WHO Behind What We Do: Johnny Houston

By: Taylor McPherson, Director of Communications and Community Engagement

Smooth roadways and exceptional materials aren’t something that happen overnight. More often than not, there are quite a few unsung heroes working behind the scenes on our Quality Control (QC) Team to ensure a top-notch product. While the team itself ensures quality in our incoming and outgoing materials, the team is also represented by quality teammates.

Johnny Houston is a prime example of this in his role as quality control specialist. For 23 years, he has worked tirelessly to ensure a best-in-class product that our family of companies can firmly stand behind. However, in order to best serve our communities and customers, our QC Team must wear numerous different hats.

A typical day for Johnny and the rest of his team can consist of inspecting and testing materials, continuous communication with plants to assess mix needs, analyzing stringent sets of data and specifications, making adjustments as needed and much more.

Don Fletcher, director of quality control, shared just how challenging the job can be: “It’s a fast-paced environment where you have to make quick decisions and follow trends.” However, Johnny has become a cherished member of the team for going above and beyond in several other areas – one being the stewardship he brings along with his extensive experience.

Don joked, “I call Johnny ‘the wizard’ because there’s no problem he can’t solve. You just can’t replace his experience in the lab.” Johnny is also known to never accept the bare minimum. Instead, he’s striving to make improvements wherever possible. Don added, “He’s always looking at ways to make things more economical for the company, easier for production and more valuable to the customers… that’s just what Johnny is about.”

The QC Team has a saying that ultimately defines their day-to-day role: Test and communicate. For Johnny, that has become second nature. Howard Green, general superintendent of asphalt plants, has worked closely with Johnny for years now and spoke about his ability to communicate well. He shared, “The lab men and plant folks have to be on the same page [for production to flow well]. Johnny’s extremely good at communicating with the plants.”

In such a quick-paced environment, it takes someone special to keep those around you smiling. Don shared Johnny’s ability to lighten the mood, remarking, “What stands out to me is his humor, he can make you laugh through a tough situation.” Other beloved traits that Johnny is known for range from his enthusiasm and stellar work ethic to his proactiveness and ability to put the needs of others before his own. Howard closed with, “Johnny is dedicated and extremely knowledgeable of his craft… You just can’t say enough good about him.”

Johnny has also been lovingly described as a “walking music encyclopedia.” His team shared that he’s always bestowing his wisdom about a tune or his band. All in all, he’s been hitting the right notes with our team for more than two decades now. For all these reasons and dozens more, we’re honored to recognize him as our next WHO Behind What We Do. We’re so thankful for you, Johnny!

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