A Legend's lifetime in the Construction Industry
Carl Raymond, The Raymond Group
The Raymond family moved west from Massachusetts in the late twenties, where Carl’s grandfather found work as a lathing contractor. His father, George, learned what work was during those early years of the Depression, adding to his skill of plastering by working without pay. All this prepared him for his own company, coming to reality in 1936 with his first housing tract to perform the plaster scope of work. At that time, this represented a significant contract since plaster products were predominantly used in both interior and exterior applications. George’s association with his first customers led to many other projects in the developing San Gabriel Valley.
From 1936 to 1939, George prepared himself for the post-war years when tracts were spoken of in hundreds and thousands of units. Ben Weingart, Lou Boyer, Mark Boyer, and Mark Taper built the City of Lakewood – 17,000 houses, produced at the rate of 57 houses per day, complete. George M. Raymond plastered these houses, as well as the Park La Brea Towers (eighteen, thirteen-story buildings) at the same time, with 1,700 employees.
What led to the success of Raymond has been Carl’s focus on people, customers and the success of those who depend upon the organization – “Raymondized” – they called it back in the forties and fifties. Team Identification – Communication and Information – Faith and Trust in One Another – A Desire for Success.
George passed away in 1964, and Carl acted with resolve to continue the belief that excellence, communication and diligence are cornerstones of a great organization. He instilled the goals of Excellence, Pride, Recognition, Respect, and Loyalty into the Raymond organization.
- 1962- George Raymond’s son, Carl, graduates from the University of Southern California with a degree in Business Science, joining the family business full time as an estimator.
- 1968- Carl Raymond starts a small, commercial, drywall and gypsum board division within the company. Drywall had been invented in 1916, but wasn’t widely accepted until the U.S. became involved in WW2. Within ten years the drywall side of the company had surpassed the lath & plaster division in volume.
- 1975- Raymond completes the 44-story, twin, Century Plaza Towers cementing itself into the Southern California construction industry as the premier drywall and plaster contractor.
- 1982- Raymond moves its corporate headquarters to its current location in Orange, CA. Raymond purchased the Orange property in 1978 and fully renovated it from what had been a tomato canning factory in the 1930’s and 40’s, receiving an award for the design by the City of Orange.
- 1983- Raymond is invited to perform phases of work at the Shanghai Bank in Hong Kong. This is Raymond’s first International project.
- 1985- Raymond starts to perform exterior panelized wall systems and the construction of the Tishman Building brings Raymond to Northern California. When completed, the 364,000 sq. ft. building became the tallest man-made structure in Contra Costa County, holding the title for over a decade.
- 1991- Raymond opens a permanent office in Northern California.
- 1995- Raymond starts a theming group, and opens a permanent office in Las Vegas, Nevada. This well timed expansion coincided with one of the biggest construction booms in Las Vegas, beginning Raymond’s career in highly themed casino, amusement, and hospitality projects.
Carl’s career may be highlighted by the innovations he brought to the industry, as well as The Raymond Group as a company. Carl initially focused on developing Raymond as a professional institution where Carl provided leadership, mentorship and opportunities for both the office and field. In the early 1990s, Carl was diagnosed with a debilitating disease which he was painfully aware would rob him of his leadership skills. In response, Carl renewed his efforts to develop the leadership team within Raymond which was charged with the continued development and advancement of Raymond and the teams within the industry. As a result of Carl’s efforts, the leadership team transitioned from Carl’s consolidated leadership style to a dynamic professionally managed organization. Carl brought his innovative style to both the industries advancements as well as those within Raymond and those who depend upon the company’s success.