By: Taylor McPherson, Director of Communications & Community Engagement
The asphalt that you find yourself driving on during your daily commute is the end-product of numerous resources joined together to provide a mixture that is both safe and reliable. One of the beginnings of such a mixture is with processed mineral aggregates – such as crushed stone and gravel. In order to ensure quality, it’s crucial to have a top-notch Crusher Operator who can always bring their A-game. That’s where Kenneth Wooten, a.k.a. Kenny, comes in.
For more than 21 years, Kenny has been bringing his best to the table when crushing aggregates. The materials he’s crushed over the years have served the needs of our asphalt plants and wash plants well. However, it’s not just crushing materials that keeps Kenny busy – he also stays on top of maintaining equipment, manages safety of the team, and ensures materials are available to fill the orders of our plants.
While our crusher operators move from plant to plant depending on level of need, Kenny is currently based at Plant 6. In the past, he has also crushed at DeSoto Plant and North Plant, just to name a few. Either way, one thing remains the same for all who cross paths with him: Everyone loves working with Kenny.
“Kenny’s a heck of a good person,” remarked Eddie Ragsdale, Superintendent of Wash Plants. John Paul Finerson, VP of Production and Manufacturing, expressed his agreement, stating, “Kenny exhibits our core value of relationships very well. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like dealing with him. He’s as cooperative as can be.”
Moreover, his dedication to the job extends far beyond the love he shows for his team. “Not only is he just fantastic at what he does, but he’s also always willing to help with the minor things too,” said Johnny Houston, a Lab Technician at Plant 6 who works closely with Kenny.
While Kenny’s embodiment of positivity is inspiring to many, he is also known for the exceptional care he takes to monitor quality control reports and make adjustments as needed. Overall, it’s easy to see that Kenny strives to provide excellent materials. Eddie Ragsdale backed up this sentiment by adding, “He’s dedicated to making a good product when he’s crushing. He pays close attention to his samples and makes adjustments as needed.” However, Kenny doesn’t just stop at what is considered acceptable. “He always wants to know what the quality control reports are so he can continue to do better,” said John Paul.
Johnny Houston commented, “I can count on Kenny to give me a product I can use. We try to maintain a range of tolerance in our asphalt. So, if Kenny makes the rocks exactly perfect – which he’s usually pretty close – it makes my job easier.” This level of care also extends into the upkeep of the equipment resources he uses on a day-to-day basis.
“Kenny’s equipment is always kept up and in great condition. You can always tell when it’s his loader,” said John Paul. Henry Reed, Assistant Superintendent of Wash Plants, added, “Kenny takes pride in what he does – you won’t find anyone any better. He’s been exhibiting Total Process Reliability on his equipment long before we implemented it as a company.”
Teammates like Kenny – those you can count on to lend a hand – are part of what makes our family so special. His bright spirit, leadership, and dedication to exude our core values truly adds something special to the mix of our people. We are honored to recognize and celebrate this all-around great guy as our next WHO Behind What We Do. Thank you for a job well done, Kenny!