Up Close: Ryan Fontes

Posted by Rose Ann Woolpert on Mar 18, 2015

Ryan F

For Ryan Fontes, concrete dispatcher for Graniterock in Monterey County, every day on the job brings new and interesting challenges. “There are so many variables with concrete,” explains Ryan. “As we say around here, every delivery has a story. It can be something unexpected that happens in traffic on the way to the job, or something on the job site. Contractors, inspectors, concrete pumpers, finishers – with everyone involved it can be pretty intense at times. But at the end of the day, it’s great to know you’ve achieved your goals.  We’re here to succeed, and everyone is upbeat when we have a good, busy day.” 

A busy day for Ryan means there may be thirty or forty different concrete orders from locations throughout the county - from King City north to Hollister; from Watsonville down all the way to tiny Lucia on the coast south of Big Sur. The job of a dispatcher can be like a game of three dimensional chess, with the added pressure of on-time delivery. Concrete is a perishable product, and timing is crucial for everyone involved.  Ryan says, “You can estimate how much time it will take to get to the job site, but scheduling is never the same with dispatch.” 

Ryan enjoys talking with our customers, making sure they have the correct concrete mix designs for the job, and sometimes working with inspectors who come in to verify mix designs on site before shipping. “The wrong product can be an expensive mistake,” explains Ryan. “Before a job comes up, many of our customers rely on Graniterock’s Research and Technical Services (RTS) lab to get the mix design they need for their project.”

Before joining Graniterock, Ryan spent several years specializing in interior and exterior decorative concrete overlays, coatings and sealers. “A friend from Salinas High and I really enjoyed car racing, but we needed a way to pay for our hobby.  Starting small, we invested in a northern California distributorship and concentrated on remodels of motels and commercial buildings. I would set up our jobs and do the hands on training. There were always new products and materials to learn about, new areas to see, and new people to meet and work with each day. It was very fun.”

When he married his wife Sadie in 1997, Ryan was working most weekends and spending far too much time on the road.  Twins Cody and Mason were born in 2000, and Ryan came to work for Graniterock. He started out as a mixer truck driver and he began his dispatch job in 2005. The Fontes family expanded again just last June with a third son, Jaxon.  “Sadie and I wondered how this would work out, with Cody and Mason now thirteen and in junior high. But our little guy has helped us all grow closer, and the boys are very involved with their little brother.”

Ryan and Sadie spend most of their “away from work” time at their home in Chualar, where Sadie keeps barrel racing quarter horses. Although barrel racing is on hold since Jaxon was born, the whole family enjoys living in the country.  Ryan’s car racing hobby has given way to mountain bike riding, and having a new baby at the same time as teenagers keeps everyone on their toes. 

Continuous improvement is a Graniterock core value, and Ryan has already added concrete batching knowledge to his set of skills. He sometimes helps out with batching on Saturdays or at night if the need is there.  In the future, he wants to learn more about mix design and specification requirements.  “I enjoy learning new things because it keeps life challenging,” Ryan says.” It is fun and rewarding when there is always something different, a constant change of pace.”

Back to all Blogs

Recent Posts