PRODUCERS - FEBRUARY 2018

Cemex USA and Rinker Materials veteran Karl Watson Jr. has joined Denver-based Summit Materials as executive vice president and chief operating officer, succeeding Douglas Rauh. He arrives at the ready mixed, cement, aggregates and asphalt producer with 25-plus years in construction materials, most recently serving as president of Martin Marietta Materials’ Cement & Southwest Ready Mix business.

Prior to Martin Marietta, Watson led Houston-based Cemex USA. He transitioned to that role from Rinker Group, where he held senior executive posts in North America and Australia—ahead of the Cemex S.A.B. de C.V. takeover in 2007. Watson is a past (2011) National Ready Mixed Concrete Association chairman and National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association director, and currently serves on the Portland Cement Association executive committee and Texas Aggregates & Concrete Association board.

“His depth and breadth of experience in our industry will add impactful leadership to our already strong team,” affirms Summit CEO Tom Hill. “I am confident that Karl will make a great partner as we strengthen Summit for our next phase of growth.”

U.S. Concrete, Inc. has acquired the assets of On Time Ready Mix Inc., which serves mid- to high-rise commercial and residential building segments in Queens, N.Y. The deal expands and strengthens U.S. Concrete’s market recovery platform currently served by Brooklyn-based USC-Kings LLC, allowing the producer to more effectively compete for non-union projects.

“This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to investing in growth segments throughout our business and is key to the future of our very active market recovery operations,” say U.S. Concrete CEO William Sandbrook. “Integrating ready-mixed concrete producers means finding successful businesses to serve the right markets for growth. Our ability to create cost-saving, streamlined operations will enhance our customer experience and ensure Kings’ continued success.”

The On Time transaction proceeded by two weeks another bolt-on deal involving Cherokee Bridge and Road Inc., a three-plant, Junction, Texas operator serving Kimble and Menard Counties. The business will become part of U.S. Concrete’s Ingram Concrete LLC subsidiary in west Texas.

Lehigh Hanson parent company HeidelbergCement AG estimates a €200 million ($240 million) charge against net 2017 profit due to accounting measures stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—the sweeping tax reform President Donald Trump signed late last year. The law reduces the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, but requires companies like HeidelbergCement to recalculate loss carried-forwards and deferred tax assets on losses in their consolidated 2017 financial statements. However, the one-time action will not impact earnings before tax or cash flow in 2017, HeidelbergCement notes, adding that the new U.S. tax rate will positively affect group net profit and cash flow beginning in 2019.

The board of directors of AltusGroup, Inc., a collaboration of 20-plus precast/prestressed concrete, has elected as chairman Dave Schneider, vice president of Engineering at High Concrete Group, Denver, Pa. He succeeds Tony Smith of Metromont Corp., and will serve a two-year term ending at the organization’s 2019 annual meeting. Rounding out the officer slate named during the AltusGroup 2017 General Meeting are Harry Gleich of Metromont, treasurer, and Bob Sheehan of BASF, secretary.

The meeting also saw confirmation of these board members: Brian Laufenberg and John Leatham of Chomarat; Aaron Fink and Nesile Normile of Oldcastle Precast; Lance Lorah of High Concrete; Tom Kelley of Gage Brothers; Hagen Harker of Mid-States Concrete Industries; and, Joe Golden of Armtec. AltusGroup renewed John Carson’s role as executive director through 2022.

Iowa-based precast sandwich panel specialist Zero Energy Systems has appointed Dan Kramer as vice president, Operations. He brings a 15-year record of overseeing all phases of major infrastructure and environmental projects for private-sector clients. His experience includes managing crews of up to 50 in a variety of precast/prestressed concrete construction projects.

“Dan’s knowledge of high-performance concrete wall systems from the consulting, contracting, manufacturing, and erection sides of the industry is a real asset to furthering the quality goals of our organization,” affirms Zero Energy CEO Scott Long. “In addition to product knowledge, his experience in managing workforce timelines and budgets is integral to meeting our plans for rapid growth.”

Thomas Concrete Inc. has scheduled deployment of CarbonCure Technologies’ equipment at an additional 16 ready mixed plants early this year. The producer will have 22 Georgia and Carolinas plant installations of the equipment, which promotes strength development and optimal curing by injecting carbon dioxide into fresh concrete loads. Thomas Concrete becomes the largest CarbonCure process licensee.

Salisbury, N.C.-based masonry specialist Johnson Concrete Products has secured a Canadian patent (CA 2854389) for its modular construction block, ProBlock, likewise covered in the U.S. (Patents 9,739,058 and 9,068,348).

“This was a three-year quest finally realized,” notes Executive Vice President Jody Wall. The ProBlock innovation is more than just a new line of “A” block, but an entirely new concept concrete masonry unit. ProBlock represents a new standard starting with the development of the mix design utilizing Stalite lightweight (expanded slate) aggregate, and the introduction of new (tapered) geometries to the block shape.” ProBlock takes full advantage of weight and physical material distribution allowed under ASTM C-90 standards, delivering a highly functional, “H” shaped unit molded to solve the mason’s problems.

ProBlock’s lightweight design delivers increased strength and thermal performance. ProBlock’s installation and handling efficiencies, mason safety advancements, and local-production potential create a new generation of C-90 block. ProBlock supports project cost savings and improvements in the speed of construction as well as transportation and freight savings.