Press Release
September 26, 2003

Graniterock Team Named To Fortune “Best Bosses”

103-Year Old Company Celebrates Inclusion on Winning Workplaces List

Watsonville, CA based Graniterock was named to the prestigious list of Best Bosses by Fortune Small Business (FSB) Magazine. Managers (Best Bosses) are those who have created innovative and productive workplaces that are able to adapt and thrive in an era of economic insecurity, layoffs and market challenge. To compile the list, FSB partnered with Winning Workplaces, a not-for-profit organization in Evanston, IL, which helps small businesses adopt successful workplace practices. FSB’s “Best Bosses” workplaces are diverse in gender, geography, and market sector, but they all have created dynamic corporate cultures that can stand up to anything this unstable economy throws their way. The survey of the “Best Bosses” appears in the October 2003 issue of FSB, on newsstands October 3 and available at fsb.comon Wednesday, September 24.

Fortune decided to recognize Graniterock’s achievement in a unique fashion, because they found that all Graniterock Team Members perform the work of being “Graniterock’s boss.” The article on Graniterock begins with a photo collage of many Graniterock Team Members—the photo page is titled “The Rock Stars.” The article states “of all the companies submitting applications for our Best Bosses issue, [Graniterock] was the only one that did not nominate a CEO or president.” Instead, Graniterock Team Members—all 700 employees—were put to the best boss test. Graniterock Team Members do perform their jobs as bosses—responsible for decision making and results.

“When asked what it takes to be on the list, I think the answer surprises most people,” said Bruce W. Woolpert, president & CEO. “While pay and benefits are important, they do not alone cause an individual to rate an employer as a great place to work. For example, the role of a manager is not to direct people’s activity but instead is to support the learning and skill development of others so each person can lead his or her own work. This gives each team member unusual control and authority to direct how his or her work gets done and how it is improved. At Graniterock, we call this self-leadership,” Woolpert stated.

The leaders recognized by FSB and Winning Workplaces include:

Gary Erickson, the founder and CEO of Berkeley, CA-based energy-bar maker Clif Bar-who is working to reduce his company’s ecological footprint on the planet;
Eileen Fisher, the founder and CEO of the Irvington, NY-based apparel company that bears her name;
Michael P. Mulqueen, a former Marine Corps Brigadier General, who runs the Greater Chicago Food Depository;
Rosemary Jordano, founder of Boston-based ChildrenFirst, the country’s leading provider of corporate-sponsored backup child-care coverage;
Celeste Ford, CEO of Palo Alto-based Stellar Solutions, an aerospace engineering services firm that does contract work for government agencies; and
Bruce Woolpert, CEO of Watsonville, CA-based Graniterock, a supplier of construction materials including ready mix concrete, asphalt, rock, gravel, and sand, and a general engineering contractor. In the Fortune October issue, Woolpert discusses how Graniterock sets the standard for the Best Bosses.
“We looked for managers who find novel ways to demonstrate how deeply they value their employees,” says Ellyn Spragins, Editor-at-Large for FSB. “This results in a stable workforce that can create a cascade of benefits-higher profits, greater trust and improved teamwork.”

“All of the leaders hold an absolute set of core values,” says Kenneth Lehman, founder and chairman of Winning Workplaces. “But, the leaders also show that a great workplace can be tailored to the specific styles, personalities, and needs of each business.”

Graniterock was founded on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1900. The Company has operations in Watsonville, Santa Cruz, Seaside, Salinas, Hollister, Aromas, Felton, Oakland, San Jose, Redwood City, and So. San Francisco. Graniterock Pavex Construction Division is a significant heavy engineering contractor building roadways, airports and private commercial and residential projects. Graniterock has also been the recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the Governor’s Golden State Quality Award.

For more information, contact:
Bruce W. Woolpert, Graniterock, 831.768.2001
Keith Severson, Graniterock, 831.768.2063