What is the biggest misconception about the industry?
First, that pursuing a career in the trades is not as rewarding (monetarily or stature) as a white collar job. Second, that construction businesses are simply commodities as part of getting a building built, instead of being very sophisticated and integrated teams of professionals (including tradesmen, managers, engineers) that take on all the complexities of fabrication, transportation, sequencing of installation and incorporating Owner and design changes without adjusting schedules for project turnover.
What is your biggest current challenge at work?
The growth and development of personnel capable of perpetuating the business through future generations, at all levels (trades personnel, management).
What keeps you up at night?
If anything, it would be the ability to keep a consistent flow of profitable work ahead to meet annual profitability goals and keep crew and staff levels fairly even to steady growth.
What project is your company most proud of?
That is a hard question to answer, as we are proud of all our projects, for many different reasons (e.g. appearance, complexity, overcoming site constraints, etc.). Three projects that stand out in my mind, that overcame several of these challenges, would be DuMont Condominiums, Museum of the Bible, and GW Science and Engineering (which was a terra cotta panel project).
How does your ABC membership help your company?
We have experienced several benefits of our membership over the years. The opportunity for our team members to network and establish relationships with others in our industry is certainly a major benefit, which is enhanced even greater to the extent of our participation (e.g. committees, events, community service, etc.). Information and support provided by ABC and affiliates in assisting us in navigating DC hiring preferences and programs is certainly another. We have also taken advantage of Safety and Education programs over the years.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
It went from joining the Army, to playing professional baseball and/or basketball, to designing of buildings. Obviously none of those panned out.
Tell us something no one in the industry knows about you.
Probably a lot, but one would be that you would not call me to lay brick at your house.
What do you look forward to each day?
The ability to make the day the most positive and productive as possible, to help others in some way, and honor my company and family.
What are you like to work for?
Hopefully someone who has their back, will be supportive and flexible as possible within a specific framework, and gives them positive feedback as well as things to improve upon. I definitely try to keep things light and not too serious or dramatic.
What is your favorite metro Washington hangout/restaurant?
No hangout places in particular; I would say that I have enjoyed almost every meal I have ever had at a Great American Restaurant.
What is your favorite movie or tv show?
Jeopardy is big at our house. I also enjoy documentaries on famous people, particularly musicians, so Dan Rather's "The Big Interview" is another popular one.
What do you do for fun?
I am probably a workaholic by nature, but when I make the time I do enjoy hiking, bike riding, golf, pickleball (thanks to my wife) and spending time with our family.
What business/career advice do you wish you had when you began?
Don't take things too seriously, and don't be afraid to fail. You won't die, and you will become more resilient because of it.
What was your first job?
Besides cutting lawns, I worked as a greenskeeper on a golf course which, since I love being outside, remains one of my favorite jobs.