Byron Klemaske II is widely recognized as a leading authority and innovator in the decorative concrete industry, in part because of his position as executive vice president of operations at T.B. Penick & Sons Inc., a San Diego construction company celebrated for its architectural decorative concrete.
When Byron was just 17 years old, in the early 1970s, he took a leap of faith and went to work for John T. Dryden Inc., a San Diego concrete imprinting company. He quickly became intrigued with the possibilities of the Bomanite process used by the company, and went on to develop innovative decorative concrete products, tools, methods and finishes. He expanded uses and markets for decorative concrete and trained many other notable people in the industry.
After working for John T. Dryden, Byron and his two brothers formed Klemaske Brothers Concrete, and they made a name for themselves installing architectural finishes throughout the San Diego area.
Later, while working at Progressive Concrete, in Escondido, Calif., Byron was instrumental in developing Micro-Top, a troweled-on cementitious topping that is now manufactured by Bomanite, and Arte Povera, a coloration system utilized by Progressive Concrete.
“As I look back on (what achievement I think about the most), I truly believe it was the development of a decorative microtopping and taking it to the marketplace,” he says. “It was a good, heartfelt achievement.”
In 1999, Byron’s reputation for innovation and team-building caught the attention of Tim Penick, who was looking to expand the concrete division of his company. Byron joined T.B. Penick & Sons Inc. as vice president of operations and head of the firm’s Innovative Concrete Group. He assembled a top team of decorative concrete artisans, including his wife, Chris, his brothers, and several other family members. Today, T.B. Penick, founded in 1905, is recognized as one of the leading decorative concrete companies in the world.
After four decades in the business, Klemaske remains passionate about the concrete industry. Recently, he helped T.B. Penick secure a federal patent for a pervious concrete system called Pervious Concrete Elements. Always an innovator and visionary, Byron continues to push himself and inspire the industry to evolve in terms of sustainability, functionality, new products, new uses, new finishes and new concepts of architectural and design beauty.
Byron’s architectural and innovative concrete systems include work at Coastal Grand Mall in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Tai Mall in Taoyuan, Taiwan; CityCenter in Las Vegas; Grapevine Mills Mall in Dallas, Texas; Opry Mills Mall in Nashville, Tenn.; Epcot Center in Orlando, Fla,; Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif.; Disney Hong Kong; Disney Shanghai and more than 600 Abercrombie & Fitch retail stores internationally, to name a few.
Byron has exhibited an ongoing commitment to excellence and innovation, and he has helped to shape the art and the business of decorative concrete. He is past president of the American Concrete Institute’s San Diego chapter.
Through his efforts T.B. Penick has garnered accolades that include recognition in Concrete Construction magazine’s annual CC100 list as the No. 1 decorative concrete contractor, mentions in Engineering News-Record magazine’s annual lists of the Top 400 Contractors and Top 600 Specialty Contractors, and several awards for safety. The company’s projects have won numerous honors, including Cornerstone Excellence Awards and awards from leading industry magazines, the ASCC Decorative Concrete Council, the ACI, the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Civil Engineers.