Kenny Funderburke: Fowler Flemister Concrete
Kenny Funderburke describes working at Fowler Flemister Concrete as “challenging, enjoyable, and rewarding.” He loves coming to work. According to Funderburke, his company is based on three values – integrity, honesty, and a ‘can do’ attitude. “We try to do what’s right, and I can’t think of a job that came up that we weren’t able to do, although there have been some that we chose not to do,” Funderburke stated.
Funderburke joined the ranks of the concrete industry in April 1973. He previously worked as an electrical contractor and had done some work with Fowler Flemister in the past. He heard through the grapevine that the company was looking for someone to batch concrete. “I came down and talked to Big Gus (John Augustus “Gus” Pursley, Jr.) about the job. It was paying more than I was making at the time and it seemed like a good opportunity,” Funderburke said.
As Vice President of Operations, no two days are ever the same. His responsibilities include managing the logistics of getting raw materials to the plant, overseeing the shop facility and plant, fuel tank monitoring with the EPD, DOT reporting, managing outside contractors, and “any damn thing else that comes up.” Funderburke enjoys all aspects of his job, though he tries not to climb silos any more!
The biggest challenge he faces is getting contractors to do what they promise and to do it on time. “It used to be that you could count on folks to do what they said they would,” Funderburke commented. His favorite project was a major ready mix plant upgrade that Fowler Flemister embarked on in 1994. They replaced and built new plants in Eatonton, Monticello, Milledgeville, Lake Oconee, Madison, and Greensboro. “It was an exciting time,” described Funderburke.
The sheer volume of what concrete contractors can do has increased tremendously, according to Funderburke. He is seeing a change from many small concrete placements to just a few large concrete placements. However, he countered “there is not as much attention to detail. In my mind, bigger is not always better.”
He predicts that the industry will continue to become more high-tech, from the product that is manufactured to the processes, materials, and equipment we use.