Owner of Silverthorne’s Everist Materials hopes recent merger will give staff opportunity to grow
March 25, 2017
In 1965, the Everist family moved to Summit County. The family would become a pillar of the community, owning the Maryland Creek Ranch plot, which is now the development site for one of Silverthorne's largest housing projects. Around 220 of the 1,053 acres of land were also allocated to the family company: Everist Materials, LLC.
The roots of Everist Materials were set into motion by Lucious Garland Everist in 1876. Tom Everist, from the current generation, said that the company first started in coal, before moving on to gravel hauling. The company eventually moved toward what it does today, production and construction. In 2002, Everist Materials became its own entity. By then, the family had established themselves in Silverthorne, where the company pulls gravel from the land just north of Maryland Creek off of Colorado State Highway 9.
Tom is the fourth generation from the Everist family to run the company. He's been working with Everist for the better part of the last 45 years. But as he started to near retirement age, a decision had to be made.
In early January, Denver-based Summit Materials, Inc. announced that it was in talks to acquire Everist, as well as a concrete company in Arkansas. Adding the company to its portfolio is part of a business strategy that Summit Materials has long used to expand into both new and existing markets in the construction industry.
“Change is difficult. That’s what I’ve told my employees there when I said goodbye, that I really think they’ll look back in a couple years and everybody will realize that it made sense and almost everybody will be in a better place.”Tom Everist
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Although the decision was difficult for Tom, he felt that the time was right to sell Everist, adding that the next generation of the family was not interested in the gravel business.
"It was the right time. Businesses change and evolve to fit the circumstances," Tom said. "I'm glad to see (Summit Materials was) the successful purchaser because I view them as a well-run organization."
The company has been in the Everist family for more than 140 years, and at the time of the acquisition, Tom estimated that 125 people were employed during peak season. The company had also expanded from their location in Silverthorne to six other locations including Breckenridge and Kremmling.
Tom added that since it was time to sell, Summit Materials was the best choice because of their focus on environmental sustainability as well as corporate responsibility.
"They run a good business and they're also good corporate citizens," Tom said. "I think they can continue the traditions of the Everist family management style."
Russ Larsen, the Colorado chief operating officer for Kilgore Companies — another construction business under Summit Materials — said that the company kept as many of the staff at Everist as possible once the acquisition was finalized. Staff also had the opportunity to switch into open positions within Summit Materials and its affiliates.
"We always want to give people opportunities," Larsen said. "Whether its an opportunity to learn a little bit more, maybe with some additional training or experience, and with our broader scope of companies, they are able to look at advancement opportunities maybe beyond what was available at Everist."
He added that sustainability has been a focus for Summit Materials. During a previous project in the Aspen area, Summit Materials installed osprey nesting polls.
"It's a little bit of a way to try and say 'OK, what can we do to help enhance what's being left,' rather than just 'OK, we're done,'" Larsen said.
Tom has also moved toward running a greener company with Everist in Silverthorne. The company used plastic alligators to scare away geese and ducks while working on a wetland reclamation project in Silverthorne. They were given the Jack Starner Memorial Award for their efforts.
He continues to work on pond and lake reclamation with his new project, the housing development at Summit Sky Ranch. The lakes on the property were rebuilt off the gravel quarries located there. The development is also set to be the first dark sky community in western Colorado.
"We're proud our record, our business record and our environmental record. I think Summit Materials has the same ethic," Tom said.
Tom will have a home in Summit Sky Ranch and is looking forward to spending more time in the county. Although he is no longer president of Everist Materials, he is still the landlord, helping him to stay involved in the company his family spent a hundred years building. While he said that change is hard, he hopes that the acquisition will help the staff that he's come to know at Everist grow and thrive with Summit Materials.
"Change is difficult. That's what I've told my employees there when I said goodbye, that I really think they'll look back in a couple years and everybody will realize that it made sense and almost everybody will be in a better place," Tom said.
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