A group of large emulsion silohs with a yellow stair system in Roanoke, Virginia.

Terminal Spotlight: Roanoke

When one talks about the history of Associated Asphalt, Roanoke will certainly never be left out. As our headquarters and home, our Roanoke office and the Roanoke Terminal have a rich history with Associated Asphalt, dating back to 1948 when the company started and operated under the Fuel Oil & Equipment Company name.

In the beginning, the entire company operated out of what is now the Training Center on Roanoke Avenue. At this time, the company delivered heating fuel residentially. If you catch Bill Kirk in a good mood, you may convince him to sing the jingle: “Call today and live the sure-temp way!” The company grew exponentially and required an expansion of the office at least five different times. These intermittent expansions paved the way for more administrative and accounting staff, as the corporate office continued to grow.

Pivoting to Liquid Asphalt

In the early 1950s, the company expanded to liquid asphalt in Roanoke to support our longest customer, Adams Construction’s growing need for asphalt. It became a seasonal complement to the fuel oil business. Our first contract to supply approximately 1,000,000 gallons of liquid asphalt started in May of 1953, with 1,700,000 ultimately delivered.

During this time, old rail cars were repurposed as our first asphalt tanks on Roanoke Avenue. We removed the wheels and chassis and were able to leverage the storage space and coils that were already built into the cars. When it was time for more space, we upgraded a 25,000-gallon heating oil tank to hold asphalt. It’s still in use today! This was a key time of ingenuity in our history. We saw an opportunity in a new market and embraced it, paving the way forward for the company.

“All of us know about the very busy days that we have in the summer paving season, but I have many memories of busy days during the winter at the Roanoke Terminal,” recalls Bill Kirk. “On very cold days, we would be dispatching 6 fuel oil trucks, making deliveries throughout the Valley. We would also have 5 service vans working. Our phone lines would be ringing from morning into night. All of this was done without computers or cellphones. They were very different times indeed!”

“Through all those times and today, it continues to be our employees who make a difference. They’re great people to work with who take pride in what they do,” he adds.

Evolution of Headquarters

The Roanoke Avenue Terminal was the home of corporate headquarters from 1948 to 2014. While staying put was partially a financial decision, there were plenty of reasons to stay despite the rapid growth. The location allowed corporate employees to directly interact with Terminal Operators, Drivers, and other field employees. The camaraderie between employees was unmatched, and while we now operate out of the Norfolk-Southern Building downtown, we’ve made a point to keep the road between corporate and the terminal a short one.

When corporate relocated, the space left behind was repurposed into the Training Center that we use to educate and upskill our employees. We dedicated this space as part of our commitment to continued learning and personal advancement for every employee. This space serves as the perfect location for employee training at every level.

The Terminal Today

Fast forward to 2021, the Roanoke Terminal has fifteen drivers, eight lot operators, three dispatchers, one administrator, and six managers. In 2002, our 11 rail spots increased to 23 – more than doubling our transport capacity. In 2005, our Emulsions Lab was added to the property.

Mike Tyree Jr. has been with the company full-time since 2011 and was recently promoted to the Technical Services Group. He remembers when he was working as an operator at the terminal with Terminal Manager, Daniel Palmer, pumping over 75 rail cars in a week. While our modern systems are in place to reduce those kinds of operating bursts, they carry that same sense of urgency in their work today.

“It still feels like home, even with the growth we’ve had over the past 3-5 years,” he says.

Jonathan Wolcott, Asphalt Manager, has been part of that growth over the past five years: “Daniel and I started pretty much from scratch developing a new lot crew. Along with our safety administrators, we have spent countless hours on safety training, Job Safety Analysis’s, and everything pertaining to overall terminal employees.”

Since joining the company, Jonathan has ushered in the installation of two new loading racks and the installation of a new tank.

None of this could have been possible without the hard work of Terminal Manager, Daniel Palmer. He’s gone from part-time groundskeeper, joining us in 1999, through Operator and AC Manager, to becoming Terminal Manager in 2008. He’s the epitome of a servant leader who isn’t afraid to jump into action alongside his employees. His proudest moments are when he sees his team go from being strangers to acting like family at and outside of work.

“Coming to work is just another day working alongside my family,” he says. “The mindset of “Get it Done” is what we strived for and what we accomplished together as a team. There are times when it can be extremely stressful, but working together, in the end, is always rewarding.”

These are just a few of the many faces at the Roanoke Terminal who keep things running smoothly and will help our Southwest Virginia customers thrive for years to come.

paved road, single car on an open road on iceland, long paved road, liquid asphalt road, asphalt roadways

Associated Asphalt Employee Featured on Transport Topics Podcast

“You never know where life will take you, but by building good relationships along the way and walking toward every challenge, you may go much further than you ever imagined.”

Associated asphalt logo A red, red A logo, AA A logo red, AA red logo

History of the Bristol Terminal

The history with the Bristol terminal begins long before Associated Asphalt owned it.

History of the Gainesville Terminal

Associated Asphalt’s Gainesville Terminal is located about an hour and a half northeast of Atlanta, GA, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Over 33 years, the terminal has seen many changes and grown immensely since its beginning.

In September of 1988, on 14 acres of vacant land, Michael and Dale Weekley built what would eventually become the Gainesville Terminal. The company began as a liquid asphalt products marketer for Coastal Fuels, Shell, and Citgo Petroleum. The initial operation included a single asphalt tank, private rail siding, and dual-bay loading rack. It started out as a father and son duo, which cultivated success by using hard work and a family atmosphere among its employees. Family has been a core value at the Gainesville Terminal, which was seen first hand by David Lind, Dale’s stepson, who essentially grew up in the terminal. He spent much of his childhood and summers working as a helper alongside his stepfather. Through his leadership, experience, and hard work, David created a culture of safety at the Gainesville terminal that has resulted in one of Associated Asphalt’s longest-standing active safety records throughout its network of terminals.

Expanding Business

The Gainesville terminal became part of the Associated Asphalt family in 2007 as part of the acquisition of Intermont Group, LLC. Intermont owned asphalt terminals in Bristol, VA, Pineville (Charlotte), NC, and Gainesville, GA. All three terminals were acquired as part of this transaction. The acquisition of these three terminals is another illustration of the value of relationships. Bill’s long relationship with the then owners, the Rainero Family, ultimately provided the opportunity for Associated Asphalt to acquire the business. The Raineros and the Kirks certainly shared a commitment to promoting a family environment within their workplaces.

In the years since Associated Asphalt purchased the Gainesville terminal, there have been many additions and updates at the terminal, which have created opportunities for exponential growth and continued success. For example, the original storage capacity has increased from a single tank with a capacity of 350,000 gallons, to four tanks with an aggregate capacity of more than 3,000,000 gallons. Additionally, the terminal has its own rail siding, which can unload up to ten railcars at a time, as well as a second loading rack resulting in doubling the truck loading capabilities.

Gainsville Today

The Gainesville Terminal has an amazing team, all who contribute and work towards creating a well-functioning terminal. Jose Covarrubias, the Lead Operator has been with the terminal since 2001 and has played a substantial role in the growth of the terminal since his arrival. Angie Brinson began her time at the Gainesville terminal in 2010 and has become a force in the administration. Her strong work ethic and desire to help have had a direct impact on the overall success of the terminal’s operations. Joe, the terminal manager, has been with the terminal since 2019, but instantly felt welcome and a valued member of the team.

The Gainesville terminal is one where the team is a welcoming community and everyone lends a helping hand and contributes to the success and growth of this incredible terminal. Its location and smooth, reliable operations came in handy in last year’s Kubota Test Track Project nearby in Gainesville, not to mention numerous other projects over the years.

We look forward to seeing the successes this team brings to Associated Asphalt for years to come.

History Of the Greensboro Terminal

Founded on a handshake and built on the ingenuity of our team, our Greensboro Terminal remains one of our busiest locations and a reminder of the massive strides our team can accomplish.

Our Greensboro terminal has been a growing staple of the Associated Asphalt since our chairman, Bill Kirk, closed the deal on it with a handshake (so the legend goes around the site) in 2004. The terminal’s twenty-one-man crew currently supplies our customers with concentrate, base products, and specialty products when the need arises; it’s a versatility grounded in a history of innovation.

A Foundation of Problem-Solving

In 2005, the site originally was manned by a seven-member crew who oversaw the production of three base products and one additive. The complex possessed only sixteen rail spurs, eleven storage tanks, and a single tank of avgas to fuel operations. It continued in a light support role until 2011, when the Greensboro Polymer Modified Asphalt (PMA) Plant, as the site’s known today, was born.

Located about 2 hours from our Roanoke headquarters, updating and building out the infrastructure for the PMA process was a technical and operations puzzle in a region that couldn’t afford a full shut-down of the plant. But our team rose to the challenge of making necessary modifications and additions to produce the new product while still continuing to be one of the busiest throughput terminals in Associated Asphalt family. There was never any task too large for the Greensboro team.

When the expansion was complete, the Greensboro plant now possessed the ability to spot eighteen railcars on two spurs and two additional large storage tanks, not to mention additional PMA storage tanks.

A Future of Versatility

With its twenty-one teammates and fully capable facility, the Greensboro site is well-positioned to continue growing alongside the company as it services more and more customers. And with the achievement of overcoming all the site’s technical challenges under their belt, this location and its crew remain ready to solve “brain busters” that arise day and night for our customers in the years to come.

“My experience and the growth that I have witnessed at the Greensboro terminal is how supportive and considerate Colleen, Bruce, and Mark have been in their role at Associated Asphalt. They go beyond to put situations in the correct perspective, which is significant growth of a team,” Anthony Benton.

We look forward to being a longstanding solution to the region’s transportation needs for years to come.

An aerial view over Associated Asphalt's Martinsburg Terminal.

History of the Martinsburg Terminal

For the past 15 years, our Martinsburg Terminal has played a key role in liquid asphalt storage and distribution for Associated Asphalt. The search for a fifth liquid asphalt storage terminal began way back in 2003 when there was a need for more storage in the region. After exploring options in Manassas and Woodstock, Bill and other leaders reached out to Norfolk Southern (NS) for assistance, knowing the terminal location would need rail access. Thanks to their guidance, we set our sights on Martinsburg, the seat of Berkeley County, WVa.

An Undeveloped Rail Town

Martinsburg and Berkeley County have a long history with the railroad, welcoming Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad way back in 1842. The mainline ran through town and made Martinsburg a key resource for both armies in the Civil War. While the location was less developed than other terminals on our search, the rail service was still high quality and we had room to develop.

The railroad in Martinsburg is different from our other terminal locations because it is privately owned, rather than being part of NS or CSX. Forged over 100 years ago using mule-powered scoops, sledgehammers, and hand-held drills, it is currently part of the Winchester & Western Railroad (WW) and is referred to as the Winchester Mainline, running from Winchester to Hagerstown. The track also crosses through several NS and CSX interchanges, making it flexible for our transportation operations for Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia projects.

Associated Asphalt’s First Greenfield

Martinsburg is also Associated Asphalt’s first greenfield terminal. Originally an undeveloped site, this gave us the flexibility to engineer our asphalt terminal to meet our specific needs. Under the expertise of Sam Cannon, Vice President of Operations, the terminal was built custom to our needs, but not without challenges. The rocky geography of the location presented difficulties in the excavation of granite, not to mention the mountain weather.

We were proud to be able to benefit the local workforce with employees who have been there for over a decade, including David Norton, who recently got promoted from Terminal Manager to Regional Manager. Other than being one of the company’s most productive terminals from a sales volume perspective, they have done so very efficiently and safely. The long tenure of so many of the employees there and their continued commitment to each other and the company have created a shining example of how a terminal culture can be.

We look forward to supplying the region with high-quality asphalt materials for years to come! Learn more about what our Martinsburg Terminal can do for you by contacting a representative!

Associated Asphalt product "J-Band" applied to the center of a road with cars driving by.

Associated Asphalt partners with Heritage to Supply J-Band®

In partnership with Heritage Research Group and Asphalt Materials, Inc, Associated Asphalt is excited to announce they are now a supplier of J-Band® in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern US. A breakthrough technology from The Heritage Research Group’s labs, J-Band® is an innovative Void Reducing Asphalt Membrane (VRAM) and Longitudinal Joint Sealant (LJS).

Associated Asphalt originally began supplying J- Band® to contractors in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and DC. Due to successful promotion and increased geographical interest in J- Band®, our territory has since expanded to include New York City, Long Island, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

“As one of the largest independent asphalt re-sellers in the United States, it is the responsibility of Associated Asphalt to supply high-quality products that provide specialized solutions for a variety of asphalt projects,” says John Janes, President & CEO, Associated Asphalt. “To do so, we seek partners that are dedicated to the same level of quality and innovation we uphold.”

J-Band® is a proven innovation that dramatically reduces the problem of longitudinal joint deterioration by filling the air voids from the bottom up and extending the overall performance and life of the pavement. J- Band® is a game-changing process designed to save time by being part of the HMA construction process, and to save taxpayer dollars by reducing in maintenance costs.

 

 

To learn more about J-Band® or to set-up an appointment, please visit the J-Band Website and contact us today.

The History of the Inman Terminal

After 70 years of being in business, we find that we have a lot of great stories and accomplishments to look back on. One of those stories is the first of many terminal acquisitions in 1984, under the leadership of former CEO and current Chairman of the Board, Bill Kirk.

The Inman terminal was purchased from Ashmore Brothers, a former South Carolina asphalt paving contractor.  This new terminal was appropriately named Inman Asphalt, and was eventually renamed as Associated Asphalt Inman.

In 1984, there were very few rail-supplied asphalt terminals in the eastern United States. In fact, our terminal on Roanoke Avenue in Roanoke, VA was one of only five liquid asphalt rail terminals operating from Virginia through Florida. Knowing this, it was natural for the Ashmore Brothers to reach out to us when they decided to sell their asphalt terminal.

On the day of closing, Bill Kirk and his father, J.W. Kirk, continued through lengthy negotiations on the terms of purchase.  After closing the deal, the Inman terminal was in full operation to sell asphalt within a week. The first rail cars arrived from the Amoco refinery in Savannah, GA, which later became the IMTT terminal in which we operate. To bring everything full circle, the Ashmore Brothers were the first customers to receive supply from the Inman terminal.

To further showcase the smooth transition, the terminal Manager, Warren Hughes, along with four other terminal operators stayed at the terminal to become employees. Hughes went on to become Vice President, overseeing operations in South Carolina. He was instrumental in the growth of the Inman terminal and assisted in the purchase of the Salisbury terminal. During Hughes’ 22 years at Associated Asphalt, he became one of the faces of the company alongside Bill Kirk, visiting customers and suppliers across the country. While Hughes is no longer with us, his stories and impact on the organization live on.

The Inman terminal has changed over the years. Today, only one of the original nine tanks still stand. In addition, the original office, a used mobile home, was eventually replaced by the existing office building.

Today’s Inman terminal employs 11 hard-working individuals, has a capacity of over 50,000 tons, and has three rail sidings able to accommodate up to 28 cars.

Associated Asphalt Appoints Bill Kirk as Chairman and John Janes as President and Chief Executive Officer

Associated Asphalt Partners, LLC (“Associated Asphalt”) is announcing the appointment of J.W. (“Bill”) Kirk as Chairman and the promotion of John Janes to President and Chief Executive Officer, effective April 1.

Associated Asphalt is a leader in the asphalt industry with the largest independent asphalt terminaling, storage and distribution network in the United States.  The Company’s terminal platform serves end users throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Northeast U.S. with asphalt storage capacity and related logistics infrastructure assets, including access to an expansive rail network and multiple ports capable of receiving asphalt from U.S. and international refineries.

Bill Kirk, Associated Asphalt Chief Executive OfficerThe success of the business cannot be separated from the leadership and influence of Bill Kirk.  Bill joined Associated Asphalt in 1976 and was named President in 1988 and CEO in 1999. Over this period, Bill led the diversification and expansion of Associated Asphalt from a single terminal in Roanoke to 35 terminals across 10 states.  Bill has commensurately garnered the respect of industry participants, having served as Chairman of the Asphalt Institute twice, in 2004 and 2011. 

Bill’s leadership extends beyond business results, as he is known for instilling sound operating principles and integrity in the company.  Bill nurtured the importance of environmental stewardship and social responsibility into the fabric of the business, while maintaining a tight knit, family-oriented culture for employees and partners.  Bill has worked closely with John Janes and the senior management team to translate his vision, principles and passion for the business into results and strategic growth plans.

John Janes, Associated Asphalt PresidentJohn Janes, the company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer, has more than 25 years of experience across energy markets.  He has a demonstrated track record of leading supply purchasing, developing customer-oriented solutions, managing storage and logistics infrastructure and directing teams.  John has worked as the company President, teaming with Bill and the senior management team since 2007, and he was appointed Chairman of the Asphalt Institute in 2016. Prior to joining Associated Asphalt, John held senior management positions with Koch Materials / SemMaterials for 17 years.

“I’m incredibly grateful for having had the opportunity to lead Associated Asphalt over the past forty years and look forward to continuing to contribute to its future successes in my new role,” said Bill Kirk.  “I have the utmost confidence that John is ready to steer the company through the next decade given his unparalleled relationships and industry knowledge.”  

“Bill is a true legend in the asphalt industry, and I am honored to have worked by his side for the past 12 years,” said John Janes.  “Bill’s proven track record, decades of experience and industry connections will be invaluable to me and the rest of the senior management team as we execute our strategy to serve as the industry leader in each of the markets we serve.”  

Under the new organizational structure, John will provide day-to-day oversight for the business and Bill will move into the role of Chairman.   John and the Associated Asphalt team will continue to look for opportunities to formulate innovative products, provide important linkages from suppliers to end markets, and partner with other industry players and the community.

About Associated Asphalt

Associated Asphalt is a world-class, midstream and logistics platform linking refineries with end markets across the Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern and Northeastern U.S. The company stores, blends, transports and sells a diverse mix of asphalt products through 35 terminals consisting of approximately 6 million barrels of shell capacity.  

The company’s terminals are directly accessible via rail and/or water, with logistics further supported by rail cars, trucks and trailers.  Associated Asphalt’s storage capacity and connectivity allows the company to offer year-round, ratable offtake to refiners. Associated Asphalt has developed strong relationships with a broad group of refineries and global trading firms. Associated Asphalt is owned by management and an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners. 

More information about Associated Asphalt may be found at www.associatedasphalt.com.

The History of Mariani Asphalt

As Associated Asphalt has grown over the years, it’s important to reflect on the pioneers in asphalt that make our company what it is today.

One such pioneer was Estavio (Edward) Antonio Mariani and his family with Mariani Asphalt. In the middle part of the twentieth century, Mariani invested and built a business that continues to leave a legacy today.

Humble Beginnings

Estavio Mariani was an Italian immigrant who stowed away on a boat from Italy at the age of 12 to come to the United States. He settled in the Richmond, Indiana area and went to work for a general contractor. He saved up money along the way, and when he turned 18, he went back to Italy to get his family. His family settled in the United States and eventually became American citizens.

Estavio continued working in the Richmond area until 1944 when he moved to St. Petersburg, FL. After spending a few years dabbling in retirement, construction, and real estate, Edward started what would become known as E. A. Mariani Asphalt Co. in 1947. At that time, asphalt was experiencing some marked improvements from earlier versions. Asphalt experts had been tasked to find a better surface that could withstand heavy loads like military planes that carried heavy cargo.

As asphalt technology continued to progress, Mariani Asphalt helped supply asphalt to pave growing cities in midcentury Florida. In fact, Mariani Asphalt was one of the first tenants of the Tampa Port Authority, occupying a small sliver of land in the heart of the Port of Tampa across from the Amoco Oil terminal.

A Family Business

In 1954, Estavio passed away and his son, George, moved from Richmond, Indiana, to Tampa to take over the business. George Mariani started growing the business, moving from just asphalt emulsions to asphalt cements. He grew the trucking fleet and also started Gem Seal in 1957, which was a pavement preservation and maintenance company that produced coal tar and asphalt driveway sealers as well as distributed other pavement related products and equipment throughout the southeastern United States.

In 1977, George’s son, George Jr., joined the family business and continued the growth his father and grandfather had started. In the late 70s, Mariani Asphalt took over ownership of the asphalt tanks at Amoco Oil. Within the next few years, the company moved into a new emulsion facility, which is still in use today. This move gave the business room for material production and space to park the trucks and trailers.

In 1994, Mariani Asphalt purchased the current 19th Street terminal from Chevron, more than doubling the asphalt cement storage capacity from the old location. Mariani Asphalt also got into the asphalt export business, starting with asphalt emulsions and then expanding to all asphalt products, exporting to Aruba, Bermuda, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos and the Cayman Islands among others. The last major growth project for the Mariani family was the construction of the polymer plant at the 19th Street terminal which was put in service in 2002.

In addition, Mariani Asphalt’s quality control testing laboratory grew during this time into a full service testing lab known as Bituminous Technologies, doing research and development, mix-designs and outside quality control testing for customers, vendors, and suppliers.

A Growing Partnership

While Mariani Asphalt did not expand outside of Florida, it grew over sixty years from Estavio Mariani being the president, sales man, and mill operator to the largest asphalt emulsion supplier in the state of Florida, selling 15-18 million gallons in its prime and supplying asphalt material all over the state and into southern Georgia. Mariani Asphalt was very active in the asphalt industry, serving on the boards and technical committees of ASTM, Asphalt Institute, AEMA, and others. Quality and Customer Service were always priorities and what earned the company its reputation as leader in the industries served.

George Mariani Jr. passed away in 2000, leaving the company to his five children. Only two worked for the business, and after years of interest from larger companies, the decision was made to sell the company. In June of 2007, Associated Asphalt was chosen as the right fit due to its similar family background, culture, and commitment to quality.

Since being acquired by Associated Asphalt, Mariani Asphalt has continued to grow. They expanded the polymer plant twice and tackled numerous other projects at both 19th Street and the Emulsion terminal.

In 2019, the decision was made to move from the name Mariani Asphalt to Associated Asphalt. Combining the rich history of Mariani and the forward momentum of Associated Asphalt, we have continued to lead the way in the asphalt business in Florida. The quality control testing lab, Bituminous Technologies, has expanded and is doing more research and development than ever, collaborating with our vendors and suppliers to develop new products that will help Associated Asphalt throughout our footprint. In addition, the export business has seen growth.

We are honored that we get to partner with longstanding and successful companies to continue to lead the way in asphalt in Florida and across the country.