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A fleet of sand and gravel

image Back row (L-R): Brandon Hall, Danny Fuller, Robert Humphries. Front row (L-R): Sherri Pekrul, Cherish Fuller, Sheila Gorman, Patty Boyd, and Kaye Nimitz, of Texas Sand & Gravel

DALLAS/FT WORTH -If Kaye Nimitz’s name sounds familiar, there’s a good reason for it: her husband, Charles, is the third cousin of the famed Admiral Chester Nimitz, commander of the Pacific Fleet during World War II.

 

 

 

 

 

    These days, however, Nimitz’s war is in the business world, and she’s winning.
    Texas Sand & Gravel started in 2004. Nimitz had a friend in the industry who was planning on closing her business. Nimitz was her bookkeeper. This lady suggested to Nimitz that she start her own sand and gravel company, with her (Debbie McCauley) providing the mentorship.
    “I guess I just fell into it,” Nimitz said. Nimitz’s background was varied: she had been a pre-school minister at her local church, and then sold decorations for Home Interiors and Gifts for 15 years. “That’s where I acquired a lot of my skills,” to run a business, Nimitz said, being trained by Home Interiors president Mary Crowley. This came in handy, as she had no working knowledge of a construction-type company like Texas Sand & Gravel.
    Bottom line: “God is the one who usually puts me where I am,” she said.
    There were a lot of parallels to her experience at Home Interiors and a sand and gravel company. Nimitz had to train those under her, instill her vision for the business to them, motivate them and then empower them.
    When it came to learning about the actual nuts and bolts of her company’s product - sand and gravel and how things were done in the yard - Nimitz said it was relatively simple. She just went out into the field to see first hand what it was like. She went into the gravel pits to learn about the different types of materials and what they were used for. She sat on the jobs and learned about the trucks and how the product was shipped.
    “I just got out there and learned,” she said.
    When Nimitz started, she did so with only $500 and credit. She delivered to her customers, they paid her, and she paid her creditors.
    “I collected my money and started building my company,” she said.
    “My philosophy was I really wasn’t working for anybody but the Lord anyway,” Nimitz said. One lesson she learned along the way was: “Don’t just try and sell something to someone. Find their need and try to fill it.”
    Texas Sand & Gravel has delivered all over the state and into Oklahoma. Nimitz has five people working for her; she subs out the truck drivers who deliver. Nimitz will get her materials that are closest to the customer.
    Nimitz’s daughter, Cherish, is her partner at TS&G. Cherish and her husband Danny own the By the Yard business right next door, along with Nimitz, a sister company whereby customers come by and pick up their goods.
    Nimitz’s biggest seller is flex base - recycled concrete that’s used as a base coat for roads, after it has been mixed with powder.
    At 70 years young, Nimitz has no plans on slowing down. She said she will  continue to run the show “until I’m in the grave.” Then, Cherish and Danny will get the company and go full steam ahead with its mission to get what folks need by way of getting sand and gravel materials to them.
    Building an empire has never been Nimitz’s goal. “I care about whether employees can feed their families and have a job,” she said.
    “I’m blessed,” Nimitz added. “I’m going to do my best and let God do the rest.”
    Getting the right stuff out in the field to the guys who need it is essentially the same in the military as it is construction. The Nimitz name is famous for it. Now, it’s a woman named Kaye who is leading the charge.
    Texas Sand & Gravel is in Alvarado. -dsz


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Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net