Johnson Concrete, Carolina Stalite’s Newsome earns top NCMA honor

Charles Newsome, retired vice president of Johnson Concrete Products and Carolina Stalite, both in Salisbury, N.C., is the third member of the National Concrete Masonry Association Hall of Fame, recognizing individuals who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and service to the association and industry.

Flanked by NCMA President Bob Thomas (left) and 2019 Chairman Darryl Winegar (Midwest Block/Best Block), Charles Newsome is inducted in the NCMA Hall of Fame during the mid-year meeting in Seattle.PHOTO: National Concrete Masonry Association

A Greenville, N.C. native, Newsome attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Following a tenure in sales with Giant Cement, he was named general manager of the company’s Tufflite and Stallite expanded clay and shale operations in 1968. Fourteen years later he assumed the additional role of executive vice president of Johnson Concrete. Shortly thereafter, he helped guide a consolidation of two smaller plants into one larger one, in a successful effort that increased their business in the Piedmont area of North Carolina and elsewhere. In the decades after he steered Johnson Concrete’s expansion throughout the southeastern United States, supplying premium custom architectural block from Maryland to Florida.

“Charles is a visionary,” says Johnson Concrete Vice President of Sales Starling Johnson. When he started with the business, she adds, “Stalite was made using sintering machines and its farthest customer was 125 miles away. Today, Stalite operates eight rotary kilns with patented technology, ships material all over the world, and is the industry leader in structural lightweight aggregate.”

Newsome served as NCMA chairman in 2013, capping decades of committee and board work, and also chaired the Carolinas Concrete Masonry Association and Expanded Clay Shale and Slate Institute. He was instrumental in establishing NCMA’s Young Professional Group and, through active participation in the NCMA and Mason Contractors Association of America political action committees, has championed efforts to create a commodity checkoff program for concrete masonry.

Newsome has matched business milestones in philanthropy, completing more than 30 missionary trips to Africa, primarily to the Zambian village of Mwandi. He personally led efforts to raise necessary funding and implement projects to bring improved and more reliable electricity to the village, remodel a hospital and construct a church.

“A place in the NCMA Hall of Fame is an honor bestowed upon the finest individuals who have come through for our industry. It shines a light on a lifetime of service, leadership, and excellence. It recalls milestones achieved by deserving honorees that have benefited all of us,” affirms NCMA President Robert Thoma. “Charles has been such a vital member of the association for so long, having served in a variety of capacities, and we really could not be more proud to have this opportunity to celebrate his career.”