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A Ranger takes the helm of Texas-based U.S. Concrete

One year removed from financial reorganization driven by pre-recession interest rate debt, U.S. Concrete Inc. has a new president and chief executive officer—an outsider who unlike his predecessors, Eugene Martineau and Michael Harlan, was not part of the company’s late-1990s founding. William J. Sandbrook arrived at Houston headquarters last month determined to “build an energized, quality team of leaders committed to the highest levels of safety, environmental stewardship and customer satisfaction” and “constantly reinforce corporate social responsibility in the neighborhoods and markets where we operate.”

Among immediate or shorter-term objectives, he tells Concrete Products, are a) reducing U.S. Concrete plants’ recordable incident and lost-time injury rates, already below the industry norm; b) shifting to a more responsive, nimble, decentralized decision-making structure; and, c) building key account business in the company’s ready mixed and aggregate markets—metro New York and New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Dallas-Fort Worth and west Texas, and the San Francisco Bay area—and similar efforts at U.S. Concrete Precast plants in California, Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Sandbrook likewise targets growth of the company’s EF Technology, encompassing a family of concrete mixes whose fly ash and supplementary cementitious material contents offset carbon dioxide emissions attributable to portland cement-only mix designs. EF is established with San Francisco and Silicon Valley customers and supported by the Central Concrete Supply lab in San Jose; future sales opportunities are perhaps strongest in LEED project-heavy Washington, D.C., and urban New York and Texas markets.

Discipline underlying Sandbrook’s goals is owed to 13 years of U.S. Army service, leading to a 19-year career with Oldcastle Inc. and a predecessor company. In the Army, he proceeded from the U.S. Military Academy to completion of Ranger training; a four-year tour in Germany; and, a faculty position at his alma mater, which included assignment as social aide to President Ronald Reagan. He joined Tilcon New York as vice president in 1992 and was promoted to president and CEO in 1995, one year prior to the company’s acquisition by Oldcastle. He was subsequently named Oldcastle Materials West president, Oldcastle Architectural CEO and Oldcastle Products and Distribution CEO, departing the latter post shortly after the U.S. Concrete appointment.

The Oldcastle profit centers Sandbrook oversaw parallel U.S. Concrete’s ready mixed, aggregate and precast businesses. His building products sector experience and impressive track record for growth, notes U.S. Concrete Chairman Eugene Davis, “will be great additions to the company.

In addition to his West Point education, Sandbrook holds two University of Pennsylvania graduate degrees: Wharton School of Business MBA and Master of Science in Systems Engineering, plus Master’s degrees from The Naval War College and Salve Regina University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Virginia.