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 The Beacon of The STone InduSTry
Upstate Granite Solutions Offers Rock Solid Service
July 2021 Volume 27-07
  When Paul Nichols enlisted in the United States Army in 2009, the plan was to become a military chaplain and an assistant pastor, while also getting his master’s degree. In spite of this, the army had other ideas, recalled Paul.
“I was commissioned as a sec- ond Lieutenant in the armored di- vision and trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky. I was basically a tank platoon commander for a total of five years, until I was injured,
breaking both of my legs.”
After seven surgeries, Paul was medically retired in 2014, and he and wife, Kelly, moved to Greenville, South Carolina. Uncertain of how to make a living at this point, Paul got resource- ful and rolled up his sleeves, he continued. “As a civilian, I really didn’t know what to do. My wife was pregnant with our first son, so the timing wasn’t the greatest. We had no house and no income, either, and we were living with my aunt and uncle, so I began do- ing odd jobs such as pouring con-
crete and putting up fences.” Soon after, Paul and Kelly pur- chased a foreclosed home in need of work, including kitchen coun- tertops. However, after searching the local fabrication shops, the couple went a different route, said Paul. “All we found was poor cus- tomer service and pricing that was all over the place. It was a very disappointing experience that led to a lot of frustration.” Out of that frustration, he began to search for a solution for his needs, and that solution presented itself to pro- vide his own countertops, he con- tinued. “I bought some slabs from a company that was going out of business, and watched videos to learn how to fabricate and install
Peter J. Marcucci
Photos Courtesy
Upstate Granite Solutions Additional photos by Greenville Real Estate Media and Cayer Commercial Photography
them. After that was success- ful, I thought I could sell off the slabs that were left over, which I did!” Successful, indeed, and with a clear path to follow into the future.
Currently in its sixth year of op- eration, Upstate Granite Solutions is an all-under-one roof, 20,000 square foot showroom, warehouse and shop. Equipment consists of a CMS CNC, a CMS CNC saw, a FAB-KING Fabrication Center and a Marmo Meccanica Inline Polisher. The array is topped off with an overhead crane, outfitted with a Manzelli Vacuum Lifter. The company has also recently broken ground for a new 11,000 square foot fabrication shop. It will include all the above equip- ment as well as a new Northwood Raptor dual table waterjet, a Northwood CNC, and a Marmo Meccanica Inline Polisher. A second Kaeser screw compres- sor and a 3-axis crane spanning the entire production floor will also be added. Once completed, the old shop will be turned into an extension to the current show- room, adding an additional 5,000 square feet.
Solutions for Success
Competing mostly in the high- end residential market, Upstate Granite Solution’s sales are ap- proximately 60 percent con- tractor and 40 percent walk-in. Employing a very talented staff of 38, all are considered family, said Paul.
“Without my employees, I wouldn’t have a company, and fully realize that. I’ve given our key players the responsibility of this company, and the freedom to basically run a little business in- side this business. I don’t micro manage. I guide and help and give criticism about how I want things done, if that’s the case. They have the opportunity to spread their wings and to use their gifts and
abilities the best they can. Even the new-hires will come in and see that this company is different from their last, and that’s import- ant to me, because I want to take care of them as part of my family.
“Everyone from the guy who sweeps the floor, to the templater, to the installers; everyone has to have the same mindset for us to be successful in our mission,
proven to be a beacon of light for organizations, as well as a sign of resiliency and strong business performance,” said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “When you give your employees a voice, you come together to navigate challenges and shape your path forward. Top Workplaces draw on real-time in- sights into what works best for their organization, so they can make informed decisions that have a positive impact on their people and their business.”
BB Industries is one of the most respected distributors in the stone industry and has experienced ex- plosive growth in people, products
which is to be the best solution for our customers. We have weekly meetings to go through the previ- ous week’s wins and losses, and we use it as a time to learn as a family, and not to beat anyone over the head for making a mis- take. How can we fix the problem or how can we not have this prob- lem happen again?
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and partnerships, over the past few years, even throughout the pan- demic, setting record sales.
“This award is such an honor be- cause we pride ourselves on treat- ing each other like family,” said BB Industries President & CEO Rick Stimac. “When I accepted the position of CEO in 2017, I was impressed with the loyalty and longevity of the employees here. Most have been at BB Industries for at least five years, many more than ten, some more than 20 and the most long-term employee who helped open the company in 1995, just retired a few months ago.”
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     Knoxville News Sentinel Awards BB Industries Knoxville’s Top Workplaces 2021 Honor
Workplaces 2021 honor by The Knoxville News Sentinel. The list is based solely on employee feed- back gathered through a third- party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage, LLC. The anon- ymous survey uniquely measures 15 culture drivers that are critical to the success of any organization: including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.
“During this very challeng- ing time, Top Workplaces has
Industries has been
awarded a Top

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