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Graniterock names acting successor to CEO B.W. Woolpert

Sources: Granite Rock Co., Watsonville, Calif.; CP staff

The Board of aggregate, ready mixed and road-building operator Graniterock has appointed longtime director Mark Kaminski chairman and acting chief executive officer following the late-June drowning death of Bruce Woolpert, who had served as president and CEO since 1997.

Kaminski, who holds Indiana University undergraduate and Harvard Graduate School of Business degrees, was formerly president and CEO of Louisville, Ky.-based aluminum sheet and conduit products manufacturer Commonwealth Industries Inc. He takes the helm of an independent business that Woolpert, grandson of founder A.R. Wilson, helped shape into one of the premier brands in heavy building materials—with six ready mixed plants and integrated materials and construction operations in 11 northern California cities.

Under Woolpert and his brother Steve, Graniterock parlayed an initiative, Total Quality Program, that garnered the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award (1992), through which the U.S. Department of Commerce recognized companies with world-class systems for managing operations and people, while satisfying customers. In the five years after Bruce Woolpert’s appointment as president and CEO, Graniterock was named to Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work for in America,” peaking at 16 in 2002.

The Baldridge and Fortune recognition reflected an eye for marketing, statistical process methods and technology Woolpert brought Graniterock from a 1976–1986 tenure in Hewlett Packard graphics and computer business management. Under him, Graniterock proved an early adopter of benchmark-based continuous improvement measures in ready mixed production and delivery, and an Internet-savvy operator. Underscoring the latter were an early 2000s launch of an online concrete calculator that drew thousands from around the world to www.graniterock.com, plus the more recent release of mobile concrete and aggregate estimating apps.