Kent Waide inducted into NCMA’s Hall of Fame

Kent Waide, former owner of Ruby Concrete Company, inducted into the NCMA Hall of Fame.

Kent Waide, former owner of Ruby Concrete Company in Madison, Kentucky, was presented with NCMA’s Hall of Fame award on March 2 at the association’s Annual Meeting held at The Westin at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

NCMA’s Hall of Fame award is presented to the industry’s most valued participants whose careers are highlighted by continual accomplishments on the industry’s behalf, and who have demonstrated unquestioned dedication to NCMA’s highest values. Induction into the Hall of Fame also bestows Honorary Membership to the association.

Kent grew up in, and derives much of his identity from, his hometown of Madisonville in Western Kentucky. He briefly left his home state for Oklahoma to swim competitively for Oral Roberts University before returning home to work and completing the next phase of his education, obtaining an MBA degree in finance from Murray State University in 1991. All that study in finance naturally put him in a position to become a banker.

Like many of NCMA’s Hall of Famers, Kent’s path to the concrete masonry industry originated with family. Kent’s father, Harry Waide, started working at Ruby Concrete in 1953. Harry worked his way up in the business and eventually became the owner. After 12 years in banking, Ken joined his father in the family business in 1998.

With his return to the concrete masonry business, Kent knew he needed to update his understanding of the industry and hone new leadership skills. He turned to NCMA and learned from the top innovators of the day.

In 2008, the family embarked on the construction of a new production facility, designed to help the company move beyond its roots as a supplier to the coal-mining industry.

His competitive drive and his natural activism led him to become a passionate advocate for the commodity checkoff program for concrete masonry.

In 2018, Kent was named NCMA’s Chair of the Board. Many were surprised that he could convert his deadpan stoicism into impressive oration.  He delivered one of the more notable addresses in which he challenged the audience to imagine what the future can be for concrete masonry.

During his year as Chair, the association embarked on a new branding effort. His only request in the process was “any color other than orange!” And yet… that’s what he got.

With a great appreciation for history, Kent could not have been more honored to serve as the association’s chair during NCMA’s 100th Anniversary and to preside over the centennial celebration in Chicago.

In the fall of 2018, Kent hosted key meetings of the NCMA Board in his home state of Kentucky. Asked what he appreciates most about his experience with NCMA, he notes the relationships and shared experiences with true friends cultivated through a common mission and vision.

Things changed dramatically for Kent in his family in 2019 when the bank recalled the loans that Ruby Concrete had undertaken to help transform and diversify their business for the future. While frustrated and disappointed, Kent never lost faith that God simply had other plans for him.

Today, Kent is still helping Western Kentucky businesses, and in particular, manufacturing companies grow and thrive. He is educating and consulting with manufacturing companies through the Advantage Kentucky Alliance, part of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a state-federal program under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

His analytical nature lends itself to other passions, such as golf, where he has been known to “school” a few of his other industry colleagues.

But his competitive drive can clearly be traced to swimming. An accomplished competitive swimmer himself, to many in his hometown, he is known better as Coach Waide.

Kent has been blessed to share his life and successes with his family that he adores and who equally loves him back.

“No one is more deserving than you are for all the hard work and effort you put into our association over the years. You focused your efforts on the entire masonry industry and I thank you for that. – Tom Finch, Vice President Sales & Marketing, RCP Block & Brick, Inc.

Kent is humbled by this recognition for which he is so deserving. NCMA is pleased to induct Kent Waide into its Hall of Fame.

For a PDF copy of this press release, click here.

Published April 4, 2022
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