Equipment World

January 2014

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Page 38 of 67

contractor of the year finalist | by Amy Materson | Third-generation paver creates own road to success Chris Fink Bossier City, Louisiana Dale's Paving Year started: 1982 Number of employees: 13 Annual revenues: $5 to $7 million Markets served: Asphalt paving, concrete paving, sealcoating O perating the business started by his late father Dale, third-generation contractor Chris Fink knows a thing or two about paving. Performing a mix of public and private work; residential and commercial, Chris is known throughout the Shreveport area as being a leader and a go-getter. With the help of his wife, Tracey, who handles much of the back office work, Chris has taken the company far beyond what his father would have ever expected. The value of diversification When Dale Fink was running Dale's Paving, the company handled asphalt projects only. He had worked with Chris' grandfather W.S. Bowman, who erected asphalt plants across the country and worked for another local paver, Roy Cook and Sons (papaw Bowman left Cook in 1968). Leaving Cook in 1982, Dale formed his company and began building a reputation as a skilled and meticulous contractor. He laid a solid foundation for the company, developing an impeccable reputation and sticking to a narrow scope of work that he excelled in. As Chris took over the leadership of the company, he had a vision of expanding into markets his father wouldn't traditionally have been interested in pursuing. Gone were the days when the company wouldn't branch out into concrete. Chris aggressively pursued clients in the concrete market, says Tommy King of Builders Supply, who has sold Dale's Paving concrete for more than 10 years. "He's just one of those young men who is not afraid to diversify and do what he needs to do to improve in this industry and this market," he says. Although diversifying into concrete was a natural progression for the business, Chris has also taken some non-traditional paths that, at first glance, might not seem like a natural fit. For example, Chris and Tracey owned River Cities Express Car Wash, a business that wouldn't seem to align with his construction company. It turns out, Chris performed all the maintenance and repair work for a number of car washes in Bossier City, and he thought he could run one just as well as the next guy. He built the car wash from the ground up, and today it's a slick, professional operation that complements his contracting business. | January 2014 39

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