Date: August 13, 2003

Chamber names Chaney Enterprises Business of the Year

Written by: Chris Baker on behalf of the Charles County Chamber of Commerce

To quote Yogi Berra, it was like deja vu all over again.

The scene: A cold mid-January evening at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Community Center. Charles County’s business leaders have gathered for the presentation of the prestigious Reed W. McDonagh Memorial Business of the Year Award.
Former chamber president Robert A. Heier reads the list of nominees. A hush falls over the room. He opens the envelope and reads the name of the winner: Chaney Enterprises. The audience rises to its feet. The applause is deafening.
So far, this scene has played out twice in the last seven years. It happened in 1996, when the chamber gave Chaney Enterprises the first McDonagh Award. And it happened again this year, when the company received the seventh annual award.

“I was dumbfounded when we won this year. To be nominated is one thing, to win is an even greater honor, but to win twice ... that’s really something,” said William F. Childs IV, Chaney’s president and chief executive.

The Waldorf based company produces and/or supplies concrete, sand, gravel, stone, concrete block and construction supplies. It is the largest private employer in Charles County, with about 300 workers.

“Our company has been privileged to win many awards, but the McDonagh Award is really very special to us because it comes from the people of our community,” Childs said.

Community spirit

Few business leaders were surprised Chaney won the award again. The company is known as one of Charles County’s best corporate citizens. Six percent of the company’s net profits are set aside each year for the Chaney Foundation, which distributes the money to charities and organizations throughout Southern Maryland. The company has given to more than 180 charities. It is an annual organizer of the American Cancer Society’s annual Bull and Oyster Roast, which raised $51,000 in 2002. Their foundation is the coordinator for their annual Babe and Dick Chaney Golf Tournament, which raised $94,994 for the American Cancer Society last year. Chaney also donated $66,000 to the help La Plata recover from the April 2002 tornado, as well as $10,000 to the American Red Cross during that time. The foundation also operates a program that provides scholarships to high school students in Southern Maryland who want to pursue careers in construction, drafting, design and other building industry jobs.

“Chaney Enterprises is in the business of giving back to the communities where it does business. I believe we have shown that if a company is based on the right principles, it will prosper,” said Jessica E. Gallimore, the company’s marketing administrator.

Rich history

The story of Chaney Enterprises is the story of a family business that has grown through the spirit of entrepreneurship.
In the early 1940s, Eugene “Babe” Chaney Sr. began a small contracting firm that supplied gravel for Prince George’s County road projects. Eventually, the company expanded into construction, helping to build projects as diverse as hotels and farm ponds. On Jan. 29, 1962, Babe Chaney founded the Charles County Sand and Gravel Co., which also held a big contract with Prince George’s County. Later that year, Babe Chaney and his son, Richard “Dickey” Chaney, founded the Charles County Concrete Co. Together, these two businesses provided the foundation for the company now known as Chaney Enterprises. When their father died of cancer in 1967, Dickey Chaney and his younger brother, Francis H. Chaney II, ran the company for several years. Dickey died of cancer in July 1999. Frank Chaney turned the day-to-day management of the company over to Childs that year. The business has grown dramatically over the years.

Today, Chaney Enterprises has several divisions: concrete; sand, gravel and stone; concrete block; and construction materials and supplies. The company operates seven ready mix concrete plants, four sand and gravel facilities, two automated concrete block production plants and a 19,000-square-foot contractor grade construction materials supply store.
In 2002, Chaney Enterprises also created the Hardscape Center, which provides contractors and homeowners with landscaping supplies, decorative aggregate and stone and stamped and Decorative concrete that looks like slate and wood typically used for patios and driveways. One thing that has not changed over the years, Gallimore said, is the company’s commitment to its employees and the environment. The company has pioneered the concept of “lifelong learning” in Charles County. It regularly sends its employees to the College of Southern Maryland and other schools for professional development. Chaney is also known for its land reclamation efforts. In other words: If the company digs it up, it fixes it up.
The company has transformed some of its former mining sites into ballfields, golf courses, wetlands and farm land.

Second McDonagh Award

Chaney is the first company to win McDonagh Award twice. According to the award’s rules, a business cannot be nominated for the award if it has won in the last five years. Chamber members vote for the award winner. Ballots were mailed to the chamber’s 650 voting members in December. Approximately 200 members voted. A panel of former chamber presidents counted the ballots in January. Chamber members made the nominations. The other nominees were Active Data Systems Corp., Burger King, Century 21 All Star Properties, Chuck-O Painting, Maryland Independent, Morgan Stanley and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative Inc. Ellen Tassone of Fran’s Nu Image Inc. nominated Chaney for this year’s award. In her nomination materials, Tassone listed Chaney’s sponsorship of events such as the American Cancer Society events and the chamber’s annual Public Safety and Community Service Honors.

The McDonagh award is named for the first chamber president, who served in 1956. Other winners were Southern Maryland Oil Co. Inc. in 1998, Baldus Real Estate Inc. in 1999, Hungerford Associates in 2000, Applied Ordnance Technology Inc. in 2001 and Civista Health Inc. in 2002. “It really says something about Chaney that it has now won the McDonagh Award twice,” said Harry A. Shasho, the chamber’s president.

“Each of this year’s nominees represent the spirit of Reed McDonagh, who spent his life working to make Charles County a better place to live, work and visit. The chamber congratulates each of them,” Shasho said.

AT A GLANCE: CHANEY ENTERPRISES LP

Chairman: Francis H. Chaney II

President and chief executive officer: William F. Childs IV

Employees: Approximately 300, including 100 Charles County residents

Business: Produces concrete, sand, gravel and asphalt; supplies construction companies with equipment; operates the Concrete Store retail business in Waldorf; operates the Hardscape Center, which provides homeowner and landscaping companies with equipment

Headquarters: 12480 Mattawoman Drive, P.O. Box 548 Waldorf, Md.

Telephone: 301-932-5000

Web site: www.chaney-ent.com

E-mail: info@chaney-ent.com

Founded: Jan. 29, 1962