Ep. 125: Emulating the Culture Your People Deserve with Kevin Gray of ADC Paving

Kevin Gray, ADC PavingKevin Gray took a leap of faith when he purchased a dying asphalt paving and sealcoating business in 2011. A small business loan, some rundown equipment, and entrepreneurial grit were all they had during the first few years.

Now, thanks to the organizational processes and culture initiatives Kevin has implemented, Louisville, Kentucky-based ADC Paving is thriving.  

Kevin and host Missy Scherber talk about getting your office and crew in order to jumpstart your business’s economic engine.

They also cover:

  • Making customer experience a priority
  • Committing to training and investing in your staff
  • Open and transparent communication

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Show Transcript:

Intro:

Welcome to CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio, where we bring you boots on the ground perspectives from construction business owners and industry experts about their successes, challenges and whatever else is on their minds. Consider them your own personal mentors on technology implementation, equipment solutions, business management and more, enabling you to apply their expertise to your business. Held every three years in Las Vegas, CONEXPO-CON/AGG is North America's largest construction trade show. For even more ways to connect with the industry, visit conexpoconagg.com/connect. We've got another great guest on the show today. So let's dig in.

Missy Scherber:

Thanks for tuning in to another episode of contractor conversations on CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio. I'm your host, Missy Scherber. Joining us today is Kevin Gray, president of ADC Paving based in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin's paving and seal coating company has experienced exceptional growth over the past several years. Thanks to his implementation of detailed operational processes and plans. Today we'll be talking about getting your office and crew in order to jumpstart your economic engine. All right, Kevin. Well, thank you so much for joining us today on CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio. We're very excited to have you, I know our guests will love hearing from you. So thanks for taking time. You're a busy guy.

Kevin Gray:

I'm a busy guy though it's that time of the year in any construction industry, right? It's August, it's crunch time and I know we've tried to do this a couple of times before and it's just fortunate, I guess. I mean, we've been humping all year, so-

Missy Scherber:

Good for you.

Kevin Gray:

...good to be here. This is an amazing opportunity. It means a lot for you guys to ask me to join you guys today. So super pumped to be here.

Missy Scherber:

Well, the pleasure is ours. We're excited to dive into your story. I think there's so many elements of your company and you as a leader that our audience can connect with. So before we get too deep into the interview, that I'm very excited to do, why don't you tell us a little bit more about you, how you got into this industry, your role today at your company because you might be new to some of the audience out there.

Kevin Gray:

Sure, sure. Yeah, I've been since 2021, my wife and I purchased this company in 2011. My wife's grandfather started this business in 1959, he passed away in 1980 at a young age and then my wife's aunt and uncle took over the business from 1980 to 2011. When we came in in 2000, we went through the awful recession in 2000, 7, 8, 9 all the way it went into the early teens there also. In 2007, 8, my wife's aunt was going through some very challenging times with the business, her husband's health. He was helping to run the business, his health was kind of declining. Her health wasn't in great shape, she'd been through several back surgeries so she wasn't able to manage, get out in the field and watch the crews either. So in 2000, 7, 8, 9, they were really struggling almost to the point where they were considering declaring bankruptcy and closing the doors on this almost 50 year old company business. And she, my wife Sam, went and spoke with my father-in-law, who was her brother and was like, "Hey, what do I need to do here? What can we do? Is this salvageable? Can we save it? How can I sell it? I'm going to lose my house, I'm going to lose everything."

This company had historically up to that point when they had, it had been doing 5, 6, 7, 800,000 dollars a year in revenue and seven, eight, even into nine, and they were down doing three, 400,000 bucks, just trying to figure out how to pay the bills and losing oversight of the company and almost to the point where they had to bail out. And my father-in-law brought this opportunity to myself and my wife and said, "I think there may be some meat on the bone here left if you guys would be interested in taking out a small business loan and buying this thing." So I spent a lot of time in 2009 and 10 with my wife's aunt just getting involved with the business doing some sales, getting familiar with the crews, their processes, just the industry in general. Now I grew up, I was out of college. I graduated college in '03, so I was doing commercial insurance for Wells Fargo out of college and then, 2007 to 12, I was actually the executive director of the Kentuckiana Masonry Institute here in Louisville for the state of Kentucky and Indiana.

But my dad was in the heavy highway industry for the majority of his career doing state and federal projects with a guard rail company and concrete and asphalt companies, and then got into the association management side with the highway contractors association and the crushed down association here in Kentucky. So I'd been around the industry [crosstalk 00:05:04] all of my life growing up and then had been to several meetings and conventions with my dad and kind of always had a respect and admiration for the folks in this pavement industry. Something I'd always had an interest in but never really thought I would own my own paving business at one point. I grew up with that mentality of go to school, get good grades, go to college, get a degree, get a good job, but there was always something inside of me that it was always pulling at my entrepreneurial strings a little bit. I wanted to do my own thing, I just never knew what that may be, and so when this opportunity presented itself we took a leap of faith on a dying business, basically. One that was very near and dear to my wife. She had a very, although it was very short-lived, she had a very close bond with her grandfather who founded the company and didn't want to see anything happen to us. So she and [crosstalk 00:06:05].

Missy Scherber:

That's pretty amazing. You took a leap of faith on a dying business in a not great time in the economy.

Kevin Gray:

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Missy Scherber:

Tell me, and I can relate to that in a sense because Trevor tells me the story of when he started the dumpster company when the economy just took a tank and everyone's like, "You're crazy, don't do it."

Kevin Gray:

They will.

Missy Scherber:

So tell me what those conversations look like as you're thinking about this entrepreneurial bug you've got, you're looking at the dying business. What were you thinking? I just want to dive into that a little bit. What were the conversations like with your wife? It was more than just the family business there had to be more in you that was like, "Okay, let's do this."

Kevin Gray:

Yeah, because I didn't have any sentimental connection to this business say, it was more of just an internal drive. Now, I mean, she was hopeful that we would buy it and we took out $125,000 SBA loan, and that's what it took to buy a bunch of antiquated equipment. So I mean, broken down, junk basically and a crew full of guys that you're lucky if they'd show up not under the influence the next morning, but she was hopeful we could do something with it just to not see the business go away. And like I said, I got involved in 2009 and 10, kind of got close to her. She really took me under her wing the best she could and showing me her ways of how they had ran the business, their practices, their procedures. And my wife's cousin down in Atlanta owns a very successful paving operation, Athens-Atlanta Asphalt. I went down and spent some time with him in 2009 and 10, and he showed me what it could look like and it really was just that leap of faith. And I think most entrepreneurs have that at some point and most have it on a pretty regular basis and we're risk takers, right?

Missy Scherber:

Yeah.

Kevin Gray:

It just felt right like something else. My God, I finally had a sense of like, this can be mine, this can be ours. I can be in control of my own destiny. I don't have to go to work for... you think that at that age I was in my late 20s at that point, I was like, "Oh, this'll be easy. I can go play golf whenever I want." Some of that was a little misleading. I thought in your own business, it's going to get easy, you sit back and collect checks, but no, it was a huge risk in the recession. My parents who are super safe and conservative, like I said, my dad was in the association management side, my mom was a school teacher and they were like you're... I mean, they were very disapproving of this decision. I gave up a great career to take this leap of faith and I mean, it took them four or five years of us and me owning this business to finally say, we're proud of you and oh my gosh, I can't believe how successful you've become. They hated it. I mean, they were mad. I mean, they were angry almost to the point we weren't speaking because they thought I'd lost my mind.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. Isn't that interesting too. It's like you can see it and it feels so real and so tangible but those around you can tend to think, I experienced same with my family when they're like, "You're quitting your dream job to run a dumpster company for this guy that drives a Peterbilt. What?"

Kevin Gray:

I love it. Yeah. It happens.

Missy Scherber:

I said, "I am, please still talk to me."

Kevin Gray:

Like, you're going to put down the suit and tie and go lay blacktop?

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. Yeah. It's crazy but it felt... So yours was a gut move. It was a leap of faith. You did, it sounds like get advisory and you had some other companies that you saw where you could have a vision for what the future could look like. So tell me, you took the leap of faith and was it 2011 you said?

Kevin Gray:

Yeah. July of 2011 we closed the paperwork with the bank and got the... and they had a hard time doing the loan because the financials, the past years leading up to that were terrible. I mean, bleeding money and the equipment was... that's the only reason we got the loan because they could at least put $100,000 worth of value to this equipment we were buying and it was [crosstalk 00:10:24]. But it was, I mean, knowing what I know today, it probably wasn't worth 50, but it was an established company in the community. There was a reason it had been in business, stayed in business 50 years. It had a decent reputation. So we thought, were like, we've got 50 years in the community, people at least know the name, we can do something. We can do something with this.

Missy Scherber:

So 10 years later, you and your wife running ADC Paving, how's it going?

Kevin Gray:

It's going amazing. I say that it's been a journey, it's been... I mean, I've got stories. We could sit here and talk for hours about you go from taking over, basically being new to the industry not having a clue what I'm doing, and buying a basically junk and a bunch of guys I used to say that the convicts were running the prison basically, it wasn't the warden. So those first few years were challenging. I mean, super challenging and I thought I was learning stuff and getting better, but I was pretty much being misled and getting bad information even from the people in our company because I didn't really know any better.

Missy Scherber:

And I know you guys are doing so well now. So those first few years were difficult and I think it's great for young, small business owners to hear that because I think they see Instagram and all of our pictures and our fleet and it's like, "Wow," and it's like, "Whoa." Those first five to 10 years were a struggle.

Kevin Gray:

Well, yeah. Yeah. People see that stuff and of course it's Instagram and social media, you're only probably going to see the best stuff. Right? And then people get misled and either this is easy or they got lucky or they were a trust fund. Somehow they got lucky to get where they're at today. Right? And I mean, it has been a grind. I mean, we still grind every day now, it's always evolving. It's onto the next issue or pattern of growth or new system we want to implement. It's always something. And [crosstalk 00:12:30].

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. But it's grown successfully.

Kevin Gray:

It has. We talk about things that young entrepreneurs, leaders, business owners that starting out. I certainly got blinded by it. This company was doing about half a million when we bought it like I said, and I said, 2012, my first full season operating I was going to say, we're going to do a million bucks. For some reason I thought hitting that seven figure mark would mean something, and we did. We went from half a million in 2011 to 1.2 million in 2012 and we lost our ass. I mean, it was uncomfortable. I mean, it was, yeah, we hit the revenue goal, but I didn't even know what profit margin was. Right?

Missy Scherber:

Yup. Yup.

Kevin Gray:

So you get blinded by the top line and you forget about the bottom line.

Missy Scherber:

Yes.

Kevin Gray:

So yeah, we hit the goal but it wasn't pretty, it wasn't fun. It was stressful. So.

Missy Scherber:

You can do two... What we learned, you can do two million in sales and make no money.

Kevin Gray:

That's right. Yeah. Yeah.

Missy Scherber:

When we reached that point, I was like, "What? How is this possible?" With all your expenses and your overhead and your profit margin and watching every line. These are things you learn as you go. So that's interesting that right off the bat.

Kevin Gray:

Oh yeah, yeah. [crosstalk 00:13:51].

Missy Scherber:

It's a good message to get out there. It's the truth, right? It's the truth [crosstalk 00:13:54] as a business owner what you learn.

Kevin Gray:

We were out there just collecting checks and putting them in the bank, so I'm like, "Oh my God, I'm going to be a millionaire." And it's like, oh, you get to December and it's like, where's all the money?

Missy Scherber:

I'm broke.

Kevin Gray:

What did the money go? How am I going to make it to March when we can get back to producing revenue?

Missy Scherber:

Yeah.

Kevin Gray:

Borrowing money every winter just to survive.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. So how did you get it from that point to now 10 years later? Tell me quick, [inaudible 00:14:22] You've got how many crews going? The fleet is not the same fleet as it was 10 years ago.

Kevin Gray:

Right. Right. So we currently operate with call it four crews. So we've got two crews we operate on the seal coating side and that's probably 20% of our business, and then our paving sides makes up the other 80. So we've got a prep crew and then a paving crew that runs that paving operation side of the business. And then we've got four... there's four triaxle dump trucks, bunch of trailers, couple pavers, skid-steers, four or five rollers.

Missy Scherber:

It's awesome.

Kevin Gray:

At this point in time, it's all nice too. This is another biggie for the young cats out there, young guys and girls. It's like I went through a period where I thought I was doing good buying, finding good used equipment and that's a good deal, but I have found that buying used equipment is typically not... there's usually a reason that someone's selling that piece of equipment. Right?

Missy Scherber:

Mm-hmm(affirmative).

Kevin Gray:

And that's why our stuff looks good now. I'll only buy new because I don't care that you're going to pay probably three times as much as you could for a used one, but you're getting the warranty, you're getting the service from the dealership, getting those relationships. And it makes a world of difference when you've got to be efficient and productive every single day.

Missy Scherber:

Absolutely. So you've gone to that many crews and I want to eventually talk about your operations and your processes with your staff, but first I want to hit the state of the industry, for the paving industry. Your company recently conducted a contractor survey and released a report on the state of the paving industry. What were the biggest takeaways from those results and perspective and what's your pulse on how your peers are feeling about the future?

Kevin Gray:

Well, I mean, I'll tell you this. I mean, unfortunately our industry from what I've gathered in my time in it and what I've learned and the people we associate with, I mean, you know the circle that we run with, you're included in also. I mean, I feel like there's still, I don't know, 70, 80% of our industry that still operates just on the good old boy, resting on your laurels fashion, flying by the seat of their pants type of way, which is unfortunate but I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful with some of the momentum we're gaining, with stuff we're doing with Top Contractor School and social media has been huge in some of us contractors who are trying to do things differently and evolve the industry, get together, stay together and creating a movement for all of us. I mean, the whole concept behind Top Contractor School and some of the stuff we're doing with these groups is obviously to help our own respective independent businesses, but it's we want to see this industry thrive. I mean, we want this industry to be respected and well-known and taken seriously and have a good name for generations, I mean, forever.

Missy Scherber:

Absolutely.

Kevin Gray:

We all take a great amount of pride in what we do. We take a great amount of pride in our businesses, in our people and our customers. And we were hopeful that the entire industry can become like that one day. I mean, you're not ever going to get everybody, but it benefits us all when people say paving, blacktop, seal coating, whatever, concrete, whatever it is you're doing, it's a neat process, it's a cool process, it has value. These guys are skilled, they're craftsmen, their trade is awesome. You get people engaged and encouraged to use those products, I mean, we're all going to get a bigger piece of that pie. So that's what we found with these reports and it's the people that we were able to get signed up to... I think we had 20. It was the first year we've done it. I think we had 25 people fill out the survey and send us information back. We've already interviewed four or five of those folks.

Kevin Gray:

We've got another few more we'd like to do, but the general consensus is that at least the folks we're talking to are starting to implement, kind of put the old ways behind a little bit and are investing in technology, investing in culture, investing in training, investing in the equipment. And at the base of all of that, the number one goal, obviously aside from hopefully helping your own business, creating a better production, profit margins, whatever is, is giving customers the absolute best experience that they can possibly have. I mean, when we talk about our experience from when people call our office for the first time, until we're collecting the check, I mean, we almost want it to be as simple and smooth as shopping used to be on Amazon.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. It's a good example.

Kevin Gray:

It's debatable, the operations of that company right now, needless to say, but we want people to be wowed by what we are able to give them. And it's not just being able to go out and lay blacktop, it's all the way through the process.

Missy Scherber:

I love that you're bringing this up because I do think that was one of the first things I noticed when I took over the excavating side of the company. And even the dumpsters was, where's the customer experience here? Oh, well, no one does that. Well, why? I mean, there are customers paying us money. I couldn't believe how out of touch our industry, the dirt at least industry was with customer experience and customer service. Now I came from a world where that was a no brainer. I mean, in retail, in corporate and insurance and banking, that is the Bible. Right?

Kevin Gray:

Yes. Absolutely.

Missy Scherber:

But in construction, it's not. And so it's exciting to hear that that is one of the things that you and the contractors you surveyed took away was, part of the way we make our industry better and more exciting for the community is customer experience, is just being awesome at that. Why wouldn't we? So that's had to have paid off for you in dividends, just in something like asphalt and paving or for us in dirt and dumpsters [crosstalk 00:20:53]. No, but that you're adding innovation customer experience. How have your customers responded to that versus their previous experiences?

Kevin Gray:

I mean, they've been wild and I would say, I'm 10 years in, we didn't start getting really good at that until even just a couple years ago. I mean, that was kind of we were so focused. The first four or five years were... I mean, they were just a blur. We were just growing pains. I don't even know what happened to be honest, it was just messy. It's just messy. And then, just through some very amazing mentorship here locally and finding some great guys within the industry through social media, we took the next few years after those first five and really started working on culture, getting the right kind of people, getting the right kind of culture established. And then, the last couple of years has really turned into this customer experience aspect of it. It's like, man, there's... Like you said, I mean, we're in the dumpster business that dirt work, blacktop, gravel, I mean, it's not glamorous and it's not pretty. So I really feel like most of our competition currently and in the past have always been, Hey, it's rock tar and sand. You get what you get, and this is what it is and I'm sorry that you don't like it, but can you please pay us now? And it's like, no, I mean, go impress these people.

Kevin Gray:

Have these people look at their new parking lot or driveway and be like, "Oh my gosh, I never thought it could look this good. Oh, and by the way, the person that answered the phone was awesome. Your sales person was very thorough and knowledgeable and educated us on the front end, the communication during the scheduling process, the site maps." We want to make this as simple as possible for the customer that they're well-informed, that they have all the information, and that the ease of buying is, I mean, is simple. I mean, I don't know how many projects we've... it's probably over 50% of them, people are like we can't get anybody to even call us back or we get a proposal and it's on a napkin and it's like what in the... it's crazy.

Missy Scherber:

If they even get a proposal. [crosstalk 00:23:12] one of the things my father really grinded on us when we first started is you've got to have someone answering the phone. And if you can't answer the phone, whatever you got to spend, have someone who sits there and all they do is answer the phone. And I'm like, "But we get like four calls a day." He's like, it doesn't matter. If I'm in the field and Trevor's in the field and you wouldn't think that little thing really makes a huge impact in this industry because it hasn't been the standard. So you're really working hard to set the standard high, we're doing the same and it does make a difference. The customers do notice and I think that's an important message to get out there on this episode is, customers do notice, your team notices your higher standards.

Kevin Gray:

Absolutely.

Missy Scherber:

Like let's raise the standard. While your competitors come up and try to match for sure but you were the first one there and why not be the first one there, right?

Kevin Gray:

Yeah. Yes. We're some of the first ones there, and as long as we don't get comfortable or complacent and we continue to evolve this experience as well, our customers shouldn't ever catch us. And if we're doing this now and they're not getting this from anyone else in our market, then this isn't a greed thing, but I mean, don't get me wrong, it costs more money to offer an experience like that for a customer.

Missy Scherber:

It does.

Kevin Gray:

It requires more training and investment and better equipment, and you got to pay your guys like it's... pay them more money than your competition too. I mean, it costs a little more to be able to add that kind of experience so I don't think there's anything wrong with being able to ask customers who are a good fit for your business to pay a premium price as well. I mean, you're getting this level of experience and service on top of a product that's probably going to last 10, 20, 30% longer than the competition is going to provide to you so. And if you can educate them, if you can get people to listen to that process and give them a thorough education on what they're actually buying, then everybody's winning.

Missy Scherber:

The price becomes a no-brainer for them [crosstalk 00:25:17]. People will pay for an experience, they absolutely will. Insight superintendents will go to their PMs and say, oh my gosh, and the PMs will go to leadership and say, oh my gosh, it's an extra this per but, it's an extra this, but we have to have this and it becomes a new standard. So you brought up an interesting about culture and your people. And I think it's very important for us to talk about that because you've done so well with your team. What has been your most effective way of finding good help and keeping good help?

Kevin Gray:

That's a [crosstalk 00:25:52].

Missy Scherber:

Is that a loaded question?

Kevin Gray:

That is a magic question. I mean, again, that's something and I'm so hard on myself about that because that's probably the single most important thing that I focus on. I can just say, well, you know what? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What do you fall asleep at night thinking about? It's rarely money or our workload or equipment or it's our customers even, it's are we doing everything in our power? Am I doing a good enough job as the leader of this business to create and emulate the culture that I feel that our people deserve? I put a lot of pressure on myself with that because I think that's something in as far as we've come and as good as I think our culture currently is, it's almost like this weird obsession with me is like, how can we always get better or are we doing enough to promote and keep that culture? And it involves a ton of open and honest communication from your highest paid person down to the low.

I mean, everybody's got to be on a level playing field. We keep it simple, man. We try to hire the right people out of the gate. We almost go to the extent during the interview process to talk people out of coming to work for us, because we just try to be as transparent and open as we can about what the expectations or standards look like. And I don't think they're not unreasonable, it's not like this is a dictatorship that when you come work for ADC paving that your boots are going to be shy. It's nothing like that, it's 10 things that requires zero talent like being on time, being coachable, having a good attitude, come to work every day, don't do drugs. And it's like if you can do those 10 things, but you got to do those 10 things every single day. And if you can do those 10 things, we can teach you the rest. Because I spent a lot of my earlier career hiring for experience because it's like, oh my God, I got to have... because I didn't know anything. I didn't know how to even... I couldn't even find where the key went in the paper. So it's like I got to hire people that know how to do this, or we can't go to work.

So I was always looking to hire skilled people because if I didn't I knew that I didn't know enough or we didn't have enough people that could go out and actually make money during the day. Like nobody can go operate this equipment, nobody knows how to rake. Nobody knows how to run this seal coating equipment. And that took a while because I had to get comfortable enough and get enough key people around me to be confident that we could train people. So today I would rather hire the right kind of person with absolutely zero experience and start them on a shovel and bring them up through the ranks. I mean, there's a kid now that's running our paving operation for us. He didn't know anything about this industry two and a half years ago.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah.

Kevin Gray:

It really is just finding the right people that fit in with your culture, that can do those 10 simple things, that can mesh with the others that you've allowed to be a part of us. But we're very protective of who we let in these doors. And like I said, we almost try to talk people out of coming here because we feel that it's so different and maybe it's just more evolved or maybe I'm just biased because it's ours, maybe I'm just super proud of it. But I like to think that our culture is different than most construction companies you can go work for.

Missy Scherber:

That's interesting. I love that you're talking about this because we are in that transitionary period right now. So I'm selfishly going to ask you a few more questions on culture here, where we have spent so many years focused on experience only. So we have such a wildly experienced team, like the work's going to be perfect, the execution is going to be perfect, but the culture is not there. And I'm starting to pick up on it and starting to have internal conversations of, guys we have so much expertise on this team, but we have no connection and no culture. What does that look like to make that transition to where you're not. Like you said, we've got 20, 30 year veterans in the industry doing all of our work, and Trevor and I, like you said, we had to do that. We had to do that to protect the name, our names are on the trucks and on the equipment. So we had to know it was going to be perfect. But then you get to that point, like you said where it's like, where's our... We've got no culture. We've got no young talent.

We're not breeding the next generation. Yes, we've got a lot of expertise here but where's the fun and the connection, and like you're saying the culture that the customer senses on the job site. So tell me how you made that transition. What were the key things for you to start establishing culture within your company?

Kevin Gray:

And your guys, all these experience guys that you have, do they work well together? I mean, do they get along? Do they...

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. I mean, they come, they do their thing, they want to go [crosstalk 00:31:14].

Kevin Gray:

Our business, it may be a little different. Our paving crew is a group of typically five to seven guys every day, day in and day out working together in the trenches. And we found when we had all these experienced guys, they kind of all, they brought their own past experiences or baggage with them. So everybody had had a different way they wanted it, and although we had leaders and foreman out there, everybody had an opinion or wanted to be the chief or... And it was just counterproductive to getting through the days. It almost was unmanageable because of the... I think it's more of an attitude thing, this attitude they brought, I've been doing this 20, 30 years, you've been in this business for five. You don't have a clue what you're doing. And I didn't, I mean, I really didn't, but that just it's cancerous through the entire organization because it just creates a lot of resentments. It creates a lot of just animosity and it's almost a ego and a cockiness or an attitude that at least we have found. And it maybe it's just our town, our market that these guys that have been in the asphalt industry since they were in their teens, probably, I mean, they think they've got it all figured out and we've found that it's very hard to build a cohesive, like a real true team with people that all kind of have that attitude and mentality so.

Missy Scherber:

So you'll kind of take the cohesive, the character of a person and the work ethic versus the talent or the expertise.

Kevin Gray:

I'll take it all day now.

Missy Scherber:

Because you can train it. Yeah.

Kevin Gray:

Yeah. And the key to that is though... I mean, the key is you've got to... like you said, you've got to keep hiring experienced people and skilled people because you have a customer that you've told you are going to come do this work for. And we had a bunch of turnover with that, but I think you eventually will start finding a... and it can just start with one guy, one or two guys that say, okay, they've got the experience and what they've also got they're still coachable. They're still approachable. They check their ego when they come to the door, when they come to work, and it's like you started just kind of... and as the owner operator, general manager, whatever you may be in your own respective business, you start learning enough to be dangerous to know how things should be done, need to be done, what the production rates look like. And you're like, all right, you start taking these two to three people and then you start kind of weeding out the bad attitudes and bringing in the fresh blood that you can mold. And I think that's it. We almost want to mold people to our culture than try to force them into the culture.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. I think that's great like you're saying to take... the best takeaway that you just talked about is to take one or two people within the company to start to turn your culture and to make that transition, and to do things differently. You take one or two people, our roll-off manager, I said, this is our last hire that's been doing it for 20 to 30 years.

Kevin Gray:

Wow.

Missy Scherber:

You've got the talent to train someone, your dad was in the roll-off business, you've got the energy. I want young moldable talent because they're going to do things your way. The older guys don't like to listen to our new manager, Brian, who has a lot of innovative ideas coming straight from this office. So that is a great takeaway to not... and I've been a little intimidated, like gosh, how do we transition this culture within the whole company?

Kevin Gray:

It's scary.

Missy Scherber:

It's a lot, and who's going to respond to it? And who's going to like it and who's going to not like it? But what you just said is start with two guys, two guys or gals. And [crosstalk 00:35:08].

Kevin Gray:

Yes.

Missy Scherber:

I love that.

Kevin Gray:

And you got to be willing to accept that you're going to have, to have some patience with us. We're trading in these five experienced guys for five guys with very little to no experience. And it's going to be slower. You're not going to get as much done in a day, but if you can look at it at owning your business, especially young people getting in that this is a marathon and not a sprint, and you need to build the foundation first and just have the... put a plan to it, don't do it blindly. Like you got to say, okay, production's going to drop 50% because we're taking time to train. Put a budget together and make sure you can manage what that really is going to look like from an income and expense standpoint.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. That's fantastic [crosstalk 00:35:57] advice. Yep.

Kevin Gray:

Commit.

Missy Scherber:

That's fantastic advice. And really, like you said, one to two people at a time makes it attainable. It's possible. You're not going to cut into your profit margin too much there. So what qualities do you look for when you are hiring specifically?

Kevin Gray:

We try to do our best at finding the true character morals and ethics of people as quick as we can. We're pretty slow in the hiring process. I mean we'll let several people within the team interview these people, we do really try and paint the picture to them what it looks like how we work as a group. And we're looking for ethics, we're looking for morals, we're looking for character, we're looking... I mean, honesty is huge. I mean our big three non-negotiables are... and it's pretty easy. It's come to work every day, don't do drugs and tell the truth. If you do any of those three you're gone.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah.

Kevin Gray:

And you can look at people and when you're interviewing them and say, can you do those three things? And you can almost tell by the look on their face whether they believe it or not or whether they can. And then we'll also... and this is one thing that Brian taught me in the interviewing process. You let this person talk for 15, 20 minutes to tell you about themselves, and at the end of it you say, all right, how much of what you just told me is actually the truth. And you can read their body language and you can... we usually have two, three maintenance, sometimes four people interview these people and between that group of people who are doing the interviewing, if one of us caught a red flag or just a weird gut feeling we'll usually pass on that person. So we're very slow in the interviewing process. We're very transparent about who we are and what we expect and that's it. And it's easier said than done when you're basically fully staffed and you're not desperate to have.

Missy Scherber:

Right.

Kevin Gray:

I think that's a big issue. And in most of the construction industry, whatever trade you're in, it's like, oh my God, we have to have bodies to go do this work.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah.

Kevin Gray:

I have found that over the years, I mean, we'd like to run a seven man paving crew but if we don't have the right seven guys and we've got, let's just say four, it's almost easier to go out and more productive to go out with those four than to try to force another three guys that don't fit.

Missy Scherber:

That don't fit. Interesting. And I imagine your turnover rate is less because you take more time on the front end in the interview process.

Kevin Gray:

It is.

Missy Scherber:

Identify [crosstalk 00:38:34].

Kevin Gray:

We still make mistakes.

Missy Scherber:

Of course.

Kevin Gray:

We've had a little more turnover this year than I anticipated and actually with a couple key [crosstalk 00:38:40]. So we have... trust me, we still get into some desperate situations where we're trying to fill a seat where we probably should slow down a little bit, but I'm here telling you what some of the principles should look like. And if you can follow those most of the time, you're usually going to be... you're going to be in a better situation.

Missy Scherber:

Absolutely. Well, you're inspiring me, we're hiring a driver right now and so you're inspiring me to take a step back. I found one, he's the most qualified, get them here, quick, quick, quick and then it's like, oh, you know what? Maybe we should slow down. Maybe we should look at a couple more candidates, ask a few more questions, listen to what they have to say about themselves and their experience. So this has been...

Kevin Gray:

Yeah you've got time. We lost a guy this morning, we had all of next week's work already scheduled so all we really had to do is instead of me rushing out to say, oh my God, we got to have somebody before next week. We just adjusted the schedule a little bit. We said we can navigate this, let's just call a few customers and say, we may not get to you. We told them and we told them this as exactly... we lost a foreman today. We're that transparent with our customers because [crosstalk 00:39:51].

Missy Scherber:

That's awesome [crosstalk 00:39:54].

Kevin Gray:

Equipment broke down or the plant broke down or our... but those were the excuses that most contractors are going to give you and nine times out of 10 it's usually false.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. I imagine your customers are... they have had that transparent experience with you from start to finish. They expect it and they really appreciate it, which is great. Tell me too quick with your team, before we move on, how have your operational processes, because you're very focused on process and doing things the right way, benefited your team? Because I think people think good operations just helps the office. It just helps the profit margin, but how do good operational processes benefit the team and how can other contractors start to build those out in their business?

Kevin Gray:

We had a management meeting Tuesday this week and it's because we landed as much work in the last two weeks. It was about 70% of what we did all of last season. We just got on a contract in the last two weeks.

Missy Scherber:

Wow.

Kevin Gray:

And that affects everybody in the business from the administration office staff to the sales staff, to the project management, scheduling department, sales people and the crews obviously, and intern. And we're supposed to... we're planning to get it all done with the next 45 to maybe 60 days. So the amount of paperwork, the amount of phone calls, the amount of correspondence that's getting ready to run through this office and through our equipment and through our crews. I mean, it's almost going to be double what we're typically accustomed to. And for years, that year we went from half a million to 1.2, there weren't any process so we just more than doubled revenue with zero processes in place. And that's why we had no idea if we had money or not, because nothing was in place. I mean, it's absolutely critical that the processes are there. And that's part of slowing down to speed up too, the same as working on the culture. These processes don't happen overnight and they're always evolving too, especially if you have good people on your team, they're always coming up with new ideas and ways of doing things.

Kevin Gray:

And if you don't slow down a little bit to get these processes and checks standard operating procedures in place, then it can create a bind anywhere in the system and anywhere that that system gets bound up, it's at the end of the day it's going to affect the customer. We can manage kind of all the garbage on our end and it makes it uncomfortable and it makes it... and people get angry and resentments going and stress, pressure, and all that going when the systems and processes aren't being followed internally either. So it slows down the whole chain and at the end of the day it's putting unnecessary stress on people within your organization and then your customers eventually are going to feel it too so.

Missy Scherber:

What would you tell a contractor who maybe, he's passed those first three, four years, right? Gun slinging, figuring it out, where do they start? They have no processes. Where do you encourage them starting? Is it customer experience, is it internally? Where did you start and where have you found the best resources to establish good processes?

Kevin Gray:

We started internally because we knew we had to have it right internally before we could offer it or that our customers would feel it. If we don't have our stuff together then there's no way that they're going to feel a good experience. Right?

Missy Scherber:

Yeah.

Kevin Gray:

And you just have to start. I mean, we went from... When I took over we were doing all of our estimates and proposals on a carbon copy, white, yellow, pink triplicate sheet. We were handwriting. And now everything's digital and almost immediate internally and for the customer. So it's like... I've been doing this 10 years. I mean, I bet we've went through four or five, if not more, different ways of doing that proposal process to where we are today. So, it's almost just, you figure out where your gaps are, where the holes are, what's getting missed. What's not being done well and you just start building out better, easier ways to do things.

Missy Scherber:

Yup.

Kevin Gray:

You almost just have to start. You have to be mindful of it. It takes a lot of communication between team members too and be honest of what they need, what information they're not getting. What's falling through the cracks. I think the biggest thing I can stress to contractors and I feel like our industries are so guilty of, just not having an open line of communication with the entire organization.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah.

Kevin Gray:

It's pretty bougie, I think, of owners and management to just sit around and have all these meetings and not, at least periodically, including everybody. The whole company [crosstalk 00:44:58].

Missy Scherber:

I absolutely agree. [crosstalk 00:44:59] you just nailed it. I think you nailed, the biggest step to take is to start having internal and external conversations with your team. What's your experience? What do you think about the customer experience? And when you get to the site, do things feel ready? Do things not feel ready? What are you missing? And that leads into a good start on where do we need to start for processes? We've started finding holes in that [crosstalk 00:45:24] open line of communication. And I think that's great advice. So tell me what has been the biggest challenge your company is working through at this time? We're all experiencing great things for sure. But then we're also all experiencing just the post 2020 year scenario. What are the challenges you're working through now?

Kevin Gray:

I'll be dead honest, the biggest thing that we're working through, we've now lost two of our most veteran leaders in our company, in this season. I guess both of which I didn't really see coming, both just unique, strange situations in their own regard, so that's... And on top of that, we're going to double revenue from what we did last year. So...

Missy Scherber:

So it's like, what?

Kevin Gray:

Yeah. I mean, that puts pressure on everybody, I mean, we're at a crossroads right now. It's like, we've already gotten more work on hand than we completed all of last year, almost double what we completed last year, already on hand. And it's like, we have a decision to make, do we pump the brakes a little bit and just navigate the best way to kind of get through that and maybe a little more? Or do we want to keep the foot on the gas pedal and say, "Hey, we're still going towards the goal that we set out to do." And it's a very, again, open honest communications and discussions with the entire team to say, "Is everybody still on board for this? And by the way, this is what it's going to look like." And you hope you don't have a lot of yes people sitting in the room, that are just saying, "Yeah, let's do it." And I think if you've got a good culture of people that are open and approachable and trust the management and the leadership and the ownership that those conversations can be had.

And the team is going to say, yes, we can do this, or they're going to voice their concerns and opinions about we may, maybe not, is there another alternative? So...

Missy Scherber:

I think you just addressed the best way to combat any company challenge is communication. And it sounds so cliché, but it's genuinely like, okay, open communication of, "Guys, the margins weren't great on the roll-off business last year. What do you think about that? How do we fix that?" And then let everyone in the room not just, like you said, the yes people, are your communications with your team just yes, yes, yes. Or is it, what? When? Why? How? I love your approach to challenge there and I think that's really a take home for anyone listening to this podcast, addressing any challenge in life. Is where can I communicate more to get to the bottom line of what we need to do next?

Kevin Gray:

Yeah. I mean, what is typically the cause of, or the solution to issues in your marriage, it's-

Missy Scherber:

Communication.

Kevin Gray:

...you haven't slowed down enough to even talk about what's going on and it builds resentment and...

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. Kevin, I've been so impressed with your leadership style and how you lead your team, how you lead your company, really how you led your family into this decision of taking over this business. So I want you to describe your leadership style and how you approach leadership on a day-to-day basis.

Kevin Gray:

Gotcha. Yeah, I think I'd like to look at my leadership approach as kind of being the best coach I can be, to every single person that's on the team. I mean, it's not asphalt or seal coating or site work, truck or whatever we do every day that gets me out of bed every morning. As much as I do love everything about our industry, I really have a passion for it. The number one thing that gets me out of bed every morning is an opportunity to be able to coach my team and I think that also... I mean, that helps us not only establish the culture, but you've got to have a mindfulness about that to maintain the culture. It's one thing to establish the culture and it's a whole nother ball game to keep it and to keep evolving it. Because almost the moment you... And I've been guilty of it because, there'll be excuses that, we've been too busy or I've had go run the paver, or I've been out sealing, I've had to...

I'm wearing all these hats and we all get busy and we can lose focus on nurturing the culture of our businesses. And for me, it's being available for my team and being the best role model, coach, support system, friend, I mean, whatever you want to call it. To everything, again, from the lowest paid guy to the most experienced valuable team or the person. Everyone in this organization plays a role-

Missy Scherber:

That's awesome.

Kevin Gray:

...it takes every single one of us to do what we do every day. And just being present and being a coach and just being there for our people is...

Missy Scherber:

I think that's an awesome approach to leadership, is being a coach. And my question is, and it has my wheels turning like, "okay, how could I do better there?" My question is, how do you keep yourself full when you're coaching so many people? What are the things you do as a leader to make sure, I'm full, I've got to give. I've got enough in me to give. Do you have coaches in your life? Do you have people that mentor you? How have you maintained being able to be a coach [crosstalk 00:51:00]?

Kevin Gray:

That's a great question. And typically when I'm failing at being a good coach or a leader, or engaged or as present as I should. I'm here everyday, not present, I'm talking present mentally or emotionally, is when I'm not pouring into myself enough because the tap kind of runs dryer, you give and give and give and give. And it's like, "What's filling me back up to be able to do that?" So I do still have a mentor here that I deal with, I still talk to my cousin down in Atlanta quite a bit, and then the group and the friends that I've found within TCS, especially top contracts. So especially within that inner circle, like [crosstalk 00:51:42], we lost a foreman this morning and I've talked to three of those guys already today and I'm already like, "All right, we got this, we're on to the next thing now lets man up." So you got to have a support staff because you cannot do it on your own as much as you think.

And a lot of us leaders, entrepreneurs are guilty of thinking we're superhuman, we have emotional needs, we have psychological, mental, physical needs that need to be met ourselves and [crosstalk 00:52:15] other people. And aside from my close group of friends and mentors, a big one for me is making sure that I'm getting my exercise, and for me that looks like getting out in the woods and running. I can escape when I'm out there, I don't know, it's just, I connect with nature and I get out there and I actually have time to think my own thoughts. Because us leaders too, it seems like we're always doing the thinking for so many other people all day long, I was like, "When's the last time I thought my own thoughts?"

Missy Scherber:

For myself.

Kevin Gray:

For myself, yeah. Yeah. That's where the creativity comes from, that's where your passions come from.

Missy Scherber:

Absolutely. I think you hit a few great points, that it is important to be a part of a group, a part of a mentorship group. I know I'm a part of the inner circle with Top Contractor School and Brian has as well and you just learn so much from other peers who are not in your space, you're not competing, you're just supporting and helping each other. That is very important for leaders to not let leadership be lonely for you, because that's a choice you make as a leader. Either you allow yourself to be a lonely leader, or you choose to find peers and mentors and people. But to getting out into nature [crosstalk 00:53:31] and just being by yourself, I think you also make that choice as a leader. Am I stressed and just too much going on? I get to choose if I go have that quiet time or not, because you can't be creative if it's not quiet, that's just [crosstalk 00:53:44].

Kevin Gray:

Yeah. And you got to realize that some of those things like that... And sometimes I'll do that during the workday, and I know a lot of leaders like "You can't just go take an hour during the day to go run." I'm like, "I will be better serving my company, my family, our customers, if I do take that time." However, you may interpret that it looks like I'm off not working, I guarantee you when I come back from that, that I'll be five times more productive and focused than if I weren't to take that.

Missy Scherber:

Absolutely.

Kevin Gray:

And then it's normal [crosstalk 00:54:17] that stuff, it gets very lonely.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah, it can, it can for sure. And I've allowed myself to get there as well, and now my big push is I'll never do that again after 2020, I'm not going to allow myself to not have connection with other leaders and peers. Because that's how you get through, you're not going to quit, but you'd rather not quit as a team, right? With other people. So I'm so glad you talked about that. Tell me your top goal in the next five to 10 years, as a company you've done so well on the last 10, you took a failing company that was bleeding money. You made it... you learned your first million dollar lesson in the first year that you could make a million and not make any money.

Kevin Gray:

And lose 100.

Missy Scherber:

And lose 100. So you've pushed through so many lessons and trial and error, you've gotten to this 10 year point with a great team, great people. What are the next five to 10 years look like for you? What's your top goal?

Kevin Gray:

For me it's culture. I think is to the point I don't know what else we could achieve, I don't know what else we could... I mean, we can always lay more blacktop, we can always put down more sealer, we could always hire more people. Yeah, you can always do those business things if you know what you're doing and you know how to watch budgets and plan and make smart decisions from an income and expense standpoint. But my goal is to evolve and create and continue to feed and nurture the culture here, because not only is that probably my biggest driving force like we just talked about. But I realize how many lives that can impact if we can create that here and how much we can do anything if we have great culture, I mean, anything. And a lot of the people in these industries, especially on the labor side, have... I mean, honestly, have come from nothing, a very poor upbringings and addictions and not very good education.

Whatever got them to this career path to start, especially the young people that we're actually looking for that we want to train in this industry. I mean, you talk about being able to change the path and the trajectory of not... You're breaking the cycle of what their ancestors have always been, you've changed their life and it's in turn going to change their children's lives, and probably their children. You just get them in a whole new path of living, I want to be able to pay our guys and not all of it's financial either. Just to be able to provide the resources, opportunities within our organization or even getting somebody trained well enough for where they could go take on another career somewhere or start their own business. Just continuing to... I don't know that we'll ever perfect culture, because again, that's something that I'm always questioning, but just creating the best space and place that people can imagine to come, be able... Because we're here more than we're with our families, I mean...

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. You're together all the time and you just literally hit me with a brick here of breaking the cycle of culture not mattering. Because what you just said is culture is what actually creates impact, you can give back to the community all day, but what creates long lasting impact is a good culture. But that also increases your capabilities as a company. If you want more production, you should want more culture, you should want a better, stronger, more supportive culture. That's connected to production and capabilities, not let's do more work, like you said, you can always lay more asphalt, you can always do all of that, but [crosstalk 00:58:04] what about the culture? It's amazing. Yeah.

Kevin Gray:

And then your people, they start to see that and they start feeling the impact of that. And they're like, "Oh my God." You start changing their mindset of how they live their life, how they teach their children how to treat people, how to act, how to be polite. I mean, just the general things you see, we've got one thing we do and we don't do it for publicity or... One of our guys might notice like, "Oh, if news were to see you doing, this should be all over the news. You'd get all kinds of publicity and it's not for that," but we carry... My wife actually is in charge of this, we get these gallon ziploc bags and we put, we call them houseless bags. So we put socks, waters, hydration packs, granola bars, just some stuff for homeless people. And we put them in all our crew trucks or in our dump trucks and we encourage our folks to pass them out if they see someone on the side of the road begging, or, whatever.

So we're encouraging and we're trying to be an example for our employees the best we can. [crosstalk 00:59:17]

Missy Scherber:

That's awesome.

Kevin Gray:

It's not always right, it's not always... what I do or what we do isn't always exactly what it should be, but it's trying to encourage that kind of behavior.

Missy Scherber:

Well, I think you're making serving rewarding in every capacity [crosstalk 00:59:33] when you serve others, it's rewarding. When you serve those in need, you serve the customer, you serve the family and you brought up a good point, nothing's more rewarding than watching your team grow. And that's what I've been talking to Trevor about, gosh, when they buy a new car, when they buy a new house, when their kids get to go to this... it's just it's so fulfilling and rewarding. How do we serve them more and get more out of them so they can improve their own life? And it all goes back to culture and I think you need to do a culture conference or something or...

Kevin Gray:

I know, I know.

Missy Scherber:

If a leadership conference is down the road, which maybe something's coming, I don't know. I hope that there's a platform for you to speak about culture, because I think it's just such a big missing piece in our industry that would make workforce not a problem. It's not a problem if you truly have this culture that changes people's lives, it changes the community's life, workforce Isn't an issue. So thank you for sharing these super powerful principles, I feel like the podcast was for me, I hope it was everyone else.

Kevin Gray:

You know what? This is good for me too, because I speak these things because they're what I believe in and I mean, [crosstalk 01:00:44] I don't do these right all the time by any... It may sound great right now because we're talking about it and it is what I believe and it is what we do very well but it [crosstalk 01:00:55] it reminds me of my responsibility. You can't have a good culture without being a good leader and a good coach. So this-

Missy Scherber:

For sure.

Kevin Gray:

...is kind of rejuvenating. We're halfway through the season and people are starting to get tired and it's been stressful and we've had some turn over and it's like coach Kevin, coach your team.

Missy Scherber:

Yes. I hope leaders listen to this and get that kind of reboots that they need to maintain being a good leader, maintain coaching your team, maintain improving your culture. It's halfway through the year, we're tired and I hope this inspires any field laborers or workers or potential staff members listening to this podcast to companies with good culture because they'll never leave. They'll stay in our industry, they'll be here for the long haul. So thank you again. This was awesome. We like to end it with a fun little rapid fire round.

Kevin Gray:

Oh, my gosh.

Missy Scherber:

Just to go way back to, let's start first with, what was your first job?

Kevin Gray:

Probably, I don't know, 14, 15. Picking up hay bails out of the field in my hometown of Woodford County.

Missy Scherber:

Wow. You were truly laboring there, that was preparing you...

Kevin Gray:

I was a farmer, I was a farmer.

Missy Scherber:

Preparing you well for this industry, right?

Kevin Gray:

Yes.

Missy Scherber:

What was your first car after all that time [crosstalk 01:02:11]?

Kevin Gray:

It was a 1988 Chevrolet Beretta. Burgundy cloth interior, it was sweet.

Missy Scherber:

Burgundy was a thing. If you weren't doing this, what would you be doing Kevin?

Kevin Gray:

That's a good question. Fishing. Professional fishermen, which I don't ever get to do anymore, but that's okay.

Missy Scherber:

Deep sea or fresh water?

Kevin Gray:

I like stream fishing.

Missy Scherber:

Like it.

Kevin Gray:

I like hitting a small mouth bass.

Missy Scherber:

Come on up to Minnesota my friend.

Kevin Gray:

Yeah. I know, I know.

Missy Scherber:

Got plenty of lakes up here for you.

Kevin Gray:

Yes.

Missy Scherber:

What song gets you pumped up in the morning?

Kevin Gray:

Men, it's probably Yelawolf's, Johnny Cash. So that's why everything, if you see our stuff, we got the black... So I kind of got a little Johnny Cash aura about me.

Missy Scherber:

Think that's fantastic.

Kevin Gray:

You can tell my past, you'd know why.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. My daughter loves Johnny Cash [crosstalk 01:03:14]. Who was one person you wish you could have dinner with?

Kevin Gray:

David Goggins, I would love to pick that guy's brain because it [crosstalk 01:03:25].

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. What would you ask him?

Kevin Gray:

I would ask him what the single biggest thing is to mentally... to work towards unlocking that other 70, 80% of our brain's capacity that we don't use as much.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. Wow, that's awesome. That's a whole other episode.

Kevin Gray:

I mean, that's like finding the Matrix pill or what.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. Absolutely.

Kevin Gray:

Yep.

Missy Scherber:

What is your dream piece of equipment?

Kevin Gray:

Probably a mobile super spray 2200 paver.

Missy Scherber:

I like it. What do you predict will be the biggest disruptor for your business in the next five years?

Kevin Gray:

Me.

Missy Scherber:

I like it. That's a great answer.

Kevin Gray:

Yeah. Because I think at the end of the day, it kind of how McDonald had a store, it was like, next man up. So as long as I can control myself my emotions and do things that help me be the best coach I can be.

Missy Scherber:

Yeah. And now where can people follow you and stay connected with you? Online, offline events coming up.

Kevin Gray:

I got yeah. Online, website is adcpaving.com and Facebook and Instagram, we're very active on Instagram and Facebook. Those are both @adcpaving. You can find me on LinkedIn, Kevin Gray, G-R-A-Y or also ADC Paving on LinkedIn as well. And yeah, that's for the social stuff, that's where you can find us.

Missy Scherber:

That's great. You're well worth a follow on Instagram, I love your videos. [crosstalk 01:05:08] pumped up videos, they're so good and a great way to establish culture, right? Or some of the things [crosstalk 01:05:14].

Kevin Gray:

We try to be transparent, not just for our customers, but we hope that our team is watching it too. So that it gives them a little deeper look into who we are, who we're trying to be.

Missy Scherber:

And you also may or may not have an event, we'll see how 2022 goes. But World of Asphalt is coming up in the spring and it sounds like you won't just be there, you could be a speaker.

Kevin Gray:

Could be a speaker. Yes.

Missy Scherber:

Awesome.

Kevin Gray:

We've been asked to present at World of Asphalt, along with a couple other shows. So hopefully the show circuit will [crosstalk 01:05:46].

Missy Scherber:

I agree.

Kevin Gray:

The show must go on.

Missy Scherber:

So, they can come visit you in March in Tennessee. I'm not in paving, but I'm coming to hear you speak [crosstalk 01:05:55]. You guys have some great leaders in the industry that would love to learn from.

Kevin Gray:

Indeed. We're fortunate to have you as part of our inner circle group and-

Missy Scherber:

We love it.

Kevin Gray:

...getting some other contractors, some other industries involved as well, it's gonna help all of us.

Missy Scherber:

We all help each other grow. Well, thank you again. I know you're a very busy guy, your team's hitting you up on the phone like, this guy's got to get out in the field. But thank you again, Kevin, for your time. This was a great interview. I hope we can do it again. And we'll see you in March at World of Asphalt.

Kevin Gray:

Thank you so much. This has been awesome. Really good talking to you Missy.

Outro:

And that's going to wrap up this edition of CONEXPO-CON/AGG Radio. If you like the show and think other people should listen too, make sure to subscribe and leave a review on iTunes. We'll be back next time with another great guest. Until that time, be sure to visit conexpoconagg.com/connect, for even more ways to connect with the industry.