo: PamElla Lee Photography

ON BERNIE GROVE: From Bernie Grove, Hall of Fame class of 2014, I learned to get involved. I remember the first time I met Bernie, I walked into the Maryland Aggregates Association, he broke himself away from a conversation he was having, walked over to me and said: ‘Dave Thomey, I’m Bernie Grove. Get involved.’ And I did.

ON KIM SNYDER: From Kim Snyder, class of 2017, I learned to listen. We at Martin Marietta have what we call community liaison committees, where we meet with neighbors surrounding the quarries three to four times a year and talk about past practices, future endeavors and then we sit back and we listen. I learned that from Kim.

ON PAUL MELLOTT: From my dear friend Paul Mellott, inaugural class of 2013, I learned to attack each day with infectious enthusiasm. In our positions, we get a chance to get up every morning and make the world a better place for at least one individual. We can do that. Each one of us can do that every day. And the amazing thing about it is, if we do [it] with Paul’s enthusiasm, it will work. And if we don’t do it today, we get a chance to do it tomorrow. That’s the wonderful thing about life and the industry that we’re in.

Jack Kopanski

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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