Roger Bass was born in Graceville, Florida in 1945.
He graduated from Poplar Springs High School in Holmes County, Florida in 1962. He worked for the Florida Road Department in Chipley, Florida from 1962 until 1964. During this time he was also a “Top 40” disc jockey at WBGC Radio in Chipley.
In 1964, Bass returned to school. For three years he pursued an undergraduate degree in pre-medicine. In 1967 he decided to make a change in course and switched his major to Building Construction.
While finishing school at the University of Florida he served as President of the Student Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). He graduated in 1969 with a BS degree in Building Construction.
In June 1969, Bass went to work with Couch Construction Company in Dothan, Alabama. His first job was Estimator in the Private Works Division. Two years later he began bidding highway construction projects in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
In 1973, he was promoted to the position of General Manager of Couch Urban Services where he was responsible for Dothan area asphalt construction, ready-mix concrete and sand manufacturing. Bass left Couch in 1975.
In 1976, Bill Pritchard, who was then President of Southern Ready Mix, asked Bass to move to Birmingham and manage the Company’s aggregate division. Bass was with SRM only a year, but his friendship with Pritchard continues today.
In November of 1977, Bass joined the Dunn Construction Company organization as Alabama Road Division Manager. Dunn Construction was founded in Virginia in 1878 as a railroad construction company. Dunn moved to Alabama in the early 1900’s and opened one of the nation’s first asphalt plants in Birmingham in 1915.
Only six presidents have served Dunn Construction Company, Inc. in the past 129 years. Four were members of the Dunn family. The first president was Evans Dunn. The second was his son, William Dunn, Sr. The third was William Dunn, Jr.
Roger Bass was the first non Dunn family member to be appointed to the position. Craig Fleming, who serves on the Alabama Road Builders Association board, presently serves as president of Dunn.
When Bass joined Dunn in 1977, sales in his area of responsibility were less than $5 million. When he retired as Chairman in 2003 sales had increased 30 fold and Dunn had become a significant regional highway contractor.
During his career in the Alabama highway construction industry, Bass served on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Road Builders Association and on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Asphalt Pavement Association. He is Past President of AAPA and Past President of ARBA.
He presently serves on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Road Builders Hall of Fame. He has served as Chairman on numerous industry committees and on other community and professional boards.
In 2003, Bass retired from full-time active duty in construction. However, he remains active in the Alabama highway construction industry.
He is a minority partner in Mobile Asphalt Company with his long-time friend Randy Billingsley.
He is also the owner of Strada Materiasl, LLC which markets construction aggregate in Alabama. His company is a member of the Alabama Road Builders Association.
He is also active in political issues that affect the association and the industry.
From the beginning of his career Bass has been a student of construction management. His primary focus has always been recruiting, hiring, team building and motivation. He understood that while financial objectives must be met if a business is to be successful, the most important assets of any organization are its people.
In 1988, Bass recruited and hired Marc Bryant Tyson into the Dunn organization. A few years later when Marc was promoted to another Dunn Company, he sent Bass a note that read in part: “Roger, thank you again for your friendship and support. My life, on both a personal and professional level, is much richer because of my association with you”. When Bass was asked to respond to this, he stated: “I have been very fortunate to have been involved with many financially successful ventures. But there is no way a strong balance sheet or a powerful income statement could ever give me more pride than the message in that hand-written note from Marc. That is success.”
Bass lives in Birmingham with his wife of 23 years, Rene’. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. They are his “most valuable assets”.