AABP Award 728x90

A Closer Look: Mark Heston


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How long have you been working on the launch of Ready2Mix?

It took me six years to get the business started, and we just opened in April. I kept telling everyone that we needed to be running concrete as a business using (Cemen Tech Inc.) mixers (mobile mixers that can mix the exact amount of concrete needed for a job). This is something that Des Moines should have done a long time ago, because right now we are the only ones (utilizing mobile mixers that charge only for the amount used).

Do you have a lot of employees working under you?

My staff right now is just three people. It’s a small staff, but a good start. As president, I oversee three trucks – that’s what we have in our fleet – but I’m hoping to have 10 trucks in the near future. In five years, I see us having 20 trucks running in Des Moines. Right now we just deliver in our area, but we are going to start delivering to Osceola and into the southern counties. Then we are going to just try to franchise it out.

What is your main priority as president?

Customer service, most definitely.

Had you planned on getting into this field of work?

Not really. I joined (Cemen Tech) as a welder because I had welded overseas in Turkey for a year and a half and I had the experience of a welder. I have been a welder for about six and a half years. But after I returned from Turkey, before becoming a welder, I poured concrete. My father-in-law worked for a concrete company, so I poured concrete for eight years. He taught me everything I know about concrete and showed me everything, so that’s when I started to enjoy working with concrete. Ultimately, that’s why I came over here (to Ready2Mix).

Did you ever think you would become the president of a company?

No, but I’m glad it happened. It proves that anyone can do anything. I didn’t go through four years of college; I could have, but I didn’t. I could have gone to a small college and wrestled, but instead I went overseas and welded in Turkey right out of high school. From there, I have just always worked hard. I have always been a blue-collar worker, and now it’s finally paying off.

What kinds of things are you learning in your new leadership role?

I’m learning how to direct people, coordinate schedules and keep my workers busy. And I’m learning how to manage time well, as well as money. I have a budget now. Plus, I still run the paint booth (at Cemen Tech) as well as do all the (Department of Natural Resources) reports, so there’s a lot to keep track of. I have a laptop now, so I take my work home with me at night.

Do you spend your weekends relaxing or working?

Working. I am usually working on my house. I have built two houses of my own now. I love to design and build houses, and it seems like my wife and I are never done; we’re always working and building. Right now we are living in a house that we built four years ago and I’m still working on it.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

Honestly, I wanted to be a veterinarian or a wrestling coach. I grew up on a farm and my dad was a farmer. We had cattle, so I used to spend every spring pulling calves and working with the cows. My dad used to work me hard. He had me out there pulling calves when I was 9 years old and as soon as I could start walking, I was carrying buckets of feed. But as a kid, I would be with my dad every morning until I went to school. He took me everywhere. He would put me on the tractor with him and just take me with him while he worked.

What are a few words you would use to describe yourself?

Motivated. Honest. Hardworking. Trustworthy.

What is your one escape from work?

I have a Harley-Davidson, so my wife and I like to ride. That’s our escape. I also like to coach wrestling. I love wrestling. My daughter went to state, and I coached her.

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