Article by Denise Sabin, South Valley Journal
Geneva Rock is a Utah company whose products have been used in the construction of roads and buildings throughout the Salt Lake Valley. But corporate executives have an interest in the valley that goes beyond high rises and highways.
“We are a family-owned, local business; we have a lot of pride in the community here,” Vice President Carl Clyde said. “We are successful in business and like to give back to the community.”
On Nov. 2, office personnel and management from Geneva Rock took the day to give back to one of the communities from which they procure their products. Geneva personnel joined Bluffdale city employees in clearing weeds and debris from a storm drain detention pond off 14400 South 1700 West.
“The city’s and Geneva’s staff met on-site and went to work weed whacking and cleaning up the mess,” Bluffdale Public Works Manager Blain Dietrich said.
More than a dozen people participated in order to clear an area which some residents had complained was an eyesore. The project took about four hours and resulted in the removal of six truckloads of weeds, brush and unwanted materials, Dietrich said.
Geneva has donated money and equipment for many years to support service projects throughout the Salt Lake Valley.
Starting in 2011, Geneva’s service projects became more personal as management decided to donate not only money and equipment, but labor as well.
“We thought we’d like to put more elbow grease into it,” Clyde said. “We were going to get down and get dirty and put the time and labor in.”
The first project last year was in Draper, helping that city improve one of its parks by cutting down trees and clearing an overgrown area. This year’s project in Bluffdale is a continuation of this new level of involvement.
The reasoning behind this hands-on service is twofold. It allows the company to give back on a personal level, but it also makes Geneva’s leadership more accessible to the communities in which they operate. Clyde sees it as an opportunity for city officials and residents to ask questions and raise any concerns regarding their operations in an informal setting.
“We work alongside them, so they can ask questions about operations, voice any complaints,” Clyde said. “It is the top managers that run these operations so that rather than sitting across the table, we can communicate as we are working together.”
Clyde says they are striving to be good neighbors because they know their gravel pits can have an impact on the cities in which they operate. Although these pits produce dust and noise, Geneva officials are conscious about keeping the levels below regulated limits, and addressing any concerns raised by the communities that have developed around their operations.
Corporate efforts seem to be paying off, since Bluffdale city officials say they are pleased with Geneva’s involvement and feel they have been a good neighbor.
“[We are] grateful to have a business like Geneva working in and with our city,” Dietrich said.
In Bluffdale, Geneva makes sand and rock that is used in ready-mix concrete, as well as sand for golf courses and masonry sand.
Clyde is the grandson of Geneva’s founder, Wilford Clyde, who started the business in 1954.