Jeff Woodworth: Following in His Family’s Footsteps

Spring 2010

The Emergency Services Campaign Report, MultiCare Health Foundation and Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation (Tacoma, WA)

The fourth-generation president of Woodworth & Company also comes from a long line of MultiCare supporters.

Jeff’s grandparents, Alden and Virginia Woodworth, established a family endowment in 1980, which is focused on funding respiratory caregiver education. Each year, Jeff and his sister, Jill, are delighted to present scholarships to select MultiCare staff members. The endowment holds a special meaning for the family because Alden suffered from emphysema.

Jeff’s father, John – in addition to contributing to the endowment – was on the committee that helped select the name “MulitCare.” Jeff’s father and grandfather also share a history of serving on Tacoma General Hospital’s Board of Directors. Jeff continues to follow in his family’s generous footsteps through his support of the endowment and participation in fundraising events. “I’ve sponsored friends in the Courage Classic for twenty years. Mary Bridge was big draw for me.” He and his wife, Nancy, have laced up their running shoes many times for the Sound to Narrows event. The couple are also big fans of Mary Bridge’s Festival of Trees.

The Woodworth’s commitment to MultiCare grew after their son became seriously ill and required a short hospital stay. “We were very inspired by the care he received at Mary Bridge,” Jeff says. “That’s really what motivated my wife and me to give.”

When he heard about The Emergency Services Campaign and the plans for the Milgard Pavilion, he was motivated to give once again. He saw the incredible need for an emergency facility with the capacity to serve every person who walks thought the door. “Increasing the services that hospitals offer – that’s really exciting to me.”


Clinical Support Endowment

June 2000

Caring, a newsletter from MultiCare Health Foundation and Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation (Tacoma, WA)

Virginia Woodworth recently made her second significant contribution to the J. Alden & Virginia Woodworth Family Endowment. This three-generation family fund benefits state-of-the-art Respiratory Care Services at Tacoma General Hospital.


Woodworth paves way with good relationships

November 12-18, 1999

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle, WA)
Rayne Tronset-Moore

Woodworth & Co. Inc. has always been a family-owned business – but it hasn’t always borne the Woodworth family name.

The company was originally incorporated in 1921 as Albertson, Cornell Brothers & Walsh, a dredging, building and road paving company. Harold S. Woodworth started as superintendent of the paving department, and as his division grew, he acquired stock in the company. He became partner in 1936 and president in 1940, when the last of the company founders passed away. Harold Woodworth’s son, J. Alden Woodworth, served as vice president alongside his father.

During World War II, the Tacoma company constructed housing at Lincoln Heights, barracks and roads at Fort Lewis and the runway at the Moses Lake Air Base.

In 1952, J. Alden Woodworth became president. His son, John A. Woodworth, came to work part-time for the company in 1956, becoming a full-time employee five years later.

John A. Woodworth served as president from 1973 to 1997, until his son Jeff, who has worked for the company since 1980, took over. That successful succession helped Woodworth & Co. win a 1999 Washington Family Business Award in the heritage category.

But family history at Woodworth & Co. goes beyond the company’s namesakes.

“We’ve had a lot of fathers and sons and fathers and daughters who have worked for the company over the years,” John A. Woodworth said.

The company has been recognized as an industry leader for over 40 years, and has won a number of awards for quality and innovation. In the 1970s, Woodworth & Co. began recycling asphalt by incorporating reclaimed asphalt into the manufacturing process. In 1984, the company bought a plant that was capable of producing asphalt that was nearly 25 percent recycled. By 1995, the company was producing asphalt that was nearly 50 percent recycled, and had added asphalt roofing shingle recycling to the process. “We had to build the plant ourselves to reduce the shingles to a point where we could introduce them into asphalt. After much experimentation, that was finally completed,” Woodworth said. “Now we routinely recycle asphalt shingles and reclaimed asphalt in our hot mix.” Woodworth & Co. also began recycling petroleum-contaminated soil in the mid-1990s, developing a facility that has since changed ownership, but remains active.

Over the years, company projects have included the Factoria Interchange on interstate 90, numerous construction projects along Interstate 5 through Fort Lewis and Tacoma, and the paving of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. “Ten to 15 years ago all we did was asphalt paving and light grading,” Woodworth said. “We’ve gone a lot heavier into underground utility placing, and we do a lot more dirt moving than we used to. We used to just pave subdivisions, but now we do everything: Move the dirt, install the storm and sanitary sewers – basically building the road from the bottom up.”

Woodworth said that the company – which has sales that have remained relatively stable over the past few years – prefers not to increase annual revenues above $30 million. The family feels that rapid growth would inevitably be followed by cutbacks, and doesn’t want to fall into a pattern of laying off employees – particularly since Woodworth feels the employees play an important role in the company’s success.

“It’s the people that work for us that make us so successful,” Woodworth said. “And that’s what has made us successful for 79 years. We’re loyal to our people and our people are loyal to us. We’ve had a lot of people here who have worked for our company for their whole lives.”

Sustaining lasting relationship is also important to the family, Woodworth said.

“We really believe that if we have a good relationship with someone, as long as they’re doing a good job for us, we shouldn’t be romanced by every person that comes off the street on a short-term basis. We’re loyal to the people who help us, and we don’t change over just because someone comes along with a cheaper price.”

Woodworth & Co. recently won a community service award from the Boys and Girls Club of Pierce County, and the company has provided financial support for numerous organizations over the years.