OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — Through the door or across the equipment yard, current Dolese President Mark Helm didn’t get very far when he started with the company before someone started filling him in on the Dolese story.
“Early on you hear a lot about the Dolese culture and the Dolese history,” he says.
Roger Dolese was still around when Mark came on board.
“He had a strong personality,” says Helms of his predecessor.
Roger was the son of co-founder Peter Dolese who, with his three brothers, started installing sewer lines around Chicago in 1902.
“We’re still building things,” says Helm. “We’re still crushing rock.”
One brother bowed out.
The three remaining brothers moved west with the railroads to quarry ballast rock for railroad tracks.
When highways came along they helped build the original Route 66, the first paved State Highways 81 and 77.
Think of just about any building along those roadways and Dolese probably supplied some concrete or gravel, or bricks to help make it happen.
“You name it,” says Helm. “anywhere there’s stone you’re probably seeing some of our product in Oklahoma. You’ve driven on it. You’ve walked through it.”
Peek into one of the company dispatch centers and you’ll find computer screens and radio traffic filled with the noise of hundreds of mixer trucks and other big vehicles delivering materials from Dolese sand pits and quarries.
Kelley Coffee drives one of those trucks every day delivering ten yards of ready-mix with every load, and with a company billboard spinning behind him.
Coffee can’t help but point with pride the finished projects he was involved with.
“My wife and kids actually get tired of me telling them that I helped build that,” he says.
Current Dolese employees will mark the company birthday but it won’t be a huge blowout.
That wasn’t Roger Dolese’s way, and besides, Oklahoma’s largest supplier of concrete, crushed stone, gravel and sand is still too busy building where we live, drive and work.
For more information on the Dolese Bros. history and the company go to www.dolese.com