In his own words: Steve Benna, CB Concrete executive

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us a little about your company its specialties, its history, the size of its staff.

Steve Benna: It was founded in 1958 by my father, Bruno Benna. We are the oldest concrete supply company in the Reno-Sparks area. We supply concrete for homes, commercial buildings, bridges, and concrete paving for the airport, streets and highways.

NNBW: What role do you play in the company?

Benna: Since I was raised in the construction and concrete business, I have done everything from construction laborer, mechanic, truck driver, quality control, sales and now general manager for 10 years. I also worked as a concrete finisher and carpenter.

NNBW: How did you get into this profession?

Benna: It was a family business and I am the oldest of four children. I decided in college to change my major to business management to come to work for my father. In 1983 I purchased a concrete plant and trucks in Carson City and brought my sister and two brothers in as partners. We all worked in the business together until we sold to Granite Construction in 1997.

NNBW: What is something no one knows about your job?

Benna: I am able to relate to employees at all levels because of my experience with every type of job in the industry.

NNBW: If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn't it your first choice?

Benna: Engineering because I enjoy mathematics and science. I thought that a degree in business was better suited to managing a company than engineering.

NNBW: What do you like to do when you're not working?

Benna: I love to spend time with my family, socializing and playing sports. I like to ski in the winter and ride bikes year round. I enjoy hiking and camping. I also like to travel to other countries.

NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession?

Benna: Yes, I would advise them that they better have a good work ethic and be prepared to work long hours and nights. They better learn this business in order to be successful in it. It's not an easy business.

NNBW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why would you want it?

Benna: I would like to fly so I could travel easily to all parts of the world quickly, and see the world from a bird's-eye view.

NNBW: What person, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with, and why?

Benna: Thomas Jefferson. I believe he was the greatest of the United States presidents. He drafted the Declaration of Independence. He was highly educated and had an incredible mind. He was the leader of our republic. I feel we need a leader like him to get us away from the current political trend against individual rights and freedoms.

NNBW: What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Benna: To be honest and just and when negotiating we must make the effort to make the outcome good for both parties, a win-win situation.

NNBW: What do you like most about your job? What do you like least?

Benna: I like interacting with customers and with my fellow workers in our company. I do not like working at night.

NNBW: What five words would most people use to describe you?

Benna: Self-assured, strong beliefs, responsible, devoted and persistent.

The basics:

Name: Steve Benna, sales and technical manager, CB Concrete

How long have you been in this job? 33 years

How long in the profession? 43 years

Education: Bachelor of science in business management

Best book you've read? "1984" by George Orwell

What's on your iPod? Classic rock, country-western, blues, folk, classical and foreign

The best movie ever? "Ben Hur"

Spouse, kids or pets? Wife Karen, married 35 years; sons John, 31, and Anthony, 30. Dog, Oliver, and cat, Mr. Fuzz.


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