A conversation with: Jason Blase

Jason Blase – who turned 44 on Monday – was promoted to president of Hanover-based Conewago Manufacturing in August 2019. He has been with the company since 2013, previously serving as general manager of the ready-mix division for three years and vice president of concrete manufacturing for another three. Blase holds a variety of industry certifications and serves on numerous trade association boards. He was the co-recipient of the 2018 T. Henry Clark Award for Excellence in Quality from the Precast/ Prestressed Concrete Institute. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Michaline, and they have two sons, ages 20 and 14. They live in York.

Q: How does the company’s legacy of innovation in building materials guide its future direction? Our innovation is cutting edge and its quality driven as well, which is extremely important to us for the end user and the customer satisfaction. We’re actually in the process of making major capital investments to both our steel and our precast production, automating our process through innovation. We think we are on the cutting edge and we hope to be. We want to present ourselves as leaders, never followers.

Q: Why is it important to be part of different trade associations? I think it’s important to keep us in the leadership end of the associations as well. I’m on the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Board of Directors, serving a three-year term, and I’ve been asked to extend another three years on that. We’re also heavily involved in the Precast Concrete Institute; I’ve been on committees throughout the years and was a recipient in 2018 of the T. Henry Clark Award, which is for advancing quality in the industry. I and another person put together a mix-design training program through PCI which is still being utilized. I think it’s important for us to keep training and keep advancing our industries through associations, networking, committee work and really dedicating personal time to advancing concrete, and also steel. I’m new to the steel side, but we are a certified plant and certified erectors through AISC, the American Institute of Steel Construction. It’s a pretty distinguished certification, so we’re proud of that. I do intend to get more involved in association work on the steel side as well. It’s extremely important to spread the knowledge, make ourselves all better for the customers and the industry, because one bad job hurts every producer.

Q: How has your experience leading two of Conewago’s divisions prepared you to lead the company overall? We can pretty much build an entire structure from start to finish with all the different aspects we provide in our manufacturing facility. We can pour the ready mixed concrete for a building, we can come back and put walls up with precast and put a roof on with steel. We have a very unique environment in
that we have every facet of a structure under our roofs. I’ve been in precast for more than 20 years, but I’ve learned ready mix and now I’m going to be learning steel through this company, and being able to oversee all those divisions is what’s making me in the position I am today. It’s also extremely unique that we have the general contracting portion of our company as well. We work very much handin-hand with the general contracting side, providing them with raw materials, which gives me personally a unique look into (that) portion of the business, because I can see how they manage projects and go through the flow of what they do on their end.

Q: What is your favorite part of the Super Bowl – the game, the commercials or the food?

My wife loves the commercials but I tend to like the football and the strategy involved between the teams, and the coaching and the players on the field. It’s very interesting to me