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Annie Tooley

Jim Kelley

Operations manager

Q: What was your role at RAWSO, and what were your responsibilities?

I was the field manager at RAWSO, and I started there in spring 2019. I coordinated trucks and took care of deliveries to our jobsites, which were things I had a lot of experience with my previous jobs. All of the trucks we used at RAWSO were owned by independent truckers, so there was sometimes quite a bit of coordination to be done.

I also did a lot of work locating dump sites, finding people who might want rock or dirt fill. In addition, I found material like stone, rock, and dirt—things of that nature that we might need for a job. Finally, I helped RAWSO buy and service some equipment, like fuel trucks and service trucks.

Q: What was your work experience before coming to RAWSO?

I had more than two decades of experience in this industry. Prior to coming to work for RAWSO, I lined up independent truckers, as well as company trucks, for other construction companies. For much of my career, I was an owner/operator and trucking coordinator. I handled both of those roles at the same time.

Q: What did you enjoy about your job with RAWSO?

I liked how this position allowed me to play to my strengths. My strong suit was that I’d been doing similar work for many years, and I knew a lot of people. I had a lot of contacts, as far as the trucking community was concerned. Because of that experience, I could provide the trucks that RAWSO needed, through my contacts in communities all across the state. Those connections also helped me find helpful information about potential dump sites or locate stone and dirt materials.

Q: Why was RAWSO such a great company to work for?

RAWSO was very different from companies I’d worked for in the past. Dylan was a great owner. He did a really good job of putting together a team. Whether you were in construction or playing football, it was a team effort. If your football team only has a left guard, a tight end, and a running back, you’re not going to win any games. But if you put together 11 good people, who have all played the game before, you’re probably going to win a lot of games.

At RAWSO, Dylan put together a team of people with experience, and that helped this company to be successful and make money. Construction is a very competitive business, so you need to be on top of your game, or you’re not going to last. Dylan attracted good people by allowing us to keep our lives in the proper perspective.

So many other companies in this industry put too much stress on their people. You’re putting in a lot of hours, you’re working nights, you’re working every Saturday and most Sundays—when you’re doing that, your employees start to feel that pressure. Dylan not only allowed you to keep your life in perspective, but he encouraged it.

Q: How did you like to spend your free time when you weren't at work? Any hobbies or interests?

My priorities were faith, family, and work, in that order. I married my wife Vanessa in 1986, and she was a registered nurse. We had two little grandsons who kept our attention on the weekends. They had soccer games and other events every weekend, and it meant a lot to me to have the peace of mind that I’d be able to attend their games without work calling me in.

Vanessa and I also loved going to the beach in Destin once a year for a vacation. I really loved to cook as well. I had a big smoker that was almost as big as a pickup truck, and I used it to cook for community events, church events, and things of that nature.

Want to build a meaningful career in the Dirt World like Jim? Learn more about the career paths you can have in this industry.

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