Rock Products

OCT 2016

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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18 • ROCK products • October 2016 After World War II, the company had grown into a thriving coal and aggregates business, with more than 200 employees, when in 1948 tragedy struck. H.B., his son Herman Jr., and two others died when their private plane crashed while flying back from one of the company's coal mining operations, in Charleston, W.Va. H.B.'s widow, Amy, and her son Paul Mellott Sr. took over the operation and together faced an enormous challenge as the coal industry slipped into a period of low demand and low prices. "Neither H.B. nor his son had a will," Paul Jr. commented. "Consequently, our father and grandmother got out of the coal business. They sold off the coal equipment to pay the estate taxes and started back up again with a small two- quarry operation and 75 employees." Because H.B. Mellott died without a will, his estate was reorganized and incor- porated under the name "H.B. Mellott Estate Inc." in 1951. Under the leadership of brothers Paul Sr. and Forrest, the company grew anew, focusing on aggregates and ready- mixed concrete. With this portfolio, the company was well positioned to supply construction materials when President Eisenhower initiated the construction of the interstate high- way system in 1956, and the business rode that wave into the future. In 1974, Paul Jr. graduated from college and joined the company full-time with his two brothers joining him the following year. Together, they began investing in portable contract crushing. According to Paul Jr., "That's when we started to take off. Basically, that's how my brothers and I started working; learning how to crush stone, and today it is our number-one core competency. The driving force of our success in the past, present, and the future is being able to provide our customers with crushed stone – economically, efficiently, safely and in an environmentally sound manner." Growing Bigger, Then Better The Mellott family expanded the business in 1992 by forming Mellott Enterprises Inc., more commonly known as "MEI," which set out to be an aggregate equipment supplier and fabricator. "We were already building our own crusher frames, bins, con- veyors and hoppers, so we decided to form a company for the purpose of also selling to external customers," Paul Jr. noted. "We hired a retired engineer, a sales team, and some appli- cations specialists, and got to work. We started with cement manufacturers that believed in us and awarded us their accounts and started to really grow that business. We were building plants for our own crushing operations and for other aggregate processing companies. In 2000, we had 20 active portable aggregate plants; four company owned-and-oper- ated quarries; three ready-mix concrete operations; as well as the aggregate equipment company. "In 2007, we saw an opportunity to sell our own quarries and ready-mixed operations, in order to focus on our other business lines," stated Paul Jr. "We closed that deal on August 31, 2007. We then merged H.B. Mellott Estate Inc. and Mellott Enterprises Inc. on Jan. 1, 2008, and renamed the combined entity simply Mellott Company." Rich Blake joined the company as president in Septem- ber 2008 just as the Great Recession was taking hold. "We started to really get an indication that the economy was taking the wrong turn in 2008," Blake said. "That was when it got interesting and 2009 was a challenging year for all of us in the industry." Because of its position as a contract crusher for so many dif- ferent aggregates producers, Mellott was in a unique position to see what was happening throughout the industry – and what they saw was alarming. Mellott Company began mining for aggregates when founder H.B. Mellott needed to supplement his lumber and coal offerings. History and Mission of MelloƩ

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