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Industry Folks - Austin Materials

image Roque “Rocky” Leal, Operations Manager

SAN ANTONIO - As of this month, Roque “Rocky” Leal has been working with Austin Materials as operations manager for one year. In his position, he oversees day-to-day operations for the field in San Antonio.

    “I handle all the outside work,” explains Leal. “Every day, I schedule the work for the following day, for the evening, or for the night shift. I go ahead of the crews to the jobsites, make sure everything’s ready to go, set up all our subs, and basically get everything ready so that when the day crew or the night crew gets there, it’s ready to go.”
    Currently, Leal is working on I-35 from the interchange with 37 to Splashtown as well as the I-10 project at Ralph Fair Road.
    “I like everything I do,” he says. “It’s teaching younger people the trade, the business. My son has followed in my footsteps and my father’s footsteps.”
    Growing up in a small town on the outskirts of Brownsville, Leal recalls the closest store was 10 miles away. So, he worked on the family farm after school. His father worked as a general superintendent and construction manager for 44 years and introduced Leal to the industry.
    After about a year of college, Leal decided it was not for him and joined his father at a paving company in the Rio Grande Valley. Eventually, work brought him north when he took a job in Houston with another paving company. When they opened a New Braunfels division, he relocated, and then he joined Austin Materials.
    Having started his construction career in 1990, Leal has been in the industry for 27 years now and he has always worked in heavy highway construction.
    He has even served his community doing the work he has done all of his life. He notes that Industrial Asphalt and Austin Materials recently did the Hays County Youth Softball Field, donating work for the parking area and roads into the park. He was one of many who volunteered his time, operating the machine and cooking lunch for everyone.
    Now that his own son, 25-year-old Rocky Jr., has grown up with his father in the trade, he works for Austin Materials too, but he’s in the Austin division.
    Living in San Antonio, Leal and his wife, Lydia, who is a full-time mom, also have four daughters. Briana, 22, is studying criminal law and will be graduating from UTSA. Miranda will be graduating from high school this year, while Angela will be starting high school and Yarely will be starting middle school. –mh


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Mary Hazlett mary@constructionnews.net