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Embracing Authenticity in the Workplace

As a Talent Acquisition and Human Resources specialist at The Heritage Group, I am not just filling roles, I am helping to build a community where everyone can thrive and contribute their unique perspectives.

Growing up, I never had a clear vision of my future career. My primary aspiration was to help people, and when it came time to choose a college path, nursing seemed the obvious choice. My love for math and anatomy in high school supported this decision. However, college-level anatomy and math were a different story, and I found myself back at square one, re-evaluating my goals.

After some career mapping and self-reflection, I settled on a Communications Studies major with a minor in Public Relations and Advertising. Though uncertain about the exact career this would lead to, I believed it was a step toward understanding and addressing people’s needs.

Upon graduating, I grappled with how to merge my desire to help others with my Communications degree. I began working at the IU School of Nursing, supporting the very students who were pursuing the path I once considered. The arrival of COVID-19 and my growing aspirations led me to explore new opportunities, eventually landing an HR Coordinator position at a retirement community through an IU connection. Despite limited HR experience, I recognized it as a potential avenue to fulfill my passion for helping others.

As I learned the intricacies of payroll, benefits and policies, I was promoted to an HR Generalist, handling all aspects of talent acquisition. I hired folks for a wide range of positions, from part-time servers and housekeepers to CNAs, RNs, and director-level roles. High turnover rates in retirement communities kept me constantly busy, but I relished the chance to help people find jobs that suited them and to ensure that employees felt heard and valued. The residents’ appreciation for the staff I helped recruit was incredibly rewarding.

I wasn’t actively job-hunting when I discovered an opening at The Heritage Group, thanks to a former supervisor who knew my skills and passions. Feeling unfulfilled in my current role, I decided to apply. The opportunity seemed perfect for my growth and learning. After a phone interview with Lisa Minter and subsequent meetings with the team, I knew this was the right fit. I felt an immediate connection with the team, able to be both my professional and playful self. Receiving the offer letter was exhilarating, though leaving my previous job was bittersweet.

Talent acquisition might seem straightforward, but it involves much more than just filling positions. It requires a deep understanding of team dynamics, job responsibilities and the qualifications necessary for the role. At The Heritage Group, the approach is different from my previous experiences. Here, the focus is on finding the right person who fits the right position at the right time. This motto is deeply ingrained into our company culture.

What I cherish most about my job is building relationships. I enjoy those initial conversations, delving into both the professional and personal aspects of candidates. I aim to understand not only their qualifications but also their aspirations and values.

Often, candidates ask me about my favorite part of working at The Heritage Group or the company culture. My genuine response is that The Heritage Group encourages employees to be their authentic selves. It’s a place where your voice is heard and valued. This is the first company I’ve worked for that genuinely welcomes diverse opinions and actively seeks feedback from its employees.

This journey has shown me that being true to oneself in the workplace is not only possible but essential for personal and professional fulfillment. Working for a business that is open, inclusive, and dedicated to authenticity has been a transformative experience.

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Driving the Future of Octane

At the Octane National Symposium, held in Indianapolis in late-April 2024, Monument Chemical brought together key players together for once-of-a-lifetime experience.

From April 22 to 24, over one hundred industry experts and technicians flew in from all over the country to swap stories and gain insight into the future of octane fuels. Monument’s Indianapolis Octane National Symposium created an intersection for proven experience and fresh perspectives to give attendees a valuable look into emerging industry trends — and how we’re taking full advantage. And true to Monument fashion, we took the conference experience to another level, hosting it at the Heritage Center with a truly one-of-a-kind tour at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“As a leader in the Octane space, it was our goal to bring together key players in our industry to share best practices on the nuances of Octane measurement,” Indresh Mathur, Director of Innovation and Customer Solutions at Monument, explained. “In addition, we shared our expanded capabilities and investments in the renewable fuels business, particularly in the racing industry, as well as how we leverage decades of history and experience through Haltermann Solutions to support our customers in all the areas they need. This Symposium is just one of many ways we’re raising the bar.”

After a night of networking and introductions, the first day of the three-day event included technical sessions and panel discussions, featuring business leaders from Sunoco, Marathon, ExxonMobil, Argonne Laboratory, and more, as well as several members of the Octane measurement and racing community.

“Our speakers were thoughtfully chosen to facilitate the most effective transfer of knowledge across the industry,” Sarves Peri, VP, Business Leader Monument Renewables and Fuels, shared. “There are a lot of highly experienced leaders entering retirement, so we wanted to give their expertise a platform to educate the young people in our field who are shaping the landscape and designing the future of Octane and Cetane measurement.”

“Following the conference, participants were eager to share positive feedback with the Monument team,” Indresh added.

“Monument did a great job coordinating the event and keeping all the attendees engaged with the presentations, while creating a relaxed, open atmosphere where we could all share insights and stories about our experiences in testing fuels,” Zachary Santner, Manager, Product Engineering and Business Optimization at Sunoco Performance Products, shared. “Building my network of resources for octane testing gave me a lot of confidence in continuing to find parts and service for our old equipment — which is extremely valuable for Sunoco and me personally in navigating any issues my team might encounter related to the knock engines.”

That afternoon, a bus took all attendees to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a special access tour led by the head of track operations. Working closely with Milestone, everyone was able not only to get exclusive access to the track itself, but also to see and learn all about a real pace car first-hand.

“I feel like Monument went above and beyond any expectation that anyone had,” Stacy Perry, Refining Analytical & Development’s Quality Programs Compliance Specialist, Marathon. “The tour of the raceway was a once in a lifetime experience for me. But my favorite part of the experience was meeting individuals who have been in the business for many years. Hearing their experience and life lessons is an invaluable practice that provides benefits to everyone. I learned more in the two days of this symposium than I have learned in the ten years I have been in the refining industry.”

Day two featured a highly technical agenda in collaboration with the Joint Regional Octane Group Meeting. Sessions were tailored specifically to these members, while all other attendees had the opportunity to tour The Heritage Lab, as employees shared the history of our research, as well as our current and emerging capabilities in renewable fuels.

“The Center was an amazing venue,” Stacy added. “I got a chance to walk around the woodland trails and fell in love with the creative world they have created!”

From one-of-a-kind tours to invaluable networking and knowledge sharing, Monument is extremely proud of the success of our first Octane Symposium. We’re grateful for our collaboration with CFR Engines Inc., the regional groups, our sponsors, and all the participants in coming together to share valuable perspectives and insights.

“Our role as an industry leader goes far beyond buying and selling Octane and Cetane reference fuels,” Sarves explained. “It’s our responsibility to understand the big picture, how the industry environment is changing, how that impacts our customers’ needs, and how we respond with solutions. And we then share that information with our partners and even our competitors. That’s what being a leader is all about, and we’re very excited about what the future has in store.”

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Fueling Discovery

In the race for innovation, there’s no greater proving grounds than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Throughout its storied history, the Speedway embodies the spirit of discovery.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of motorsports worldwide. The Speedway’s marquee event, the Indianapolis 500, has inspired countless imitations and adaptations, solidifying its status as the pinnacle of motorsport. The Indianapolis 500, often referred to as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” is the crown jewel of racing in America. This annual event draws hundreds of thousands of fans to witness the world’s best drivers compete in a grueling 500-mile race. The event’s significance transcends sports, becoming a cultural phenomenon that symbolizes the spirit of competition, perseverance and ingenuity.

The Heritage Group and our operating companies have stood alongside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for decades. Together, we push boundaries, harnessing emerging science to propel progress forward. But, how exactly, did this long-standing partnership come about?

Our first company, Crystal Flash, sponsored a car for the 1937 running of the Indianapolis 500. Beginning in the late 1950s, Asphalt Materials, Inc. (AMI), a member of Heritage Construction + Materials (HC+M), began supplying bituminous materials for use in track repairs. This partnership continued and expanded in 1988 when Heritage Research Group (HRG), the research and development team of The Heritage Group, designed specific asphalt mixes for the Speedway’s oval.

Since then, the partnership between the two institutions has only strengthened. As time wore on and the track’s racing surface was subjected to the ever-changing climate of Indiana, it was time to update the asphalt, which at the time was only lasting around seven years. When it came to repaving the surface, IMS called upon Heritage to oversee and execute the sensitive work.

It wasn’t until 2013 that the full strength and capabilities of the various operating companies of The Heritage Group were put on display. On October 1, 2013, IndyCar and IMS officials announced a new event, a grand prix race on a road course, to be held in May 2014. However, an entirely new track needed to be designed and built in a very short amount of time. The road course project united Heritage Research Group, Milestone Contractors, US Aggregates and Asphalt Materials, Inc. to complete the work prior to the upcoming winter season which would halt any on-track construction. The work was completed to specifications on time, and the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix was held May 10, 2014, just seven months following the event’s announcement.

Enduring Spirit of Innovation

The pursuit of speed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has also been a catalyst for scientific discovery. Engineers and mechanics continuously strive to enhance the performance and safety of race cars, often pioneering technologies that eventually find their way into commercial vehicles. From rearview mirrors to disc brakes, from seatbelts to increased fuel efficiency, all of these innovations were first tested at the Speedway before making their way to your personal automobile.

The innovations born on the track often have far-reaching implications beyond racing, contributing to advancements in automotive technology, transportation systems and even environmental sustainability. For example, developments in hybrid and electric vehicle technology, spurred in part by the push for greater fuel efficiency in racing, have the potential to revolutionize the automotive industry and reduce carbon emissions.

Beyond its role as a hub for innovation and scientific discovery, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway holds a special place in the hearts of racing enthusiasts worldwide. The speedway’s illustrious history is dotted with legendary drivers, unforgettable races and dramatic moments that have captivated audiences for generations. From the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911 to the present day, the speedway has been a dramatic stage for both motorsports and human achievement.

“Find those partners that understand your mission and that are willing to work alongside you to make it better,” noted Doug Boles, President of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “That’s one of the things we love so much about Heritage. We could not have the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 without our partners at Heritage.”

The enduring partnership between the Speedway and The Heritage Group drives a relentless pursuit of excellence, shaping the next generation of safety, speed and success — both on and off the track.

 

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Envita Solutions: Leading By Example

Since 2001, Envita Solutions has been a devoted partner to customers, helping them tackle their most complex waste and sustainability challenges. Since its inception, Envita Solutions has continued to evolve with the changing sustainability landscape. From circularity strategies, increased recycling, waste minimization, landfill diversion, equipment optimization, cost savings – and everything in between – Envita Solutions understands the dynamic decision points its customers are weighing.

Envita Solutions exists to protect human health and the environment. As the premier provider of total waste management services in North America, they walk the talk in working towards their own ambitious sustainability goals.

Carbon Neutrality

To further its environmental impact goals and continue leading by example, Envita Solutions has achieved carbon neutrality across its North American operations. In addition to structural changes to minimize GHG release, Envita Solutions also procured carbon credits from N2O abatement projects to offset harder-to-decarbonize business operations. Envita Solutions’ carbon credit strategy was guided by ClimeCo, a trusted carbon credit market leader with the highest standards of environmental commodity products. Over the next decade, Envita Solutions will work to reduce GHG emissions so each subsequent year they rely less and less on the offset market to support climate resilience.

Environmental Impact Reporting

Creating a sustainability plan requires extensive decision-making with a focus on long-term impact. Envita relies on both The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and EcoVadis to help identify benefits and risks as well as improve performance and accountability on their sustainability journey. CDP supports Envita Solutions in managing its environmental impact through reporting and risk management with programs focusing on climate change, water, supply chains, forests, and cities. EcoVadis is a globally recognized assessment platform that Envita Solutions utilizes for reporting. It allows Envita Solutions to see the full picture of how their sustainability decisions influence four main categories: environmental impact, labor, procurement practices, and human rights standards/ethics.

Zero-Waste-to-Landfill

Envita Solutions has proudly helped more than 300 of its customers’ facilities achieve zero-waste-to-landfill certification. This means that they send zero discards to landfills or high-temperature destruction, instead diverting it to more sustainable means. Of course, all of Envita Solutions’ facilities in both the United States and Mexico are also proudly zero-waste-to-landfill certified.

Envita Solutions is the industry leader in delivering transformative sustainability across North America and they’re not slowing down any time soon!

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Progress Over Perfection

Amy Schumacher is CEO of The Heritage Group, a U.S. based sustainability investor. Amy tells Nomura Greentech that she is applying generations of business experience to grow vital new industries such as battery recycling.

This interview first appeared in the Winter 2023 edition of Nomura Greentech, and is reposted here for promotional purposes.

“We have been in the environmental sector for over 50 years.”

 

What first sparked your interest in sustainability?

At The Heritage Group we are a fourth generation, privately held, family-owned business. We think in terms of decades and ultimately generations, that’s how we are still around.

We have been in the environmental sector for over 50 years. My father founded that part of our organization, and I grew up in that world.

My spark is tied to how we define sustainability as people, planet and communities, as well as our common vision, centered on leaving the world better than we found it.

From early teenage summer jobs to my current CEO responsibilities, sustainability has always been a part of me.

How concerned are you about climate change and the pace at which the world is collectively trying to solve this problem?

We are all citizens of the world on this particular issue and I think everyone needs to explore what they can do to address climate change.

Both big initiatives and small steps can create a significant impact. For example, we’ve taken the small, but important step of eliminating single-use plastic bottles at our headquarters, and other Heritage locations are beginning to do the same. On a larger scale, we’re part of an initiative that’s introducing sustainable solutions into the construction of airport runways.

Tackling climate change is fraught with challenges from inconsistencies in language and measurement, to lack of global alignment and keeping up with rapidly evolving regulation.

I am concerned that the challenge may seem too daunting or the solutions so complex that people either get discouraged or spend too much time debating rather than taking meaningful steps forward.

At The Heritage Group, at least on our sustainability journey, we have adopted the mantra of ‘progress over perfection’ – in other words, even if our action is somewhat imperfect, we’ve ultimately made more progress than if we hadn’t begun at all.

As CEO you oversee The Heritage Group’s portfolio of more than 50 businesses and 7,000 employees. What’s your ethos when it comes to sustainability, capital allocation and investment or acquisitions?

The way we consider sustainability in making investment decisions has changed dramatically. It was always in the ether, but it’s now front and center as a factor that we actively discuss as it relates to strategic investments.

Our portfolio is very diverse. We have some companies that operate directly in the environmental services space and others in various adjacencies around it.

In addition to our core business areas, we have grown our investment thesis into new platforms that ultimately service our sustainability mission. In our HG Ventures portfolio, a hard-tech focused venture strategy, I can’t think of an investment we have made that doesn’t support our sustainability goals.

The DNA of The Heritage Group is in materials science. You have a focus on chemicals, construction materials and environmental services. How are you looking to bring sustainability into these businesses and which one is the hardest to decarbonize?

I’m really proud to be in these sectors and I’m committed to supporting their transition.

When I think about some of our legacy core businesses, we have embraced circularity for a very long time. Take reclaimed asphalt pavement, or RAP, one of the most recycled materials in the U.S., or recovering zinc from one of the largest solid hazardous waste streams in the country.

To decarbonize these businesses, we have long leveraged our Heritage Research Group, which uses science and technology to do more with less and do things differently.

This means harnessing our expertise in specialty chemicals and sustainable fuels to drive development or taking a waste stream from one industry to create an environmentally friendly solution in another or even optimizing processes, not only to reduce waste, but also to decrease our environmental footprint.

Quite often the decarbonization challenge is difficult and instead of leaning in, many investors exit and transfer the problem to someone else. We see that all the time and instead, we are using our expertise in science to drive sustainable solutions.

Which areas are you focused on for new investment and which of your past investments have yielded the biggest sustainability impact?

From an investment perspective, we are always looking at aligning our capabilities with the next emerging macro trend or tailwind – that’s when we are at our best.

Our investment in Cirba Solutions, the largest lithium-ion battery recycler in North America, is a good example of a recent success and where we plan on maintaining our focus in the near term.

Battery recycling is set to benefit from the rapid expansion in the global EV market and the U.S. will continue to develop at a fast pace as there’s a shortage of mineral inputs. Batteries are also associated with geopolitical and societal challenges considering where in the world some of these raw materials are located so recycling can help mitigate these issues.

Our strategy for Cirba Solutions was to look at that emerging opportunity and match it with the expertise within our portfolio companies to accelerate its development.

When I think about our past investments and current capabilities, what gave us the courage to commit to building and ultimately growing Cirba, was our understanding of recycling. We have capabilities in collection, and expertise in the science and technology of reusing materials.

With our track record of successfully handling challenging materials, we see an opportunity to be a leader within that industry. It’s a perfect example of where so many of The Heritage Group’s best capabilities really came together to do something impactful.

To what extent do you think the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is fast tracking decarbonization solutions and is it helping any of your portfolio companies?

I think it’s too early to understand the full impact of the IRA. It is definitely raising awareness, driving capital investment and accelerating the pace of business growth within the green space.

A number of our businesses, including Cirba Solutions, were recipients of federal Department of Energy grants related to their innovative technology. We were fortunate to have Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm at our ribbon cutting to celebrate not only the IRA, but what was possible for one of our emerging core businesses.

Envita Solutions is another example of a key Heritage operating business that is helping our customers achieve their goals through the use of data and science to optimize waste management.

While the IRA is not directly benefiting Envita, it is impacting the customers we serve by accelerating their net zero goals and timelines which in turn creates more opportunities.

The IRA is also having a positive effect on our communities. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is one of the best museums in the country, and The Heritage Group helped it apply for a Department of Energy sustainability grant through the IRA. We have a strong passion and commitment towards improving our communities.

Which future technologies are you most excited about?

Every year, around this time, I get really excited about welcoming our hard-tech founders into The Heritage Group Accelerator.

The program brings roughly ten very early stage companies to The Heritage Group for 13 weeks to help launch their sustainability businesses in areas such as green materials, infrastructure, environmental solutions and industrial systems.

It’s inspiring to see so many budding entrepreneurs applying their curiosity, talents and creativity to this space and the number of applicants grows exponentially each year.

Specific technologies capturing my attention include: sustainable aviation fuel, low carbon materials, water technology, and, of course, battery recycling.

There are also brand new technologies that we have never envisioned, which provide a glimpse into the future.

In 2030, The Heritage Group celebrates its centenary. What would you like to achieve by then and what legacy would you like to leave?

As a long term family-owned business, we’re building for generations, leaving people, planet and communities better than when we found them.

I’m fortunate to build upon what came before me at Heritage and to plant the seeds for what will come after, and that’s both a privilege and a responsibility.

Aspirationally, I would like to leave The Heritage Group in a place where it will be successful for the next 100 years, not just the next decade.

That means a focus on top talent. We aim to have a collection of world class businesses where smart, hardworking individuals can make a real difference. We are thinking carefully about the people side of our company because people are our greatest asset and hopefully a part of my legacy.

Who’s your sustainable hero and why?

It would be easy to say my grandfather and father; they had the foresight and courage to introduce sustainability concepts into The Heritage Group at a time when no one was talking about it and really laid the foundations for the businesses that we run today.

But honestly, my sustainable hero is my great-uncle Frank who was the steward of our sustainability journey in the early days, when the environmental industry was so much like the Wild West that we felt uncomfortable operating there.

All leaders have defining moments in their history where they can choose diverging paths and great-uncle Frank’s came soon after we had bought a fledgling environmental business. It was hindered by a series of challenges and leadership at the time was considering getting out and moving on.

But great-uncle Frank said “the world needs people like us in this business so we’re going to lean in, not lean out, and do the right thing, always.”

That really became the fabric and DNA of the business. We never stepped into this because of ESG regulatory pressures, financial returns or to jump on the next big macro trend. My forefathers did it because it was the right thing to do and that has served us at the heart of who we are today.

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Advancing Road Infrastructure Through Innovation

HG Ventures (HGV), the corporate venture arm of The Heritage Group (THG), recently hosted “The Future of Roads” summit that brought together scientists, engineers, policymakers and other visionaries who are working at the leading edges of their respective fields who are developing new technologies that have the potential to transform our world for the better.

Leaders from various sectors participated in the day-long event focused on commitment to innovation and sustainability in road technology. With a focus on decarbonizing construction, extending the life and quality of roads, examining innovative approaches and improving the planet, the event challenged attendees to consider the reimagining of the future road infrastructure.

John Glushik, Managing Director of HG Ventures, emphasized the importance of combining an entrepreneurial spirit with industry expertise to accelerate innovation. John underscored the need for open-mindedness and collaboration to tackle challenges and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Collaboration emerged as a recurring theme, with an emphasis on leveraging expertise across various sectors and industries while forging long-term partnerships.

John Glushik of HG Ventures

Geoff Dillon, CEO of Heritage Construction Materials (HC+M), echoes the sentiment, emphasizing HC+M’s commitment to delivering quality infrastructure while embracing innovation. Geoff stressed the significance of partnerships in driving both current and future advancements in road construction and maintenance.

Dr. Allison Black from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association shed light on the evolving landscape of road funding and the pivotal role of technology in addressing infrastructure challenges. Dr. Black emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships and venture capital in driving modernization and maintaining the nation’s road network.

 

Dr. Allison Black of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association

Throughout the day, participants listened to presentations and engaged in breakout sessions highlighting the vital role of partnerships and venture capital in driving forward-thinking solutions to keep roads safe, efficient and sustainable.

Key takeaways from The Future of Roads event:

  1. Importance of Roads: Roads are essential for transportation, connecting communities, and supporting economic activities. With increasing population and vehicle usage, there’s pressure to maintain and improve road infrastructure.
  2. Technological Innovation: There’s a surge in innovation aimed at addressing road infrastructure challenges such as capacity, congestion, safety and sustainability. These innovations encompass various fields like materials science, chemical engineering, software development and emerging hard tech solutions.
  3. Role of Startups: Innovation isn’t limited to established construction giants but also involves startups with unique visions. These startups play a crucial role in driving positive change with their innovative solutions.
  4. Investor Involvement: HG Ventures, as part of The Heritage Group, supports innovation in road technology through investments in startups. Leveraging the expertise of Heritage Construction + Materials, HG Ventures aims to be part of the solution for improving road infrastructure.

As the world continues to evolve, the conversation about the future of road construction and maintenance remains critical. Through collaboration, innovation and investment, The Heritage Group can pave the way for a brighter, more resilient road infrastructure that serves communities for generations to come.

 

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Honoring National Work Zone Awareness Week

Navigating Construction Zones: The Importance of Safety and Vigilance on the Road

As we enter another construction season, it’s crucial to understand the dangers of distracted driving and the necessity of reducing speeds in work zones. For Heritage companies, the demanding activity of construction requires heightened attention from drivers, yet distractions and the temptation to maintain regular speeds often prevail. The consequences are troubling, as evidenced by the latest data on work zone accidents and fatalities.

According to recent statistics, work zones prove to be hazardous environments for both drivers and construction workers alike. In 2021 alone, a staggering 956 individuals lost their lives in work zones across the United States. Alarmingly, a sizable portion of these fatalities—778 to be exact—were motorists and their passengers. This reality underscores the urgent need for drivers to exercise caution and reduce speeds while traveling through construction zones.

The dangers are not limited to drivers. Construction workers face inherent risks as they take on the important and necessary duties of building, maintaining and repairing our critical infrastructure. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that 108 highway workers fell victim to occupational fatalities in road construction sites in 2021. These individuals were not merely statistics; they were dedicated professionals whose lives were tragically cut short due to preventable accidents.

Considering these sobering statistics, it’s imperative for drivers to recognize their role in ensuring road safety during construction season. The mantra of “slow speeds save lives” summarizes the necessary approach for navigating work zones responsibly. By adhering to posted speed limits, maintaining a safe following distance and minimizing distractions, drivers can reduce the risk of accidents and safeguard the lives of both themselves and others on the road.

As drivers, we hold the power to prevent tragedies and uphold the safety of our roads. Let’s heed the call to action, embrace responsibility behind the wheel and ensure that every journey through a construction zone is a safe one for all involved.

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Betting On The Future

Embracing Our Heritage While Betting on Our Future

Who We Are

Over the past 90 years, we’ve seen exponential growth, built on the shoulders of the Fehsenfeld family and our extended Heritage family of employees. Four generations of family leadership and our lasting relationships with employees, customers and communities form a foundation that keeps us strong. We started out delivering home heating oil during the Great Depression, and now operate more than 50 companies, employing more than 7,000 hardworking people who want to make a difference. This is our story.

Our History

During the Great Depression, John E. Fehsenfeld embarked on a journey that would shape generations to come. His venture, Crystal Flash, delivered heating oil to families, a bet that would evolve into a collection of filling stations that spanned across Indiana and Michigan. That entrepreneurial spirit along with hard work and dedication was passed down to his sons – Frank, Fred and Mac – who played pivotal roles in the company’s evolution.

Returning from World War II, Fred Fehsenfeld, Sr. recognized a need to drive the company forward. His groundbreaking idea revolutionized the hauling of cut-back asphalt, laying the groundwork for the acquisition of Asphalt Materials in 1955. This same spirit of seeking out opportunities continued into the 1970s when a customer’s request for assistance with hazardous waste prompted an investment in environmental research. We took a risk on environmental services long before “sustainability” became a popular term, simply because it was the right thing to do.

The decades that followed witnessed our expansion into new frontiers. Seizing an opportunity in the early 2000s, we ventured into specialty chemicals with the acquisition of a struggling plant in Houston, cementing our position as a leader in diverse industries.

Our Bet on the Future

The core of our success lies a steadfast commitment to innovation. This dedication is demonstrated through investments in research and development, led by Heritage Research Group and HG Ventures, both of whom foster a culture of forward-thinking and inventive solutions.

With over 90 years of strategic bets, The Heritage Group remains anchored by our people, culture and values. Each milestone, each success, is a testament to the enduring legacy forged by generations of hard work and perseverance. Looking ahead, we are poised to continue a legacy of innovation and growth. By investing in our people and nurturing collaboration, we are laying the groundwork for a brighter, more sustainable future.

 

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Reaching New Heights At Indianapolis Airport

Milestone sets a standard for sustainable practices in construction, leaving an enduring mark on the construction industry.

Milestone Contractors achieved a remarkable feat last spring by undertaking the colossal task of removing, recycling and reconstructing the southern runway at Indianapolis International Airport. This ambitious project, aimed at creating a runway to serve the airport’s needs for the next 40-to-50 years, was executed with dedicated precision, resulting in a runway that spans an impressive 150 feet in width, comprising four 37.5-foot-wide pulls, each a substantial 22 inches thick.

“Most concrete paving contractors in the United States are not capable of going 37.5 feet wide,” noted Steve Friess, Vice President of Concrete Operations for Milestone Contractors. “When you get to that wide and 22 inches deep, it takes a special crew that understands the nuances of stacking concrete that deep.”

Beyond the physical challenges of a project on this scale, airport runway construction is heavily regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Safety concerns are paramount, and contractors can expect to have their work closely inspected every step of the way.

“[With] airport projects, the FAA has a lot of requirements, and they are very stringent about a lot of things because they need to be,” said Steve. “So, if you’re gonna pave at an airport, you have to be ready to do it a hundred percent because the requirements are the same across all the United States.”

Within the nearly 700-page blueprint that guided construction were additional specifications on the FAA’s sustainability requirements. Far from presenting a hurdle, Milestone Contractors embraced the requirements as an opportunity to be stewards of the planet for the next generation, employing environmentally conscious practices such as using four million gallons of recycled water for dust control and on-site concrete plant operations.

“We recycled 135,000 tons of concrete and 65,000 tons of asphalt that came off the shoulders of the runway and then went back,” said Steve.

A highlight of Milestone’s commitment to sustainable practices was the innovative use of carbon encapsulation injection into the wet cement. This forward-thinking approach aimed to encapsulate carbon and eliminate its presence from the atmosphere, highlighting the company’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of eco-friendly construction methods.

That commitment paid off. Consider the airport’s prestigious accolades: Indianapolis International Airport, already recognized as the best North American airport in its class for eleven consecutive years, added another feather to its cap (stripe to its pilot uniform?) by earning the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision Platinum Award. Milestone Contractors played a pivotal role in achieving this recognition, showcasing a commitment to sustainable infrastructure practices that goes beyond the ordinary.

The reconstruction of runway 5L23 at the Indianapolis airport stands as a testament to Milestone’s unyielding dedication to sustainable construction. This project not only signifies the successful completion of a major undertaking but also represents a defining chapter for the entire Milestone team. The company’s reputation for delivering quality work on time and within budget is well-established, but this project allowed their values, expertise and commitment to sustainability to shine brightly.

“Milestone is a very unique company. Whether it’s concrete, asphalt, general construction pipe or whatever, it’s all done as a team,” boasted Steve. “We were able to answer the call because we have all the parts of the team to put together.”

About Milestone Contractors, L.P.
Milestone Contractors is a privately held, family-owned business headquartered in Indianapolis. Milestone Contractors is a fully integrated heavy construction company specializing in highway, bridge, asphalt and concrete paving and site development. Over its 30-year history, Milestone has built a reputation for prioritizing safety, quality, people and innovation. Milestone Contractors is a part of The Heritage Group’s family of companies. Learn more at www.milestonelp.com.

 

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Recap: 2023 United for Service

In a powerful demonstration of community strength, compassion and coordination, The Heritage Group’s 2023 United for Service — a week-long service campaign — recently unfolded across 11 states, bringing together 682 volunteers on a mission to combat food scarcity and hunger.

Now in its second year as a company-wide initiative through The Heritage Group, United for Service originated with the Fehsenfeld family as a way to gather and bond together while giving back to the communities where we live and work. This year’s effort resulted in an impressive 1,400 service hours dedicated to making a real difference in the lives of those facing the harsh realities of hunger.

The heart of our United for Service campaign lies in the spirit of collaboration. Local service organizations, impassioned volunteers, and essential community partners joined forces to address one of the most pressing issues affecting countless lives — the lack of access to adequate, quality food. The scale of this initiative reflects the shared commitment to creating positive change.

The need for food is key to our existence, and the communal sharing of meals is a part of our culture. Families bond over dinner; co-workers chat over lunch. But for some, putting food on the table is a struggle. According to the USDA, more than 34 million people, including 9 million children, in the United States are food insecure. In fact, every community in the United States is home to families who face hunger. But rural communities — where many struggle with limited job opportunities and lack of transportation options to reach grocery stores or food pantries — are especially hard hit by hunger.

The backbone of any successful service campaign is the dedication of its volunteers. Our Heritage volunteers united with a common goal: to make a meaningful impact in their respective communities. With 682 individuals stepping up, each hour contributed becomes a building block in the fight against hunger. Together with business leaders and colleagues, members of our Heritage family served meals at soup kitchens, stocked shelves at food pantries and prepared meals for distribution to community members in need. Spanning across 11 states, our week of service was a testament to the widespread need for assistance and the urgency to address food scarcity on a broader scale. This year’s United for Service week witnessed an impressive tally of 1,400 service hours, which underscores the dedication and commitment to service within our employees.

Crucial to the success of this campaign were the invaluable partnerships forged with local organizations. From food banks and shelters, the collaborative network created a ripple effect, amplifying the campaign’s reach and effectiveness. Together, these partners played a pivotal role in ensuring that resources were utilized efficiently and that the impact extended beyond the week of service.

Beyond the numbers, the true measure of success lies in the lives touched and the communities strengthened. By addressing immediate needs and fostering sustainable solutions, this campaign aimed not only to provide relief but also to create a foundation for lasting change. In the face of food scarcity, our United for Service week stands as a beacon of hope and a testament to the transformative power of collective action. Our combined efforts remind us that, together, we can build stronger, more resilient communities, and that positive change is possible when we are united around a shared vision and purpose.

To everyone in our #HeritageFamily who donated food, sorted produce, chopped vegetables, served lunches and assembled snack packs: Thank you!