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Nothing in the World Beats



Roger Bass

The very best general managers don’t have any blind spots. They might not see everything clearly, but they do see everything.

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I remember hearing my father give his opinion about a neighbor who lived near us. It was across the back forty, but we could see his house from our back door. He said, “Belcher is a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none.”


I never understood if this was a compliment or an insult. Maybe it was both. When I think of a general manager, that statement often comes to mind. A good general manager must have a lot of tools in his toolbox. But he doesn’t have to be an expert at anything.


For example, I can install a residential generator, complete with the automatic transfer switch, but I have to Google the formula for converting volts to amps.


An expert would know this, and many other technical details. But, when the power goes out, my generator comes on.

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So, the beginning of perseverance for me was the fear of failure. Or at least the aversion to failure. It was taught to me by my father’s examples. He was a quiet man. He never told me how to succeed in life; he showed me how to avoid failure, one broken plow at a time.

The last thing I want to do is imply that my early life experiences were unique. I believe that almost everyone who has purposefully tried to succeed can see themselves in what I have tried to describe. One secret of success truly is like an acorn that was planted a long time ago.




Roger Bass was born in Graceville, Florida in 1945. He worked for the Florida State Road Department in Chipley, Florida from 1962 to 1964. During this time, he was a “Top 40” disc jockey at WBRC Radio in Chipley.

He graduated in 1969 with a BS degree in Building Construction. In June of 1969, Bass went to work for Couch Construction Company in Dothan, Alabama. His first job was Estimator in the Private Works Division.


Two years later he began bidding on highway projects in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. In 1973 he was promoted to General Manager of Couch Urban Services where he was responsible for the Dothan area asphalt construction, ready-mix concrete, and sand manufacturing. He was 28 years old.

In November of 1977, Bass joined the Dunn Construction Company organization as Alabama Road Division Manager. Dunn was founded in 1878 in Virginia as a railroad construction company. The company moved to Alabama in the early 1900s and opened one of the nation’s first asphalt plants in Birmingham in 1915.

Roger Bass was the first non-Dunn family member to be appointed to the position of President. When he joined Dunn in 1977, annual sales in his area of responsibility were less than $5 million. When he retired as President and CEO in 2003, sales had increased to more than $150 million and 

In 2003, Bass retired from full-time duty in construction. However, he remains active in the industry. He was a minority partner in Mobile Asphalt Company with his long-term dear friend Randy Billingsley.

Roger Bass lives in Birmingham with his wife Tatiana. He has a daughter and five grandchildren. These people are his “most valuable assets.”

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