By Diana Granitto
Once again, we are pleased to share the stories of 20 concrete contractors that may not be America's biggest but have taken other roads to success, such as technical innovation, safe practices, industry partnerships, and niche marketing, to name a few. Some of these companies are constructing projects on the other side of the planet. Others are just as proud to report that "Our employees live, work, and play in Charlotte and are vested in our communities," and "I am living my childhood dream to help to build Chicago."
When you read these profiles you may feel that your company fits right in - or stands out. Either way, tell us your tale. Next year we will profile another selection of America's Concrete Contractors.
Innovation in Beauty and Function
When Tom Ralston took the reins of the family business in 1989, the third-generation contractor gradually developed a focus on decorative concrete. Tom Ralston Concrete aims to provide clients with unique, artful creations and to offer employees the opportunity to express their innate talents.
In a close relationship with concrete supplier Granite Rock, Tom Ralston frequently works with their chemist on unique mix designs. For example, they recently designed a mix using nine additives for a bench with drain holes in the seat that was perched on an ocean shelf along the Pacific shore.
Ralston presents seminars on topics such as concrete countertops and marketing decorative concrete. He has written two books on the subject: Cast-In-Place Concrete Countertops and Sculpting Hillsides with Decorative Concrete (See the June 2014 issue of CONCRETE SURFACES for an excerpt from Sculpting Hillsides). His inventions include a system to produce sawcut lines without a saw and the Lumi Lumi concrete brand that uses luminescent aggregates and sands.
Tom Ralston Concrete
SANTA CRUZ, CALIF.
CEO: Tom Ralston
In Business: 25 years
2013 Revenue: $2.6 million
See more of the contractor's featured at Concrete Construction.