University of the Pacific
Leadership in Construction
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My entire career has been devoted to General Engineering Construction (grading, paving, underground, concrete structures, etc.). My start was with a new and small but growing firm, DSS Company. The company's three founders were extremely talented, they gave me the opportunity to wear many hats during my seven years there, These roles included takeoff, estimating, laborer, operator, mason, truck driver, foreman, superintendent, computer programmer, financial assistant, salesman, trainer and more. During my 30+ years, I have benefited tremendously from this broad exposure as it has given me a deep understanding of the business and it's people. I truly appreciate what true professionals work in our industry, regardless of whether that person holds a shovel or a pen.
My tenure at Teichert Construction gave me the opportunity to gain leadership and broad technical/administrative skills in providing direction, oversight and accountability within an organization. At the age of 31 I became chief estimator and by 33 I was running all operations in a district office that performed in excess of $100 million/year. Leading the district through the recession of the early 90's was a very humbling experience. Teichert somehow kept their faith in me, and I went on to become the President of Teichert Construction in 2001, leading over 3,000 employees at the age of 43.
Teichert taught me that successful leadership must first mean ‘safely’ growing margin percentage - not volume. Leaders must be painfully disciplined not to compromise safely or margins for the sake of revenue growth. Resources are precious, and a substantial return on capital is the only way a firm can thrive over the long run. The most effective way to safely grow margins is to gain the trust of your people, as they are your most precious and yet vulnerable resource. I truly appreciate the phrase; "The higher you go in an organization, the less your success depends upon your own efforts."
Full oversight of all Safety, Business Development, Procurement, Field Operations, Administration and Finance for a full service general engineering construction company operating in the San Diego and Inland Empire regions. Duties Include supervision of 45 administrative and 100 craft employees as well as serving on Hazard’s Board of Directors. Hazard serves both the public and private sectors in infrastructure development and project management specializing in the construction of master planned residential communities. Founded in 1926, Hazard maintains an excellent reputation in the regions it serves.
Leadership of all operations (Estimating, Construction, Safety, Business Development, IT, Finance, IR, and Mobile Equipment) for eight regional offices involved in general engineering construction, i.e. grading, paving, underground utilities and concrete. Duties included supervising 500 salary and 2,500 union employees with sales volumes of over $600 million annually. Projects included freeways, road reconstruction, airport infrastructure, commercial site development and subdivision infrastructure with projects ranging up to $100 million.
Responsible for overseeing all operations (Estimating, Construction and Administration) of a district office involved in general engineering construction. Included supervising 50 salary and 275 union employees. Sales volumes grew from $25 million to over $100 million annually.
Lead a team of six estimators and two takeoff personnel in bidding infrastructure projects in the central San Joaquin valley. Highlight was the negotiation of infrastructure work for the 1,200 acre planned community of Brookside by the Grupe Company in Stockton, CA.
I had the opportunity to help Granite start a brand new office in Palmdale, CA. The Palmdale/Lancaster region in the high desert above the LA basin was growing rapidly due to its affordable housing within a commutable distance to jobs in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. While there, I was able to experience the erection of their aggregate plant and hot plant (asphalt) on property Granite had recently purchased.
In addition to housing infrastructure, our work also included the construction and reconstruction of roads and streets for the two cities and Los Angeles County. I also had the opportunity to be involved in some very interesting site projects for nearby Plant 42 - where many of the nation's most advanced jets and bombers were developed, built and stored.
DSS had been in business for a little over two years when I joined them, and revenues were under $5 million. The three owners were true construction professionals, and my seven years there was a great opportunity as I played almost every role possible – including takeoffs, estimating, laborer, operator, foreman, superintendent, computer programmer, and more. I raked asphalt, laid pipe, hauled dirt in scrapers, built relationships with owners and inspectors, wrote financial programs to analyze job performance; and truly gained an insight in seven years that few would have the opportunity to experience.
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