Blacklidge recently lost one of its founding members and leaders, my brother, Ronnie Blacklidge, Jr. The outpouring of love shown to our family and to Blacklidge after his passing has helped us through our grief immeasurably and we are forever grateful.
My brother helped lay the foundation for growth and innovation at Blacklidge. He was a dreamer, an innovator, a gentleman and a friend to all. Ronnie taught me the importance of working hard and having fun.
Ronnie was a long-term, growth minded person who always strived to achieve more. Many things Ronnie touched or added to the company are forever a part of Blacklidge. He was a driving force behind our research and development center, BETA. When we decided to expand our operations in Tampa, Ronnie helped locate the plant site and then helped hire the employees to run it. Now, Florida is one of our biggest markets. Ronnie’s successes are many within the company and will always continue to positively influence us moving forward.
Throughout his life, Ronnie was passionate about caring for and encouraging others. His relationship with our clients is a true testament to the kind of man he was. They loved him as much as he loved them. He built real friendships, and many have reached out to us to tell wonderful stories and relay how much he will be missed. Ronnie never met a stranger or had an enemy, even treating our competitors as friends.
Ronnie loved spending free time with his family and out on the water fishing and relaxing. A passionate boater, he was very proud when his son, Tanner, a recent engineering grad, chose to work in the shipbuilding industry. I am truly blessed to have grown up working and learning beside my brother. Words cannot say how much he will be missed by all. His legacy in the asphalt business will be one of passion, growth, love for others and ambition. In my head, I can still hear him say to me, “Always innovate. Don’t be scared.”
I won’t be scared, brother. Nor will the employees of this great company you helped to build so long ago. We will continue to provide customer service that would’ve made our grandfathers proud as I’m sure they both were waiting at the Gates of Heaven. Until next time we meet, we will continue to work hard and be passionate toward building and growing this awesome family-friendly, customer-obsessed company—just like the dream we shared together so long ago. RIP big bro!