RGI team helps raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana

Community relations is all about relationships, and those relationships – with both customers and community organizations – drive some of the initiatives that Rogers Group Inc. (RGI) supports in the Louisville area. For example, the group’s Central Kentucky team recently worked with one of its customers, Irving Materials, Inc. (IMI), to help fund the Kids and Clays event, which benefitted the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana.

“Steven Brandenburg, sales manager at IMI, reached out to me and asked if we would participate,” says Scott Harrison, Rogers Group’s sales manager for central Ohio and Kentucky. “And, of course, we did.” Rogers Group donated to the event and sent a team to tour the local Ronald McDonald House.

“I’m doing everything I can – and we’re doing everything we can as a team – to give back to the communities that we operate in,” he says. “We sell rock, and for a lot of people, it’s hard to understand what it is we sell and why that product is needed. That’s why we do our best to educate the community about us, what we stand for, and how important our product is. In the construction of anything they see, roads, bridges, and buildings, our product is in all of that.”

The event was a tremendous success. It raised more than $83,000 – nearly double the prior year’s event. “You helped make this an incredible event… We are truly amazed at the kindness and generosity you have given us,” wrote Hal Hedley, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Kentuckiana, in thank you note sent after the event. “Your sponsorship means families will have a soft landing place when life interrupts their plans. When their children require critical medical treatment that isn’t in their hometown, we can embrace families and give them the support they need during a challenging times in their lives. Your meaningful donation helps underwrite our vision that no family should have to sleep in their car nor in a waiting room while their child receives the healthcare they need.”

Harrison says that his group participates in numerous community-minded events throughout the year, including local ministries, school programs, field trips, and more. “But there are a few that just stand out,” he explains. “This was one of them because any time you’re giving back and it impacts kids and families directly, it really reaches out and grabs you.”

For more information about the organizations Rogers Group Inc. supports, check out my February Good Neighbors column in Rock Products.

Special committee explores impact of Texas mining

A bipartisan committee, as well as TACA President and CEO David Perkins and Capitol Aggregates President Greg Hale, will review the impact of mining on surrounding communities.

Legislators and aggregate industry representatives will serve on a special bipartisan committee that explores the impact of Texas mining on the surrounding communities and explores the efficacy of current regulatory oversight. Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R) announced the appointment of the committee on Dec. 10.

According to the Statesman, the committee formation follows a series of stories that highlighted industry growth in the Hill Country in both the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV.

“My desire is that this committee will work to find common ground between industry and community and find paths that will increase public safety without endangering economic growth and prosperity,” state Rep. Terry Wilson, a Burnet County Republican who is heading the House Interim Study Committee on Aggregate Production Operations, told the Statesman.

The committee will include seven state representatives, David Perkins, director of the Texas Aggregates and Concrete Association, and Greg Hale, president of Capitol Aggregates. It will evaluate crushing operations, concrete batch plants, and asphalt plants across the state.

The Statesman notes it will also “study the enforcement of regulations already in place; nuisance issues relating to the dust, noise and light; threats to the safety of and damage to roads; air quality; blasting enforcement; the distance between facilities and adjoining properties; and whether the state should adopt laws requiring operators to restore the land once they have completed mining.”

Perkins said he anticipates the committee could make recommendations that result in additional regulatory requirements and also might discuss voluntary approaches operators could take to be better neighbors.

“I think all of those are going to be on the table,” he told the news outlet. “I think we have some valuable perspective to offer, and hopefully that will result in whatever the outcome is being workable and an improvement.”

Start with People

People are the most valuable asset you have. Sharing their stories can be the best way to share the story of your own business.

For the better part of three decades, I have written about the aggregates industry. Oh, I’ve had opportunities to cover other industries: engineering, bridge building, road construction, the veterinary care, and even the salon industry. But my heart has always belonged in the aggregates industry. Why? Two words. The people.

The aggregates industry is populated by all types of interesting people and sharing their stories is profoundly satisfying. While having spent decades sharing these stories from one producer to another, I’m now expanding that role. I will continue to highlight people throughout the industry, but I also want to help the industry tell its story to the public at large.

It is a critical time for the industry to more broadly open its doors to the communities in which they operate. We fiercely compete with other fields for potential employees. This means we need to show potential workers the benefit of investing their time with us.

We also need to show local communities what good neighbors we are by sharing our stories in new ways. A story in the local paper might cross someone’s breakfast table, but will it be easy to find when they want to learn more about this business? Probably not, but social media offers many avenues to show the public what the industry is about.

Operators regularly hold open houses, host school tours, and sponsor benefits for local charities. Share these stories and – most importantly – share the stories of the people who work for and with us. They are members of the communities in which we operate.

It’s common to hear the phrase, ‘people are our most important asset.’ Typically, it’s said with regards to safety and worker protection, but the same holds true with community outreach. They are – quite literally – the face of your business.

Building stronger community ties is all about building relationships. And those relationships start with people.