July 29, 2020
Dave Wallace and Matt Wallace Bring Father-Son Bond to Work
If there are two major life lessons Dave Wallace taught Matt Wallace while growing up, it was work ethic and responsibility.
“He made you work for what you wanted. I had to buy my cars,” explained Matt. “And, he was always around. I guess that made me the dad I am today.”
Like father, like son
Matt brought the work ethic he learned from his father to Specialty Granules LLC when, nine years ago, he joined the company Dave had been working for since 1979 as another in a line of second- and even third-generation employees.
Today, the two work, sometimes together, at SGI’s Charmian stone quarry in Blue Ridge Summit which produces roofing granules for shingles, aggregates for construction, and fines reprocessed for use in farming.
“We work together pretty well,” said Matt. “Working together makes the day go faster; it’s a lot more fun.”
When the two are working on day shift, they ride to work together. When they’re working in the same area, they have lunch together.
In addition to the occasional ride to work or lunch break together, Dave and Matt work together on projects in their spare time and, during a recent summer, built a 2,000-square-foot, three-story garage together.
Arriving to Charmian
Dave was born in El Paso, Texas, and landed in Cascade after zigzagging across the country while growing up.
“My dad was in the Air Force,” he explained. “As a kid, you didn’t know any different, so I guess it was fun.”
Dave started working at the Charmian plant as a laborer in 1979 after receiving encouragement to apply for a job there from Harry Toms, who worked in SGI’s former personnel department.
At the time, Dave was working a handful of jobs at the former Fort Ritchie Military Base bagging groceries, as a member of the base’s roads and grounds crew, and cleaning the surrounding bars after hours. Dave knew Toms from one of those bars.
“Harry said, ‘Why don’t you put in an application?,’” Dave explained.
Dave did put in an application and, like many of the plant employees, he’s worked there for decades. Today, he’s an operator in the aggregates portion of the plant.
He credits the family atmosphere as part of the reason SGI is a great place to work.
“The people. A lot of my coworkers are from the neighborhood and from school. When you get good people in, you have a great place to work.”